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Can Sunscreen SPF Be Boosted with Vitamin C?

Posted Jul 26 2009 11:42pm

Meg’s Pondering Sun Protection… I hear a lot about using vitamin C and antioxidants in addition to a high PPD sunscreen to prevent sun damage and aging. Is there truth to this, or is this just something the cosmetics companies invented? Plush-Orange-Sun-ZW380

The Right Brain’s reply:
Actually, there is some solid research that indicates antixoidant vitamins can improve sunscreen SPF.

Vitamin boost

We’ve known for a long time that sun protection is one of the best things you can do for your skin. But in the last several years, researchers at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center have also demonstrated that
vitamin C combined with UVB sunscreen can give additive protection against sunburn. Their study suggests that a vitamin C and E combination is optimal. Does this mean you should run out and look for sunscreens that have vitamins on the label? Not really – the vitamins have to be present in the right concentations and must be properly stabilized before they have a beneficial effect. But if we see any super-vitamin sunscreens we’ll be sure to blog about them!

By the way, kudos to Meg for using the term PPD (Persistent Pigment Darkening), which is one of the proposed methods for measuring sun exposure in humans.

What do YOU think? Do you use sunscreen as often as you should? Do you have a favorite brand? Leave a comment and share your sun tips with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.

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