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Double Defense Q & A with Dr Jonquille

Antioxidants and SPF are essential for skin protection. Click to find out how SkinCeuticals products, such as Phloretin CF and CE Ferulic, can help protect your skin now!


Double Defense Q & A with Dr Jonquille 

Dr Jonquille answers your most common questions on the importance of antioxidants and sunscreen.

Dr Jonquille is an international lecturer and surgeon with a background in skin science, plastics, trauma and regenerative plastic surgery. She is passionate about cosmeceutical skincare and the way it can benefit your health and wants to empower you to make better, smarter choices when making skincare choices. In her latest live Q & A she answered some of your most common questions about protecting the skin from environmental and UV damage.  

Why do we need to protect our skin? 

“There are three main reasons but the first is for our health. Skin cancer is on the increase and there are different types of skin cancers. There are those that occur mainly on exposed areas such as the neck and chest, to the very serious types of cancers that can spread throughout the body and cause very high mortality rates”. 

“The second reason is to protect the skin from environmental factors which create a lot of different skin issues – not just ageing signs such as wrinkles but free radical damage which can cause inflammation and lead to breakouts, hyperpigmentation, darkening in the skin and an uneven skin tone”. 

“The third reason is your confidence. Breakouts, uneven skin tone, sagging skin, pigmentation, and premature ageing can all impact our confidence which makes protecting our skin important”. 

What are we protecting the skin from? 

“In terms of ageing and the ageing process, there are two forms to know about: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic ageing is how we are genetically programmed to age. This is deeply influenced by our genes which impact how our hormones will behave and regulate. The second part is intrinsic ageing. This is extremely important as it’s the part you have control over through your lifestyle and environment. Sugar intake has a direct impact on our skin ageing process, as well as stress, and of course, UV and radiation. Studies have shown that 90% of premature ageing is secondary to environmental damage. Of that 90%, 75% is due to incidental damage from just walking around and being exposed to our environment - even on cloudy days. Some people think that we don’t need to protect our skin if we don’t need live in a warm climate, but that isn’t true”.  

“When it comes to extrinsic ageing, science shows that there is a significant reduction in collagen 1, 3 and 7 when we are exposed to these environmental factors. We need to protect the skin from this kind of damage as well as cellular damage. Cellular damage is hugely impacted by something called Free Radical Theory. This is where atoms steal electrons from healthy atoms causing more inflammation and more damage to the DNA and cell structures. That propagates more free radical damage and breaks down collagen fibres. This is why antioxidants are so important as they help protect the skin from free radical damage”. 

How can antioxidants help to protect the skin? 

“In order to be active and biologically active, antioxidants need to be stable enough to penetrate the upper levels of the skin and get into the cells that need protecting. When looking to add an antioxidant such as vitamin C  to your skin routine, you should look for formulas that include l-ascorbic acid – the active component of vitamin C – at 10-20%.  

L-ascorbic acid is also an acid so in order for it to be active it needs to have a low pH of around 3.5%. Antioxidants such as this will help to protect the skin from environmental damage”. 

Who can benefit from antioxidants? 

“You can consider using antioxidants from any age. I treat a lot of Gen Z’s and Millennials, and Gen Z’s are particularly clued up about environmental damage and preventing the premature ageing process. Anyone from around 18 years and above can benefit from using an antioxidant. My hero product from SkinCeuticals is the award-winning and scientifically proven C E Ferulic. This product became extremely popular due to its triple-level antioxidant formula that’s delivered to the skin system. C E Ferulic has 15% active l-ascorbic acid in it along with vitamin E. If you have a drier skin type and are seeing signs of ageing such as age spots, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles and you don’t have blemishes, I would advocate C E Ferulic for those patients. Use 4-5 drops after cleansing in the morning”. 

“Another powerful antioxidant from SkinCeuticals is Phloretin C F which I personally use. So what’s the difference? Like C E Ferulic it offers the skin up to 8 x its own normal protection against environmental damage*. It also includes 10% active l-ascorbic acid and 2% phloretin which is important for those who suffer with pigment changes. If you’re looking to brighten your skin and want to improve pigmentation then Phloretin C F is for you. It’s also excellent for those with oilier, combination skin types”. 

Top tip:  

“I always keep Phloretin C F in its box even when it’s opened and in use. This is very important as we need to protect it from oxidation and the free radical process. If we leave the product exposed to sunlight and UV, the active ingredients within it will break down quicker”. 

What antioxidant is best if your skin is very sensitive? 

“For younger patients whose skin is sensitive and may not tolerate the high levels of l-ascorbic acid in C E Ferulic, I would consider Serum 10. It has 10% l-ascorbic acid and a lower percentage of ferulic acid, so it’s better for sensitive skin types. The vitamin E within it is also very important for barrier repair. If you have very reactive, sensitive skin, this is usually because you have a dysfunctioning barrier layer where the proteins, fats and lipids are not behaving in the right way”. 

“The other product I really like and personally use is the AOX Eye Gel. It has a triple-antioxidant action which is quite unusual for an eye cream. It has 5% l-ascorbic acid and phloretin which is excellent for those who suffer with the pigment element of dark circles and react easily to the sun.”. 

What sunscreens work best with antioxidants? 

“There are many types of UV protection but, like antioxidants, they are not all created equal. From a broad perspective, you have mineral and physical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens act as more of a physical block so they sit on the skin and reflect UV light away. Chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin and also absorb UV rays. These tend to be clear and translucent and aren’t water resistant whereas mineral sunscreens are”. 

Advanced Brightening UV Defense is the new SPF from SkinCeuticals. It has 2% niacinamide and 1% tranexamic acid in a formla that improves the appearance of discoloration.n. What is extraordinary about this product is that it incorporates active ingredients that target skin concerns while also providing a protective SPF”. 

Ultra Facial Defense is a chemical sunscreen that’s great for drier skin types. It has vitamin E within it which can help with barrier protection and repair. If you have an oiler skin type I would recommend the Sheer Mineral sunscreen. It has a mattifying effect and is a very lightweight, physical SPF that is good for more sensitive skin types”. 

* Phloretin CF yields up to 8x skin's natural environmental protection. Clinical evaluation. Average result compared to untreated skin. 

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