06/11/2015 05:43 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Hot Tip for Summer Skincare: Sunscreen Is Just the Beginning


Ever feel your skin after a day in the sun? Even after slathering on sunscreen repeatedly, mine still feels hot hours later. Scientists at Yale University have shed light on this mystery in a recent study showing that "UV light can continue to harm the skin and inflict cancer-causing damage hours after exposure and even in the dark." Fortunately, thanks to this study, we now know that there's something you can do about it. The key is to apply free radical fighting antioxidants -- before, during and after sun exposure. Yes, after!

Although the skin possesses an elaborate antioxidant defense system designed to help it cope with sun-induced oxidative stress, ongoing exposure to UV light can still tax our skin's ability to fight off premature skin aging and skin cancer. Studies support the application of antioxidants to help fortify the skin's natural defenses and prevent free radical damage caused by the sun. [1,2,3] Which is why every medical and skincare expert recommends a skincare routine packed with antioxidants.

Now, it seems that this same wisdom applies even after the sun sets. After a day in the sun (wearing sunscreen, of course), you should continue to protect your skin with natural antioxidants like green tea, astaxanthin, and red raspberry seed oil that provide an extra boost of free radical fighting power.

Knowing that UV exposure accounts for approximately 80 percent of skin aging, I'm going to be extra vigilant about supporting my skin with topical anti-oxidants this summer... even when it gets dark!


1. Ferulic acid stabilizes a solution of vitamins C and E and doubles its photoprotection of skin.

2. The potential of omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention of non-melanoma skin cancer

3. The Role of Antioxidants in Skin Cancer Prevention and Treatment