It just goes to show, no good deed goes unpunished.
If you've been diligently applying all of your antioxidant-infused products every a.m., there's a chance that they can turn on you once they're exposed to UV rays, and -- brace yourself -- become pro-oxidants, actually generating free radicals, according to Thomas Meyer, PhD of the Coppertone Solar Research Center.
This is a big deal, since it's free-radicals that break down our cell structure and - in short - make us look old. Antioxidants were the chemicals that were supposed to protect us.
Yikes. So does that mean all of our fancy antioxidant-rich products should be saved for nighttime? Not necessarily.
Meyer just developed a new sunscreen range for Coppertone, NutraShield With Dual Defense, which has been rigorously tested to offer protection from free radical damage both in the lab and when exposed to UV rays.
That's all well and good, but what about every other product under the sun?
"There is ongoing scientific research to find out which antioxidants have an adverse reaction when exposed to the sun," says Ava Shamban, a dermatologist who works out of sunny Beverly Hills.
Without a clear list of "good" and "bad" antioxidants, there's no way you or I are able to tell what's oxidizing on our skin until more research is done. (Skincare manufacturers, are you listening?!)
In the meantime, here are a few derm-approved sunscreens that are also superior free radical fighters:
SkinMedica Environmental Defense Sunscreen SPF 30+. Shamban loves the vitamin E and hyaluronic acid-rich formula. $40
Topix Replenix CF Anti-Photoaging Complex SPF 45. It's enriched with green tea and coffeeberry, two ingredients derms are always yammering on about. $35
Revaléskin Day Cream with SPF 15 Sunscreen. When this stuff came out, even the most stone-faced derms were gushing about it. $82.50
And of course, keep the faith in antioxidants -- derms do -- and stay out of the sun as much as you can stand it.