Importance of Vitamin C and E in Antioxidant Skin Care

In our last blog, we discussed the impact of laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments to reduce the appearance of aging and photodamaged skin caused by extrinsic factors such as sun exposure and other lifestyle choices. Intrinsic factors such as genetics and the natural aging process also contribute to aging. Are there options for reversing these aging factors?

Combining medical-grade skin care products with laser and IPL treatments provides an additional opportunity to stimulate new collagen production and improve skin texture and tone. In our office we recommend a regimen utilizing Retin-A (tretinoin) and topical Vitamin C serums to maintain and enhance the results of your laser treatments. These two products work in different ways.

Tretinoin is a prescription topical medication that has been used for over 40 years, primarily to treat acne. Tretinoin exfoliates superficial dead skin cells from the skin surface while simultaneously building new collagen deeper in the dermal layer of the skin. As a result, tretinoin can dramatically improve the appearance of fine lines, skin texture and pigmentation. The exfoliation tretinoin provides allows other skin care products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, enhancing their efficacy.

Vitamin C and Vitamin E serums are a valuable addition to any skin care routine, but they also enhance the action of tretinoin to further stimulate collagen and improve skin texture and tone. Vitamin C is an essential component of collagen synthesis, and vitamin C and E work synergistically as potent antioxidants to protect skin cell membranes from oxidative stress. Studies have demonstrated a reduction in fine lines and pigmentation when topical Vitamin C serums are used consistently over time.

A skin care regimen utilizing Tretinoin and Vitamin C topicals is not only very effective at improving and protecting your skin, but can be simple to use. Typically Vitamin C serums are applied daily, often in the morning to provide a photoprotective effect. Tretinoin is applied in the evening, typically 2-3 times weekly. We recommend wearing a mineral-based physical sunblock daily and reapplying as necessary to protect your skin, and prevent further sun damage and aging.

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Dr. Deschamps-Braly is a board-certified plastic and craniofacial surgeon specializing in facial plastic surgery, orthognathic (jaw) surgery, and craniofacial surgery for adults and children. He is also one of the world’s foremost leaders and innovators in facial gender confirmation surgery.