Certain vitamins can protect your skin from sun damage.

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Most people know that using a sunscreen with a PF of at least 30 is essential to protect the skin from sun damage, but did you know that anti-aging vitamins are also important for healthy skin?  While environmental factors such as ultraviolet (UV) light and smoke can damage the skin and hasten the aging process, anti-aging vitamins can protect cells from free radicals as well as promote cell repair and skin rejuvenation. 

How Do Anti-Aging Vitamins Work?

Anti-aging and antioxidants go hand in hand. Anti-aging vitamins contain antioxidant properties, which protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are byproducts of natural body processes and environmental factors. 

A free radical consists of a molecule or atom with an odd number of electrons. The unstable molecule or atom will seek other molecules in an effort to steal an electron and regain stability. The molecule that loses an electron now becomes a free radical. In turn, it attempts to steal an electron from other molecules. Such action triggers a chain reaction which can potentially cause damage throughout your body. 

When free radicals affect skin cells, the result is premature wrinkles, damaged skin and even skin cancer. Anti-aging vitamins, or antioxidant properties in certain vitamins, look for free radicals, break the oxidative process and repair the damage caused by free radicals.

Although a certain level of free radicals in the body is normal, when the number of free radicals becomes unmanageable, the result is premature aging, chronic inflammation, chronic disease and death. Anti-aging supplements can stop and even reverse the aging process.

Anti-Aging Vitamins & Sun Damage

Although the body naturally produces certain enzymes to regulate the oxidative process, formation of free radicals, there are some antioxidants, or anti-aging vitamins, not produced in the body. You must obtain such vitamins through your diet or in supplement form. 

Vitamin C - If you are like most people, you may not realize that spending about 15 minutes in the sun can deplete the skin’s supply of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which can reduce or counteract the negative effects of sun damage. According to Medicinenet.com, it is also the most common vitamin, antioxidant, found on the skin. Without antioxidants, free radicals destroy elastin and collagen needed for younger-looking skin. 

You can obtain this anti-aging vitamin through citrus fruits and vegetables. Another way to obtain vitamin C is through supplements. You can find vitamin C in capsule, tablet and powder form at your local health food store. If you choose to supplement your diet with vitamin C, choose a product with flavanoids, plant compounds needed for vitamin C absorption. 

Dermatologists generally recommend taking 500 to 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily.

Vitamin E - This is another anti-aging vitamin with potent antioxidant abilities. It reduces the harmful effects on the skin due to sun exposure. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, taking 400 units of this anti-aging vitamin daily could reduce the harmful effects of free radicals to skin cells. For best results, take together with vitamin C. 

Caution: Vitamin E promotes blood circulation. Consult your health care provider before incorporating vitamin E supplements into your diet if you take blood thinners or anti-clotting medications. 

Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, raw spinach, wheat germ, broccoli, raw tomatoes, kiwis and mangoes. 

Selenium - Although not an anti-aging vitamin, selenium is a mineral believed to protect the skin against sun damage. This mineral could lower the chance of sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Sources of selenium include eggs, seafood, whole-grain cereals and garlic.  

Anti-aging vitamins are vital for healthy skin. They also protect the skin against sun damage. While free radicals can lead to premature aging, anti-aging vitamins with antioxidant properties can counteract the oxidation process and repair the damage caused by such free radicals. Protecting your skin from sun damage does not have to be costly. You can give your body the anti-aging vitamins it needs through your diet or through dietary supplements. 

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