As you likely know, free radical damage and sun damage go hand-in-hand. Sunlight has been shown to slowly destroy the skin’s dermis, causing it to lose its resilience and become thing and weak, thus creating sags, creases, and wrinkles.
Research has shown that antioxidants provide you with added protection beyond sunscreen to prevent UV light-induced inflammation, dryness, and damage to your skin. A study from the International Journal of Cosmetic Surgery looked at the effects of alpha lipoic acid (ALA), vitamins C and E, and lutein on women with sun damage.
Participants took 5 mg of ALA, 10 mg of vitamin E, 90 mg of vitamin C, and 6 mg of lutein or placebo. After two months, those women who took the antioxidants had lower levels of free radicals in their blood, as well as better skin hydration than women who took the placebo.
The key to the effectiveness of this study may have been the ALA. ALA is a universal antioxidant, as it works in both water- and fat-soluble parts of your cells. It recycles other antioxidants in your body and scavenges more types of free radicals than any other known antioxidant.
You can take ALA alone (25 mg/day), or in combination with other antioxidants, such as those used in the study above.