Vitamins C and E: One of My All-Time Favorite Combinations
When vitamin C is combined with vitamin E, it creates a synergistic effect that ends up being more than the sum of its parts. That’s because vitamin C loses electrons as it encounters free radicals and neutralizes them, and vitamin E provides a source of electrons to replenish vitamin C. In fact, as one antioxidant is depleted it can essentially “borrow” an electron from the other and vice versa, helping both antioxidants work better (Cosmetic Dermatology).
Vitamin C as Ascorbyl Palmitate: Two Thumbs Up When > 1%!
Some companies make the mistake of including vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid in a sunscreen with a neutral-to-high pH, which doesn’t allow L-ascorbic acid to penetrate the skin as well as exfoliating acidic formulations do.
Luckily, the scientists at NEOVA know this, and they formulated NEOVA DNA Damage Control Sunscreen Everyday SPF 44 with an ample concentration of ascorbyl palmitate. Once the applied to the skin, ascorbyl palmitate may break into L-ascorbic acid and a fatty acid (palmitate/palmitic acid). Because only a portion of the compound is active L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate must be used in high concentrations to be effective. In fact, ascorbyl palmitate is only proven effective at concentrations of at least 1-2% (International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2001). Fortunately, NEOVA DNA Damage Control Sunscreen Everyday SPF 44 has at least 1-2% ascorbyl palmitate from my best estimates, and I would honestly put that number at more like 4-5%, judging from its position on the ingredients list.
Sodium hyaluronate: Holds 1000x its weight in water
When I was a little girl, I used to like to go outside and watch ants. Once my grandfather told me that they could carry 8 times their weight, I was hooked on watching them.
Fast forward many years, and I’m admittedly not so stuck on watching ants anymore. But I do marvel at anything with superhuman strength. And sodium hyaluronate is one of those ingredients. A more stable sodium salt of hyaluronic acid naturally found within the skin, sodium hyaluronate is able to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water (Cosmetics & Toiletries, Cosmetic Dermatology).
Sodium hyaluronate functions as a humectant moisturizer, meaning it attracts water from the surrounding environment to hydrate your skin. Luckily, hyaluronic acid works in both high and low humidity environments, so your climate isn’t going to affect its effectiveness (Simple Skin Beauty).
In regards to its applications in skin care, there are plenty of studies that showcase its hydrating properties, although most call for further testing. In a study involving patients undergoing chemotherapy, a hyaluronic acid cream lessened skin reactions and sped up healing time (Radiotherapy & Oncology). In another study involving rats, hyaluronic acid sped up healing time from free radical damage, but the authors caused for further testing (International Journal of Tissue Reactions).
L- Ergothionene is like the quiet kid in the back of the class who grows up to be a WWF Wrestler or something — a strength completely unexpected from an unsung hero. In a 2007 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, L-ergothioneine was found to be more protective from free radicals than idebenone (that ingredient in the Elizabeth Arden Prevage line), with far less risk of skin irritation.
Like L-ascorbic acid, ergothionene should be in the “L” formation in order to be the most efficacious for the skin. Thankfully, the scientists at NEOVA also figured this out, and put in only L-ergothionene.
DNA Repair Enzymes
NEOVA DNA Damage Control Sunscreen Everyday SPF 44 features DNA repair enzymes, photolyase and endosomes. Let’s look at these more closely.
Photolyase has been shown in company-related trials to reduce UVB radiation-induced dimers by 45% and to increase UV protection by 300% (source). Photolyase is derived from plankton, and can be identified on skin care products as plankton extract from Anacystis nidulans. Its job is to undo DNA damage in cells and prevent cell death caused by UV exposure.
You don’t need to wait a full thirty minutes to an hour for NEOVA DNA Damage Control Sunscreen Everyday SPF 44 to work: zinc oxide instantly protects the skin for the sun, unlike chemical sunscreens. However, the photolyase will take up to an hour to start increasing UV protection further. According to the text The New Science of Perfect Skin, liposome-encapsulated photolyase is delivered to the skin within an hour of application. It requires light for its activation, though any mild indoor light that passes through sunscreen should be enough for it to work properly.
On the other hand, endosomes are liposome-encapsulated and derived from the marine microbe, Micrococcus lysate. Extremely UV-resistant, endosomes intensify the skin’s reparative properties to speed recovery reaction and reduce the appearance of post-sunburn peeling.
If NEOVA DNA Damage Control Sunscreen Everyday SPF 44 technology didn’t have a patent, I would be formulating it myself. This super powerhouse sunscreen features DNA repair enzymes (photolyase and endosomes), plus some of my favorite antioxidants (L-ascorbic acid and vitamin E), and sodium hyaluronate to boot. It’s a true winner!
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 6.5%, Octisalate 2.5%, Zinc Oxide 8.5%.
Inactive Ingredients: Allantoin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Citric Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Ergothioneine, Ethyl Hexyl Isononanoate, Glycereth-26, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Lecithin, Micrococcus Lysate, Octyl Stearate, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Panthenol, PEG-7 Trimethylolpropane Coconut Ether, Phenoxyethanol, Plankton Extract, Polyether-1, Polyisobutene, Purified Water, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane.