As beauty editors — especially ones of Allure lineage — our proverbial antennae are always scanning for the next big thing. So when an award-winning brand with a track record for breakthrough formulas offers us an exclusive sneak-peak at its latest discovery, we’re all but vibrating with excitement (because, you know, that’s what antennae do, vibrate).
From the crackerjack team at SkinBetter Science — makers of AlphaRet Overnight Cream, the Best of Beauty champ that contains dermatologist-beloved ingredients like retinoids and lactic acid — comes SkinBetter Science Alto Defense Serum ($145), a groundbreaking formula, with 19 antioxidants, designed to deliver broad-spectrum environmental protection to help stall premature aging.
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In the skin realm, “broad-spectrum” is a term typically reserved for sunscreens, but researchers are now using it to describe diverse antioxidant blends engineered to defend against a wide variety of free radicals, because — who knew? — they’re not all created equal. Now, bear with us, if you will, as we take the tiniest detour into free radical theory to help you more fully comprehend the magic of this new product….
Free radicals, simply put, are unstable, electron-stealing molecules that harm our cells. The resultant damage, if unaddressed, or repaired imperfectly, accumulates over time, giving rise to wrinkles, brown spots, and skin cancers. While we often associate free radicals with UV rays, they can arise from miscellaneous sources and inflict distinct kinds of damage. “The type and intensity you’re exposed to depends largely on your lifestyle,” explains David H. McDaniel, an anti-aging researcher, co-director of the Hampton University Skin of Color Research Institute and an adjunct professor in dermatology at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Those living in major cities, for example, may routinely encounter high concentrations of ozone, “shown to cause disturbingly rapid and significant skin damage,” he says. The rural farmer or small-town construction worker, on the other hand, may have more exposure to ultraviolet rays and visible light. With bakers and glass blowers, notes McDaniel, “there’s data to show that chronic doses of infrared radiation [from heat sources]cause their wrinkles.” Crazy. Interesting. Stuff.