There’s a reason antioxidants are in the top three ingredients—the other two being retinol and sunscreen—dermatologists recommend for a well-rounded routine: they neutralize free-radical damage our skin incurs every day thanks to environmental assailants like UV rays, blue light, pollution and more. And free-radical damage is one of the key precursors to visible signs of aging.
On the Zoom meeting with SkinCeuticals to introduce its latest innovation, I learned that in addition to higher levels of sebum, blemish-prone skin has lower levels of antioxidants when compared to other skin types, leaving it more vulnerable to breakouts caused by environmental damage. Because of this, the brand set out to add an entirely new category of antioxidants to its portfolio and offer up a new oil-free formula for those whose skin isn’t cut out for either of its other antioxidant products, including the cult-classic C E Ferulic serum and Phloretin CF. Meet Silymarin CF ($166), which has been in the making for six years and officially hits the market on February 15.
A powerhouse antioxidant derived from the milk thistle plant, “silymarin inhibits the oxidation of sebum in the skin, which can introduce bacteria into the pores, leading to inflammation and ultimately blemishes,” says Durham, NC plastic surgeon Julie Woodward, MD, a SkinCeuticals partner physician. This formula combines 15-percent L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 0.5-percent concentrations of silymarin, ferulic acid and salicylic acid. “We tested seven biomarkers in the skin and results showed that Silmaryin CF decreases the breakdown of collagen and DNA degradation, and also has aesthetic results,” adds Alison Murakami, PhD and head of medical affairs for SkinCeuticals. “It’s clinically proven to neutralize free radicals, reduce skin oiliness, refine skin texture, and visibly improve signs of aging including fine lines and dark spots.”
In rigorous clinical trials, 55 women applied the product daily and reported a 41-percent improvement in overall skin clarity, texture, fine lines and even tone, Dr. Murakami adds. “It can also be combined with prescription topical acne products.”
Now if you’re a SkinCeuticals devotee, you may be wondering how Silymarin CF differs from Phloretin CF specifically, which is also suited for oily and acne-prone skin. Dr. Murakami says the ingredients and indications are different: “Phloretin CF contains phloretin, ferulic acid and vitamin C—vitamin C and ferulic acid protect skin from environmental aggressors of oxidation. Phloretin is important also in treating discolorations of the skin, and is indicated for patients concerned with discoloration.”
Silymarin CF, on the other hand, offers a similar dose of antioxidant power thanks to vitamin C and ferulic acid, but Dr. Murakami says the “silymarin prevents oil oxidation of the sebum in pores (preventing early cascade for blemish formation). The salicylic acid decongests and refines pores and reduces sebum production, and is indicated for patients with oily skin and concerned with blemishes.”
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