There’s a whole lot of them - and what they have in common is that they’re all amazing for skin. If you want glowing skin, you needed an antioxidant serum yesterday. Luckily, it’s never too late to start using one! Antioxidants are one of the best types of skincare ingredients that you could include in your skincare routine - and here’s why.
Antioxidants benefit skin in two major ways:
- Protect skin from damage-causing free radicals
- Work to undo existing signs of free radical exposure
This sounds straightforward but makes a huge difference in keeping your skin healthy and glowing - here’s how!
What Is an Antioxidant?
Antioxidants are crucial for overall health, and their main function is to “prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals.” Antioxidants can be synthesised in a lab or derived from nature; some famous natural antioxidants (other than Vitamin C) are Vitamin E, Green Tea Catechins, and Beta-Carotene.
Antioxidants Target Free Radicals
I know what you're thinking - what even are free radicals? You've probably read that phrase loads of times before, but what does it even mean? Free radicals are unstable molecules that harm skin cells, causing premature wrinkles and other damage. They’re not something that we want a lot of in our skin! We can take steps to avoid exposure to these molecules as possible by not laying out in the sun, smoking, or excessive pollution exposure.
These three are the most common causes of free radical exposure, which in turn is strongly linked to premature signs of ageing. That’s right - when it comes to your skin, they could be causing your skin to age faster than it should be!
When this happens, it’s because your skin doesn’t have enough antioxidants in it to fight off these scavenging free radicals - and that’s where an antioxidant comes in.
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Daily Serum | $205
A potent serum that combines multiple antioxidants for maximum glow and efficacy.
How Do Antioxidants Work?
Acting on the surface of the skin, topical antioxidants work by preventing as much oxidative stress from happening as possible - in doing so, they protect skin and help to undo some of the damage done. “Antioxidants are often considered the fountain of youth by skin-care professionals and experts,” says Victoria Lewis of Tribeca MedSpa. And the thing is, they’re completely right
Most antioxidants incredibly effective when it comes to reversing the signs of photoageing - that is, the signs of ageing caused by too much sun exposure. Their biggest impact is on excessive pigmentation of skin - this includes sunspots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and melasma.
Antioxidants help to gently fade these for clear, flawless skin by preventing excess melanin (the pigment responsible for our skin colour) from forming - this makes skin look flawless by evening out skin an adding luminosity.
While not all antioxidants help with collagen formation, they definitely help your skin retain as much collagen as possible. Even though our natural collagen levels fall over time, protecting skin with a potent antioxidant ensures that your skin’s collagen stores aren’t prematurely depleted, ensuring your skin still has a youthful glow.
How Do I Add Antioxidants to My Skincare Routine?
While antioxidants benefit skin the best when it comes to anti-ageing, that doesn’t mean they’re only for that benefit. Antioxidants are for everyone - and I mean that! There’s an antioxidant formula for everyone - you can use a moisturiser with antioxidants (so you get a two-in-one sort of benefit).
Or, you could go for a concentrated dose in the form of a serum. If you prefer, you can even get them in the form of a facial oil - there’s an antioxidant product out there for everyone. You could even use all three at the same time if you wanted!
One of the best things about antioxidants is that you really can’t overdo it - unlike with retinol and exfoliating products, it’s kind of impossible to go overboard with them - so what are you waiting for? Don’t forget to get your beauty affairs in order with some antioxidants in your routine!
Declaré Energy Balance Moisture Treatment | $50
This moisturiser is formulated to hydrate skin and defend it against free radicals for brighter, younger looking skin.
Need some help putting together the best skincare routine for your skin type? Try our skin quiz!