When it comes to antioxidants, too much of a good thing is anything but the truth. They’re arguably the hardest working skincare ingredient on your shelf and are the multitasking superstars known for delivering multiple skin benefits at once.
So, what exactly do antioxidants do? Well, think of them like an insurance policy for your skin…against pretty much everything. Antioxidants are designed to calm and neutralise inflammation within the skin cells that comes from nasty free radicals and oxidative stress. As we age, our body is less able to fight off the causes of ageing, sun damage and dullness (just to name a few) which is why slathering on antioxidants each day is going to leave your skin better off.
Today, we’re breaking down the best antioxidants for your skin and why they should be the hero of your skincare routine.
They’re free radical scavengers
Despite how badass the term “free radical scavenger” sounds, it’s actually a huge role of defence that antioxidants play. You won’t always see it happening but each day, our skin is seriously exposed to stressors in our environment known as free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that gain stability when they react with other molecules. This creates a chain reaction that ultimately leaves our skin cells damaged. They occur in our body but also from the environment around us such as through pollution, cigarette smoke, chemicals and UV rays. When the body feels overloaded with free radicals, it causes what’s known as oxidative stress which makes it even harder for the body to remove harmful stressors in its tracks.
The easiest way we can explain the effects of oxidative stress is if you’ve ever seen the science experiment of cutting an apple in half and watching it turn brown. This is the result of that chain reaction of free radicals that cause undefendable stress on the apple and leave it looking worse for wear. Scary, right?
Fortunately, antioxidants are the knight in skincare armour in this scenario. They have been scientifically proven, when applied each day through the likes of Vitamin C serums, to fight off free radicals and their damaging effects as well as support the skin when recovering from oxidative stress.
To double your defence against free radicals, pair your morning Vitamin C serum with sun protection to seriously ghost these nasty aggressors.
They support serious anti-ageing results
Now, we weren’t kidding when we said antioxidants were absolute superstars at multitasking! Not only do they off elements that accelerate skin ageing but they speed up your cell renewal process too!
Known as one of the most potent antioxidants available, Vitamin A or Retinol, is a serious anti-ageing antioxidant you need to know about. Thanks to its small molecular structure, Vitamin A is an antioxidant that can travel deep within the skin to tackle where many skin concerns, like ageing, are formed.
Vitamin A contributes to skin that feels firmer and more youthful with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles minimised. Paired with its ability to create a more even, brighter skin tone, Vitamin A is an antioxidant many run to when they’re looking for an evening serum that packs a punch.
As an added bonus, Vitamin A has also been proven to support those with breakouts and congestions thanks to its ability to travel deeper than other antioxidants. This means unclogged pores, softening of acne scarring and management of active breakouts are totally possible thanks to this antioxidant.
They’re anti-inflammatory superstars
You may know Vitamin B as Niacinamide. Whatever you call it, it’s seriously grown in popularity in recent times thanks to its ability to soothe, calm, restore and rejuvenate all at the same time. This impressive antioxidant is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive ones, as it works on restoring the skin’s barrier whilst managing any superficial concerns.
Ideal for those that experience breakouts, rosacea or hyperpigmentation, Vitamin B is a daily antioxidant that works to diffuse redness by calming down inflammation and soothing the irritation that can come with these frustrating skin conditions.
By improving the strength and moisture retention of the skin, Vitamin B is able to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin texture.
They accelerate skin healing
Antioxidants are widely celebrated for their ability to support skin healing, and even speed up that process! This is thanks to Vitamin E, one of the most well-known antioxidants.
Vitamin E works hard to fight off free radicals whilst providing healing benefits to the skin. It does this by repairing damaged skin cells and strengthening the skin’s barrier. By keeping your barrier intact, Vitamin E helps to seal in moisture and prevent the skin from feeling tight and dry.
Vitamin E also has the ability to stabilise other antioxidants and assist their performance which is why you may find Vitamin E pop up in your Vitamin C or A ingredients list.
Its ability to lock in moisture makes Vitamin E ideal for moisturisers, creams and lotions which are where you’ll commonly find this antioxidant.