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Beauty Tips

Antioxidants 101 For Your Skin + Shopping Guide

Last Updated on September 10, 2020

“Rich in antioxidants” is a term seen in almost every skincare product on the market. So it does make one wonder about the role antioxidants play in maintaining healthy skin.

Antioxidants are nutrients that your body absorbs from the food you eat. They are essential to help your skin fight off free radical damage. 

What are Free Radicals Anyways?

Free radicals are formed in your body through metabolism processes and exposure to UV radiation, pollutants, cigarette, stress etc. These molecules are unstable as they are missing an electron. 

Thus they try to steal an electron from healthy cells to stabilize themselves. This damages the structure of healthy cells and turns them into free radicals(since they lost an electron) thus starting a chain reaction of damage.

antioxidants for skin

Antioxidants help neutralize these free radicals by giving them the missing electron they crave. This protects healthy cells from free radical damage.

While free radicals are part of your body’s immune response, too many of them let loose can create a lot of cellular damage. This leads to cancerous growth, inflammation and breakdown of proteins.

So it is necessary to eat and apply adequate antioxidants every day and protect your skin from damage.

Benefits of Using Antioxidants on Your Skincare

1. Sun Protection

The ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun are a top cause for the formation of free radicals on your skin. Hence, antioxidants play a key role in sun protection alongside your sunscreen.

2. Reduce Fine lines and wrinkles

Experts advise eating more fruits and vegetables for youthful skin because they are rich in antioxidants. Free radicals damage collagen proteins in the skin leading to formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Hence antioxidants are helpful in maintaining skin’s firmness and delaying the common signs of ageing.

antioxidants skin

3. Fade Hyperpigmentation

Antioxidants like Vitamin C and niacinamide have the ability to lighten hyperpigmentation and spots caused by UV damage or acne. Vitamin C also helps brighten skin tone and stimulate collagen synthesis in your skin.

4. Soothe Troubled Skin

Antioxidants also possess good anti-inflammatory properties. So they help treat your skin by soothing redness, itching, irritation, sunburns, swelling, etc. caused due to sun exposure or acne.

Best Antioxidants for Healthy Skin Care Routine

1. Vitamin C

Everyone’s favourite skin-brightening ingredient is also a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C offers sun protection, boosts collagen synthesis, reduces pigmentation and soothes the skin as well. 

If you don’t know which antioxidant to pick for your skin, go with this as it is an all-rounder ingredient. Here’s a detailed post to help you pick the right Vitamin C product for your skincare routine.

vaunt vegan skincare

2. Vitamin E

Vitamin E aka Tocopherol is a fat-soluble antioxidant that will help protect your skin from free radical damage. It also moisturizes dry skin and protects your skincare products from going rancid.

antioxidants skin

The best way to add vitamin E to your skincare routine is by using oils of almond, olive, wheatgerm and grapeseed as a facial oil. Most facial oils have some amount of Vitamin E anyway so adding this to your skincare routine won’t be a big issue.

coenzyme q10 antioxidants for skincare

3. Ferulic Acid

Also known as hydroxycinnamic acid, this is a plant-based antioxidant replicated in a lab. When combined with vitamin C and E, it boosts antioxidant performance and sun protection. 

You will usually spot Ferulic Acid in anti-aging serums as it prevents free radical damage to your skin. So it is ideal for delaying sings of ageing.

4. Coenzyme Q10 or Ubiquinone

This sounds like a synthetic ingredient but coenzyme q10 is actually found in your body. But it decreases with age hence applying it topically can help improve your skin’s ability to fight free radicals.

This antioxidant enzyme can also help reduce signs of photoaging like wrinkles, dark spots and fine lines.

5. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)

You can add antioxidant properties to the list of amazing things niacinamide does to your skin. Niacinamide can help reduce oxidative damage, soothe redness, fade pigmentation, decrease fine lines and wrinkles and strengthen your skin’s protective barrier function.

If you have sensitive or troubled skin, niacinamide as an antioxidant will will an amazing addition to your skincare routine.

6. Polyphenols

Polyphenols are phytochemicals found in several plants, fruits, spices, grains, etc. They are key antioxidants required for a healthy body as well as skin.

Polyphenols will protect your skin from oxidative stress. They even reduce irritation on your skin due to their amazing anti-inflammatory properties.

Here are popular examples of polyphenols found in nature that are used as antioxidants for skin and hair care.

  • Curcumin in Turmeric
  • Isoflavones in soy
  • Anthocyanins in hibiscus
  • Aventhrenamides in oats
  • Capsaicinoids in chilies
  • Lignans in flaxseeds
  • Flavonoids in cocoa
  • Catechins in green tea
  • Resveratrol in grapes
  • Ellagic acid in berries

7. Carotenoids

Carotenoids are phytonutrients like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein etc. that give our food red, yellow and orange colour. These pigments are also wonderful antioxidants that will help protect your skin from free radical damage.

Some carotenoids also convert into vitamin A which is an essential nutrient for healthy skin. So another reason to eat more fruits and vegetables everyday.

10 Antioxidant Rich Skin Care Products to Try

When you pick organic/ natural products for your routine, the ingredients already bestow their antioxidant properties on your skin. Hence, natural products work amazingly well in keeping your skin healthy by preventing free radical damage.

But if you wish to take it up a notch to target specific concerns like acne, wrinkles, sun damage etc. here are some products specially formulated with well-known antioxidants for skin that you can use.

 This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase using the link, I will earn a small amount (at no extra cost to you!) The amount helps me maintain website costs and bring more and better content to you.

Rutu Desai is a seasoned beauty writer and expert with over five years of experience working with beauty brands across the globe. With an aim to help people look and feel confident, Rutu shares her expert insights and tips to achieve healthy skin and hair.

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