Not all antioxidants are made from the same mould. Although they are designed to protect your skin cells from UV light and damaging free radicals they vary in strength and potency. If you want to learn about the benefits of antioxidants you can read part 1 here.
5 essential antioxidants for your skincare
RETINOL -VITAMIN A
Retinol (the technical term for vitamin A) has a reputation as one product that has been proven to turn back the hands of time. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that penetrates deep into your skin to stimulate collagen production and accelerate cell and repair.
Best for Anti-Aging
Retinol improves skin’s resilience that contributing to its firmness and youthful appearance. As an added benefit, retinol also unclogs congested pores and reduces redness on the surface of the skin. Vitamin A is for skincare is often seen as retinol, tretinoin acid, and retinaldehyde.
One caveat is that it comes with a few side effects when you start using it which includes breakouts, dryness, and flakes. So you increase its application gradually eg once a week, then twice a week for two weeks, three times a week for three weeks and daily if your skin is able to tolerate it. Note that it should only be applied at night.
What it does:
Retinol smooths fine lines, fills in wrinkles, softens rough patches, brightens skin, fades scars and pigmentation as well as drastically reduces acne.
VITAMIN C– Ascorbic Acid
One of the best known and studied antioxidants is Vitamin C which is a free radical scavenger with benefits that include collagen production and fading dark spots. However, because vitamin C is unstable it loses its potency when exposed so should be stored in a cool dark place.
All of these functions help prevent ageing skin, including lightening brown spots, stimulating collagen, and protecting against UV damage.
Best for Brightening
Vitamin C is best known for its skin brightening ability so will lighten hyperpigmentation and brighten your overall complexion.
What it does:
Topical vitamin C improves the skin’s resiliency giving it a firmer and smoother appearance it also calms and hydrate skin protecting it from environmental damage which impacts on how the skin looks and feels.
Vitamin E is known important for the proper function of many organs in the body, including the skin and is known to accelerate the skin’s healing process. Vitamin E reduces UV-induced photodamage and decreases the risk of skin cancers, due to its ability to absorb UV light. However for the best results should be used in conjunction with vitamin C, which stabilizes and regenerates vitamin E. This makes them a great duo to mitigate against UV damage.
Best for Moisturizing
Vitamin E does a little of everything and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent keeps skin soft and supple and is key yo prevent scar formation.
What it does:
Vitamin E protects the from oxidative stress caused by UV light exposure.
VITAMIN B3 –NIACINAMIDE
Niacinamide is a powerful antioxidant that improves the skin’s texture and tone. It can is used to treat skin conditions like rosacea and acne without any adverse reactions and can be combined with vitamins A and C, retinol and hydroxy acids to boost their performance.
Best for acne and breakouts
Niacinamide is calming to the skin prevents congestion and reduce breakouts in acne-prone skin
What it does
As we age the skins loses its ability to heal and retain moisture thus becoming prone to wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation and dullness. The skin requires a well-functioning epidermis to protect itself from free radicals and Niacinamide stabilizes the epidermal lipid barrier, allowing it fully absorbs the vitamins from skincare products
Resveratrol is an antimicrobial substance found in fruit skin which protects the plant from air pollution, infection and UV radiation. Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the topical application of resveratrol protects against UVB-induced photodamage and collagen degradation.
Best for UV induced hyperpigmentation
Resveratrol reverses hyperpigmentation due to photodamage caused by sun exposure
What it does:
Resveratrol helps protect skin’s surface and against negative environmental influences with significant skin-calming properties.
This is absorbed by the skin to stimulate collagen production, which helps improve elasticity and texture.
- Gold Bond Ultimate Restoring Lotion
- Eucerin Sensitive Skin Experts Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Face Crem
- Coenzyme Q10 serum
Prevents UV-induced skin photodamage improves the skin’s natural defence against oxidative stress which prevents skin ageing.
Absorb UV light and s also help reduce collagen degradation, delay skin ageing and inhibit skin cancer.
Antioxidants Perform Even Better Together
With antioxidants on thing to remember is that antioxidants have a synergistic effect. Which means they work well together and when combined, build on each other for more visible results.
Another thing to keep in mind is that antioxidants are light sensitive so break down when exposed to light and air. So it’s important to buy products in an opaque and airtight otherwise they will lose their effectiveness.
So there it is the 5 antioxidants you should include in your skincare routine? Have you used any of them ? are there any specific brands you prefer?