What Are Antioxidants?


Most of us have heard of antioxidants and know they are essential to our health, but what are antioxidants, and how do they help our skin? Antioxidants are compounds that are synthetic or found naturally in the body. Your body has its defense system against free radicals, but a daily dose of topical antioxidants will only add to the protection. Antioxidants are in foods, supplements, and skincare products. Antioxidant properties are in vitamins like A, C, and E and green tea. Antioxidants help to prevent and delay cell damage and protect against environmental damage like UV rays and pollution. Free radicals can cause aging, photodamage, and diseases without protection, hurting the skin’s chances of repairing itself. Our bodies endure more stress when exposed to alcohol, smoke, and pollution. 

How Antioxidants Improve Your Skin

It firms skin and improves elasticity 

Brightens skin and imparts luminosity.

It helps to heal and soothe skin.

It improves hydration in the skin.

Helps prevent sun damage to the skin

Reduces signs of aging and promotes healthy cell function

Improves textured areas on the skin

Decreases inflammation in the skin

Some antioxidants can help to prevent certain cancers

Antioxidants are an ingredient in skincare that anyone can benefit from, even sensitive skin, but certain antioxidants can cause irritations like stinging or redness. If you have extra sensitive skin or are currently pregnant, it may be best to wait until after pregnancy or until you repair your skin barrier.

Vitamin C is one of the more popular antioxidant ingredients and helps brighten and lighten dark spots and increase cell turnover. 

How to Use Antioxidants in Your Skincare Routine

You can find antioxidants in many forms of skin care, including cleansers, moisturizers, eye creams, and sunscreens, but serums are the most popular choice. Antioxidant serums are lightweight, sink quickly, and are usually more concentrated than a cream or lotion. Antioxidant serums go on in your morning skincare routine after cleansing but before your SPF moisturizer. Using antioxidants in your morning routine will help them to absorb and act as a barrier to environmental damage. Using your SPF moisturizer afterward helps to lock in the antioxidant serum. The antioxidant retinol is unique in that nighttime is the best time to apply it. 

What are some side effects of using antioxidants?

Most people will have no side effects at all! If side effects do occur, they are usually mild and can look like the following:

Flakey or dry skin patches on the skin

Itching, burning, or stinging 

Most side effects will go away on their own if you reduce the amount of product you are using. 

Which ingredients should you not combine with Antioxidants?

Retinols can irritate the skin, so avoiding combining them is best. Depending on your skin’s tolerance, I recommend using your antioxidant in the morning, retinol at night, or even alternate days.

How should antioxidants be stored?

Antioxidants contain highly active ingredients best kept in a dark, cool, dry area. Antioxidants break down quicker when exposed to sunlight. Storing your antioxidant skincare correctly will help extend the life of the product. 

Final thoughts

 Next week, I will focus on which antioxidants most help your skin. 

The online skincare clinic is here to help you get healthy, glowing skin!

Want to learn more about how antioxidants can benefit your specific skin type?

Have questions? I’m here to help! 


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