In the ever-evolving world of skincare, one term that you’ll frequently hear is "antioxidants." And rightly so. In a day and age where just about anything can impact your skin, antioxidants come in really handy to protect and strengthen your skin environmental stressors and early signs of ageing.
So, without further delay, let's learn all that there is about antioxidants for our skin!
First things first, what are Antioxidants?
Think of them as the superheroes of skincare. They combat toxic free radicals aka the villains responsible for damaging your skin cells. Free radicals are generated by factors like pollution, UV radiation, physical and mental lifestyle stressors to name a few. These in turn damage our skin, leading to premature ageing, dullness, dehydration, sagging skin… you get what we mean.
How do antioxidants work for your skin?
Okay, get your nerd mode ON.
The free radicals we mentioned earlier? These are basically unstable molecules that are highly reactive and oxidise faster (same process that makes an apple go brown). Their only goal is to stabilise themselves, and in order to achieve that, they react with other (healthy) molecules, further destabilising them. This is a chain reaction that goes on and on, and is what we call AGEING. But that’s not all that free radicals do. They can also cause inflammation, hampering your skin’s ability to repair itself, which in turn leads to hyperpigmentation and acne as well.
Now, we know ageing is inevitable, so you cannot really stop this process from happening. But you can slow it down and protect your skin from factors that would trigger faster oxidative stress.
Here are some of the ways antioxidants save your skin
Tackle early signs of ageing
As we age, our skin's natural defence mechanisms weaken, making it more prone to damage. Antioxidants step in as bodyguards, strengthening the skin's defences and minimising the formation of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. By including antioxidant-rich products in your skincare routine, you're embracing a proactive approach to maintaining youthful and radiant skin.
Prevent sun damage
There’s no escaping the sun in a country like ours. But there are ways to protect your skin from it! While sunscreen is one key element of your sun protection strategy, the other should be getting in the goodness of antioxidants. Sun exposure can trigger free radical damage. And antioxidants help stunt that with their anti-inflammatory action and by protecting your skin from sun damage and photo-ageing.
Support the skin’s repair mechanism
Inflammation can cause all kinds of havoc on your skin - from acne to barrier damage. Antioxidants take on the job of fighting inflammation so you skin can repair & recover faster.
Brighten skin tone
Environmental aggressors can particularly interfere with your skin’s melanin production, which can lead to dark spots and uneven skin tone. Antioxidants by their very ability to fight photo-damage also save your skin from pigmentation, dullness and other such issues.
What are some antioxidants to have in your beauty arsenal?
The good thing is you don’t have to struggle too hard to get in your daily dose of antioxidants. A fair share of options are actually naturally available and just as accessible in skincare! Allow us to share some of our favourites!
This is perhaps the most popular antioxidant! Vitamin C is not only an effective scavenger of free radicals but also known for helping boost collagen production, which in turn gives you firm, brighter skin!
Where to find: We have not one but TWO Vitamin C serums. If you’re new to Vitamin C or want to start small, try the Vitamin C Water. If you’re looking for a higher concentration of Vitamin, try the VC-12 Intermediate Serum.
Vitamin E is the most stable of antioxidants. It helps boost your skin’s ability to heal, and also makes it more supple. That’s not all. It also helps improve the performance of other antioxidants like Vitamin C!
Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
Oh, how we love this versatile superstar! From tackling acne & pigmentation to improving skin texture and barrier to reducing fine lines and wrinkles to anti-inflammatory benefits - there is very little Niacinamide cannot do for any skin type!
Polyphenols are essentially plant compounds that are also potent antioxidants. One of the most notable polyphenols is Bakuchiol - also known as plant retinol. It helps prevent ageing, while also improving your skin’s natural defence against oxidative stress. Other popular polyphenols include: resveratrol (from grape seeds), curcumin (from turmeric), silymarin (from milk thistle) and epicatechin (from green tea).
In a world of fickle skincare trends, antioxidants are here to stay. They are timeless, easy to incorporate and there’s something for everyone! So, what’s your favourite antioxidant?