As most of us know by now, antioxidants can help reverse the signs of aging, detox the body of nasty contaminants, and reduce wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and more.
But what does that really mean, and what is the best way to get optimum results from this?
Let's start at the beginning:
What are Antioxidants?
If you've taken any interest in skincare at all, you've almost certainly come across this word a lot. Antioxidants get their name because they are materials that can prevent your skin from oxidising. This is the same process that causes apples to go brown when peeled and the use of antioxidants helps to reduce all signs of age related damage.
However, antioxidants can also protect your skin from UV rays, pollutants, dust and grime, and other environmental factors.
This combination is ideal because even when the results aren't obvious, your skin will be a lot more able to weather time and pollutants without showing it, dramatically slowing down the ageing process.
They can also be very effective for acne treatment as they help to reduce the redness and irritation that can extend or exacerbate acne symptoms and encourage you to pick at spots causing even worse issues. The most effective antioxidant ingredients will prevent wrinkles, moisturise your skin, and do all of the above at the same time, making them a indispensable part of any skincare routine.
There are a lot of different antioxidants available, some of which are dramatically different in their usage or results, but let's take a look at the most important:
Types of Skincare Antioxidants:
Beta-Carotene is best known as a food-based antioxidant that provides benefits when ingested, but provides amazing benefits for skincare too. Using skincare products rich in beta-carotene can help regulate a healthy skin tone, prevent issues related to hyperpigmentation, and reduce damage from sunlight!
Vitamin A primarily comes in two forms - retinoids, and carotenoids. Retinoids are most commonly used in skincare and have a massive impact on preventing aging, reducing wrinkles, fine lines, acne and scars from sun damage. The most well known retinoid is retinol, which you will know from our famous retinol serum.
Carotenoids, while less well known, act as a melanin inhibitor, help to stimulate new cell growth, and help to prevent skin moisture from evaporating, preventing dry skin and helping skincare products to absorb more easily. The most well known carotenoid for use in skincare is lutein.
Lutein is extracted from plants and primarily used to protect your skin barriers from environmental factors such as UV rays. It is great for giving you a naturally bright skin tone without leaving you looking pale.
There has also been some preliminary evidence suggesting that lutein has positive results for mental health and can help with your mood, which is a nice plus!
Whether you're talking about skincare or nutrition, vitamin C is a timeless icon of the antioxidant world. For skin use specifically, it can regenerate skin cells, lighten dark spots, and help to visibly reduce scarring.
It also boosts collagen production, works as an anti-inflammatory, and can help to reduce inflammation and redness, both on your skin and internally.
Vitamin C is also crucial for the immune system, so you are helping your body protect itself at the same time!
Lycopene is perhaps one of the lesser known antioxidants. It is primarily used to regulate the amount of collagen your body releases in order to help reduce damage or wear done to your body's collagen production.
This means it can help improve skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles (and prevent them too!), and smoothen out your skin, removing blemishes.
While evidence is still premature, lycopene has also been involved in studies on treating different forms of cancer.
Vitamin E is regularly used in products like lotions and chapsticks because it works wonders for dry skin. It can also help encourage new skin growth and speed up recovery from damage or loss of dry skin cells, heal UV damage, and prevent pollution or dust from entering the skin.
It can be used by people with all skin types, but should be used sparingly by those with oily skin, as too much can increase your skin's oil content.
Selenium is, in many ways, very similar to Vitamin E. It works together with Vitamin E to protect your skin cells from environmental factors. It doesn't stay in the body for a particularly long time, and therefore needs to be used daily for some time to see real results, but it remains a powerful antioxidant for skincare.
Adding Antioxidants to Your Skincare Routine
If you haven't noticed yet, antioxidants work wonders for protecting you from environmental pollutants and factors. Given that these are the primary causes of aging and skin damage, adding antioxidants to your skincare routine in a sensible way will make all the difference in the world to how your skin will look further down the line.
Beyond protecting skin from the environment, the antioxidants listed here also hold benefits for the immune system, reproductive system, mental health, and more!
Outside of our retinol serum which is of course very rich in retinoids, most of our skincare products have high quality antioxidants added in the ideal quantities to keep your skin protected in the long term.
For example, our AHA serum, green tea mud mask and dark eye serum are rich in multiple types of vitamin E thanks to the natural addition of cranberry seed oil. Our pink clay mask is packed with retinyl palmitate, the gentlest of the four retinoids.