5 Things To Know About Antioxidant Skincare

5 Things To Know About Antioxidant Skincare

Antioxidants — of which there are many — are used extensively in skincare products. Their uses range from protecting the skin from daily stresses to reversing the signs of skin damage. 

However, as with any skincare ingredients, it’s important to do your research before settling on an antioxidant skincare product. This guide from Nourishing Biologicals will help you do exactly that. 

Read on for the most important things you should know about antioxidant skincare!

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are either natural or synthetic substances that can prevent or delay cell damage. 

Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants, which includes superstars like vitamins C and E, selenium, beta-carotene, lycopene, and zeaxanthin. 

Antioxidants exert their powerful effects by attacking free radicals, which are harmful molecules that cause cellular damage. 

Without delving too deep into the science, it’s important to know that free radicals are molecules with a missing electron, which makes them highly unstable. To replace their missing electron, free radicals scavenge other molecules in the body, stealing their electrons — something that causes significant damage. 

Free radicals are a natural byproduct of metabolic processes and (in small amounts) are actually beneficial. However, the body can be exposed to high amounts of free radicals from external sources like air pollution, X-rays, and cigarette smoke. 

Too many free radicals can be damaging, sending the body into oxidative stress. When this happens, the body is unable to battle free radicals, which can lead to significant tissue and cell damage. 

Antioxidants can be of help to the body when it’s exposed to an excess of free radicals, helping it to keep a balance and prevent significant damage. 

What Should I Know About Antioxidant Skincare? 

As the first thing that makes contact with the external world, our skin is exposed to many environmental stressors. Antioxidants essentially help to make sure this doesn’t lead to significant skin damage.

Here are some of the benefits of antioxidant skincare: 

1. Antioxidants Can Brighten Skin Tone 

Free radicals can trigger changes in the skin’s melanin production, which can lead to an uneven skin tone — also known as hyperpigmentation. If left untreated, the condition can get worse over time.

Some antioxidants, such as vitamin C, may help reduce the appearance of discoloration and skin tone issues, leading to brighter-looking skin. 

2. Antioxidants May Help Prevent Sun Damage 

The sun is a significant source of free radicals, which daily application of sunscreen can help to block. However, your SPF doesn’t offer 100% protection, which is where antioxidants come in. 

Not only do antioxidants help support the skin against the sun’s free radicals, but they also help support a healthy inflammatory response. This may help keep your skin healthy and provide enhanced protection against some forms of sun damage.

3. Antioxidants Can Help Support Skin Health

When your skin undergoes free radical damage, your body tries to fix it with the help of the immune system. This usually leads to increased inflammation — which is necessary for proper healing. However, if inflammation becomes long-term, it can do more harm than good.

Antioxidants have soothing properties, which means they can help ease skin irritation and support overall skin health. 

Some antioxidants, such as vitamin C, may also help support a youthful-looking complexion. 

4. It May Take Some Time To See Results

Unlike chemical peels or lasers, antioxidants take some time to show their results. While they start working almost immediately, you may not notice any changes in your skin for at least 30 days. But we promise: with consistent use, you’re sure to see brighter, firmer-looking skin. 

5. Antioxidants Should Be Stored Properly 

It’s pretty easy for antioxidants to become damaged and useless to your skincare routine. Exposing antioxidants to sunlight, air, and hot temperatures can deactivate them. So, make sure to always store them in a cool, dark place! And if you’ve had an antioxidant skincare product for too long, it may be time to replace it with a new one. 

What Are the Best Skincare Antioxidants? 

There are many antioxidants in the skincare world, each with different effects. 

Here are six of the most well-known options:

1. Vitamin C 

A cult classic, vitamin C is one of the most well-studied antioxidants out there. It’s an excellent product for brightening the skin. 

You can find forms of vitamin C listed as L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C ester, lipophilic vitamin C, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, or sodium ascorbyl phosphate. 

For best results, use a vitamin C serum in the morning, followed by a hefty dose of sunblock. 

2. Vitamin E 

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin found in nuts and seeds. It’s essential for many functions in the body, which makes it important to get from your diet. However, vitamin E is also an excellent topical ingredient that can support skin health. 

Vitamin E is also an excellent way to support your skin against sun damage. With age, our body’s levels of natural vitamin E decrease, which can increase the potential for sun damage. Applying skincare products with vitamin E can help to make up for some of this lost sun protection. 

3. Niacinamide 

Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is a powerful antioxidant that’s a favorite in anti-aging skincare. Due to its soothing effects, it’s excellent for helping ease anything from sunburn to an especially bad breakout. 

Niacinamide is also great for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and smoothing out the overall tone of the skin. 

This powerful antioxidant isn’t known for any serious side effects, making it ideal for sensitive skin types. 

4. Retinol

A derivative of vitamin A, retinol is a powerful antioxidant that can penetrate deep into the skin and support youthful-looking skin. This is precisely what makes retinol the gold standard for smoothing out the look of fine lines and wrinkles and addressing all kinds of skin pigmentation issues. 

However, unlike the other antioxidants, retinol can make the skin more sensitive to the sun. That’s why it’s important to only wear it at night and to pair it with effective sunblock if stepping outside.

5. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a powerful antioxidant that we have in our bodies. However, as we age, our supplies of this antioxidant dwindle, making us more likely to see the signs of aging — on our skin and beyond.

Applying topical coenzyme Q10 can help to restore some of its protective functions on the skin. In addition, there’s some evidence that CoQ10 may even help support smoother, firmer-looking skin. 

6. Polyphenols

Polyphenols are a group of antioxidants found in fruits, veggies, coffee, green tea, and other plants. They possess soothing effects, which can help with preventing sun damage. Some polyphenols, such as resveratrol, may even help the skin to repair itself against DNA damage. 

Get Glowing Skin With Antioxidant Skincare

Antioxidants are molecules naturally found in fruits, veggies, and other plants. While consuming them is incredibly important for general health, applying them topically has many benefits, as well. For instance, antioxidant skincare can protect from sun damage, help the skin repair itself, and lead to firmer, smoother skin. 

Of course, the type of antioxidant you choose should be in line with your skincare goals. If your goal is to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, then retinol is your best bet. On the other hand, if you just want something more preventative, then vitamin C is a safe option for all skin types.

Whichever antioxidant skincare product you choose to go for, it’s important to combine it with an effective skincare routine that includes a gentle cleanser, nourishing moisturizer, and protective sunblock. Nourishing Biologicals has specially formulated products to nourish your skin — so it looks and feels as good as it possibly can. 



Moderate Levels of ‘Free Radicals’ Found Beneficial to Healing Wounds | UCSD

Oxidative Stress: Harms and Benefits for Human Health | PMC

Vitamin C in dermatology | PMC

Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety | PMC

Topical treatment with coenzyme Q10‐containing formulas improves skin's Q10 level and provides antioxidative effects | NCBI

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