Welcome to your ultimate antioxidant ABCs!
Believe it or not, skipping your daily dose of antioxidants is like telling wrinkles and dark spots “hey there—make yourself comfortable.” So, if you’re in the dark about topical antioxidants or are a skincare enthusiast looking for more info about this must-know topic, this blog is for you.
Let’s break down the basics and dive deep into every antioxidant from A (as in vitamin A) to Z (as in zinc). So grab a cup of coffee, and cozy up with your skincare journals/notebooks/scrap pieces of paper if necessary; let’s get started on our antioxidant adventures!
Antioxidants definition: What are they?
The scientific definition of antioxidants is compounds that interact with and stabilize free radicals and help prevent damage to our cells. They’re found in many forms, such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, polyphenols, and other plant compounds like flavonoids.
Is this definition too geeky? Let’s simplify it a little. Antioxidants are like superheroes in our bodies! Just like how superheroes help protect us from villains, antioxidants are there to protect us from free radicals. In case you're wondering what a free radical is, it's basically any molecule with an odd arrangement of electrons, making them highly reactive and more likely to cause damage to cells which, in turn, causes dark spots, wrinkles, and fine lines. However, antioxidants can swoop in and save the day by providing the missing electron that helps neutralize the free radical before it can do any harm.
6 Antioxidant Skin Benefits
We all know the glamorous promise of antioxidants, especially in the beauty and anti-aging industry. Everywhere you look there’s someone promoting some new cream, serum, or oil that is infused with all sorts of nutrients, minerals and, you guessed it, antioxidants! But what do antioxidants do for the skin? Here are 6 benefits you’ll sure love
1. Stimulating elastin and collagen production
Antioxidants stimulate elastin and collagen production on the skin, which gives it elasticity, moisture, and firmness. This ensures that you have a glowy complexion and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
So why exactly do antioxidants have this power? In basic terms, they fight off free radicals caused by environmental stressors such as pollution and smoking. These free radicals break down and damage the proteins in our skin that are responsible for its structure - namely elastin and collagen. So by having enough antioxidants present in your skincare regime, your skin can remain protected from these destructive substances, leading to plump, young-looking skin!
2. Help with uneven skin tone
As we said before, free radicals can damage the cells and cause an uneven skin tone. In this sense, antioxidants can help regulate the production of melanin - a pigment that dictates how dark or light your skin is. They do this by neutralizing free radicals from environmental pollutants and UV damage that can cause that annoying unevenness.
- Galactomyces Pure Vitamin C Glow Serum - Even out skin tone for a bright complexion
3. Improving dry skin hydration
It seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it? How can something designed to fight off potential damage from oxidation in the body possibly help with keeping skin moisturized?
Well, the answer lies in the way they work. Antioxidants are amazing at combating free radicals, meaning they prevent them from doing any harm to our cells - including cellular drying and dehydration. They also help restore elasticity in our skin and prevent dryness while boosting its ability to retain moisture
4. Fights against skin aging
By fighting off oxidative damage from everything from sun exposure or air pollution, antioxidants can help skin look younger for longer. It's like a natural face-lift! Free radicals have been scientifically proven to contribute to the development of wrinkles, sagging, dryness, and even dullness, meaning that your skin needs an extra boost to fight them off. Antioxidants provide the perfect opportunity to do just that since they can block out these pesky free radicals and prevent further damage from being done.
- Propolis Vitamin Eye Cream - Crow’s feet no more!
5. Reducing inflammation
There are many benefits to using antioxidants in your skincare routine, with one of the biggest being its anti-inflammatory properties. Your skin is exposed to hundreds of environmental toxins every day, such as sunlight and pollution, resulting in inflammation and irritation.
In this sense, oxygen-free radicals cause damage to organic molecules in the body including skin cells, and can lead to inflammation and other conditions. Antioxidants work like tiny warriors in our bodies, fighting off these free radicals and reducing the inflammation caused by acne, rosacea, eczema, and other skin diseases.
6. Protects against sun damage
Our skin cells are constantly exposed to free radicals from the sun which can damage their underlying structure and lead to premature aging, wrinkles, blemishes, and even skin cancer.
Antioxidants act as a line of defense against this sun damage, slowing down its progression so we stay looking healthy and young for longer. They can do this by absorbing the energy produced by the sun and preventing it from causing oxidative damage in our skin cells.
8 Best Antioxidants for Skin You Need To Add To Your Routine
If you're looking for the best antioxidants to add to your skin routine and combat signs of aging and hyperpigmentation, our skincare fairies have narrowed it down to a few trusted ones:
Vitamin A *aka retinol*
The vitamin helps repair existing damage by restoring collagen production and rebuilding the protective layer of the skin. That same protective layer is super important in protecting your skin from free-radical damage caused by environmental factors like sun exposure and air pollution, which can cause wrinkles and discoloration. Plus, Vitamin A has that added bonus of making you look younger by evening out pigmentation and bringing back your natural glow!
Warning: Though most antioxidants can be used during the day, it’s recommended to use vitamin A at night since it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Vitamin B3 *aka niacinamide*
Niacinamide is often hailed as one of the best antioxidants available when it comes to skin health. It can help reduce inflammation, discoloration, and wrinkles while strengthening the skin barrier and diminishing photodamage from sun exposure.
It's a powerhouse ingredient that your skincare routine can't live without! In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, niacinamide has also been known to be helpful for balancing oil production in the skin so you don't have to worry about looking like an oil slick anymore.
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant powerhouse, found abundantly in plants like carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. This antioxidant can protect the body from oxidative damage and inflammation, which has a range of health benefits.
Beta-carotene works by neutralizing any rogue oxygen molecules that produce free radicals in the body—like a superhero cape! It's even been linked to improving skin tone and reducing your risk of age-related macular degeneration.
- Pumpkin Moisture Soothing Cleansing Foam - All the beta-carotene goodness in one cleansing foam
- Pumpkin Moisture Soothing Gel - Disappear inflammation in the blink on an eye
- Pumpkin Rejuvenate Mask - Wrinkles no more!
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is the trendiest, most potent antioxidant out there. When topically applied, vitamin C is a superpower for your skin health, giving you the power to fight off premature aging and maintain a glowing complexion. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant, preventing oxidizing agents from damaging healthy cell structures and promoting collagen production.
Thanks to its radical-fighting abilities, when applied regularly, vitamin C helps protect your skin from pollution and other environmental threats. Plus due to its ability to boost overall skin radiance, it’s often referred to as nature’s answer to finding a more permanent solution to that natural glow we all strive for!
- Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Spot Tone up Cream - Clear & healthy skin
- Refresh ABC Daily Toner - Ban lackluster skin for good
- Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Spot Serum Mask - Achieve clear skin
Vitamin E helps to protect against environmental aggressors like sun exposure, smoke, and pollution. Not only does it create a protective shield on the surface of your skin, but it also helps to fight off free radicals that damage collagen and accelerate aging. Vitamin E encourages healthy cell growth and strengthens capillaries!
Plus, it's also known to have moisturizing properties, so you can stop worrying about dried out skin that has seen too much sunlight.
Polyphenols are an incredible antioxidant that can be found in a variety of food sources, and applying them to your skin is a great way to combat the effects of both aging and pollution. This special compound has natural antioxidant properties that destroy free radicals such as UV rays, smoke, toxins, and other environmental insults that can cause serious damage over time.
Not only do polyphenols protect the skin from free radical damage, they have also been shown to reduce inflammation, stimulate collagen production and even provide a degree of sunscreen protection.
There are several different types of polyphenols available for use in skincare products, so you’re sure to find one that works best for your skin type and concerns. From green tea extract to resveratrol from fruits and red wines, these compounds easily penetrate the skin’s surface and quickly get to work defending it from damage.
- Bye Bye Blackhead 30 Days Miracle Green Tea Tox Bubble Cleanser - No more blackheads!
- Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling (Green Tea) - Exfoliate dead skin cells and impurities
- The Chok Chok Green Tea Cleansing Water - The all-in-one cleanser for busy bees
- Real Nature Green Tea Mask Sheet - Soothe your complexion in 15 minutes
Resveratrol is an antioxidant powerhouse when it comes to skin health and weirder than that, it actually naturally exists in certain plant foods like grapes, raspberries, blueberries, and even cacao beans!
Its ability to protect our skin from day-to-day aggressors, such as pollution and sun exposure, makes it a valuable ally for healthy skin. Not only does resveratrol protect us topically, but also internally since it's known for its anti-aging skin capabilities.
Zinc is a natural mineral that’s very common in sunscreen. It can help reduce inflammation, which prevents premature aging, reduces redness caused by acne and rosacea, and fades stubborn scars. It also encourages collagen production, increases the elasticity of the skin, repairs damage caused by free radicals, boosts the skin’s renewal process, and reduces the risk of sunburn. Furthermore, zinc helps protect the skin from environmental damage by forming a protective barrier against pollutants in the atmosphere.
- Soon Jung Mild Defence Sun Cream - The must-have sunscreen for sensitive skin
- Face Blur Smoothing SPF 33 PA ++ - Tone corrector and primer with sun protection
- Dermakeup Rejuvenating Beauty Balm SPF 35 PA++ - Smooth and protect your skin all in one
How to include antioxidants in your skincare routine?
Incorporating antioxidants into your skincare routine is easy, and beneficial for your skin's health and longevity.
Start by checking the ingredients of your existing products to see if they contain vitamin C or E, green tea, pumpkin, berries, niacinamide, or polyphenols. If they don't, you can add topical serums or a moisturizer with antioxidants.
There are so many antioxidant-rich options available in the market; from chemical exfoliants to toners, and serums. Just make sure they’re good for your skin type.
Pro-tip: It’s better to use antioxidants in your morning skincare routine, since you’re more exposed to pollution and free radicals in general when you go out to work, work out, study, and other.
Where to find the best antioxidants skincare products?
Now that you know why antioxidants for skin are a must-include in any skincare routine, it’s time to do some shopping!
If you are already obsessed with all the potent antioxidants discussed in this blog post and want to try them ASAP, then you’re in the right place. In Asian Beauty Essentials you’ll find the best goodies to protect your skin, prevent fine lines and wrinkles, and reduce hyperpigmentation!
From cleansers and toners to the best antioxidant serum and moisturizer, we have everything you need to start including antioxidants for skin in your routine.
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People with sensitive skin like me understand the importance of being extremely careful when it comes to skincare products. In such cases, information from this blog is highly informative.