This post may contain affiliate links.
I’m sure you’ve heard of antioxidants in skincare, right? But what exactly do they do? Turns out, a lot. Antioxidants are a must have in any skincare routine! Especially an anti-aging routine. Along with retinol, antioxidants are a gold standard for anti-aging.
To me, they are a must for every single person. No matter your skin type or concern, antioxidants belong in your skincare routine.
If you look around, antioxidants are everywhere. Chances are you have some in your skincare routine and don’t even know it! You’ve probably already heard of antioxidants in your food. Those are great, too and will help with anti-aging as well. But, to have the best effect, you also need topical antioxidants.
So, I’m going to teach you all you need to know about antioxidants in skincare.
Now, there are tons of antioxidants out there. It would take me days to tell you about every single one. So, I’m going to share the most popular and most well research antioxidants that are proven to perform.
What Do Antioxidants In Skincare Do
In short, antioxidants protect your skin from free radical damage. So, what is free radical damage? Free radicals are highly reactive substances that can cause damaged to the skin’s DNA, which in turn, causes aging. Free radicals are produced from things like pollution, chemicals, cigarette smoking and the sun. So, they’re all around us! That means we need to be extra careful and have a great anti-oxidant based routine.
Antioxidants have been highly researched and have a very scientific mode of action. I will save you from all of that scientific jargon: Antioxidants essentially neutralize free radicals and prevent them from causing damage to the skin, therefore preventing aging. Now, of course, aging is a natural process. We are going to age no matter what, but antioxidants and dramatically slow down that process!
So, to stop all those environmental free radicals from harming your skin, you need antioxidants! And lots of ’em.
How To Choose The Right Antioxidant
There are a lot of different antioxidants out there, so it can be hard to know which ones are best for you. Personally, I don’t think you can do any wrong with antioxidants. They all help prevent skin damage and aging. But, each one also has different properties and has its own benefits. So, I’ve created a little guide to help you pick the best one (or ones!) for you concerns.
Best for: brightening, hyperpigmentation, age spots, sun spots
Vitamin C one of the most popular antioxidants in skincare. It is something I think everyone should have in their routine. I mean come on, everyone can benefit from a little brightening, right? I thought so.
Vitamin C will help fight free radicals and encourage collagen production. Essentially, it’s an anti-aging power house.
There are a few different types of vitamin c out there, and they all differ in their potency. I will do a future blog post explaining the differences. But, for now, just know that any vitamin c will be effective! L-Ascorbic Acid is my personal favorite, and the most potent.
Warning: vitamin c easily degraded when exposed to light and air. Meaning, it can lose it’s effectiveness very quickly. It’s best to only use serums in an opaque bottle and keep the bottle in a cabinet or drawer away from light. Be sure to seal the bottle tightly after each use. For best results, you can also store your serum in the fridge. If your serum is YELLOW or ORANGE, it has oxidized and will no longer be as effective. Your serum should be clear to know that it is effective.
Best for: anti-aging, general skin health
Retinol, along with vitamin c, is another product I think everyone should have. The two products combined are the ultimate duo for not only anti-aging, but general skin health. The two products will give you the most beautiful, even toned skin that glows and glows. Seriously, these two products have transformed my skin!
Like vitamin c, retinol is one of the most researched and most popular ingredients in skincare. And for good reason. Retinol stimulates collagen and will fade fine lines and wrinkles! Retinol will also prevent new fine lines and wrinkles from forming.
Retinol is also great for fading sun spots, scars and hyperpigmentation. Plus, it’s a powerful acne fighter and will help with clogged pores, black heads and breakouts.
Retinol really does it all. I told you you need this in your routine.
Best for: moisturizing, soothing, dry skin
I’m sure you’ve seen vitamin e labeled all over skincare products. It’s been around a long time and is known for its soothing and healing properties.
Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, is great for dry skin and will help fight flaky patches and dehydration. Vitamin E and Vitamin C also work as a power couple. In fact, most Vitamin C Serums will have Vitamin E in them! So, you’re really getting a 2 for 1.
Best for: soothing, hydrating, sensitive skin
Yes, that yummy tea you drink as anti-oxidant properties too! Green Tea also has anti-inflammatory properties and is great for sensitive, irritated skin. But, don’t go pouring your tea all over your face. There are tons of products out there with topical green tea that will work wonders for your red, irritated skin.
Green tea is very soothing and it one of my favorites, especially during the winter when my skin is dry and irritated. I also find it helps a lot with redness and evens out my skin tone dramatically.
Best for: anti-aging, fighting fine lines and wrinkles
Also known as CoenzymeQ10 or coQ10, ubiquinone is a powerful antioxidant in skincare and is scientifically proven to fight free radicals. CoQ10 is another antioxidant in skincare that really anyone can benefit from and has great anti-aging properties.
CoQ10 can help prevent aging and also help fade fine lines and wrinkles you may already have. If you’re serious about anti-aging or have some problem spots you want to fade, coQ10 is a must for you routine.
Combining Antioxidants in Skincare
For best results, use multiple antioxidants! Like I mentioned earlier in the post, vitamin c and vitamin e work even better together! So does vitamin c and retinol. In my opinion, you can’t have too many antioxidants in your skincare routine.
Personally, I use vitamin c, retinol and coQ10. You can read more about how I use retinol and vitamin c to get glowing skin, here.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are SO many more antioxidants out there! You don’t have to limit yourself to just these 5. I just picked the most common and most effective ones to share with y’all. If you’re interested I can do a follow up post on some other common antioxidants in skincare. Let me know in the comments below!
NuFountain Vitamin C + Ferulic Acid contains: vitamin c + ferulic acid (another great antioxidant!)
Timeless Vitamin C Plus E Serum contains: vitamin c, e and ferulic acid
Timeless Coenzyme Q10 Serum contains: CoQ10 and vitamin e
Tru Skin Vitamin C Super Serum contains: vitamin c, retinol
Paula’s Choice Antioxidant Pore Purifier contains: coQ10, vitamin c
Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Serum contains: vitamin e, coQ10
Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate contains: retinol, vitamin e, vitamin c
Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum contains: vitamin c, vitamin e, ferulic acid