The importance of antioxidants in your skincare

The importance of antioxidants in your skincare

1. What are antioxidants?

a. Vitamin C

b. Green tea

c. Vitamin E

2. What do antioxidants do?

3. Where to get antioxidants

a. Best antioxidant serum

b. Best antioxidant treatment

c. Best antioxidant cream

 

You may not know exactly what an antioxidant is (no judgment), but we’re sure you’ve at least heard of them—along with their glowing reputation for providing a multitude of benefits to your health and your skin.

Just like your diet needs a mix of healthy beneficial nutrients, so does your skin. And antioxidants are being touted as an anti-aging cure-all. Antioxidants are one of the hardest-working skincare ingredients out there, which is why so many products include one (or two or three) of them in their formulations. They are continually being praised to help combat the elements responsible for the visible signs of aging but can also calm skin, help reveal a more youthful appearance and revitalize a dull-looking complexion. Here, we break down what they are, the different kinds of antioxidants for skin and antioxidant benefits and how to include them in your skincare routine.

1. What are antioxidants?


In the simplest terms, antioxidants are molecules that protect our skin against free radicals—but we’ll get to those “bad guys” in a moment. In addition to fighting free radicals, some antioxidant ingredients also calm irritation, fight off inflammation, brighten skin and even smooth fine lines—as long as you choose the right ones. So, what antioxidant ingredients in skincare should you be on the lookout for? And which are the best antioxidants? Keep reading.

a. Vitamin C


Often listed as L-ascorbic acid on product labels, vitamin C is an essential vitamin, which means it can’t be produced by your body; instead, you have to acquire it from natural sources such as citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables. Topically, vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that binds and removes harmful free radicals, which are always on the attack because they’re caused by pollution, stress and sun damage, also known as exposome factors. L-ascorbic acid also helps to brighten dark spots and stimulate collagen synthesis and even helps protect your skin against harmful UV damage.

b. Green tea


The main active ingredient in green tea extract is polyphenols, which have multiple antioxidant benefits including anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as anti-carcinogenic properties; polyphenols also help to slow the age-related breakdown of your body’s collagen. In addition, they are responsible for helping to treat redness, which makes it ideal for people who have sensitive skin.

c. Vitamin E


Vitamin E (also known as tocopherol on skincare labels) is a popular antioxidant that helps prevent damage to cells by removing free radicals. Vitamin E has restorative properties that help heal sun damage and scars. It’s also moisturizing and can help repair and strengthen the skin barrier.

2. What do antioxidants do?


Why do we need antioxidants? Two words: free radicals. The number one job of an antioxidant is to keep free radicals in check. Free radicals are bad guys—they are highly reactive molecules that can cause damage to different components in cells, such as the DNA, proteins and the outer barrier. When there’s an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, it causes oxidative stress, which can lead to cell and tissue damage.

Think about the browning flesh of an avocado or rusting iron; both have something in common with the discoloration and fine lines of our aging skin: oxidation. Although this oxidative stress occurs naturally and plays a role in the aging process, free radicals speed things up, causing the premature formation of wrinkles, unwanted pigmentation, uneven tone and dull skin. They are further fuelled by things like pollution, chemicals and the sun.

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving up some of their own electrons. In making this sacrifice, they create a natural free-radical “off switch” that breaks the chain reaction. This means that antioxidants reduce and counteract the production of free radicals. Scientific studies have proven their effectiveness in helping to reduce not only wrinkles and signs of aging but also inflammation, such as with rosacea, as well as in helping to prevent skin cancer.

3. Where to get antioxidants


Consuming antioxidant-rich foods (such as goji berries, kale and spinach) helps the body shut down highly reactive free-radical molecules. To see swift results on the skin, it’s better to go the topical route. However, not all antioxidant-laced skincare is the same. The quality varies because many antioxidant-rich ingredients are notoriously unstable. They won’t hurt your skin, but if they’re not formulated and stored correctly, they might not do much.

Vichy has harnessed some of the best antioxidants from a range of botanicals and developed methods, packaging and formulas that can keep antioxidants stable. In addition, it has paired antioxidants with other ingredients to help increase the absorption rate into the skin without being irritating. Here are some of the most potent antioxidant-plush skincare products that get top billing.

a. Best antioxidant serum


The best antioxidant serums out there are likely to have vitamin C at their forefront. However, this is a difficult ingredient to include in formulas because it’s water-soluble, which means it breaks down when exposed to oxygen and light. That’s why Vichy LiftActiv vitamin C with Hyaluronic Acid is housed in a dark-brown glass bottle. It also has one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C out there—15%—and it’s stabilized with the help of vitamin E. Finally, Vichy’s volcanic water and hyaluronic acid were added to the powerful formula to soothe (and smooth) skin.

b. Best antioxidant treatment


If you’re in a good place with your skincare routine but you’d liked to add an antioxidant booster into the mix, consider the best vitamin C serum out there: Vichy LiftActiv Peptide-C Ampoule Serum. These ampoules have a minimal formula with only 10 ingredients, making it easier for you to address specific concerns. They also deliver a fresh dose of vitamin C; this is important because the fresher it is the more effective it will be—and you’ll see the results on your skin.

c. Best antioxidant cream


If you’re looking for a new anti-aging cream, why not try one that’s brimming with antioxidant benefits. The best antioxidant cream is one that’s hydrating, corrects the signs of collagen loss and helps protect skin from oxidative stress. Enter, Vichy LiftActiv Collagen Specialist. Effective for all skin types, this moisturizer features peptides to boost collagen production, the antioxidant vitamin C to fight free radicals and Vichy volcanic water to strengthen the skin barrier.

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