Antioxidants in Skincare, Explained
There’s a lot of jargon in the beauty world, so it can be hard to stay on top. Antioxidants, however, are kind of like the bread and butter of the food industry. They’re the basics, the essentials that most of us are familiar with. Still, that doesn’t mean we’re clued up on what antioxidants actually are and where we’ll find them, just like not all us know what goes into making bread.
Antioxidants are naturally occurring vitamins and minerals that help protect the skin’s surface against free radicals. You’ll find antioxidants in numerous skincare product formulas because of their powerful beauty benefits.
At Truly, we pride ourselves in emphasizing transparency when it comes to our beauty products. Read on to learn more about our favorite antioxidants used in our own formulas that promote healthy, flawless skin.
WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS?
Essentially, antioxidants neutralize free radicals to protect your skin from damage. But what are free radicals? Free radicals are molecules in the environment that damage the skin.
“They come from things like air pollutants, chemicals, and cigarette smoke, and they basically suck the life out of your face,” says dermatologist Mona Gohara, M.D.
While all antioxidants protect the skin from damage, others can also brighten your skin, soothe redness, and even reduce the appearance of fine lines. You just need to choose the right ones.
Let’s take a look at some high-performing antioxidants you’ll find in many skincare products – including Truly’s.
Vitamin A is another word for retinol – an ingredient you’re probably familiar with?
“Often seen as retinol, tretinoin acid, and retinaldehyde, vitamin A has multiple functions, such as increasing healthy cellular turnover (thus exfoliating the skin and improving age spots), repairing cellular structure of the skin, decreasing sebum production, [and] eliciting formation of collagen (hence, improved fine lines and wrinkles),” explains Stacy Chimento, M.D., Miami-based dermatologist.
Our favorite vitamin A-containing product is MJ Glow Mask, $38. Packed with CBD, caffeine, glycolic acid, and vitamin A, this carefully crafted formula firms, brightens, and clarifies the complexion.
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is a powerful antioxidant that plays a vital role in skin health by boosting collagen production. No wonder dermatologists love it!
“Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that binds and removes harmful free radicals from the skin, like those produced from exposure to ultraviolet radiation and environmental pollutants,” says cosmetic dermatologist Y. Claire Chang, M.D.
This means vitamin C helps prevent aging skin by stimulating collagen production and protecting against UV damage.
As much as we recommend eating plenty of this antioxidant (you’ll find it in tomato and citrus fruits), we also believe slathering the skin in it helps a lot too.
We love this vitamin C-enriched Matcha Facial Cleanser for cleansing, nourishing, and brightening the skin.
Yep, it’s just as kickass on your face as it is in your mug. That’s what the experts say anyway.
“Green tea is filled with polyphenols that not only scavenge free radicals, but also work as an anti-inflammatory to accelerate wound healing,” says dermatologist Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, MD.
Relax. You don’t need to slap tea bags over your face to get your dose of antioxidants. Opt for a cream or serum high in green tea instead. A word of warning: green tea is often listed as camellia sinensis leaf extract, not green tea.
Try Truly’s Glass Skin Facial Serum. With its blend of willowbark and green tea extract, this formula minimizes pores for a beautiful matte finish.
That yellow-colored spice that’s popular in Asian cuisines also happens to be a powerful polyphenol antioxidant that’s amazing for the skin.
According to Dr. Chimento, “Curcumin helps decrease inflammation, accelerates wound healing, prevents oily skin and acne, fights free radicals, and is photo-protective, anti-aging and anti-microbial (hence acne).” She continues, “Medically it has been reported to assist those who suffer with dermatological conditions such as psoriasis and scleroderma through its potent anti-inflammatory actions.”
Curcumin also possesses gentle exfoliating effects to leave the skin feeling soft and looking glowing. What’s more, it’s perfect for acne-prone skin thanks to its antimicrobial properties. And don’t worry, in spite of its bright hue, it will not stain your skin.
We’ve been eating avocados for long enough, it was only a matter of time before we started slathering them on our skin – or their oil, anyway.
Avocados are a rich source of antioxidants and an effective emollient. That’s because they’re rich in omega fatty acids. According to experts, avocado oil helps lock in moisture on the skin’s surface, promoting hydrated and nourished skin. So if you suffer from dryness, you’ll benefit immensely from incorporating avocado oil into your routine.
You’ll find avocado oil in a myriad of beauty products – from serums to creams, shampoos to hair masks. It’s the moisturizing master of the skincare realm.
And of course, we can’t forget Vitamin E. It’s another antioxidant with powerful skin healing powers.
Scientific studies show that vitamin E can reduce UV-induced photodamage, lessen the risk of skin cancer, and strengthen the skin barrier. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, vitamin E can also protect the skin by absorbing UV light and fighting UV damage.
The only downside to vitamin E is that it’s not a great option for people prone to breakouts.
“For acne-prone patients, I would recommend avoiding formulations that contain vitamin E, as it can worsen acne,” says board certified dermatologist Dr. Lian Mack, MD.
So you can see, antioxidants are quite a big deal in the skincare world. And they’re a big deal for a reason – it’s because they work (really well!). If you want to reap the benefits of antioxidants for yourself, try adding the above ingredients into your daily skincare regimen. You don’t need to overdo it, though. Try adding 1-2 of the antioxidants above into your daily routine and pay attention to how your skin responds to what you apply. You’ll soon start seeing a noticeable improvement in your complexion. All from a few additional vitamins.