Benefits of Antioxidants for Skin

What Role Does Antioxidants Play in Our Skincare?

Whether you want to protect your skin or give it a perfect glow, try out a powerful skin ally often overlooked but always found promising in the skincare industry. Yes, you guessed it right! We are talking about antioxidants.

You may have seen or heard a lot about antioxidants and wonder what exactly they are! Especially, in the skincare niche, antioxidants have made their way into a diverse array of products whether it is a serum or an eye cream.

However, their effects are cumulative and you have to be consistent while using them. As we always recommend; patience is the key. In this blog, we are going to explore these less talked about potent protectors and the benefits they hold for your skin.

What are antioxidants?

To put it simply, antioxidants are compounds that safeguard your cells against specific damages. They do so by neutralising oxidative stress and free radicals. These free radicals when present in large quantities are harmful and often associated with several health conditions.

There are some activities or aggressors that can increase the formation of free radicals in the body, including;

  • Cigarette smoking
  • High levels of blood sugar
  • Prolonged exercises
  • Infections from bacteria, fungus, and virus
  • Toxins
  • Air pollution, etc

While our body has its own mechanism to fight these free radicals and keep us safe, sometimes we need to supplement them in the form of food or skincare products to get the maximum of their benefits.

By adding antioxidants to skin care products, brands add an extra layer of defence against atmospheric stressors, trying to provide you with several skin aids comprising, anti-ageing benefits, brightening of the complexion, and overall well-being of the skin.

How do antioxidants work?

But how do they work? There's a simple chemistry behind this phenomenon. We have free radicals in our bodies that are in their unstable state. These free radicals are molecules with one or more than one electron. Due to this typical structure, these molecules become highly reactive and vulnerable to oxidation.

You must have seen that sliced apple turned brown. Yes, the same case!

Now, in order to gain stability, they get to react with other molecules. This provokes a chain reaction that further causes harm to the structure and genetic material (DNA) of otherwise healthy cells.

How do antioxidants work

These free radicals cause damage to the skin that triggers inflammation. This inflammation interferes with the usual self-repair procedure of the skin. Now, the skin has to focus on combating the inflammation triggered by these free radicals instead of focusing on its self-repair.

What's the outcome? It disrupts the ability of the skin to heal itself and various skin issues arise, like irritation, redness, and a broken skin barrier.

Antioxidant benefits for your skin

Let's dig down to know why these skincare brands out there, are obsessed with including antioxidants in their formulations.

Antioxidants can bring forth a multitude of benefits such as;

  • Soothes inflammation: Free radicals cause inflammation inherently. Antioxidants have the ability to reduce inflammation and they might offer a calming effect too. According to the dermatologists, all antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Protects from UV Rays: Antioxidants may act as your umbrella against harmful ultraviolet rays. You may find them in sunscreens for this reason.

  • Combats Ageing: Ageing is such a stubborn concern impacting every human being. Though it's a natural process, its arrival before time, that is premature ageing caused by external factors such as UV rays, pollution, smoking, etc, can be troublesome for you. Antioxidants may help you fight back and look younger and radiant.

    Antioxidants neutralise free radicals which would stimulate the production of collagen within the body. This collagen helps you to fight the early signs of ageing such as fine lines, sagging skin, and wrinkles.

  • Brightens the skin tone: Yes, you read it right! Your skin's melanin production can be highly impacted due to sun exposure and free radical activity. This can result in hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and spots on the skin. Antioxidants may play a vital role in this regard.

Best antioxidants for your skin

Having said the above-stated points, you don’t need all the anti-oxidants that are present in the world. Just include those that are highly useful for your skin and target that one specific concern that you are facing currently.

Here it’s crucial to know that antioxidant is not one specific ingredient. Yes! You will not find written “antioxidants” on any skincare product. Rather these are a group of a wide range of ingredients that work collectively in the same way, that is, to fight the damage caused by free radicals.

Check below for the extensively researched and widely used antioxidants in skincare formulations;

  • Niacinamide: A highly popular, strong antioxidant, and a beneficial skincare ingredient that offers a combination of protective and hydrating properties to your skin. It may help with dark spot reduction, skin tone and texture improvement, giving a youthful radiance.

    It is beneficial for all skin types and reduces inflammation from eczema and other inflammatory conditions of the skin.

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C needs no more pieces of evidence to prove its efficacy in skincare. It's vitally loaded with antioxidants that can destroy free radicals and promote the synthesis of collagen.

    Containing ascorbic acid, it aids wound healing and lowers skin pigmentation. The daily dose of vitamin C through your skincare products, preferably a serum can decrease the dryness and provide moisture to the deeper layers of your skin.

  • Vitamin E: It’s a fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E restricts your skin from losing moisture and protects cells against damage. Moreover, its prolonged usage can soften the skin's surface and make it plump.

    Vitamin E

    It may be helpful in reducing the ill effects of sun damage. By using vitamin E to fulfil your dose of antioxidants, you are taking a smart step. It strengthens your skin's barrier and is super moisturising too.

  • Phytoextracts: It is a broad range of botanical extracts used in skincare products, specifically due to their antioxidant properties. You must have seen names like, "rosemary, calendula, or green tea", written on the labels of a variety of products. But the list is too long to mention here alone.

    Along with being highly anti-inflammatory, they have moisturising factors that help to protect the skin from within.

  • Retinol: Retinol has already proven itself in various skin concerns. It prevents clogged pores responsible for acne and blackhead formation and increases proliferation and collagen production. You will find your skin younger-looking, fresh and plump after a long and disciplined use.

    It's a potent ingredient known for its ability to promote cell turnover. Topical retinol includes Adapalene, Tretinoin, Bexarotene, etc.

    People facing skin ageing issues like fine lines and wrinkles may find solace with consistent use. Another derivative of vitamin A, called retinaldehyde is highly powerful offering almost the same benefits. It's preferred by some skin experts due to its more potency as compared to retinol.

  • Polyphenols: Polyphenols are rich in antioxidants and help with UV rays damage and ill effects of smoking on our skin. Many skin experts suggest that polyphenols can slow down the process of ageing and reduce the wrinkle appearance caused by sunlight.

    They possess anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe irritated skin and reduce swelling. Skincare products formulated for acne and other inflamed skin conditions may contain these polyphenols.

  • Coenzyme Q10: CoQ10 or ubiquinone can aid the damage done by environmental aggressors such as UV rays and pollution. They prevent premature ageing influenced by external factors and support cellular turnover leading to a vibrant and luminous complexion.

    It strengthens the skin's barrier, improves hydration levels of the skin, and makes the skin supple and smooth.

How to choose an antioxidant-rich skincare product?

Finding any type of antioxidant is not a hassle for anyone. The market is full of ingredients that are categorised as antioxidants. While you're done with understanding your underlying skin concern and its causes, or done with consulting your dermatologist, follow some below-mentioned tips to get your antioxidant journey started -

What are you looking for?

It’s from where you start. Just because you have read about the antioxidants and you are sure that they favour your skin - this is not a very strong reason to buy them. Know your goal. Yes, we are pointing toward your skin issue. Do you need them to fight your blemished, wrinkles caused by sun exposure or the luminous glow? 

Don't rely on the antioxidants alone

Antioxidants are beneficial and there is not a single doubt about this fact, but you must look for the other active ingredients that your skin requires. Look for peptides, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, etc, to keep your skin glowing. Glycolic acid and lactic acid can really help your skin reveal some much-needed radiance.

Go for more

Try out the products that have more antioxidants. By more numbers, we mean different types. It’s nothing like you can just be satisfied with one or two and sit back to wait for the results. This strategy can work, undoubtedly but there’s nothing wrong in looking for more ingredients to reap benefits.

Seek an expert's advice

Consulting your dermatologist would be a smart idea while stepping into the use of antioxidants. They will help you with the right types, the right amount, and even when and how to use them. Almost every product out there in the skincare niche is inclusive of antioxidants, and that doesn’t necessarily mean you need all of them!

Look for brand credibility

Research well before trying out something new! Your skin is not some canvas to try out experiments and learn with results. Ask your dermatologist for any specific brand that they prefer. It’s best to check which brands are authentic and known for their incredible results before you step in to buy.


The best piece of advice you must follow while using any skincare ingredient, be it antioxidants or salicylic acid, is to just be patient. Nothing can make you look young or glowing overnight. You have to be consistent and disciplined.

From soothing your inflammation to giving you that forever young glow, antioxidants neutralise free radicals and trigger collagen production in the body.

Antioxidants are easily available in the market don't buy them randomly. Do your research, ask the skin expert, and check if they are going to benefit your skin concern.

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