Antioxidants In Skincare: How Do They Work?

Free Radicals and Antioxidants

If you’ve ever seen a sliced apple turn brown, you’ve witnessed the process of oxidation, which is caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that have one or more unpaired electrons. To gain stability, they react with other molecules, triggering a chain reaction that damages healthy cells.

Our bodies naturally produce free radicals, but they can also come from exposure to environmental factors like UV rays, pollution, cigarette smoke and other chemicals.

Once an overload of free radicals is present in our system, it causes oxidative stress, or an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects.

Fortunately, studies have shown that the inclusion of antioxidants in your skin care regimen can help your skin fight free radical damage and recover from oxidative stress.

Antioxidants help correct signs of age.

Oxidative stress breaks down collagen, hinders skin’s natural repair process and triggers inflammation—and you see these effects as fine lines, wrinkles, loose skin, acne breakouts and a blotchy skin tone. By scavenging free radicals, antioxidants can help prevent and correct these visible signs and give skin a more youthful glow.

Antioxidants help prevent sun damage.

“By definition, all antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties,” explains Dr. Ashley Magovern, a board-certified dermatologist in Manhattan Beach, Calif. and medical director at Dermstore. “They blunt your skin’s inflammatory response to the sun’s harmful rays, preventing sunburn and providing enhanced protection against sun damage and photoaging.”

This is a photo of a truck driver who's face has aged incredibly more on one than the other side due to having only half his face in the sun for a prolonged amount of time.

By using SPF and antioxidant rich ingredients in skincare, it can not only prevent the increasing signs of ageing and physical appearance but will also protect against harsher things such as skin cancer, a very prominent thing in Australia.

Antioxidants help skin repair itself.

Inflammation impedes the skin’s renewal process. By reducing inflammation, antioxidants allow skin to repair itself and correct visible damage. “Some antioxidants, like vitamin C, can also stimulate collagen production, which is vital for youthful skin,” adds Dr. Magovern.

Antioxidants help brighten skin tone.

Free radicals and frequent sun exposure can also trigger changes in our skin’s melanin production, causing dark spots and uneven skin tone. By reducing photodamage, antioxidants can help prevent abnormal skin pigmentation. Some antioxidants (again, like vitamin C) also work to inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme that stimulates melanin production.

1. Vitamin C

A favourite among dermatologists, vitamin C is one of the most studied antioxidants out there. As a free radical scavenger, vitamin C has many skin benefits, like boosting collagen production (which leaves skin firmer) and fading dark spots. Use it in the morning to make the most of its ability to prevent sun damage and inhibit hyperpigmentation—and always follow it with sunscreen. Read More About BrillianCy Here

2. Niacinamide

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a powerful antioxidant that improves the skin’s texture and tone. It reduces fine lines, wrinkles and hyper pigmentation and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. Thanks to its ability to calm inflammation, niacinamide can also soothe breakouts, improve skin’s barrier function and help fight redness. This vitamin is often used to treat skin conditions like rosacea and acne and is not known to cause any adverse reactions, making it ideal for sensitive types. Read More About Surge Here

3. Resveratrol

Resveratrol is known as the “longevity molecule” thanks to its impressive anti-ageing abilities. An antioxidant found mostly in the skins of fruits like grapes and berries, resveratrol serves as the plants’ defensive armor—and has a similarly reparative effect when used in skin care products. Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which calm down the skin, reduce skin ageing and may keep the skin free of infections. Read More About Affirm Here

4. Vitamin E Vitamin E is an important antioxidant required for the proper function of many organs in the body, including the skin. It’s widely recognized for its ability to accelerate the skin’s healing process. No wonder vitamin E is often found in moisturizers, creams and lotions formulated to treat dry skin, as well as products designed to reduce stretch marks. Vitamin E also helps to stabilize other antioxidants and improve their effectiveness, so you’ll often find it paired with vitamin C or resveratrol. Vitamin E is a key ingredient in Affirm

5. Retinol (Vitamin A)

If there’s one ingredient that’s been proven time and time again to help turn back the clock on ageing skin, it’s retinol. A derivative of vitamin A, this antioxidant is particularly effective due to its small molecular structure, which allows it to penetrate deep enough into the skin that it can effectively stimulate collagen production and accelerate cell renewal and repair. Both over-the-counter retinol and prescription forms of vitamin A (retinoids like tretinoin) are adept at smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin tone and discolouration. View Our Retinol Range Here

If you're unsure what skincare may be right for you, click the button to book in for a FREE consultation with our skin expert Mary. We offer FREE treatment and skincare plans for all our clients. Let us help you get your glow.

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