Antioxidants: A Must-Have Skincare Ingredient?

Antioxidants aren’t just for eating. In fact, studies show that when certain antioxidants show up in skin care products, they can actually protect your skin and reverse damage. More and more researchers claim that antioxidants are essential for the skin. And since the skin is an organ, nourishing it with different types of antioxidants is very important.

AntioxidantsWhat Are Antioxidants?

You’ve probably heard of antioxidants before. Maybe you know that dark-colored fruits and vegetables tend to have a lot of antioxidants. But do you know what they are? Antioxidants occur naturally in plant-based foods. Not just fruits and vegetables, but also coffee, tea, wine, and even chocolate contain vast amounts of antioxidants. There are hundreds of thousands of antioxidant compounds, and they all do different things for your body.

Basically, antioxidants prevent and even stop cell damage caused by oxidants. Which is where the name antioxidant comes from. Oxidants are otherwise known as free radicals, which occur in nature and also in your body.

Free radicals aren’t all bad – they help your body fend off microbes and bacteria. But when there are too many, they can cause some serious issues. In fact, cancer and heart disease can be tied to free radicals. Plus, oxidants in the environment like alcohol, smoke, and other kinds of air pollution can affect your skin cells.

Just like how free radicals aren’t all bad, antioxidants aren’t all good. In fact, your body needs a balance of the two to be the healthiest. Although antioxidants protect your cells from disease, there is such thing as having too many. What happens is, your body ceases to turn on its own antioxidant defense system. But research shows it’s very difficult to overload your body with antioxidants from your diet or skincare regimen.

Different Types Of Antioxidants

There are dozens of effective antioxidants for your skin. However, there are a couple that really take the cake. Some of the main antioxidants for your skin include:

Vitamin E

Also known as tocopherol or tocotrienol, Vitamin E is in almost every anti-aging skin care product. And for good reason! Your skin likes both the natural and synthetic forms of this antioxidant, however the natural kinds are more powerful and they last longer.

Essentially, Vitamin E protects your skin from outside elements. It’s often found in sunscreens because it prevents damage from UV radiation. In addition, when another antioxidant, Vitamin C, is added to the product, they work together in a powerful synergy to protect and repair your skin from damage. Which brings us to our next antioxidant….

Vitamin C

Vitamin C comes in many forms. However, the ones most commonly in skin care products include ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. Vitamin C does an amazing job at reducing the look of wrinkles, fine lines, dullness, and it also helps to even out skin tone.

In most skin care products, Vitamin C makes your skin more resilient while it’s firming up and brightening your skin. In addition, Vitamin C has calming effects on your skin, and can even boost hydration retention.


Mostly found in grapes, wine, nuts and dark colored fruits like cranberries and blueberries, resveratrol can protect the skin’s surface. Although this antioxidant is still relatively new to the skin care market, it is showing very promising effects. In addition to protecting your skin, resveratrol can also brighten tired skin and calm irritated or red skin. This antioxidant shows up predominately in eye creams and moisturizers.


No skin care list would be complete without retinol. Otherwise known as Vitamin A, Retinol has a lengthy and detailed reputation within the skin care industry. Not only is it a strong antioxidant, but it also restores aging and worn out skin. It can even out skin tone, shrink pores, smooth out rough skin, and even reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

Studies show that Vitamin A boosts your skin’s resilience. If you’re looking to reduce any and all signs of aging, it’s good to look for a product with Retinol. And for most people, it will even calm down redness and unclog pores. However, some people will experience sensitivities with this antioxidant. So, if you already have sensitive skin, make sure to opt for a lower percentage.