Let’s talk antioxidants! They singlehandedly helped fade and heal my acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. No prescriptions, and no harsh retinol treatments needed. In fact, they’re arguably the most important part of your summer skincare routine and all year round. But — what exactly are antioxidants? What are their benefits for your skin? Which antioxidants are best for sensitive skin and which should you avoid? Let's find out.
What Are Antioxidants and How Do They Work?
ANTI-OXIDANTS are compounds that prevent oxidation. Get it — Anti-oxidant. Oxidation is a chemical reaction caused by free radicals that produces even more free radicals, also known as the worst chain reaction ever. Oxidation in your skin is, very simply, the break down of beneficial things you don't want to break down - things like collagen, healthy cells, beneficial nutrients.
This process is known to damage cells and the DNA stored within them, which in the long term, leads to premature aging, disease and more
It’s actually normal for our bodies to produce free radicals — and as long as there’s a balance of antioxidants, those free radicals don’t cause harm. It’s when there’s an imbalance or an excess of free radicals and not enough antioxidants that damage occurs.
For your skin this damage looks like: sagging skin, hyperpigmentation, deep wrinkles, premature aging, and overall skin stress.
Enter antioxidants and antioxidant-rich skincare to save the day. Antioxidants are like superheroes that neutralize and disarm free radicals, making them harmless. But not only do they help prevent free radical damage, they also help to reverse and repair damage!
Now you understand why antioxidants are such a skincare hero, and why I love them so much, especially for sensitive and stressed skin like mine.
Antioxidant Skin Benefits
So what are antioxidants' benefits for your skin? Antioxidants have been shown in clinical trials to:
• protect skin from oxidative stress / damage
• reduce hyperpigmentation - this includes acne scars!
• reduce fine lines and wrinkles
• stimulate collagen production for more elastic, plump skin
• reduce inflammation and calm redness
• firm skin
• even skin tone and texture
• brighten & boost skin radiance
The list goes on and on! Some of our favorite antioxidants especially for sensitive skin include:
- vitamin C (stable, non-ascorbic acid forms of vitamin C are much gentler)
- pro-vitamin A rich plant oils rather than synthetic retinol
- vitamin E
- astaxanthin (a red algae-derived superantioxidant)
- resveratrol (derived from grapes)
- and green tea (which contains high amounts of antioxidant EGCG)
All of these offer the amazing benefits of antioxidants with a much lower risk of irritation than, say, synthetic retinol serums.
You can find powerful, yet gentle and non-irritating antioxidants across our entire product line, but our most antioxidant-rich products are: Light Reveal Eye & Face Serum, Age Gracefully Ageless Face Serum, The Giver Illuminative Cleansing Oil, and Valley of Light Illuminative Mask.
If you have sensitive or stressed skin and want to incorporate more antioxidants into your skincare, these products were made for you. I personally use our 3 Steps To Glow skincare routine + Age Gracefully in the evenings as my final step - this has worked beautifully for me!
Get to know other sensitive skin-friendly skincare ingredients in our blog here.