The Benefits of Antioxidant Skincare
If you want to step up your skincare game, look no further than the power of antioxidants. Whether you need to protect against pollution from city living, brighten dark spots, or simply fight the signs of aging, this comprehensive guide will help you find the perfect antioxidants for your skin type. What’s more, these powerful substances can be found in natural ingredients — whether that be through a balanced diet or organic health supplements — meaning that your beauty and self-care regime can stay as clean and gentle as possible.
In this guide, you’ll find a run-down of some of the best antioxidants for skin and discover how these nourishing ingredients can transform your health and beauty routine. We’ll cover:
• What are antioxidants?
• What do antioxidants do for skin?
• The best antioxidant skincare for you
→ Sensitive skin
→ Dry skin
→ Oily or combination skin
→ Mature skin
• Antioxidant foods for skin
What are antioxidants?
We often hear the word ‘antioxidant’ used to describe something healthy and rejuvenating, whether that be food, drink, supplements, or cosmetics. But what actually are antioxidants, and more importantly, what benefit can they add to our skincare routine?
Antioxidants are a group of hundreds and even thousands of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and compounds that help to protect your body from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by an excess amount of free radicals in our system, which are unstable molecules that bind to our body’s healthy cells, causing damage to DNA and disrupting cell renewal (Harvard Health). A high level of oxidative stress is linked to inflammation, the aging process, and even Parkinson’s disease or certain types of cancer.
Free radicals can either occur naturally within the body, or we can be exposed to them through our surroundings. Within the body, free radicals accumulate when we are unable to remove cell waste efficiently. This cell waste is produced by the normal functioning of our metabolism when we process our food or fight illness and inflammation. However, we can also encounter radicals in our environment, including things like UV exposure, air pollution, pesticides, or smoking. They can even come from our dietary choices, such as an excess of fried food or overindulging on alcohol.
Topping up our level of antioxidants and limiting our exposure to free radicals is therefore vital in keeping the body’s cells healthy, protected, and functioning properly.
What do antioxidants do for skin?
As explained above, free radicals can easily bind to other cells and molecules in the body due to their unstable number of electrons. This means they can impact your skin health by causing reactions that interfere with skin cell renewal, or by binding to our collagen and weakening its elasticity (Medical News Today). Disrupted collagen production is responsible for the appearance of fine lines and the signs of aging, while slow cell repair can contribute towards dull, dry skin and prolonged scar healing.
Antioxidants can therefore play a major role in skin care by helping to neutralise these free radicals, leaving our cells free to repair, renew, and remove toxins from the body. Some of the most popular antioxidants in skincare include vitamins A, C, and E, as well as beta-carotene, retinol, and selenium. These ingredients are all well-known for their antioxidant properties, whether they act as a powerful anti-inflammatory, soothe sensitive skin, or protect from environmental pollution. Read on to find out just how much these powerful ingredients can benefit our skin, and our top tips on how to use the best antioxidants for your skin type.
The best antioxidant skincare for you
When incorporating antioxidants into your beauty routine, it’s important start by identifying your skin type so that you can understand what it needs, and what it responds well to. You may have dry, sensitive, or combination skin, while others may struggle with breakouts, oily skin, or acne scarring. So, before you invest in any new skincare products or regimes, check in with your skin and try to gauge what it really needs. Remember to take into consideration any oils, serums, or moisturisers that have (or haven’t) worked for you in the past.
Antioxidants for sensitive skin
If you have sensitive skin, you’ll often have to be careful with what products you use to avoid causing a reaction. You may also have dermatological conditions like rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis, meaning you have to be even more cautious and choose clean, natural products that won’t exacerbate the problem.
When searching for sensitive skincare products, look out for those containing Green Tea. Not only is this an excellent beverage to start incorporating into your health and wellness routine, but green tea can also be an amazing ingredient for your skin. This is due to its high levels of Polyphenol, a plant-based chemical with powerful antioxidant properties.
Despite being a potent antioxidant, green tea is also soothing and gentle enough to be a perfect choice for those prone to reactions or irritated skin. This is why our best-selling Herbal Toner is made with a special formula blending green tea with gentle, calming ingredients like Chamomile, Eucalyptus, and Aloe Vera. Revitalise and awaken your skin after cleansing by misting this toner over the face, pressing it gently into the skin with your palms, and following with our range of ultra-hydrating moisturisers.
Antioxidants for dry skin
If your skin feels dull, dry, and in need of a shot of vitality, then Vitamin C can make an excellent addition to your self-care routine. To help rejuvenate and brighten skin, try incorporating a stabilised, concentrated Vitamin C Serum, which has potent antioxidant properties and supports more efficient collagen production.
After cleansing and removing any makeup, simply apply a few drops of this serum over your face and neck to fight free radical damage and gradually correct any dark spots. As well as breathing some life and a burst of hydration into dry, tired skin, concentrated vitamin C is also a brilliant skin antioxidant for combating hyperpigmentation and scarring from past breakouts.
Another wonderful antioxidant for dry skin is Vitamin E, which is not only ultra-hydrating but provides strong protection from free radicals (particularly the drying effects of UV rays). Not only this, but vitamin E is a great example of how some antioxidants work particularly well when combined with others. When combined with vitamin C’s ability to brighten and revive dull skin, vitamin E’s potent effect on wound healing can make an excellent treatment for acne scarring.
Antioxidants for oily or combination skin
For those with oily or combination skin, the main focus of your skincare routine may be preventing breakouts and controlling shine. In this case, you’ll benefit from more purifying, detoxifying ingredients that can clear the pores and remove build-up on the skin’s surface. Treatments such as our Purifying Seaweed Clay Mask are highly effective at drawing out impurities and excess oil (otherwise known as sebaceous secretion) due to its potent natural ingredients. Seaweed is a particularly powerful antioxidant, which — along with Eucalyptus, Vitamin C, and Kaolin — can calm redness while rebalancing the skin.
Also known as Vitamin b3, Niacinamide is another antioxidant with significant anti-inflammatory properties. By soothing inflamed skin and combating redness, it therefore makes an excellent ingredient for those with acne, rosacea, or combination skin. Another benefit of niacinamide is that, while it helps to manage excess oil, it also manages to keep the skin’s moisture barrier intact. This means that while it clears the pores and leaves your face feeling fresh and clean, it isn’t an overly drying ingredient that would result in the skin feeling tight or stripped of its natural oils.
Antioxidants for mature skin
If you have mature skin, your beauty routine may be aimed towards improving the appearance of fine lines and signs of aging. Mature skin will benefit from products that are specially designed to keep the skin as firm and plump as possible, as well as smoothing its overall texture and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. This is why our Gene Expression Lifting Serum is enriched with peptides, hyaluronic acid, and retinol.
Antioxidants that help brighten the skin, counteract the effects of sun damage, and protect collagen from free radicals are therefore a key part of anti-aging skincare. For example, our multi-award-winning Antioxidant Face Serum is packed with natural powerhouses like Grapefruit, Rosehip, Carrot, and Vitamin C. These potent ingredients give your skin a boost of antioxidants, helping you look more glowing and radiant while also reducing visible fine lines and sun damage. This acts a powerful anti-ageing oil-serum that lifts, tones, and protects your skin from environmental stress.
A concentrated form of the antioxidant Vitamin A, Retinol has become one of the most in-demand skincare ingredients due to its remarkable anti-aging effects. Retinol works by supporting cell turnover, stimulating collagen, and accelerating cell renewal, therefore counteracting any damage from free radicals and supporting overall skin health. Intensive, overnight treatments such as our Retinol Corrective Mask or Retinol Night Serum can therefore make an excellent addition to your night-time routine, helping you to combat the signs of aging and even out your skin tone as you sleep. Retinol is also complemented by ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides, and Resveratrol (a potent antioxidant found in grape stem cells) in our premium Gene Expression Lifting Serum.
To enjoy these anti-aging benefits across your whole body, opt for specially-formulated body lotions such as our Advanced Retinoid-like Body Oil to reduce premature signs of aging and firm the skin. Perfect for applying after the shower or a warm bath, this body oil gives you a hit of hydration and a boost of antioxidants from key ingredients like Natural Retinoid, Carrot Oil, Rosehip, and Orange.
However, it’s worth noting that retinol is a potent ingredient. So, it’s best to start slowly and incorporate small amounts into your daily routine if you have sensitive skin. Similarly, retinol can make skin slightly more sensitive to sunlight, so always complement retinol products with a high SPF sun cream to maximise their effects while protecting your delicate skin from UV rays.
Antioxidant foods for your skin
When it comes to antioxidants, there’s a lot of value in the expression ‘beauty comes from within’. As well as maintaining a thorough skincare routine that’s high in natural antioxidants, it’s equally important to keep up a balanced diet to nourish your skin from the inside out. When our diet gets neglected, it is often our skin that shows the first signs of fatigue, hormonal imbalance, or nutritional deficiencies.
For example, a diet with too much refined sugar or dairy is often the cause of breakouts for many people, while a general lack of vitamins and nutrients can also be recognised by dull skin and brittle hair or nails.
When aiming to correct the balance of free radicals and antioxidants in our system, there are certain foods and lifestyle choices to avoid (or at least limit). For instance, fried food that’s high in trans fats can increase the number of free radicals in your body, as can an overuse of artificial sweeteners. Smoking is another major cause of free radicals, but it actually has twice the impact: not only can it increase our level of free radicals, but it also depletes the antioxidants — namely, vitamins C and E — which would help to protect our tissues against them (Verywell Mind).
As well as avoiding smoking or an excess consumption of alcohol, maintaining a healthy diet is therefore fundamental to our wellbeing. There is a vast array of colourful fruit and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, including carrots, peppers, leafy greens like spinach and kale, aubergine, dark chocolate, goji berries, beans, and nuts like pecans and walnuts (Healthline). For example, if you’re looking for potent sources of vitamin C in particular, then a fruit salad with watermelon, citrus fruits, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries is a great way to start the day.
While they can’t replace a balanced, healthy diet, incorporating natural supplements into your health and wellness routine can really maximise the benefits you feel. Supplements are great for adding an extra boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants into your diet, which is especially useful when you’re always on the go. For those looking to boost their immunity and energy levels, our Superantioxidant capsules can offer a whole host of beneficial ingredients such as Zinc, Manganese, and Vitamins C and E. These selected antioxidants work better in combination with others due to their affinities with different organs of the body.
Alternatively, some supplements are designed to target skin, hair, and nails rather than offering a holistic, general approach to the body. For instance, formulas with a high concentration of potent antioxidants like goji berry, rosehip, bilberry, and quercetin — such as the formula of our Skin Radiance capsules — will help to promote collagen formation and advance tissue repair in the skin.
We hope this guide has explained the benefits and true power of antioxidants, be that through your skincare, diet, or natural supplements. As well as the range of clinically formulated, award-winning skincare discussed in this guide, we also offer a range of organic makeup here at The Organic Pharmacy. Here you’ll find foundation, lipstick, powder, and more all enriched with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and botanical extracts.
To help you get started with a new-and-improved natural skincare regimen, our in-depth routines offer advice on everything from anti-aging and eczema to rosacea and men’s skincare. For even more health and beauty tips from our team of experts, be sure to check out The Organic Pharmacy blog for regular updates on all things natural skincare and beauty.