Antioxidants are beneficial for helping to protect against free radical damage. In addition to protecting your body, antioxidants can protect the health of your skin. The more knowledge you have about these fundamental compounds, the better equipped you will be to make mindful choices about your skincare routine. Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of antioxidants in your skincare.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that absorb and neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with at least one unpaired electron, which makes them unstable and reactive.1 Antioxidants are beneficial as they can help the body neutralize or eliminate these unstable molecules.5
Free radicals occur naturally in the body as a byproduct of metabolism.1 They also form as a result of exposure to environmental factors such as cigarette smoke, radiation, stress, pollution and ultraviolet light from the sun. When there are too many free radicals in our body, they can damage cells and tissues.3,5
Antioxidants work by acting as electron donors to free radicals, neutralizing them so they no longer cause damage in your body. When there are not enough antioxidants in the body, oxidative stress from free radicals is more likely to occur.1,5
What are the Benefits of Antioxidants for the Skin?
Free radicals can have many unfavorable effects on the skin – such as premature fine lines and wrinkles, inflammation, dryness, dullness, hyperpigmentation, and more. In order for your skin to remain it’s healthiest, it’s important to ensure that you are incorporating the right antioxidants into your routine. So, what can antioxidants do for your skin?
Combat Signs of Aging
Skin aging is accompanied by the decline of the antioxidant mechanisms within the body. Oxidative stress occurs when there are too many free radicals within the body and not enough antioxidant defense. This plays a large role in the aging of the skin and can be a consequence of internal or external factors. Environmental stressors - such as chemicals, pollution, cigarette smoke and UV damage – can have adverse effects on the skin’s collagen proteins resulting in signs of premature aging. 1,3
For powerful antioxidant benefits, look for a product containing Chebula, such as The Advanced Response Complex Rapid Regenerating Firming Face & Neck Moisture Cream. Chebula is a super-antioxidant derived from the Chebula trees native to Southern Asia. Throughout history, the fruit of the Chebula plant, sometimes referred to as the “King of Medicine,” has been used due to its many holistic healing benefits as well as Ayurvedic practices Not only does it support healing within the body, but when applied topically it is a powerful active ingredient in modern skincare as well.6,10
Although Chebula is gentle in nature, it is known to be one of the strongest, most bioactive antioxidants. In fact, it’s even more effective than other more well-known antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, when it comes to minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, visibly evening skin tone, smoothing the skin and adding radiance to the complexion.11 Not only does it work proactively to protect against free radicals, but it is also clinically proven to heal signs of aging-related skin damage in retrospect.3,6
Chebula is known as a cascading antioxidant, which means that once it neutralizes a free radical it continues to protect your skin from damage throughout the day as an effective treatment against photodamage, pollution, and other environmental toxins.11 It also encourages your skin’s regenerative processes and locks moisture in the skin, which promotes faster skin healing, collagen production, and reduces inflammation.10
Sun damage is a major contributor towards premature aging of the skin. Antioxidants certainly may help protect the skin from UV damage when used in combination with sunscreen. The anti-inflammatory benefits of antioxidants can help suppress the skin’s reaction to harmful UV damage by preventing sunburn, pigmentation, and signs of aging.5
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the most commonly known antioxidants when it comes to skin protection. Exposure to harmful UV rays and environmental toxins can break down the existing levels of Vitamin C in the skin. Topically applied Vitamin C has shown to be an efficient supplement for healthy skin function.2,3But as we’ll explain not all forms of Vitamin C are created equally.
Vitamin C serums and treatments, such as The Super Lift Concentrated Vitamin C-More Treatment, which contains three types of shelf-stable Vitamin C, promote collagen formation in the skin and protect against free-radicals, toxins and sun exposure.
Astaxanthin is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. In fact, it is 65 times stronger than Vitamin C in protecting against free radicals and is known to be a powerhouse in the field of anti-aging. The Super Couple - Ultra Luxe Face Oil Serum combines Astaxanthin with nature’s superfood Chia for a skin-loving formulation rich in fatty acids, antioxidants & minerals.
Acne and Inflammation
Antioxidants are important for preventing and controlling acne. Due to their chemical composition, antioxidants can reduce free radicals that contribute to an increase in sebum production as well as swelling and inflammation associated with acne.1,8
Vitamin C is a common antioxidant in the treatment of acne known to reduce clogged pores, inflammation and redness associated with breakouts. When used in conjunction with retinol, vitamin C can help reduce redness and irritation caused by retinol products.8
The Straight A - Advanced Gentle Retinol Serum combines Vitamin C with gentle, yet effective Vitamin A derivatives. It contains a slow-release encapsulated retinol as well as “botanical retinols” that results in a soothing retinol treatment that’s suited for most skin types.
Collagen is the building block for plump, radiant, healthy-looking skin. As the skin ages, either due to internal or environmental factors, collagen production is inhibited. This can result in a lackluster complexion, fine lines, wrinkles, dry or oily skin, dark circles, and other undesirable conditions.
The small molecules that make up Retinol are able to penetrate deep into the middle layer of the skin to neutralize free radicals and promote the skins regenerative process. This results in an increase in collagen production and encourages the skin’s healing processes. Retinol is also known for its exfoliating properties and for its ability to reduce sebum production of the skin – performing as an effective treatment for acne and breakouts.3,8
The improved turnover in the skin’s cells encouraged by Vitamin A proves to be effective in treating hyperpigmentation, scarring and sun damage as well as preventing aging and breakouts, for a complexion that looks smoother and more even-toned.
Brighten and Even Complexion
Hyperpigmentation is an increase in skin coloration caused by an overproduction of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. It happens when melanocytes, or melanin-producing skin cells, overproduce to protect the skin from things like ultraviolet damage or inflammation. When left untreated and unprotected, it can continue to become darker and more uneven over time. Antioxidants can reduce abnormal skin pigmentation such as hyperpigmentation and melasma.
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Chebula, and Astaxanthin are all powerful antioxidants that promote brightening and evening of the skin. In addition to these ingredients, Tranexamic Acid and Ferulic Acid are both known for their brightening abilities.
When applied topically, Tranexamic Acid may decrease the interaction between keratinocytes (skin cells) and melanocytes (melanin-forming cells) which can reduce pigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone caused by free radicals and UV exposure.2,4 Tranexamic Acid is an active agent in The Super Lift Concentrated Vitamin C-More Treatment, as well as in The Refresh Mint – Exfoliating Moisture Mask. The Refresh Mint is specially formulated with four different types of acids as well as enzymes and hydrators to create an effective treatment in reducing acne and improving skin appearance – resulting in a brighter, smoother, and moisturized complexion.
Ferulic acid is a naturally occurring antioxidant derived from plant sources such as fruits and grains.7 Ferulic Acid is a popular aid in skincare formulations as it works to stabilize and boost the effectiveness of other antioxidants. The molecules in Ferulic Acid are large enough to intercept free radicals in the skin, such as powerful UV rays, before they can cause any damage. Ferulic Acid reduces photoaging by inhibiting the creation of enzymes in the skin that speed up free radicals and by suppressing the production of melanin in the skin.7,9
The Optimist – Hydrating Brightening Essence is carefully formulated with a proprietary blend of antioxidants, amino acids, polysaccharides, phytonutrients, and fatty acids to boost skin’s hydration levels and brighten the complexion. One of the active ingredients in The Optimist is Organic Sake, which is rich in Ferulic Acid and promotes a healthier, more radiant complexion.
When it comes to using antioxidants in your skincare routine, there isn’t one that is better than the others. The best thing to do is to look for treatments that are rich in multiple different antioxidants. We believe in formulating products with all-encompassing modes of action so that your skin can be its healthiest, most radiant version.
1. Addor, F. A. S. (2017). Antioxidants in dermatology. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia, 92(3), 356–362. https://doi.org/10.1590/abd1806-4841.20175697
2. Ebrahimi, B., & Naeini, F. F. (2014). Topical tranexamic acid as a promising treatment for melasma. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 19(8), 753–757. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4235096/
3. Fusco, D., Colloca, G., Lo Monaco, M. R., & Cesari, M. (2007). Effects of antioxidant supplementation on the aging process. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2(3), 377–387. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685276/
4. Maeda, K. (2022). Mechanism of Action of Topical Tranexamic Acid in the Treatment of Melasma and Sun-Induced Skin Hyperpigmentation. Cosmetics, 9(5), 108. https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics9050108
5. Michalak, M. (2022). Plant-Derived Antioxidants: Significance in Skin Health and the Ageing Process. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(2), 585. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23020585
6. Randhawa, M., Meyer, T., Sachdev, M., & Chaudhuri, R. K. (2021). Standardized Terminalia chebula Fruit Extract: A Natural Ingredient That Provides Long-Lasting Antioxidant Protection and Reverses Visible Signs of Pollution-Induced Skin Damage. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Volume 14, 1257–1269. https://doi.org/10.2147/ccid.s326492
7. Srinivasan, M., Sudheer, A. R., & Menon, V. P. (2007). Ferulic Acid: Therapeutic Potential Through Its Antioxidant Property. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 40(2), 92–100. https://doi.org/10.3164/jcbn.40.92
8. VanBuren, C. A., & Everts, H. B. (2022). Vitamin A in Skin and Hair: An Update. Nutrients, 14(14), 2952. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14142952
9. Zduńska, K., Dana, A., Kolodziejczak, A., & Rotsztejn, H. (2018). Antioxidant Properties of Ferulic Acid and Its Possible Application. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 31(6), 332–336. https://doi.org/10.1159/000491755
10. Bag, A., Bhattacharyya, S. K., & Chattopadhyay, R. R. (2013). The development of Terminalia chebula Retz. (Combretaceae) in clinical research. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 3(3), 244–252. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2221-1691(13)60059-3
11. Singh, D., Singh, D., Choi, S. M., Zo, S. M., Painuli, R. M., Kwon, S. W., & Han, S. S. (2014). Effect of Extracts ofTerminalia chebulaon Proliferation of Keratinocytes and Fibroblasts Cells: An Alternative Approach for Wound Healing. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2014, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/701656