Antioxidants. We’ve all heard of them, but do you know what they actually do? Skincare can be confusing, thanks to all the buzzy new ingredients that we hear about every day so to clear the air, we’ve put together a complete guide to understanding antioxidants. Think of them as the good guys in your skincare. They’re essentially found in vitamins and minerals and work hard to fight free radicals, that is the bad guys. Free radicals are unstable molecules in the environment that steal electrons from the skin to stabilize themselves, ultimately damaging causing cellular damage. They’re created by factors like pollution, UV rays and cigarette smoke. So, to repair and reverse the damage done, it is essential to have some trusty antioxidants in your skincare routine.
If you’re looking for a boost of radiance, this antioxidant is your best bet. Not only does it brighten skin, it evens it out and tightens it, keeping fine lines and wrinkles at bay. But be patient. Vitamin C takes about six to eight weeks to show its magic (read: efficacy).
Unless you’re a complete skincare newbie, you must’ve heard about the game-changing powers of retinol. It reduces acne and fades marks, softens skin, reduces acne and bumps up cell turnover. Unlike vitamin C–which usually suits all skin types–retinol comes with a fair share of breakout baggage. It can cause purging and dryness but if you manage to get through the first few weeks and stay consistent, you’ll soon see results.
Great for your health and even better when applied topically, green tea is one the best antioxidants to try if you’re looking to soothe inflamed skin. It has polyphenols that calm down redness and irritation.
The skin’s barrier is the first line of defense against free radicals, so it is imperative to keep it in top condition. Niacinamide is one of the buzziest ingredients, thanks to the fact that it suits all skin types. It also regulates oil production, retains moisture and reduces hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin E does a seriously good job of protecting skin from UV rays, which is why it is commonly found in sunscreens. If you’re a serial skin-picker or acne-popper, try using moisturisers that contain vitamin E because this wonder ingredient also speeds up the healing process of wounds.
Impressive, right? If you’re looking to stock up on some serious antioxidant skincare, don’t forget to check the ingredients list of products the next time you go shopping.
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