If you’re actively following a skincare routine, chances are you have certain skincare goals, whether it’s clearing up acne, improving texture, fade hyperpigmentation or prevent signs of aging.
We can achieve our skincare goals through good habits, like drinking plenty of water, getting some sleep, and wearing SPF during the day. We can also achieve our goals by targeting skin concerns with certain ingredients. And some are so versatile they should be part of everyone’s routine.
Example: antioxidants. Antioxidants are incredibly helpful for a number of reasons, whether it’s brightening, clarifying, or smoothing. Above all, antioxidants help protect the skin from impurities in our environment.
Today we’re talking about antioxidants and why they should be part of your skincare regimen.
What are free radicals and why do we want to prevent them?
You may have heard that free radical damage is one of the biggest contributors to the signs of aging. But what exactly are free radicals?
Free radicals are a type of molecule found everywhere in our environment, and they are characterized by an unpaired electron. This unpaired electron makes free radicals very unstable and they will search for another electron, sometimes in our body. This creates a chain reaction in which electrons are transferred as chemical bonds break down while new ones form, causing irreversible damage to molecules.
What are antioxidants?
The term “antioxidant” actually refers to a wide range of different molecules found in plant-based foods like berries, dark leafy greens, and root vegetables, and they all have one thing in common: they can neutralize free radicals. Since they are fairly stable with unpaired electrons, antioxidants can act as a “shield” that protects the skin from free radical damage.
Antioxidants are naturally present in our body and they absorb free radicals in the form of enzymatic antioxidants like peroxidase and non-enzymatic antioxidants like vitamins C and E. But because these mechanisms involving antioxidants in our body can be overcome , it is beneficial to consume antioxidants from outside sources like foods, supplements, and skin care products.
Benefits of Antioxidants in Skin Care
It is clear that antioxidants play an important role at the cellular level. But like many things in science, it is difficult to appreciate the value of certain mechanisms until we have seen their “global” effect. And with antioxidants, the “big picture” effect is actually quite versatile, especially when it comes to skincare.
Here are some ways antioxidants benefit your skin:
Benefits of Antioxidants in Skin Care
When free radical damage occurs, stress leads to the breakdown of collagen in the skin, which impairs the skin’s natural repair response and causes inflammation. This is a major factor that can lead to wrinkles, fine lines, and loose, saggy skin. Antioxidants help by scavenging these free radicals, which keep skin looking radiant and youthful.
Benefits of Repair
When inflammation is triggered in the skin, the natural cell renewal process is hampered. Since antioxidants help prevent and reduce inflammation, they help skin repair itself properly while correcting visible signs of damage. Some antioxidants, like vitamin C, can even boost collagen production.
Preventing Sun Damage
If we haven’t mentioned it already, antioxidants are, by nature, anti-inflammatory. They are able to lessen the skin’s inflammatory response not only to free radical damage, but also to sun damage. In other words, antioxidants can help prevent sunburn and photodamage. That being said, it’s still important that you wear sunscreen during the day.
Exposure to UV rays and free radicals can trigger the production of melanin, which can lead to hyperpigmentation of the skin. By preventing sun damage, antioxidants help prevent hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, while promoting overall radiance.
What are the best antioxidants in skin care?
Antioxidants can be found in a wide range of different skincare products, but it’s hard to buy antioxidant-rich skincare when you don’t know what to look for.
That’s why we created this quick guide to antioxidants in skincare! As you’ll discover below, there’s virtually an antioxidant for every skin concern. And you can find them at 100% Pure!
If there’s one proven ingredient you should have in your arsenal, retinol will be your best skincare friend. As a derivative of vitamin A, retinol is particularly useful in “resetting” the skin by encouraging a faster rate of cell turnover. Retinol products in skin care are available by prescription and over the counter, and come in a wide range of different forms depending on potency, including tretinoin, retinyl palmitate, and adapalene. You can find plant-based retinol in our Retinol Repair Night Balm, Retinol Repair Neck Cream, and PM Retinol Eye Cream.
The crown jewel among skincare staples, vitamin C is one of the most researched antioxidants on the market. As a free radical scavenger, vitamin C has a wide range of benefits for the skin, including stimulating collagen production for firmer and more elastic skin, fading scars and hyperpigmentation, and more.
In skincare products containing vitamin C, you may notice that vitamin C is listed in the ingredient list as ascorbyl palmitate, L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C ester , magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate or lipophilic vitamin C. All of these are different forms of vitamin C found in skincare, and they all work best with the help of sunscreen. You can find Vitamin C in our Vitamin C Serum, Vitamin C Booster, Vitamin C Mask, Glow Max Vitamin C 18.3% Active Mask, Glow Max Serum Powerful PM Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidant and our Ultra Rich Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidant PM Treatment.
Niacinamide, sometimes called vitamin B3, is a powerful antioxidant known to help improve skin texture and tone. Niacinamide helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles while fading hyperpigmentation, while providing anti-inflammatory properties, which provide anti-breakout benefits. Niacinamide is popular for treating skin conditions like acne and rosacea, but it’s just as widely used for its anti-wrinkle benefits. Try niacinamide with our Niacinamide Boost and our Lavender Niacinamide Pore Minimizer.
Sometimes dubbed the “longevity molecule,” resveratrol is notably endowed with anti-aging properties. Commonly found in the skins of dark fruits like wine grapes and berries, this antioxidant is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. These properties can help soothe the skin, slow the signs of aging, and even prevent the onset of infections. Enjoy the benefits of resveratrol in our Does It All sheet mask.
Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that many of our organs need to function, and that includes the largest organ of them all, the skin. Vitamin E is renowned for its affinity with stimulate healing in the body, including skin, making it very popular in topical products like antibiotic creams, moisturizers, cleansers and serums. It is particularly appreciated for revitalizing the skin, rehydrating and protecting against cold and dryness. You can find vitamin E in many of our products, including our PM Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidant Eye Treatment and our PM Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidant Face Oil.
Epigallocatechin, often referred to as “EGCG”, is an antioxidant found in green tea, and is known not only for its anti-inflammatory properties, but also for its ability to prevent development of acne in the skin. EGCG offers a myriad of health benefits throughout the body, but skin benefits include firming, cleansing, and tightening. You will find EGCG in our EGCG Green Tea Cream Concentrate and in our EGCG Green Tea Cream Concentrate.