Benefits Of Antioxidants (+products)
Benefits Of Antioxidants (+products)
They protect our skin from free radicals, even out tone and prevent premature skin aging. Antioxidants are superhero ingredients that can be added to any skin-care routine.
As their name suggest, antioxiadants are responsible for protecting us from oxidation. “The oxygen we breathe is used by our cells to make proteins, but doing so leads to the formation of free radicals,” explains Marie-Hélène Lair, director of responsible innovation at Clarins. “These unstable molecules damage cells by contributing to their oxidation.” “Free radicals can be generated by UV rays, environmental toxins, pollution or even stress,” says David Delport, international spokesperson for the beauty brand REN Clean Skincare. Fortunately, antioxidants work like skin superheroes to neutralize free radicals, but when there’s an excessive amount of these molecules, the imbalance leads to oxidative stress that accelerates skin aging.
To counter free radicals and boost the presence of antioxidants, integrating various key ingredients into your beauty routine is a must. At the top of the list: vitamin C, which visibliy reduce pigment spots, wrmkles and fine lines while illuminating the complexion (those with sensitive skin should opt for a lower concentration to keep irritation at bay), vitamin E, which protects and moisturizes the skin, and vitamin A (better known as retinol), a powerful anti-aging agent. Polyphenols, derived from plants, help fight the harmful effects of UV rays. Niacinamide (a derivative of vitamin B3) restores the skin barrier, regulates sebum production, tightens pores and reduces redness thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Choose the antioxidants that best meet your skin’s needs while keeping in mind that some can be unstable.
This is the case with vitamin C, which oxidizes easily when exposed to air, light or heat. (Which is why it’s important to properly store your products in a dark, cool spot to keep them fresh and effective.) Lair recommends combining different antioxidants in your beauty routine in order to benefit from even more protection against external aggressors. And, as always, don't forget to include a broadspectrum sunscreen to block UV rays that exacerbate oxidative stress. “Remember, it’s always preferable to neutralize free radicals instead of trying to repair their damage afterward,” says Delport.
A SOURCE OF BEAUTY
“Healthy skin starts from within,” says Delport, noting that a topical antioxidant has its limits. That’s why it’s also recommended to include antioxidants in your diet. “Eating fruits and vegetables in an array of colours is the best way to obtain a wide variety of antioxidants that are capable of preventing damage from free radicals,” says Lair, who adds that sleep hygiene is just as important. “Getting sufficient sleep is a great way to boost the efficacy of antioxidants in both the foods we eat and our beauty routine.” In short, taking care of our bodies inside and out is the best approach to fighting free radicals and aging skin.
Our product picks
STOCK UP ON VITAMIN- AND ANTIOXIDANT-RICH PRODUCTS.
Hyaluronic acid hydrates, organic shea butter nourishes, and grape seed polyphenols serve as an antioxidant shield against free radicals— this body lotion is a true triple threat. Its fresh and light texture pampers the body from top to bottom.
1. CAUDALIE Vinotherapist Hyaluronic Nourishing Body Lotion, $42, caudalie.ca.
Stress and fatigue can be the culprits when it comes to a dull complexion and wrinkles. This moisturizing anti-aging gel-cream, specially designed for people in their 30s, helps remedy the effects of stress on the skin thanks to the inclusion of teasel extract, distilled from a pretty plant with antioxidant benefits.
2. CLARINS Multi-Active Day Cream-Gel, $60, clarins.ca.
This lightweight anti-aging serum illuminates and evens out the skin tone for younger-looking skin. The secret? Its formula, which harnesses the benefits of Bidens pilosa (a plant-based substitute for retinol), niacinamide and ceramides, which work to strengthen the skin barrier.
3. REN CLEAN SKINCARE Bio Retinoid Youth Serum, $97, sephora.ca.
Want to boost a dull complexion? This serum is designed to neutralize the damage caused by free radicals with two powerful antioxidants, resveratrol and ferulic acid.
4. PRO-DERM Antioxidant Serum, $90, pro-derm.com.
This exfoliating face mask contains 50 percent real crushed citrus fruits (oranges, lemons and clementines). The formula combines vitamins C, E and B5, as well as minerals and fruit acids (AHAs) to brighten the complexion. Use circular, massaging motions to apply and let it work its magic for 10 minutes before revealing luminous, glowing skin!
5. FRESH Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy- Boosting Face Mask, $35, fresh.ca.
To maximize freshness and efficacy, this serum comes in two separate formulations that you mix yourself before first use. The activator, with hyaluronic acid, combines with powder containing 20 percent ascorbic acid (the purest form of vitamin C) to create a powerful antioxidant cocktail that illuminates, tones, moisturizes and smooths skin. A welcome boost to our beauty routine!
6. GOOP BEAUTY Goopglow 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum, $165, goop.com.