The (antioxi)DO’S & (antioxi)DONT’S of Antioxidants
You’ve probably heard the word ‘antioxidant’ being thrown around since the acai bowl broke the internet in 2010. The superfood berry along with its close friends: blueberries and goji berries have been hailed as the holy grail of health-foods. And if you’re skincare savvy then you’ll know that antioxidants are also some of the hardest working ingredients in the skincare game. Now before you start to introduce an antioxidant into your routine, let’s explore what they actually do to your skin and why they’ve earned their “buzzword” status.
Why do you need antioxidants?
Simply put, antioxidants are substances that prevent oxidation. Sounds obvious, right? Just kidding, let’s break down oxidation: Oxidation occurs when free radicals (unstable molecules) damage cells. When it comes to free radicals, you’re probably already familiar with some environmental factors that can accelerate free radical production, like: air pollution, sunlight (UV radiation), smoking, and alcohol. Now, when looking to incorporate an antioxidant into your skincare routine, you can turn to some of these common ones: Vitamin A (retinol), Vitamin E (tocopherol), Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and Coenzyme Q10.
Why is this important to you?
When oxidation occurs, cells become damaged. When skin cells are damaged, skin can become discolored and/or start to show wrinkles, sagging, and other signs of aging. Not to completely scare you, but because our bodies’ natural ability to produce antioxidants tends to decline from aging and stress, the effects of oxidation become even more visible as we get older.
The good news is that incorporating antioxidants into your skincare will give your give the extra help it needs to fight the effects of oxidation. When choosing and purchasing an antioxidant for your skin, make sure that the formula is stable. What this means is that the antioxidant used in the formula will not oxidize (become ineffective) before you can use it. Signs of an oxidized antioxidant include changes to colour and smell.
Antioxidants should be used in the AM and/or PM (think of this as using them in the AM to prevent damage and in the PM to repair damage) and should be applied to the skin directly after cleansing in order to achieve maximum benefits.
If we’ve finally convinced you that it’s time to hop on the antioxidant train, then we have a few great places for you to start ;)
AM Antioxidant: vitamin c24, this combined serum, and moisturiser if formulated with 22% L-ascorbic acid (the purest form of vitamin C) and 2% hyaluronic microspheres to protect your skin from environmental damage while increasing hydration levels.
PM Antioxidant: retinol reface™, a 3-in-1 formula combining retinol (vitamin A), bakuchiol, and a retinol-like peptide to help deliver softer, smoother, and visibly younger-looking skin. (Just make sure to use an SPF the next morning as the last step of your skincare routine)
AM or PM Antioxidant: Q10 booster, a multi-faceted concentrated serum full of targeted ingredients such as Coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, and Vitamin C to fight oxidative stress.