The Best Antioxidants for Your Skin & Their Benefits | Dermstore (2023)

Whether your goal is to protect or perfect your skin, e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e is looking for ingredients that actually work. Enter, antioxidants, man-made or naturally-occurring compounds that share a special superpower: Simply put, they tap the brakes on unavoidable chemical reactions that damage skin cells—ever the more reason to put antioxidants on a pedestal or better yet, slather them allll over you.

What Are Antioxidants?

Found in fresh fruits and veggies, which are known for being particularly potent sources, antioxidants such as vitamin C can also be applied topically.

How Do Antioxidants Work and Why Do We Need Them?

Antioxidants work by reversing or preventing free radicals from causing oxidative stress, according to Dr. Magovern.

If you missed the chemistry lesson that covered all of the above, here’s your 101: Free radicals are unstable molecules with one or more rogue electrons (that is, subatomic particles). This structure makes those molecules highly reactive and prone to oxidation, which you’ve witnessed if you’ve ever seen a sliced apple turn brown. To gain stability, they react with other molecules, triggering a chain reaction that damages the structure and genetic material (DNA) of otherwise healthy cells.

Unfortunately, free radical damage leads to inflammation that gets in the way of the skin’s regularly-scheduled self-repair systems. Eventually, this can lead to hyperpigmentation, acne, and cell damage that result in wrinkles down the road, Dr. Magovern explains.
Because our bodies naturally produce free radicals, and sunlight, pollution, environmental toxins, tobacco, and stress also contribute to free radicals, there’s no way to completely escape them and resulting oxidative damage—womp, womp. However, topical antioxidants can help.

What Antioxidants Do For Your Skin

Most of us know that cells are the building blocks of our skin. With that in mind, “antioxidants work by scavenging atoms’ loose electrons so that they cannot cause cell damage,” explains Dr. Magovern.

Luckily, you don’t need a PhD in dermatology (or bio chem, phewf!) to wrap your head around the bottom line: Antioxidants are damage defenders that help slow skin aging and they deserve a place in your routine—science says! Behold, an abbreviated list of their benefits:

(Video) Antioxidants For Your Skin | Skin Saviour

  • Antioxidants help correct signs of aging.
    Oxidative stress breaks down collagen, hinders skin’s natural repair process and triggers inflammation—and you see these effects as fine lines, wrinkles, loose skin, acne breakouts and a blotchy skin tone. By scavenging free radicals, antioxidants can help prevent and correct these visible signs and give skin a more youthful glow.
  • Antioxidants help prevent sun damage.
    “By definition, all antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties,” explains Dr. Magovern. “They blunt your skin’s inflammatory response to the sun’s harmful rays, preventing sunburn and providing enhanced protection against sun damage and photoaging.”
  • Antioxidants help skin repair itself.
    Inflammation impedes the skin’s renewal process. By reducing inflammation, antioxidants allow skin to repair itself and correct visible damage. “Some antioxidants, like vitamin C, can also stimulate collagen production, which is vital for youthful skin,” adds Dr. Magovern.
  • Antioxidants help brighten skin tone.
    Free radicals and frequent sun exposure can also trigger changes in our skin’s melanin production, causing dark spots and uneven skin tone. By reducing photodamage, antioxidants can help prevent abnormal skin pigmentation. Some antioxidants (like vitamin C) also work to inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme that stimulates melanin production.

The 7 Best Antioxidants For Your Skin

There are many different types of antioxidants found in skincare products, some more potent than others. Here are the most popular antioxidants you’ll find in the beauty aisle.

  1. Vitamin CA favorite among dermatologists, vitamin C is one of the most studied antioxidants out there. As a free radical scavenger, vitamin C has many skin benefits, like boosting collagen production (which leaves skin firmer) and fading dark spots. Once you find it on an ingredient label—it may be listed as L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C ester, ascorbyl palmitate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or lipophilic vitamin C—use it in the morning to make the most of its ability to prevent sun damage and inhibit hyperpigmentation—and always follow it with sunscreen.
  2. Niacinamide“Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a powerful antioxidant that improves the skin’s texture and tone. It reduces fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties,” explains Dr. Rhonda Klein, a board-certified dermatologist in Connecticut. Thanks to its ability to calm inflammation, niacinamide can also soothe breakouts, improve skin’s barrier function and help fight redness. This vitamin is often used to treat skin conditions like rosacea and acne and is not known to cause any adverse reactions, making it ideal for sensitive types.
  3. ResveratrolResveratrol is known as the “longevity molecule” thanks to its impressive anti-aging abilities. An antioxidant found mostly in the skins of fruits like grapes and berries, resveratrol serves as the plants’ defensive armor—and has a similarly reparative effect when used in skin care products. “Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties, which calm down the skin, reduce skin aging and may keep [the skin] free of infections,” says Dr. Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin, a board-certified dermatologist in Missouri. It’s best used in the evening, since UV exposure can hamper its effectiveness.
  4. Vitamin EVitamin E is an important antioxidant required for the proper function of many organs in the body, including the skin. It’s widely recognized for its ability to accelerate the skin’s healing process. No wonder vitamin E is often found in moisturizers, creams and lotions formulated to treat dry skin, as well as products designed to reduce stretch marks. Vitamin E also helps to stabilize other antioxidants and improve their effectiveness, so you’ll often find it paired with vitamin C or resveratrol.
  5. Retinol (Vitamin A)If there’s one ingredient that’s been proven time and time again to help turn back the clock on aging skin, it’s retinol. A derivative of vitamin A, this antioxidant is particularly effective due to its small molecular structure, which allows it to penetrate deep enough into the skin that it can effectively stimulate collagen production and accelerate cell renewal and repair. Both over-the-counter retinol and prescription forms of vitamin A (retinoids like tretinoin) are adept at smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin tone and discoloration.
  6. Coenzyme Q10Ever wondered how you used to pull an all-nighter with no hint of fatigue on your skin the next day? Well, thanks to the abundant supply of coenzyme Q10 or coQ10 in your body, those late nights didn’t take a toll on your skin—back then. But as we age, the presence of coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone, in our body slowly diminishes, making us more susceptible to wrinkles and photo-aging. Research shows that an increased topical application of this antioxidant helps fight off free radical damage and keeps your skin cells healthy. This nutrient is easily absorbed by the skin and helps stimulate collagen production, which helps improve elasticity and texture.
  7. PolyphenolsThere are thousands of types of polyphenols (resveratrol is one) which are found in fruits, vegetables, green or black tea (also called flavonoids) and other botanicals. These compounds “possess anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties to prevent UV-induced skin photodamage,” Dr. Klein explains. Studies show that consumption and topical use of ingredients rich in polyphenols help improve our skin’s natural defense against oxidative stress, prevent signs of aging and repair DNA damage.

One note about the list above—that’s not the half of ‘em: More research is being done every day on antioxidants that may be even more potent than skincare darling vitamin C—think idebenone and coffeeberry, among others, according to Dr. Magovern.

Combining Ingredients When Using Antioxidants

Considering the abundance of antioxidant-containing skincare products on the market, the good news is that you don’t have to pick just one: “The more the merrier, as long as there is no skin irritation,” says Dr. Magovern.
In certain cases, all-powerful antioxidants can be even more beneficial when combined: Take vitamin C and E, for example. “We know they work better together,” says Dr. Magovern. Ferulic acid and phloretin, which are other antioxidants, may actually stabilize vitamin C and allow it to work more effectively, she adds.

That said, other antioxidants can lead to irritation when combined. Truth be told, it’s a minefield out there—one reason why it’s always best to consult your dermatologist before embarking on a new skincare journey. At the very least, refer to Dermstore’s The Ultimate Guide to Skincare Ingredient Pairings for guidance on how to sidestep adverse reactions.

Antioxidant-Rich Products Dermatologists Can’t Get Enough Of

In terms of when to begin with incorporating antioxidants into your regimen? The consensus is in: “I don’t think it’s ever too early,” Dr. Magovern says. “While many young adults may not need retinol-containing products yet, an antioxidant product is the perfect way to start taking care of your skin.” Here are some of our top-rated, antioxidant-rich skincare products. Apply away, and get ready for results.

  1. The Best Antioxidants for Your Skin & Their Benefits | Dermstore (1)

    1. Vitamin C

    A favorite among dermatologists, vitamin C is one of the most studied antioxidants out there. As a free radical scavenger, vitamin C has many skin benefits, like boosting collagen production (which leaves skin firmer) and fading dark spots. Use it in the morning to make the most of its ability to prevent sun damage and inhibit hyperpigmentation—and always follow it with sunscreen.

    Buy now with free delivery

    (Video) How Antioxidant Skincare Works and How to Choose Products | Lab Muffin Beauty Science

  2. The Best Antioxidants for Your Skin & Their Benefits | Dermstore (2)

    2. Niacinamide

    “Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a powerful antioxidant that improves the skin’s texture and tone. It reducesfine lines, wrinklesand hyperpigmentation and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties,” explains Dr. Klein. Thanks to its ability to calm inflammation, niacinamide can also soothe breakouts, improve skin’s barrier function and help fight redness.

    This vitamin is often used to treat skin conditions like rosacea and acne and is not known to cause any adverse reactions, making it ideal for sensitive types.

    Buy now with free delivery

  3. The Best Antioxidants for Your Skin & Their Benefits | Dermstore (3)

    3. Resveratrol

    Resveratrol is known as the “longevity molecule” thanks to its impressive anti-aging abilities. An antioxidant found mostly in the skins of fruits like grapes and berries, resveratrol serves as the plants’ defensive armor—and has a similarly reparative effect when used in skin care products. “Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties, which calm down the skin, reduce skin aging and may keep [the skin] free of infections,” says Dr. Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin, a board-certified dermatologist in Missouri.It’s best used in the evening, since UV exposure can hamper its effectiveness.

    Buy now with free delivery

    (Video) What are antioxidants and what are the best antioxidants for you? | Herbalife Nutrition

  4. The Best Antioxidants for Your Skin & Their Benefits | Dermstore (4)

    4. Vitamin E

    Vitamin E is an important antioxidant required for the proper function of many organs in the body, including the skin. It’s widely recognized for its ability to accelerate the skin’s healing process. No wonder vitamin E is often found in moisturizers, creams and lotions formulated to treat dry skin, as well as products designed to reduce stretch marks. Vitamin E also helps to stabilize other antioxidants and improve their effectiveness, so you’ll often find it paired with vitamin C or resveratrol.

    Buy now with free delivery

  5. The Best Antioxidants for Your Skin & Their Benefits | Dermstore (5)

    5. Retinol (Vitamin A)

    If there’s one ingredient that’s been proven time and time again to help turn back the clock on aging skin, it’s retinol. A derivative of vitamin A, this antioxidant is particularly effective due to its small molecular structure, which allows it to penetrate deep enough into the skin that it can effectively stimulate collagen production and accelerate cell renewal and repair. Both over-the-counter retinol and prescription forms of vitamin A (retinoidslike tretinoin) are adept at smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin tone and discoloration.

    Buy now with free delivery

  6. The Best Antioxidants for Your Skin & Their Benefits | Dermstore (6)

    6. Coenzyme Q10

    Ever wondered how you used to pull an all-nighter with no hint of fatigue on your skin the next day? Well, thanks to the abundant supply of coenzyme Q10 or coQ10 in your body, those late nights didn’t take a toll on your skin—back then. But as we age, the presence of coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone, in our body slowly diminishes, making us more susceptible towrinklesand photo-aging.Researchshows that an increased topical application of this antioxidant helps fight off free radical damage and keeps your skin cells healthy. This nutrient is easily absorbed by the skin and helps stimulate collagen production, which helps improve elasticity and texture.

    (Video) The benefit of antioxidants when it comes to your skin

    Buy now with free delivery

  7. The Best Antioxidants for Your Skin & Their Benefits | Dermstore (7)

    7. Polyphenols

    There are thousands of types of polyphenols (resveratrol is one) which are found in fruits, vegetables, green or black tea (also called flavonoids) and other botanicals. These compounds “possess anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties to prevent UV-induced skin photodamage,” Dr. Klein explains.Studiesshow that consumption and topical use of ingredients rich in polyphenols help improve our skin’s natural defense against oxidative stress, prevent signs of aging and repair DNA damage.

    Buy now with free delivery

Dermstore Editors

From the latest hair and makeuptrends to the best solutions for your skin issues, we've got all your beauty concerns covered!

(Video) Antioxidants Benefits & Adverse effects - Dr. Priyanka Dasari Reddy

FAQs

How can I get antioxidants for my skin? ›

Look for a serum that contains vitamin C, green tea extract, or resveratrol. You can also get more antioxidants by using products that contain them. Many skincare products now contain antioxidants, and using these products can help to protect your skin from damage.

Do antioxidants actually help skin? ›

Antioxidants are substances that help protect the skin's surface from oxidative damage caused by free radicals and environmental aggressors like UV and pollution. Antioxidants are often found in skin care product formulas because of their powerful anti-aging benefits.

How long does it take for antioxidants to work on skin? ›

Antioxidants both aid in protecting skin and reversing signs of aging and damage. But because antioxidants are primarily protective (and preventative), it can take a while to see a benefit from their use. You will likely begin to see improvements in 30 days.

What are 2 foods naturally high in antioxidants? ›

Broccoli, spinach, carrots and potatoes are all high in antioxidants, and so are artichokes, cabbage, asparagus, avocados, beetroot, radish, lettuce, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, collard greens and kale. Using lots of spices in cooking is good.

What are strong antioxidants for face? ›

Antioxidant-Rich Products Dermatologists Can't Get Enough Of
  • Vitamin C. A favorite among dermatologists, vitamin C is one of the most studied antioxidants out there. ...
  • Niacinamide. ...
  • Resveratrol. ...
  • Vitamin E. ...
  • Retinol (Vitamin A) ...
  • Coenzyme Q10. ...
  • Polyphenols.

Do antioxidants make you look younger? ›

Eating foods that contain antioxidants regularly can help make your skin look younger and healthier. Antioxidants are agents that fight off the free radicals and are believed to have some role in the anti-aging process.

Is aloe vera an antioxidant? ›

Aloe contains antioxidants, which may increase the shelf-life and nutritional value of food; therefore, it is widely used in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industry. An antioxidant activity was shown for leaf's skin, flowers and gel of aloe.

Which antioxidant tablet is best? ›

Best Antioxidant Supplement
  • #1. HealthKart HK Vitals Glutathione - 30 capsules. ...
  • #2. HealthKart HK Vitals Vitamin E with Evening Primrose Oil - 60 capsules. ...
  • #3. TrueBasics Glutathione + Nutroxsun - 30 tablet(s) ...
  • #4. Plix Olena Glutathione Skin Glow Strawberry Pack of 2 - 15 tablet(s) ...
  • #5. ...
  • #6. ...
  • #7. ...
  • #8.

Which food have antioxidants? ›

These foods are also rich in antioxidants:
  • Prunes.
  • Apples.
  • Raisins.
  • Plums.
  • Red grapes.
  • Alfalfa sprouts.
  • Onions.
  • Eggplant.

Do antioxidants brighten skin? ›

Antioxidants neutralize those free radicals to protect your skin from damage. Great, right? But that's not all: Some antioxidants also brighten your skin, calm irritation, and even smooth fine lines—as long as you choose the right ones.

What do antioxidants do for hair? ›

Antioxidant helps to improve the hair growth by maintaining the collagen in the body or the connective tissues of hair follicles'. It also protects the scalp cells in the blood vessels to promote the healthy hair growth.

What is the number 1 antioxidant? ›

Blueberries

Several studies even suggest that blueberries contain the highest amount of antioxidants among all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables ( 9 , 10).

What is the most powerful antioxidant? ›

As mentioned above, a-tocopherol is well recognized and accepted as the nature's most effective lipid-soluble, chain-breaking antioxidant, protecting cellular membranes from being attacked by lipid peroxyl radicals. Vitamin E prevents the propagation of lipid peroxyl radicals in cellular membranes.

What do dermatologists recommend for mature skin? ›

Sunscreen and moisturizer are the two most effective anti-aging products,” says Kejal Shah, MD, dermatologist at Cooper Clinic Dermatology in Dallas. “Exposure to UV light speeds up the natural aging process of your skin, causing wrinkles and rough, blotchy uneven pigmentation.”

What face serum do dermatologists recommend? ›

“I think the one serum everyone should use is a vitamin C antioxidant serum,” explains New York dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD. “Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants we have and has a number of skin benefits. Revision Vitamin C Lotion 30% ($128) is one of the strongest concentrations of vitamin C available.

What serums should I use on my face? ›

Our Picks
  • Best Overall: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum.
  • Best Value: The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum.
  • Best Drugstore: No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum.
  • Best Splurge: La Mer The Revitalizing Hydrating Serum.
  • Best Exfoliating: Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment.
9 May 2022

What are strong antioxidants for face? ›

Antioxidant-Rich Products Dermatologists Can't Get Enough Of
  • Vitamin C. A favorite among dermatologists, vitamin C is one of the most studied antioxidants out there. ...
  • Niacinamide. ...
  • Resveratrol. ...
  • Vitamin E. ...
  • Retinol (Vitamin A) ...
  • Coenzyme Q10. ...
  • Polyphenols.

Which antioxidant whitens skin? ›

Tyrosinase activity is important in skin-whitening studies [6]. Various chemicals and plant extracts, such as kojic acid, arbutin, vitamin C, and hydroquinone, are used in skin-whitening cosmetics.

Is niacinamide or vitamin C better? ›

"Because it's a mild acid, vitamin C also gives you more of an exfoliating and brightening effect than niacinamide," says Dr. Lee. "Niacinamide has a greater impact in terms of hydrating the skin." Niacinamide is the gentler of the two, making it a great vitamin C alternative in those with sensitive skin.

Is aloe vera an antioxidant? ›

Aloe contains antioxidants, which may increase the shelf-life and nutritional value of food; therefore, it is widely used in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industry. An antioxidant activity was shown for leaf's skin, flowers and gel of aloe.

Do antioxidants make you look younger? ›

Eating foods that contain antioxidants regularly can help make your skin look younger and healthier. Antioxidants are agents that fight off the free radicals and are believed to have some role in the anti-aging process.

Can antioxidants stop aging? ›

Antioxidants are the molecules that reduce the chance of ageing by diminishing or maintaining the level of oxidants with or without free radical activity. Therefore, to many people, “antioxidants” and “anti-aging” go hand-in-hand.

Which vitamin is best for glowing skin? ›

Vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for your skin, along with vitamins C, E, and K. Making sure you get enough vitamins can keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. This could translate to a reduction in: dark spots.

What vitamin is good for clear skin? ›

Increasing consumption of vitamin A, D, zinc, and vitamin E can help fight acne and lead to clearer skin. For more tips on acne treatment and supplements, consult a dermatologist or pharmacist for more information.

Which antioxidant tablet is best? ›

Best Antioxidant Supplement
  • #1. HealthKart HK Vitals Glutathione - 30 capsules. ...
  • #2. HealthKart HK Vitals Vitamin E with Evening Primrose Oil - 60 capsules. ...
  • #3. TrueBasics Glutathione + Nutroxsun - 30 tablet(s) ...
  • #4. Plix Olena Glutathione Skin Glow Strawberry Pack of 2 - 15 tablet(s) ...
  • #5. ...
  • #6. ...
  • #7. ...
  • #8.

Which brand niacinamide is best? ›

Best Overall: Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster

This mix-in is the perfect way to work niacinamide into your existing skincare routine. The name says it all: You get a potent 10% concentration of niacinamide in a lightweight booster that also touts a few other key ingredients.

Which serum is best for face? ›

Healthline's favorite face serums for every skin type
  • EltaMD Skin Recovery Face Serum. ...
  • SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment. ...
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment. ...
  • The INKEY List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum. ...
  • Biossance Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum.

Who shouldnt take niacinamide? ›

Children should avoid taking niacinamide doses above the daily upper limits, which are 10 mg for children 1-3 years of age, 15 mg for children 4-8 years of age, 20 mg for children 9-13 years of age, and 30 mg for children 14-18 years of age. Diabetes: Niacinamide might increase blood sugar.

What happens if we drink aloe vera juice every morning? ›

Health experts say drinking aloe vera juice on empty stomach is an effective way to lose weight, improve absorption of nutrients in your body and ease bowel function. Aloe vera juice can also help to maintain dental health. Khan also explains health benefits of having this amazing juice every morning.

Is sleeping with aloe vera on face good? ›

Yes, aloe vera gel is completely safe to be kept on your face overnight. You can replace your regular moisturizer with aloe vera gel and wake up to soft, nourished and glowing skin.

Which aloe vera plant is best for skin? ›

The most commonly used form for skin conditions is a plant called aloe barbadensis Miller.

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