Antioxidants are one of the key ingredients that keep skin healthy and young-looking, so it’s not surprising that they have become staples in many daily skincare routines.
You can find antioxidants in many different products. However, two of the most popular forms are topical antioxidants and dietary supplements.
This article will explain how antioxidant skin products work and look at which type should be a staple in your daily skincare routine.
What are topical antioxidants?
To begin, topical antioxidants are beneficial in slowing down skin aging. Think of these nutrients as cleansing sponges that can soak up toxic chemicals and environmental pollutants your skin encounters daily.
When applied topically, antioxidants neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation, which reduces wrinkles and fine lines by helping your body’s healing process.
In addition, by using topical antioxidants on skin that has been exposed to UV rays or a poor diet, you may be able to help reverse sun damage or slow down the effects of aging on your skin cells over time.
Are topical antioxidants safe?
While antioxidants are commonly used in many different products, many people still wonder if using them on their skin is safe. It can seem like an odd question, but it’s valid.
The truth is that antioxidants are present in so many different places (foods, personal care products, and even medications) that they become invisible, with little thought being given as to what effect they might have on your body or your health.
This can cause a lot of confusion and make it difficult for you to determine whether or not adding topical antioxidants into your daily routine is something you should consider doing. The general consensus in dermatology is that topical antioxidants are considered safe for most skin types.
How do topical antioxidants protect your skin from damage?
Free radicals are molecules that can damage your skin. Free radicals are formed when UVA rays from sunlight or indoor tanning beds cause oxidation in your body.
In addition, oxidative stress from other sources like pollution and smoke may also contribute to oxidative damage that promotes premature skin aging.
Fortunately, topical antioxidants can help protect your skin from free radical damage by neutralizing those harmful molecules before they harm you.
So if you want to maintain smooth, firm, wrinkle-free skin as you age, taking preventative measures is key. And adding a few high-quality topical antioxidants like niacinamide, ferulic acid, or vitamin C serum into your daily routine is a great way!
Is everyone using topical antioxidants?
The proliferation of antioxidants is a hotly debated topic. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that all skincare products should include at least one topical antioxidant, but experts disagree.
To start, know that there are two types of antioxidants: internal and external. External antioxidants are used topically—most visibly in skin care products—and they’re usually marketed as anti-aging ingredients.
What does science say about antioxidant creams?
As you age, your skin naturally loses its youthful firmness and plumpness due to the slowing of skin cell turnover and the loss of collagen. In addition, exposure to the sun (both natural and artificial) and environmental factors can cause damage that shows up on your skin as lines, wrinkles, dullness, and uneven tone.
This is especially true for delicate skin areas like around your eyes or on your forehead, where there is not a lot of fat beneath for protection.
So add topically applied antioxidants into your daily skincare routine to help protect against some of these adverse effects of aging. But, of course, we’re not talking about just any antioxidant creams here – they need to be both safe and effective.
Are antioxidant products safe for my skin type?
Generally, topical antioxidants are considered safe for most skin types. However, if you have sensitive skin, or if you have any concerns about adding an antioxidant product to your daily routine, talk to a dermatology professional about whether it’s safe for your particular skin type before trying it out. And always test new products on a small patch of skin first to not create irritation or other damage.
Can I use antioxidant products with my other skincare products?
Many antioxidant skincare products are designed for use alongside other treatments, which can be helpful.
For example, when added to topical formulations, antioxidants may act as effective scavengers of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), thereby extending product shelf life, says Dr. David Bank, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.
But it’s important to note that these antioxidants aren’t all created equal: L-ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, has been shown in several studies conducted by several different research groups over several decades (more than 30 years) to have a specific and significant beneficial effect on collagen production, adds Dr. Bank.
Are antioxidant products for summer, winter, or year-round?
All of the above! Using a topical antioxidant can be beneficial for your skin year-round.
Antioxidants are divided into two different categories: dietary and topical. As you probably guessed, nutritional antioxidants come from food sources, while topical antioxidants come from skincare products.
Ideally, it is recommended to use topical antioxidants while ensuring that you also obtain them from your diet through sources such as strawberries, which provide vitamin C, as well as many other fruits and vegetables such as kale, which provides beta-carotene and lycopene. There are also oral supplements in the form of Polypodium leucotomos fern that are manufactured for convenience.
It’s essential to understand that antioxidant is a catch-all term for several different vitamins and minerals that can help protect skin from sun damage.Eating a well-balanced diet rich in antioxidants can help protect not only your skin, but also your whole body from the effects of aging.