It’s almost impossible to read a skincare article without coming across the word ‘antioxidant.’ And we’re sure you’re aware of how good topical antioxidants are for your skin, but what about the hows and the whys? Read on for the complete lowdown on antioxidants and how they benefit your skin.
If you’re looking for a super-charged skincare regime that battles the visible signs of ageing from all angles, you must never underestimate the powers of topical antioxidants.
Chances are your daily routine already contains at least one antioxidant ingredient, but do you know why you’re slathering the likes of vitamins A, C or E on your skin? Don’t worry, you’re not alone – skincare jargon can beat the best of us. But thankfully, we’re here to take the confusion away.
So, antioxidants: what’s the deal there?...
What Are Topical Antioxidants?
Topical antioxidants are vitamins and minerals applied to the skin to help combat damage caused by free radicals. So, let’s just talk about free radicals for a second...
Free radicals are unstable molecules produced by things like air pollution, UV radiation, chemicals and cigarette smoke. When your skin is exposed to environmental stressors such as these, free radicals go wild in your skin, clinging on to collagen and elastin and stealing electrons in an attempt to stabilise themselves.
This blatant theft weakens the structure and elasticity of your skin which in turn causes all the signs of ageing you know and definitely don’t love. Think fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, sagging, poor texture, uneven skin tone, the works.
The good news is that antioxidants help neutralise free radical damage by offering up electrons of their own. This forces free radicals to stay away from all the good stuff in your skin and allows your collagen and elastin to go about their business by keeping your skin soft, strong, plump and youthful-looking. Clever stuff, right?
3 Of The Best Antioxidants In Skincare
As well as helping to combat free radical damage, antioxidants have many more skin benefits to shout about – depending on which ones you choose, of course.
Here are three of our favourites...
1. Vitamin C
Great For: Brightening and protecting.
Often seen on your ingredients list as ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C) or sodium ascorbyl phosphate (a very effective but gentler derivative), vitamin C is one of the most highly researched of all topical antioxidants. It’s been proven to boost collagen production to keep your skin plump and youthful-looking.
Not only that but it also helps fade dark spots and boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreen to slow down the visible signs of UV-induced ageing. Impressive stuff.
Find It In: Imperial Moisturiser, Pre-Eminent Beauty Serum and Organic Age-Defying Facial Oil which not only contain synthetic vitamin C, but are also rich in botanical oils naturally bursting with vitamin C.
2. Vitamin E
Great For: Moisturising and healing.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E (or tocopherol) may also help combat sun damage, but its main modus operandi is to keep your skin soft and supple. It has tremendous emollient properties which means it smooths and repairs the tiny cracks in your skin caused by dryness and dehydration.
This strengthens your natural barrier and stops water from evaporating from the surface of your skin. Vitamin E is often found in moisturisers and night creams… and now you know why!
Find It In: Night Elixir and Pre-Eminent Beauty Serum as well as our Organic Lip Glosses and Superior Lip Butter. Unlike the skin on your face, your lips contain no oil-producing glands, which is why they need all the love and help they can get.
3. Green Tea
Great For: Calming and soothing.
Did you know, green tea is just as great in skincare as it is in your afternoon cuppa? Derived from the leaves and buds of the camellia sinensis plant, green tea is brimming with active polyphenols which help heal the skin and kick free radicals into touch.
Green tea also helps balance sebum production and has strong anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a great choice for anyone suffering with redness, irritation and even acne.
Find It In: Night Elixir, Imperial Eye Gel and Imperial Moisturiser.
Of course, there are many other fabulous antioxidants available, not least of which are retinol, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and niacinamide. And every one of these has amazing benefits for the look, feel and quality of your skin.
So, now you know, antioxidants are the bee’s knees when it comes to maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin. And that’s a proven fact!