Antioxidants for Skin: Everything You Need to Know

The phrase “full of antioxidants” seems everywhere: in skincare, healthcare, and nutrition. Ok, we need them, but what do they actually do? Are antioxidants beneficial, or is it just another buzzword?

It turns out that antioxidants for your skin are crucial to keeping it looking young and healthy. Adding antioxidants to your skincare routine is simple if you pick the right products.

Adding new ingredients to your skin routine can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help! Continue reading to learn what antioxidants do for your skin, the best antioxidants for skin care, the benefits, and how to add products with antioxidants to your routine.

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are naturally occurring or manufactured substances that may prevent or delay cell damage. Due to their healing properties, scientists believe antioxidants can help slow disease progression. Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals, like environmental pollution and UV rays, which cause the skin to age prematurely.

People often associate antioxidants with food to help fortify their bodies, but antioxidants have many purposes outside of nutrition.

Three diagrams of skin, the first without any text, the second with an arrow and “Antioxidants”, and a third with a shield showing protected skin.

Can Antioxidants Be Used on Your Skin?

We’ve established that antioxidants are good for your body, but can you use them on your skin? The answer is yes.

What do antioxidants for your skin do? Antioxidants help keep your skin healthy, glowing, and looking young. Adding ingredients like vitamins C and E, and retinal can help protect your skin from environmental damage and aging.

What Are the Benefits of Antioxidants for Your Skin?

So, what do antioxidants do for skin? There are many benefits to adding antioxidants to your skin care regimen:

  • Improve hydration: Hydration is one of the most efficient ways to improve skin texture and appearance and prevent dehydration lines. Use products with hydrating antioxidants. Another easy way to keep your skin hydrated is a tale as old as time: drink your water., which can be a source of antioxidants as well.
  • Brighten skin: Some antioxidants can help exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and aiding in cell regrowth. When you say goodbye to dead, flaky skin, you say hello to bright, healthy, radiant skin.
  • Reduce inflammation: Some antioxidants, such as niacinamide and zinc, calm skin inflammation. Inflammation is often accompanied by redness and acne, which nobody wants to deal with.
  • Prevent sun damage: Antioxidants protect against environmental agents, such as UV rays, to keep your skin safe in the sun. Signs of sun damage include discoloration and dark spots. Adding antioxidants to your skin routine can help limit the side effects of being in the sun.
  • Reduce signs of aging: Wrinkles are part of aging, even if we don’t like them. While antioxidant-rich skincare can’t stop aging, it can plump skin, smooth wrinkles and fine lines, and even out your skin tone.

As you can see, there are many benefits to incorporating antioxidants in your skincare routine.

Close up of woman’s eye with wrinkles and her applying a dropper of antioxidant serum to the area.

Are There Any Potential Side Effects of Using Antioxidants?

Some people with sensitive skin may react adversely to antioxidants, especially if they overuse certain products. Additionally, combining antioxidants with other skincare ingredients can lead to irritation, so it’s vital to understand how various products might interact with one another.

With prolonged use, treatments with antioxidants can lose potency over time. If you have questions about which ingredients you should or shouldn’t use together and what will work for your skin, you should speak to your dermatologist.

What Are the Best Antioxidants for Skin Care?

With so many skincare products, knowing which antioxidants are the best for you and your skin needs can be difficult. We’re here to help you sort through your many options.

To pick the best antioxidants for your skin, you need to understand the different types, what they do, and how to add them to your routine.

Here is a list of some of the best antioxidants for your skin:

  • Vitamin C: This potent vitamin isn’t just for colds. Vitamin C is a dermatologist's favorite for correcting dark spots, keeping skin bright, and boosting collagen production. You can use vitamin C in the morning and the evening, but most skincare experts suggest using vitamin C in the morning for the best results. And always end your morning routine with sunscreen.
  • Niacinamide: Niacinamide is a type of vitamin B3. This antioxidant improves skin tone and texture by reducing fine lines and softening dark sports. Niacinamide also has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it an excellent choice for people wanting to soothe and heal skin from breakouts.
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A, or retinol) is often called the holy grail of skincare. Vitamin A penetrates deep into the skin to promote collagen production and cell regrowth, which results in firmer, younger-looking skin. Note that retinol can irritate sensitive skin, so it’s essential to start using this antioxidant slowly and build it into your routine over time.
  • Vitamin E: This antioxidant is often used in creams and moisturizers due to its healing properties. Vitamin E helps fade scars, increase moisture, and also helps stabilize other antioxidants in skincare, such as vitamin C.
  • Resveratrol: Resveratrol has anti-aging properties and is called the “longevity molecule.” This antioxidant is also found in red wine and has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Resveratrol calms the skin, reduces redness, and protects against bacteria. It’s generally recommended that you use resveratrol in the evening, as the sun can hinder effectiveness.
  • Zinc: Zinc can fade scars, fight bacteria, and calm inflammation on the skin. It is also a natural UV protectant and is in many sunscreen products. Sunscreen is arguably the most crucial step in skincare, so zinc is an antioxidant must. Zinc is also a reef-safe ingredient, which we love to protect our skin and the oceans.

This list is just some of the most powerful antioxidants for skin care. There are many more antioxidants out there to try, and more research is always happening to learn how to use ingredients in new skincare products.

Graphic with text that reads “How to Use Antioxidants for Your Skin: 1. Food; 2: Skincare; 3: Supplements”.

How to Find Out Which Antioxidants Are in Your Skin Care Products

The best way to figure out which antioxidants are in your skincare is to look at the label. Look for terms on the active ingredients list–like vitamin C, E, and resveratrol–versus the inactive list.

You’ll also want to check the percentage or concentration of antioxidants in the products. Usually, antioxidants are listed toward the end of the ingredient list. If you have questions about what the different ingredients mean or how to decide the antioxidants benefits for your skin, consult your dermatologist.

To ensure your skincare is healthy for you and the environment, avoid ingredients like fragrance, parabens, and microplastics.

Filtering products by concern or product type is easy if you're shopping online. You can search for products tagged as “antioxidants” and see what options will work for your routine. If you’re shopping in person and still have questions, see if someone can answer additional questions or concerns.

The Best Antioxidant-Rich Skin Care Solutions

Here are some of our favorite antioxidant-rich skincare products we love:

As you can see, there are products that target specific concerns, so which ones are best for you will depend on your skincare goals. However, antioxidant-rich sunscreen is always a must.

Graphic featuring text that reads, “We use only 100% pure, natural minerals, botanicals, and antioxidants like: Vitamins, Niacinamide; Green tea; LIPOCHROMAN™; Tara tannins; Silver ear mushroom extract antioxidant”.

Improve Your Skin Health with the Help of Antioxidants

Make your skin glow and radiate confidence by adding antioxidants to your skincare routine. Not only will you protect your skin from environmental factors, the antioxidant benefits for your skin are undeniable. They can help you reverse signs of aging and keep your skin looking vibrant and healthy.

When you’re ready to elevate your skincare routine, look no further than Colorescience skincare treatments. Powered by natural ingredients, backed by science, and full of dynamic antioxidants, Colorescience is here to help you achieve your most beautiful skin yet. Shop our latest treatments and see the difference.