By Georgia Gould

Why Are Antioxidant Serums Important For Skin?

Topical antioxidants are the absolute foundation of healthy skin. From vitamin C and vitamin E through to niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, read on for everything you need to know about the best antioxidants for your skin.


Antioxidants: skincare hype or some of the most important ingredients you can apply to your skin? 

We believe the latter. And we’re not alone.

Let’s be clear, no matter whether your skin is super dry or oily as anything, everybody wants to do the best for their skin with products that are a joy to use… and ingredients that work. And antioxidants are 100 percent up there with a gentle cleansing routine, effective moisturization and broad-spectrum sunscreen.

How so? Well, without the helping hand of antioxidants your skin is at risk of both short- and long-term harm thanks to damaging free radicals which compromise your collagen and elastin and work hard to kill your skin’s hydration levels.

Of course, there are many ways to help your skin becomes its absolute best. From nailing eight hours of sleep every night to swearing off chocolate (within reason, of course!), healthy lifestyle habits are essential for maintaining fabulous skin. 

But what you put ON your skin is also equally as important. 

So, if you want the complete lowdown on how antioxidants affect your skin you’re in the right place. But before we big them up too much (albeit for totally legitimate reasons) first, you need to know about the villains in this story – those aforementioned free radicals.

What Are Free Radicals?

OK, you might want to sit down for this one because there’s a little bit of science coming your way. 

Free radicals are unstable atoms formed in the skin when it’s exposed to external aggressors like environmental pollution, a poor diet, cigarette smoke and UV radiation. These atoms contain an unpaired electron in their outer shell which they need to rectify in order to feel whole again. So they go on a stealing frenzy from other components in your skin that are unable to defend themselves. They attack important proteins like collagen and elastin, as well as lipids and nucleic acids, taking electrons in order to stabilize themselves. The problem with this is that their victims then become free radicals also, starting a chain reaction of destruction in the skin called oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is extremely bad news for the look, feel and overall health of your complexion as it weakens the vital components within the various layers of the skin. It harms your DNA, wrecks collagen and elastin and stops vital cells from functioning properly. Allow this to continue and your skin will start to seriously suffer. Exactly how do free radicals affect your skin? Below are just a few of the issues you may see as a result of oxidative stress.

  1. Inflammation
  2. Hyperpigmentation, aka dark spots and patchy-looking skin
  3. Fine lines and wrinkles
  4. Loose, sagging skin
  5. Rough, uneven texture
  6. Dullness and dehydration

So, how can you protect your skin from free radicals and the inevitable oxidative stress that comes with them? Well, this is where antioxidants come to the rescue. 

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are everything for strong, supple, youthful-looking skin. Unlike other cells and molecules that are unable to donate electrons without turning into free radicals themselves, antioxidants are able to do so without compromising their own stability. This basically stops free radicals before they’re able to do too much damage, thus protecting your skin from the effects of oxidative stress.

The good news is that human body has its own natural antioxidant defense system because, frankly, there’s no getting away from free radicals in today’s world. Unfortunately, there’s also some bad news – your natural antioxidant defense system can only do so much. The truth is, it simply cannot keep up with everything you throw at it, especially as you get older and the system becomes weak and slow.

But wait, because there’s more good news. Rather than relying on a weakened defense system and watching your skin age up before its time, you can improve your antioxidant game by eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies (they’re packed with incredible antioxidant properties), and introducing them, topically, into your skincare routine.

3 Of The Best Antioxidants To Include In Your Skincare Routine

We believe the best way to treat your skin to the powerful effects of antioxidants is with a facial serum. Serums have a smaller molecular structure than lotions and creams which means they penetrate the skin better and quicker.

But how do you know which ones offer the best results for your skin type? We’ve rounded up three trusted standouts below. 

  1. Vitamin C

What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin C? Vitamin C is one of the most trusted ingredients in skincare and widely used for its awesome effects on the skin. Is it officially the best antioxidant for skin? Well, hundreds of dermatologists and skin experts believe so thanks to the extensive amount of research it boasts. 

Not only does vitamin C have fabulous free radical-fighting powers, but it’s also a great way to keep your skin radiant and even-looking thanks to its ability to help control melanin synthesis. It’s a real winner for dull skin or indeed anyone look to up their glow factor.

Does Vitamin C Have Any Side Effects? Certain sensitive skin types may experience irritation from potent vitamin C serums, especially if the product contains l-ascorbic acid, the pure version. Side effects can include redness, itching, burning and excessive dryness. A great way to avoid unwanted irritation, however, is to look out for sodium ascorbyl phosphate rather than l-ascorbic acid. This is a gentler derivative that’s still effective but much kinder to your skin.

What’s The Best Vitamin C Serum? Try our Vitamin C Serum with Vitamin E + Hyaluronic Acid which offers all the antioxidant benefits you could ever need, plus a hydrating boost of hyaluronic acid and the moisturizing qualities of jojoba oil. Obsessed? Us? Heck, yes.

  1. Niacinamide

What Are The Benefits Of Niacinamide? Multi-functional and oh-so-powerful, niacinamide (aka vitamin B3) is one of the best antioxidants for sensitive skin. Backed by tons of clinical studies and proven to inhibit oxidative stress and keep those collagen levels healthy and plentiful, it also helps strengthen the skin’s barrier function which is super important if you want to reduce irritation and inflammation. Niacinamide is also shown to help reduce acne breakouts and balance oil production while working on fine lines and helping with dark circles. Is there nothing this antioxidant powerhouse can’t do? 

Does Niacinamide Have Any Side Effects? While it’s an extremely soothing skincare ingredient and usually tolerated by most skin types, niacinamide can still cause mild irritation if you have super sensitive skin. If you’re worried, always patch test any new product before using it properly for the first time, and stick with products that contain no more than 10 percent niacinamide – we believe that’s the true sweet spot. 

What’s The Best Niacinamide Serum? Our Niacinamide 10% Serum + Zinc PCA 1% is a hands-down winner. Containing the magic 10 percent of niacinamide, plus zinc to further control excess sebum, it’s ideal for oily or sensitive skin types but frankly, a great choice for all!

  1. Vitamin E

What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin E? One of our favorite anti-inflammatories and a proven antioxidant, vitamin E has been used in skincare for decades. Because it’s that good. It has awesome emollient properties which is why vitamin E is most commonly used to manage dry skin. However, it’s a great choice for all skin types because it boasts benefits as long as your arm – hydrating, sun protecting, aiding repair, reducing the appearance of dark spots and slowing down the formation of wrinkles to name just a few. Think of it as the real workhorse of skincare ingredients!

Does Vitamin E Have Any Side Effects? If you have excessively oily or acne-prone skin, vitamin E might not be the best choice for you but not to worry, you have niacinamide in your corner. Other than that, vitamin E is beneficial for most skin types – even those who suffer with bouts of eczema. It’s not without its risks, of course, and can be an allergen for some people, causing irritation, redness and itching. But that’s very rare. 

What’s The Best Vitamin E Serum? Vitamin E is great on its own, but its even better when paired with vitamin C because they’ve been shown to bring out the absolute best in each other. Try our Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Vitamins C + E which is a hydrating antioxidant powerhouse.



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