Many of us know that antioxidants are good for our overall health and wellness, but understanding what exactly those antioxidants do to help your skin look its best is a separate lesson.
So, let’s get to the bottom of this powerful molecule. We’re going to talk about what antioxidants are, how they can help, and where you can get them!
What Is an Antioxidant?
Antioxidants are molecules that can help prevent oxidative stress, and that’s why they’re so prominent in skincare formulas.
Let’s break it down: “anti” as in stops, prevents, or get rid of, and “oxidant” as in a type of molecule that will oxidize other molecules, i.e. cause them to lose an important component called an electron.
When a molecule loses an electron, it can become unbalanced and unstable, which can eventually cause damage (called oxidative stress) to healthy cells, including your skin cells.
With that damage, your cells don’t do what they’re supposed to do, and when that happens in the skin, you get premature signs of aging like loss of elasticity, discoloration, and wrinkles.
What Exactly Can Antioxidants Do for Your Skin?
Antioxidants are superstars in supporting younger-looking skin — that’s why all of our formulas here at True Botanicals are rich in plant-based antioxidants.
While you should be getting a decent helping of antioxidants from a balanced diet, you can incorporate antioxidants into your skincare routine to give yourself additional protection against free radicals and a bevy of anti-aging benefits for your complexion.
So, let’s break down why it’s worth adding antioxidants or antioxidant extracts to your skincare regimen.
1. Antioxidants Come in Many Forms With Many Benefits!
If you notice that basically every ingredient on your list of things to work into your skincare routine is on this list, it’s not a coincidence.
Antioxidants are a Skintellectual’s dream for anti-aging efforts (which is why this section is so long!), and you’ve probably been using antioxidant products without realizing just exactly why the formulas were so effective.
Collagen is one of the main components that keeps skin looking firm and full. Your body’s collagen production tends to slow as you age, which is why your skin loses that supple youthfulness as you get older.
While collagen loss happens to everybody eventually as part of the normal aging process, collagen can also be broken down prematurely by oxidative stress. This can make your skin age prematurely since it’s not getting the support it needs to maintain its structure and form.
Both our Clear Nourishing Cleanser and Renew Nourishing Cleanser utilize Green and White Tea instead of water as a base, taking advantage of the nourishing, nutrient-rich polyphenols the Camellia sinensis plant (aka the tea plant) has to offer.
Other key skin care ingredients that fall under the umbrella of antioxidants include Niacinamides, which are very popular in anti-aging products. Niacinamides are a form of Vitamin B3, which may help even out your skin’s texture, leaving your overall complexion looking glowing and toned.
Our Repair Nightly Treatment includes biocompatible niacinamide, black willow bark extract, and hyaluronic acid to promote skin cell turnover while you sleep, all without disrupting your skin barrier or microbiome.
Our nightly treatment is also formulated with Green Tea Extract, which contains a powerful antioxidant called EGCG, known for its ability to help protect your skin and reduce some of the signs of premature aging when applied topically!
Retinol, which is a derivative of Vitamin A, is another popular antioxidant that is widely used in anti-aging formulas. The main problem with Synthetic Retinol is that it has strong sensitizing side effects, so a lot of people can only use a little, or may need to only use it at night since it can cause sun sensitivity.
This is where our Phyto-Retinol Vitamin A Booster really shines! Naturally-derived and microbiome-minded, this antioxidant-rich formula is non-photosensitizing and non-irritating, so you can twist open the vegan capsule and use it on your face, neck, and décolleté after your serums and before your cream moisturizer or moisturizing facial oil!
2. Antioxidants Are Naturally Soothing
Antioxidants have natural soothing and restoring properties. This soothing property is also key because all that redness and irritation can get in the way of your skin’s natural processes.
Our Chebula Extreme Cream is the perfect cream moisturizer to help give your skin a blast of antioxidants while soothing skin with Wild Pansies extract.
It’s so effective that 100% of women said their skin looked and felt smoother, softer, more glowy, and super hydrated after less than a month of usage. And not only did their skin look and feel better, but in third-party studies, 96% of participants said their skin barrier felt healthier and more resilient, too.
3. Antioxidants Can Help Brighten Dull Skin
In addition to keeping your skin clear, some antioxidants have the added bonus of brightening dull skin and reducing the appearance of dark spots or uneven tone.
The queen of this effect is the well-loved Vitamin C, aka L-Ascorbic Acid, which isn’t just an ingredient in your favorite serum — it’s also a powerful antioxidant, which is why we love our Vitamin C Booster.
Add a sprinkle of this highly biocompatible powder to your favorite water-based serum or cream moisturizer for an easy antioxidant boost your skin will love. We recommend adding it to our Renew Chebula Active Serum for a rich helping of skin-brightening botanically-derived goodness!
Vitamin C protects your overall skin integrity by helping to reduce the appearance of dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. This is the gold standard if you want dramatically brighter and more even skin.
Our Renew Chebula Active Serum is rich in Chebula extract, which contains a special cascading antioxidant — once it’s fought off a free radical, it transforms into a new form that can fight off the next free radical, and the one after that (and the one after that!). Read: It’s the antioxidant gift that keeps on giving!
Our Chebula Serum also features Elderberry, Ginger, and Echinacea, all potent sources of antioxidants that can help contribute to more radiant-looking skin!
More on the Science of Antioxidants
Looking for a scientific deep-dive into antioxidants? Here’s what you need to know!
Free radicals are unstable molecules. They’re unstable because they have an unpaired electron that’s desperately trying to pair with another electron. To try and stabilize themselves, they seek out healthy molecules and steal their electrons. This can turn perfectly healthy molecules into unstable ones.
This can damage your cells, which is why many beauty products talk about the ability to protect you from free radical damage.
One primary source of free radical damage is UV rays. Other examples include cigarette smoke and environmental factors such as pollution.
Your body also produces free radicals naturally as a byproduct of everyday processes, so it’s not just outside factors that are the culprits.
If your body has more free radicals than it does the antioxidants to combat them, it can cause oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress means that free radicals are causing stress and damage in your cells because there are no antioxidants to keep them in check. Oxidative stress can lead to different complications, ranging from the development of chronic disease to prematurely accelerating the signs of aging.
Antioxidants are the superhero molecules that neutralize free radicals.
While your body has its own natural antioxidant defenses, it significantly benefits from antioxidants you consume through food. Fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, watermelons, and pink grapefruit are rich in Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin E and vitamin C, are also powerful antioxidants you’ll commonly get a lot of in your diet.
You need to consume antioxidants to keep your body going and your exposure to free radical damage balanced. If you’re concerned about your antioxidant intake, you can speak to your doctor about taking supplements.
Antioxidants are crucial warriors in the battle against free radical damage and skin-damaging oxidative stress.
Making sure you’re eating an antioxidant-rich diet isn’t the only way antioxidants can promote wellbeing, either — using antioxidant-rich skincare products can also help to rejuvenate your complexion. Antioxidants are highly effective for addressing premature signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles while keeping your skin even-looking and bright.
Next time you’re looking to add a new formula to your skincare lineup, consider looking for a formula high in antioxidants. Thankfully, here at True Botanicals, all of our pure, potent, and proven formulas are rich in nourishing antioxidants.
Not sure where to start? Take our Skincare Quiz here and we’ll help point you in the right direction, antioxidants guaranteed.
Oxidative Stress: Harms and Benefits for Human Health | Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Oxidative Stress, Aging, and Diseases | Clinical Interventions in Aging
Antioxidants in Dermatology | Official Publication of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology