Let’s play a game!
Grab your fave moisturiser and serum and tell me how many antioxidants you can spot.
1, 2, 3, Go!
Some antioxidants are easy to spot. Others go by weird name that makes them look like dangerous chemicals when they’re the friendliest allies your skin could have.
Time to end the confusion once and for all, me thinks. Here’s a roundup of some of the most common antioxidants found in skincare:
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
What it is: an enzyme soluble both in water and fat. It easily penetrates the skin.
What it does: it has powerful antioxidants properties and is able to regenerate Vitamins C and E, enhancing their efficiency.
Side effects: all antioxidants degrade when exposed to light and air, but ALA is more vulnerable to this. Plus, in high concentrations (about 5% or more) can cause burning and stinging.
Coenzyme Q10 (aka Ubiquinone)
What it is: a fat soluble antioxidant present in all human cells. It’s also known as Ubiquinone.
What it does: it helps fight free radicals, stimulate the production of collagen and reduce UV damage.
Where to find it: DHC CoQ10 Lotion and Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
What it is: a plant-based antioxidant, which naturally occurs in the cell walls of whole grains, coffee, spinach, orange, apples, parsley, grapes and other vegs and fruits.
What it does: it fights three types of free radicals (superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and nitric oxide) and boosts sun protection (it does this better when paired with Vitamins C and E.
What it is: a protein made of Glycine, Glutamic Acid and Cystein that occurs naturally in animal and human tissue.
What it does: it helps fight free radical damage.
Grape Seed Extract
What it is: an extract that contains lots of antioxidants, including anthocyanins, flavonoids proanthocyanidins and polyphenols.
What it does: It helps fight free radicals, improve collagen synthesis and reduce sun damage.
What it is: an extract derived from green tea, which is loaded with polyphenols.
What it does: polyphenols fight free radicals and protect skin from the harmful sun rays. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, the most powerful antioxidant in green tea, reduces collagen breakdown, too.
Where to find it: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement and Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)
What it is: it’s an enzyme found in all living cells. It’s possibly the most powerful antioxidant your body creates.
What it does: it can destroy the worst type of free radical ever, Super Oxide. It also reduces UV damage and soothes sunburn-induced redness.
What it does: it fights free radicals, reduces wrinkles, speeds up cellular turnover (the skin’s natural exfoliating process) and boosts collagen.
Side effects: it can cause redness, stinging and irritation. Start with small concentrations twice a week and build your way up from there.
What it is: Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that comes in many forms, including L-Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbic Palmitate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium ascorbyl Phosphate and Ascorbyl Glucoside.
What it does: it fights free radicals, increases the production of collagen, reduces inflammation, and boosts the protection of your sunscreen (it does this better when paired with Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid).
Side effects: it can irritate sensitive skin.
What it is: a fat soluble vitamin that comes in many forms, including Alpha-Tocopherol and tocotrienols.
What it does: it fights free radicals and boosts sun protection (it does this better when paired with Vitamin C and Ferulic Acid).
Do you use skincare products with antioxidants? Share your faves in the comments below.