After sunscreen, an antioxidant serum is your most powerful alley in the fight against premature aging. But you can’t just pick a random one. If you want it to treat your most pressing and annoying skin problems, you must choose wisely. Here’s 5 things you need to know to make the right choice:
1. Antioxidants are multitaskers
The main job of antioxidants is to protect our skin from the free radical damage (the main culprit of premature aging) caused by unprotected sun exposure, irritating skincare products, smoking, alcohol, and even metabolism! Thanks to their action, we can keep wrinkles at bay for longer. But that’s not all they do. They can also help reduce dark spots, boost collagen production, restore skin’s protective barrier, and even reduce inflammation.
2. Stronger together than alone
Nivea loves co-enzyme Q10. Korres is mad about quercetin. And Caudalie has a crush on resveratrol. These are all powerful antioxidants, but there’s only so little they can do when used alone. Studies have shown, again and again, that a bunch of antioxidants works a lot better for the skin than just one or two. For example, incorporating ferulic acid into “a topical solution of 15%l-ascorbic acid and 1%alpha-tocopherol improved chemical stability of the vitamins (C+E) and doubled photoprotection.” So, chose serums that are loaded with lots of different antioxidants, such as Paula’s Choice Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum and Skin Actives Antioxidant Serum With ROS* Terminator. And, for even better result, follow a diet rich in antioxidants too.
3. Vitamin C isn’t just one ingredient
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants used in skincare, but it comes in many forms. The most effective is L-ascorbic acid. But this ingredient is very unstable, difficult to formulate with, and can irritate sensitive skin. Less potent, but more stable forms of Vitamin C, are tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and ascorbyl palmitate. Others, like ascorbyl glucoside and ascorbyl glucosamine, are also more stable but little studied, so we don’t know how well they work yet. When shopping for a Vitamin C serum, choose the right form for you carefully.
4. Antioxidants aren’t the one night stand types
You can’t just use an antioxidant serum every now and then, and expect great results. It just doesn’t work that way. No skincare product does. If you stop using them, their beneficial effects quickly disappear. With antioxidants, you must be committed for the long haul. Think about it: sun exposure, a bad diet, pollution, and inflammation damage our skin a bit every day. It’s an ongoing process than needs an ongoing fight.
5. Antioxidants are shy
Antioxidants work best when they aren’t seen. Put them in a jar, and light and air will soon plot to make them ineffective. But in air-tight, opaque tubes and bottles, they retain their powerful antiaging powers for a long time. You can finish your bottle at your leisure, fully confident that even the last drop can help you keep the signs of premature aging at bay.
Do you use skincare products with antioxidants? What are your favourites? And are they packaged properly?