You know that antioxidant serum you’re using?
It probably doesn’t work.
Antioxidants are delicate things. You can’t just put one in a pretty bottle and expect it to get rid of your wrinkles. Things are a little more complicated than that.
If you want to effortlessly pick an antioxidant serum that really works you need to get to know these skincare heroes a little better. Here are 5 things you need to know about antioxidants:
1. Antioxidants Are Anti-Aging Multi-Taskers
First things first: what the heck do antioxidants do? What’s their job?
Antioxidants protect your skin from free radical damage. This damage is the main cause of premature aging. The list of things that triggers it is super long: unprotected sun exposure, irritating skincare products, smoking, alcohol, and even breathing and metabolism!
Antioxidants neutralise free radicals (you can check out this post if you’re curious to find out how exactly they do this), preventing new wrinkles from appearing on your face too soon.
But, that’s NOT all they do. They also:
All things that help you age better and more slowly, too.
Related: How Do Antioxidants Work?
Struggling to put together a skincare routine that fights wrinkles and gives your skin a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” cheat sheet to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):
2. Stronger Together Than Alone
Nivea loves co-enzyme Q10. Korres is mad about quercetin. And Caudalie has a crush on resveratrol.
They’re all powerful antioxidants, don’t get me wrong. But there’s only so much even the most powerful of antioxidants can do without his friends.
Science is very clear on this point: antioxidants work best together. The more you use, the better your skin will age.
My fave combo? Vitamins C + E + ferulic acid. Studies show that adding 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.“
In other words: they boost one another’s effectiveness and that of your sunscreen!
Related: Common Antioxidants Found In Skincare Products
3. Vitamin C Isn’t Just One Ingredient
It’s a dozen. Vitamin C comes in many different forms.
L-Ascorbic Acid is the pure form of Vitamin C. It’s the most effective but also the most irritating and unstable. By unstable, I mean it breaks down when exposed to light and air. Eventually, it stops working completely.
That’s why scientists have been hard at work to create Vitamin C derivates that are gentler and more stable. The catch? They’re not as effective. But, if you ask me, the trade-off is worth it.
A few examples? Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and ascorbyl palmitate. Basically, if it has “ascorb” somewhere in the name, it’s a form of Vitamin C.
Related: Types of Vitamin C In Skincare
4. Antioxidants Aren’t The One Night Stand Types
Antioxidants demand loyalty.
You can’t just use an antioxidant serum every now and then, and expect great results. You need to be consistent. Use them every single day. Morning and night.
Your body is bombarded with free radicals every hour of every day. It’s an ongoing fight that needs a never-ending supply of antioxidant defences.
5. Antioxidants Are Shy
Antioxidants don’t like fame. They just want to do their job, unseen.
Put them in a jar, and light and air will soon make them ineffective. Opaque, air-tight tubes and bottles are a much better choice. They keep them safe from their enemies, so they stay effective for way longer.
You can finish your bottle at your leisure, fully confident that even the last drop can help you keep wrinkles at bay.
Related: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Skincare Products Packaged In Jars
If you’re curious to know what the best antioxidants serums are, I’ve shared my favourites in this post. Check it out.