What are Antioxidants and Their Use in Skin Care

What are Antioxidants and Their Use in Skin Care 1

Want to feed your skin the really good stuff?

Then look out for antioxidants, you’re secret weapon against ageing.

They are active ingredient that neutralise free radicals.


Understand the biological processes that take place in the skin.

Will help you understand how antioxidants target ageing effectively

To know how antioxidants work, it’s first important to get an understanding of free radicals and why they are so bad for the skin.

There are many different types of free radicals and many biochemical reactions that create new types of free radicals.

When they become unstable they are very excitable attaching themselves to healthy atoms, stealing electrons which makem them unstable.

When a free radical steals electrons from an atom it creates another free radical which may be different from the original free radical.

For instance free radicals begin as simple oxygen, this is the source of most free radicals because it is extremely reactive and excitable, so it needs other atoms to stabilise itself.

These free radical oxygen may steal electrons from a skin cell membrane, when this happens it becomes stable, but the lipids that were destroyed in the cell membrane have lost electrons which makes them different free radicals known as lipid peroxide.

This which reacts with another electron creating another type of free radical and so on, this chain reaction causes a dance of destruction upon the skin, creating oxidation.

Oxidation is actually a normal process in the body but when it gets to high, biochemical reactions occur causing premature ageing.

Often these free radicals steal electrons from cellular membranes, when this happens the lipids in the skin start to degrade and react with other atoms.

Because there are many types of radicals in the inflammation cascade, more then one antioxidant is required to treat prevent these reactions, therefore a blend is better to treat the skin.


Antioxidants help to wage the war against free radical damage and oxidative stress.

This they do by stabilising free radicals they donate one of their own electrons to neutralise them and ending the ‘electron stealing’ reaction; thus ending the path of destruction in the skin cell nucleus, which creates havoc leading to inflammation and collagen damage.

Antioxidants can be applied to the skin directly, in the form of creams or serums, or can be obtained from dietary sources.

  • Vitamin E is the most abundant fat-soluble vitamin in the body and defends against oxidation and lipid peroxidation.
  • Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant, which acts primarily in cellular fluid. It also helps to return vitamin E to its natural form.

Antioxidants work to block biochemical reactions from the free radicals, preventing them from becoming destructive.

More than one antioxidant is needed to combat them, because there is more than one type of free radical causing harm.

Each antioxidant has a different role to play when it comes to fusing free radicals, which is why we include a mix of antioxidants in our formulas.

What are the benefits of using antioxidants?

They work by neutralizing free radicals interrupting the the inflammation cascade. this they do by binding electrons to the electron starving the free radical, and preventing damage to the cells

You can liken antioxidants to the antidote, zapping and neutralising free radicals literally stopping them in their tracks.

I believe using potent antioxidants such as vitamin C topically is no different to taking a multivitamin, in terms of health for the body.

Some antioxidants also help to calm and soothe, they have an antiinflammatory efffect, reness quenching antioxidants

Topical preparations need to be able to penetrate the outmost barriers of the skin’s surface in order to reach the cell nucleus to have the desired effect.19 The dietary effects of antioxidants are controversial; as little as 1% of antioxidants taken orally reaches the surface skin where they are needed to carry out their protective role.19 That said, a diet rich in antioxidants should always be encouraged as their benefits are not exclusive to skin; research shows antioxidants have other health benefits, in particular protecting against cardiovascular disease and cancer.20


So what are some of the most effective antioxidant ingredients?

  • Vitamin C, otherwise known as l-ascorbic acid or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate
  • Vitamin E, known as tocopherol or tocopherol acetate
  • Lichochalcone or steryl glycyrrhetinate extracts from licorice
  • Green tea and white tea extract
  • Superoxide dismutase
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Extracts of liquorice also known as stearyl glycyrrhetinate.

Whilst these are considered some of the most popular antioxidants in skin care, they are by no means the only ones, new and exciting antioxidants are constantly being discovered all the time so watch this space.

 What are the best antioxidant product

The best is in serum form, the base make the serum penetrate better

as discussed earlier different types of free radicals are blocked by different types of antioxidants. so look for a broad spectrum antioxidant serum to squelch a variety of oxidative reactions.

Antioxidant ingredients should be protected so that they do not work before they are applied to the skin, those that aren’t will oxidise and turn brown.

Encapsulation methods such as liposomes protect antioxidant ingredients and will help with penetration


2 thoughts on “What are Antioxidants and Their Use in Skin Care

  1. kate says:

    When ever I read your post I get super exited, they give me deep knowledge. Your posts are like being in a class room, thanks for this I appreciate the advice.

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