How Antioxidants Fight the Signs of Ageing

How Antioxidants Fight the Signs of Ageing

Whether you eat antioxidants or put them on your skin, research is clear (and growing by the day) that they’re vital to your health. Antioxidants in skin care products help thwart environmental damage that slowly changes skin, causing it to look and feel older, something pretty much everyone wants to avoid.

Paula’s Choice Skincare LOVES antioxidants for your skin because we know they can work to soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles. But there’s more: antioxidants can also help reignite skin’s vitality, vibrancy, and overall healthy look and feel. And when the best antioxidants are combined in a formula with skin-replenishing and skin-restoring ingredients, they work together to provide optimal results so your skin looks better than ever.

Antioxidants for Skin Benefits

Antioxidants play a unique role when it comes to diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Years of environmental damage (including unprotected sun exposure—one more reason to apply that broad-spectrum sunscreen!) slowly chip away at skin’s natural ability to look and feel healthy. As this damage builds up, skin gradually loses its ability to recover and bounce back as it once did. It’s not an exaggeration to say that after years of damage, skin becomes overwhelmed, and its “look young systems” begin to slow down.

Antioxidants in skin care step in to help shield skin’s surface from further deterioration by calming stressed skin and defending against the visible effects of pollution —something all of us encounter on a daily basis.

What happens as a result of applying antioxidants to your face is truly impressive: Skin’s appearance begins to turn around! It regains a firmer feel and more even skin tone—and those wrinkles you’re probably not fond of will visibly soften.

Are Natural Antioxidants for Skin Best?

As beneficial as antioxidants are for skin, you need to know that there isn't one single miracle antioxidant to hunt down. This is true whether the antioxidants are from a natural source or made synthetically, in a lab.

You’ll come across lots of great stories about antioxidants extracted from melons harvested in the south of France or some rare, self-sustaining flower from the far reaches of the Amazon, but they’re not the answer.

Instead, there are dozens and dozens of effective antioxidants for skin, ranging from familiar ones like green tea, grape extract, or vitamin C, to names you may not be familiar with such as glutathione, resveratrol, or CoQ10. Research shows it’s better to use a diverse range of effective antioxidants for your skin, so the products you use should contain a variety of these—the more the better!

This research-supported fact is why Paula’s Choice Skincare continues to use a carefully calibrated concentrated mix of natural and synthetic antioxidants in our products, such as face moisturisers with antioxidants, antioxidant serums, and antioxidant-rich sunscreens.

Antioxidants in Skin Care Need Special Packaging

Despite their powerhouse abilities, even the best antioxidants for skin are delicate and must be packaged in containers that will ensure they remain effective. If they’re not, your skin isn’t going to get their full benefit.

Antioxidants break down in the presence of light and air, meaning that if an antioxidant-rich moisturiser, serum, or other product is packaged in a jar or in clear packaging, it will likely lose its antioxidant benefit within a few weeks (or even days).

What to do? Seek out anti-ageing products housed in opaque tubes or bottles, and check to see that the opening of the container is small enough that it will minimise or completely restrict air exposure.

Antioxidants for Your Skin: What Results You Can Expect?

Although we know that topical application of antioxidants in skin care helps to shield skin from ongoing environmental assault, the results aren't going to make you look 20 years younger—and they may take time to show up. Reality check: The claims attributed to these wonderful ingredients are more often than not overblown or a big stretch of what scientific research has shown to be true.

It’s best to think of antioxidants as part of a trifecta of beneficial ingredients you can use in skin care products to achieve and maintain visibly firmer, youthful-looking skin. Antioxidants should be joined by skin-replenishing ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin plus a range of skin-restoring ingredients like retinol, peptides, and niacinamide. Together, these types of ingredients play a symphony your skin needs to hear—and you’ll love seeing the results every time you look in the mirror.

The trick is to be consistent with your skincare routine and make absolutely sure you’re protecting your skin from sun exposure every day with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater—and of course, it should be brimming with antioxidants, your skin’s new best friend.

References for this information:
Free Radical Biology and Medicine, February 2019, pages 399-407
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, August 2018, ePublication
Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, June 2018, pages 123-130
Frontiers in Pharmacology, April 2018, ePublication
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252-259
Dermatology Research and Practice, February 2012, ePublication
Journal of Dermatologic Science, May 2010, pages 85-90

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!