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All you need to know about skincare antioxidants

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 When it comes to selecting an antioxidant, it is important to know which one is likely to suit your skin type and concerns [Courtesy]

Antioxidants are an important part of skincare. They protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage other healthy cells in your body. Antioxidants donate their electrons to these free radicals, stabilising them and preventing damage to healthy cells.

Incorporating antioxidants into your skincare routine is easy. However, you may not know which antioxidant to go for and which additional ingredients you can use to complement their work.

When it comes to selecting an antioxidant, it is important to know which one is likely to suit your skin type and concerns. With that in mind, let us explore different antioxidants and how they work:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is well-known for its anti-oxidant properties and its ability to work with other antioxidants to boost efficacy. It is particularly great at evening out your skin tone and texture, and dealing with fine wrinkles, acne scars, and general dullness.

It is most effective when combined with other antioxidants such as vitamin E and ferulic acid. Vitamin C is also an excellent supplement to your everyday sun protection. When you combine an antioxidant like Vitamin C with your broad-spectrum sunscreen, you will get the best results.

Vitamin E

If you have dry skin, you won’t go wrong with vitamin E as it has hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E is also known for its wound-healing properties, making it a good choice for those who suffer from sensitivity and irritation.

On the product label, vitamin E may be listed as tocopherol. It works best when combined with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and resveratrol. Vitamin E is usually not advisable for people with super sensitive, very oily, or acne-prone skin.

Although rare, some people are also allergic to vitamin E.

 If you have dry skin, you won’t go wrong with vitamin E as it has hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties [Courtesy]

Niacinamide

Niacinamide, a form of B3, is a powerful antioxidant that has a wide range of skincare benefits. It can help treat acne, rosacea, pigmentation issues, and wrinkles. Niacinamide can also strengthen your skin barrier and boost your skin’s long-term health.

Furthermore, niacinamide has anti-inflammatory characteristics, making it an excellent ingredient for those who suffer from pimples and blackheads.

To reap the most skincare benefits from niacinamide, apply it as a cream, lotion, or serum. 

You can use niacinamide either in your night or morning skincare routine, or both. It also works well with other products. Make sure to go for low concentrations to avoid skin irritation.

Retinol

A form of Vitamin A, retinol is one of the most powerful and popular antioxidants in skincare. Retinol is mostly used in anti-ageing skincare products as it helps accelerate skin renewal, enhance collagen production and reduce the appearance of ageing, uneven texture and age spots. It smooths and refines your skin’s texture, enhancing its youthful radiance.

Due to its powerful cell renewal property, retinol can also be helpful for treating acne. It accelerates cell turnover and has an exfoliating effect that stops pores from clogging and pimples, blackheads and cysts from forming.

Because it might be harsh on delicate skin, it is better to start with tiny dosages (0.25 per cent) and gradually increase the strength and frequency. When using a retinol product, make sure to apply an SPF of 35 or higher because it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. If you choose a higher-concentration retinol product, use it in the evening instead of the day. 

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid can store 1000 times its weight in water and pull moisture into the skin. A recent study revealed HA is a powerful antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and keeps skin healthy, helping it to better protect itself against environmental aggressors.

It protects against free radicals and promotes wound healing. It moisturises and plumps up the skin while also helping to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. With increased hydration and protection, your skin experiences higher cell turnover, resulting in softer, smoother, youthful skin.

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