Oxidation: bad. Antioxidants: good. That’s the TL;DR version.
Everyone says antioxidants are a can’t-miss skincare ingredient. What do they do? Which ingredients pack the greatest antioxidant punch? Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of this complexion protector.
When your skin is exposed to oxidative stress—from external sources like pollution, UV rays or cigarette smoke, or from illness, alcohol, stress and junk food—it causes your body’s molecules to become unstable. The electrons in the molecules split up and attempt to stabilize themselves by “stealing” electrons from healthy cells.
That process is called oxidation, and those unstable cells are called free radicals. Free radicals hurt the skin’s ability to function normally by damaging cells’ DNA. Over time, this leads to depleted collagen, a weakened moisture barrier and wrinkled skin.
Antioxidants rescue your skin by binding with free radicals, strengthening your skin’s defenses and helping to undo oxidative damage. You can get antioxidants from foods like berries, kale, sweet potatoes and green tea. And you can get an antioxidant boost from your skincare, too. “Moisturizers with antioxidants are always a good choice, regardless of age or skin type, because they provide a proactive approach to protecting the skin,” notes Cynthia Beadle, licensed aesthetician and beauty consultant for DHC. Here are some of the big-deal ingredients to watch for.
This freshwater algae, one of nature’s strongest antioxidants, is 6,000 times more effective than vitamin C, and 550 times more powerful than vitamin E, at helping to eliminate free-radical damage that shows up as dull, tired-looking skin.
Find it in: Astaxanthin Collagen All-in-One Gel a richly textured golden-pink gel that tones, hydrates and brightens skin in one step. This daily facial treatment also contains hydrolyzed collagen to impart softness and suppleness, hyaluronic acid to protect skin’s natural moisture, and royal jelly to hydrate and revitalize the complexion.
The fruit of the olive tree is overflowing with healthy antioxidants, along with squalane and vitamins A, D, E and K. In addition to protecting your skin, it also leaves skin soft and pH-balanced.
Find it in: Olive Virgin Oil, our moisturizing facial oil containing 100% organic olive oil harvested in Spain and purified in our labs in Japan. Deep Cleansing Oil nourishes skin with olive oil while melting off makeup, and Mild Soap teams olive oil with honey to soften while cleansing. Mild Lotion is a refreshing, lightweight facial toner made with olive oil and refreshing cucumber.
CoQ10 is a vitamin-like antioxidant that acts to protect skin from harmful environmental stress. It is produced naturally in the body, but its levels decrease dramatically over time.
Find it in: CoQ10 Quick Gel Brightening Moisture, a creamy gel designed to tone, prime and brighten in one step.
Platinum, micronized into a nanocolloid form, is able to absorb into skin’s top layer, where it fights inflammation and has been found to reverse free-radical damage. In a 2014 study, scientists in Japan found that platinum nanocolloid was able to reduce the appearance of signs of aging.
Find it in: Platinum Silver Nanocolloid Milky Essence, a lightweight brightening serum that helps minimize the appearance of lines and discoloration while protecting with antioxidants that naturally occur in this precious mineral.
This free-radical scavenger helps maintain skin’s moisture barrier and helps to protect skin against UV damage.Find it in: Extra Nighttime Moisture, our gentle, vitamin-rich night cream for all skin types. Vitamin E, olive oil and squalane hydrate skin, and collagen promotes elasticity.