Antioxidants may benefit the skin by preventing or slowing aging and cell damage. People consume antioxidants in food and supplements, or they may use antioxidant skin care products.
Many skin care products contain antioxidants, such as retinoids, vitamin C, or vitamin E. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) recommends these products for some people but advises caution for others when using them.
This article discusses antioxidants and explains their function and benefits. It describes how they interact with the skin and lists antioxidants in foods, supplements, and skin care products. It explains how to choose a skin care product and cautions about potential drawbacks.
Antioxidants are substances that
Oxidative stress and free radicals cause aging and diseases, such as:
- cardiovascular disease
Antioxidants can be synthetic or natural substances. They are present in fruits, vegetables, and supplements containing vitamins and minerals. Some substances, such as
Antioxidants include the following:
- vitamins A, C, and E
Research indicates that scientists still do not know enough about how antioxidants work, as they can have adverse and beneficial effects.
According to a
The researchers suggest the most cost-effective way to improve the skin’s condition is to supply it with essential nutrients externally and internally through a varied diet.
Antioxidants, such as carotenoids, are a vital part of the epidermis, and zinc is necessary for new cells to form. Selenium helps inhibit wrinkle formation, and vitamin E may protect against skin cancer.
Antioxidants may improve the skin
- reducing DNA damage from UV light
- improving hydration
- stimulating the production of collagen and elastin
- reducing the appearance of wrinkles and pigmentation
- supporting healing processes
- reducing inflammation
Antioxidants may also play a beneficial role in preventing skin conditions. For example, a
- vitamin A
- vitamin E
- vitamin C
- carotenoids, such as beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene
- polyphenols, plant compounds, such as:
- silymarin, present in milk thistle
- epicatechin, present in green tea
- genistein, present in soybeans
- curcumin, a compound in turmeric
- bakuchiol, from Psoralea corylifolia, is an herb with
usesin traditional medicine
- resveratrol, present in grape seeds
While the review stresses the importance of diet, some of the antioxidants it mentions are available as supplements or in skin care products.
A popular antioxidant ingredient in skin care products is vitamin C. According to a
Therefore, topical vitamin C products may be a good option. The review notes that the topical application of vitamin C may have anti-aging and anti-pigmentation properties and protect from the effects of the sun. Additionally, vitamin C replenishes vitamin E levels.
The AAD recommends that people should take time to identify their skin type before choosing skin care products. A person’s skin may be:
- sensitive and sting or burn after product use
- normal, clear, and not sensitive
- dry, flaky, itchy, or rough
- oily, shiny, and greasy
- a combination of dry in some areas and oily in others
If a person understands their skin type, it can help them find a suitable skin care routine and choose the right products.
The AAD also advises wearing sunscreen daily with an SPF of 30 or higher on all skin not covered by clothing. To save time, a person may wish to choose a moisturizer containing SPF.
Additionally, people must be careful to avoid skin care products that irritate their skin.
Retinoids are vitamin A-based products and include retinol. Retinol is a popular ingredient in skin care products and may improve uneven skin tone, pigmentation, and texture. The AAD advises that products containing retinoids are a good option for people with mild acne or fine lines and wrinkles.
However, the AAD recommends that people with skin allergies or dryness avoid retinoids. Additionally, pregnant people must not use retinoid products, and those with hormonal acne should consult a dermatologist first.
People who use retinoid products must use sunscreen, as they make the skin more sensitive to sun damage.
However, the author advises against using large doses for prolonged periods without seeking medical advice, as this may cause adverse effects.
The review also notes that despite many antioxidant skin care products being available, evidence varies regarding their impact on skin cells.
Antioxidants are present in a wide range of foods. The best food sources of antioxidants include:
- fruits, such as pomegranates, apples, lemons, and dried fruits
- vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, chilis, olives, beets, and peppers
- berries, such as gooseberries, bilberries, blackberries, and blueberries
- beverages, including coffee, green tea, and red wine
- cacao and chocolate with a high cocoa content
- herbs and spices
If someone has concerns about their skin health, they should speak with a doctor or dermatologist.
Supplements contain antioxidants that may interact with medications doctors prescribe, so it is always best to check first before taking them.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.
Can antioxidants help clear skin?
What is the most potent antioxidant?
Antioxidants work together in a complex manner. The
The skin contains antioxidants, and the most abundant one is vitamin C. Antioxidants help protect skin cells from damage and aging and may improve skin texture and appearance. People can consume them in their diet or apply them to their skin by using skin care products.
Retinoids are popular in skin care products and may benefit some people but cause dryness in others. People must wear sunscreen when using a retinoid product, and pregnant people should not use retinoids.
If someone has concerns about their skin or needs help choosing skin care products, they can consult a dermatologist.