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Antioxidants protect the skin and other cells by fighting free radicals. These unstable atoms can break down cells and are linked with a number of illnesses, as well as signs of aging.

Antioxidant serums are skin care products. They frequently contain any of the following antioxidants:

The best antioxidant serums may help prevent and repair skin damage caused by an excess of free radicals.

More specific possible benefits include:

  • protecting the skin from damage due to UVA and UVB radiation
  • preventing redness
  • helping the skin repair itself
  • brightening the skin tone
  • calming irritation
  • minimizing irritation from acne
  • supporting the protective effects of sunscreen

A 2017 study notes that anyone using topical antioxidants still needs to obtain antioxidants from fruits and vegetables in the diet.

Antioxidant serums can carry risks. For example, they may interact with other medicated products or irritate sensitive skin. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends trying a little bit of antioxidant serum on the wrist first.

If no irritation develops after applying the serum to the wrist twice a day for 4–5 days, a person can lightly apply the serum to the face and use more product as needed, gradually.

How to use them

Manufacturers typically recommend applying a serum after cleansing the face and before moisturizing it. To reduce associated risks, read the manufacturer’s directions before trying any product.

Anyone shopping for an antioxidant serum might look for a product with the following characteristics:

  • well-researched ingredients, such as vitamin E
  • a variety of antioxidants
  • secure packaging to keep out UV light and air
  • little or no alcohol, which can dry out the skin
  • a reasonable price, as a high price does not necessarily translate into high quality

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is research-based and was correct at the time of publication.

The Ordinary EUK 134 0.01%

This is a high potency antioxidant serum.

The company says that this serum contains a rare, self-regenerating molecule called EUK-134, which eliminates hydrogen peroxide, converts reactive oxygen species into water and oxygen, and scavenges free radicals.

The label warns that a person should not use this serum alongside a product that contains a strong acid, such as ascorbic acid.

This serum is suitable for vegans and contains no water or alcohol.

A 30-milliliter container costs $8.80.

SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid

Made for daytime use, this serum was designed to protect against environmental damage, improve signs of aging, and make the skin firmer, the company says.

It contains 15% vitamin C, 1% vitamin E, and 0.5% ferulic acid, and it is suitable for normal, dry, or sensitive skin. The company also promises that one application is effective for at least 3 days.

A 1-fl oz container costs $166.

Avène A-OXitive Antioxidant Defense Serum

This product is absorbed rapidly, neutralizes free radicals, and protects the skin from further damage, the company says.

It also promises that this serum makes the skin seem brighter and younger while reducing the size of pores and the appearance of fine lines.

The product is hypoallergenic, and one application lasts roughly 24 hours.

A 1-fl oz container costs $44.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum

To maximize the potency, a person must mix the ingredients in this serum, which include 15% l-ascorbic acid, 1% vitamin E, and 0.5% ferulic acid, plus pumpkin ferment extract.

The company says that this serum removes dead surface skin cells while hydrating and soothing the skin and reducing signs of aging. The serum stays active for 72 hours.

One bottle costs $78.

True Botanicals Antioxidant Booster

The manufacturer describes this serum as a super blend of antioxidants such as apple peel, quercetin, and resveratrol.

Designed to counter signs of aging, the product brightens the skin and reduces the appearance of dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. The company also claims that this serum is better for sensitive skin than similar options.

A 0.35-oz container costs $90.

True Botanicals Chebula Active Serum

One key active ingredient in this serum is a natural antioxidant made from chebula, an Ayurvedic fruit used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and aging-related changes in skin tone.

Echinacea, ginger, and elderberry in the serum help protect the skin, while hyaluronic acid helps with hydration, the company says. It adds that this product is safe during pregnancy, does not block pores, and is hypoallergenic.

A 1-fl oz container costs $90.

PCA Skin C-Quench Antioxidant Serum

This antioxidant serum is designed for people with oily skin.

With a blend of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, lilac leaf extract, and glutathione, plus hyaluronic acid, it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, the company says.

It adds that the product is safe for people with acne and recommends using it across the entire face and neck after cleansing and toning twice daily.

A 1-fl oz container costs $110.

Peach & Lily No. 15 Serum

The makers say that this product is suitable for all skin types and contains a blend of natural antioxidants, such as blueberry and honeysuckle extract, along with rosemary, to protect the skin.

Its low molecular size helps the serum reach the deeper layers of skin, the company says, adding that a person should use the product every morning and evening.

A bottle containing 1.69 fl oz costs $140.

Èminence Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum

This serum is suitable for all skin types, and its vitamin C, ferulic acid, and antioxidants from leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and broccoli sprouts, minimize wrinkles and brighten the skin.

The company adds that this serum firms and plumps up the skin and reduces dryness and redness.

A 1-fl oz container costs $110.

Èminence Firm Skin Acai Booster Serum

Antioxidants from acai berries and hyaluronic acid from the marshmallow plant help this serum smoothe, soften, hydrate, firm, and revitalize the skin to reduce signs of aging, the company says.

It adds that this serum is suitable for vegans and free from nuts and gluten.

A 1-fl oz container costs $56.

Antioxidants protect the skin and other cells by fighting free radicals that can cause damage and signs of aging. Antioxidant serums may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and have a revitalizing effect.

It is important to test any new serum on a small area of the wrist or forearm before applying it to the face. Doing so reduces the risk of an allergic reaction to the serum.