Antioxidant serums are some of the most effective skincare products. They reduce skin aging, brighten and even out skin tone, and make the skin look fuller and healthier.
They’re held in high regard by many dermatologists because of the many studies that have proven their efficacy.
Simply put, antioxidant serums get the job done, and they deserve a permanent spot in your skincare regimen.
Have a look at this "apple experiment" and see for yourself what good antioxidants can do in terms of oxidation protection.
What Are Free Radicals?
To better understand how antioxidants work, you need to understand what free radicals are and the damage that they do to your skin.
If you’ve ever sliced an apple and left it out in the open air, you know that it turns brown and eventually dehydrates. That browning process is called oxidation and it’s caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are unpaired molecules. This makes them highly reactive because they need to pair up with another molecule to become stable.
While looking for other molecules to pair up with, free radicals can attack healthy skin cells and cause damage.
Your skin naturally produces free radicals, but they can also be produced by exposure to cigarette smoke, UV rays, chemicals, and outdoor pollutants.
When there’s an excess of free radicals in the skin, this leads to inflammation, skin blemishes, dark spots, fine lines, saggy skin, and early wrinkling.
The body produces antioxidants to counteract the harmful effects of free radicals. There’s a fine balance between natural antioxidants and free radicals that are produced by day-to-day skin wear and tear.
When this balance is upset, this results in an excess of free radicals and the body can’t produce enough antioxidants to match. After this happens, skin cells undergo oxidative stress and it leads to many skin problems.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are nature’s defense against free radical damage. They neutralize excess free radicals before they get access to healthy skin cells.
This reduces the effect of free radicals and also promotes the growth and repair of damaged cells.
Vitamin A (retinol), Vitamin C, Vitamin B3 (niacinamide), and resveratrol are all examples of antioxidants. Antioxidant serums are potent superstars and produce remarkable results when incorporated into a good skincare regimen.
Antioxidants and Skincare
Antioxidant serums are highly concentrated formulations of the above-mentioned active ingredients. They’re light, are designed to be quickly absorbed by the skin, and deliver high doses of antioxidants.
Serums come in small bottles and a little goes a long way. You only need a few drops applied to your face daily to get optimal results.
Serums are all the rage, but not all of them are created equal. As expected, creating an antioxidant serum is not easy or simple.
This is because antioxidants must be at a high concentration for them to work, but must also be stable enough for them not to degrade straight after you break the seal.
Getting this balance right takes time and lots of research, and that’s why most antioxidant serums cost a pretty penny in comparison to other skincare products.
That being said, price is not always a reliable indicator of how effective an antioxidant serum is. The ingredients of a serum and their concentration are better indicators.
Below are some interesting facts about antioxidant serums and how they work.
Fact 1: Antioxidant Serums Can Reduce the Signs of Aging
Many things get better with age but, unfortunately, skin doesn't follow that trend. As you grow, you may start to notice that you need to do more for your skin to glow.
Free radical damage breaks down collagen in the skin.
Collagen is a protein that’s one of the building blocks of healthy skin. It reduces skin sagging and makes skin look supple and youthful.
When free radicals attack collagen, the skin loses its elasticity because the epidermis is thinned out. The epidermis makes up the topmost layer of the skin, and when it thins out, you get fine lines, wrinkles, and eventually, sagging.
Antioxidant serums prevent free radical-induced collagen loss.
This helps to prevent and correct early signs of aging such as:
- Skin dullness
- Age spots
- Visible pores
- Rough skin texture
Skin naturally gets drier with age and can become flaky and tight. Ceramide-based serums contain fatty acids which improve skin hydration.
Hyaluronic acid, collagen peptide, and epidermal growth factor-rich serums also improve skin hydration.
Retinol serums are best known for their anti-aging effects. Retinol actively stops collagen breakdown, stimulates collagen production, and accelerates cell renewal.
Expert Tip: Most retinol serums are animal-based but if you’re particular about only using cruelty-free products, there are vegan-friendly ones.
Fact 2: Antioxidant Serums Can Reduce Sun Damage
Anyone that takes their skincare routine seriously knows that the sun is not very friendly to skin.
Interestingly, sun damage is responsible for most of what is considered normal skin aging and skin inflammation.
Long-term exposure to UV rays from the sun damages elastin.
Elastin is way more flexible than collagen and it makes the skin more supple. When elastin molecules are broken down, this can cause skin inflammation and damage.
Antioxidant serums blunt the skin’s response to sun rays. They also reduce sunburn and protect the skin against photo-aging.
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) serums are effective at reducing sun damage. Vitamin E reduces skin damage after UV exposure by eliminating the free radicals that are produced by UV exposure.
Expert Tip: Vitamin E serums come in two forms—naturally sourced and synthetically made. Naturally sourced Vitamin E is more biologically active and has higher purity. For best results, look for serums with naturally sourced Vitamin E.
Fact 3: Antioxidant Serums Can Aid Skin Repair
When there’s a build-up of free radicals in the skin, this leads to inflammation. Inflammation can cause skin redness, swelling, itching, and sensitivity. As inflammation progresses, it impedes the skin’s ability to repair itself.
Free radicals also attack skin repair cells (fibroblasts) and dampen their ability to produce collagen and elastin at sites of inflammation. This results in uneven skin repair leading to black spots and dry skin.
Antioxidant serums reduce inflammation and allow the skin to renew itself daily.
Resveratrol serums are derived from berries, red grapes, and red wine. They have potent anti-inflammatory properties and over time, can soothe sensitive and inflamed skin.
Expert Tip: Resveratrol serums are safe to use daily. If your skin doesn’t respond well to daily use, start by using the serum twice weekly and work your way up to daily use.
Fact 4: Antioxidant Serums Can Brighten Skin Tone
When it comes to skin, we all want bright, even skin tones. Unfortunately, frequent sun exposure and chemical damage can trigger excess melanin production by the skin.
Dark spots and uneven skin tone are often the results.
Antioxidant serums can minimize photodamage, which reduces blemishes and can improve skin tone.
Kojic acid and glycolic acid can make dark spots lighter and brighten your skin tone.
Vitamin C serums, in particular, inhibit tyrosinase. This enzyme promotes melanin production, and when it’s inhibited, skin becomes fairer and more evenly toned.
Expert Tip: Vitamin C serums have a short shelf life because they quickly oxidize when they’re exposed to oxygen. To slow down this process, keep your Vitamin C serum in the fridge.
High-Quality Antioxidant Serums
If you’re looking for highly effective, tried and tested serums, Maelove has the best ones.
All ingredients that we use in these serums are confirmed and verified by clinical studies, shown to produce visible results and have been tested on many human subjects.
Antioxidant serums come with big promises, but they’ll also deliver great results. Get yours today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do antioxidants help acne?
Free radicals can wreak havoc on your skin, leading to breakouts. Antioxidants work to counteract the harmful effects that free radicals have on your skin and can help reduce breakouts.
Healthy skin is less likely to break out, thus, if you have irritated or acne-prone skin, antioxidants also help to repair the skin, and this makes it more resilient to breakouts.
The best serums for acne-prone skin contain glycolic or salicylic acid.
What is the most effective antioxidant?
Vitamin C is by far the most researched and proven antioxidant when it comes to skincare. You can read much more about Vitamin C specifically in our in-depth report by clicking here.
What do antioxidant serums contain?
There are different types of antioxidant serums. The most common ones contain hyaluronic acid, vitamins (such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E), algae, and alpha-lipoic acid.
Some serums come with just one active ingredient while others are a blend of different actives.
When should you use an antioxidant serum?
Antioxidant serums are best applied straight after you cleanse your face. Some people only use antioxidant serums during the day, but you can also incorporate an antioxidant serum into your night routine.
Remember to wait for a couple of minutes to let the serum settle before you moisturize or put on your sunscreen.
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