With the flu season off to an earlier-than-usual start this year—and with the best vaccine available far from perfect—it’s only wise to turn to antioxidants to boost your immune system and strengthen your defense against viral infections. But did you know that the benefits of antioxidants on skin are tremendous as well? Applied topically, antioxidants don’t just protect against cell-damaging free radicals, they also boost collagen production, lighten hyperpigmentation and enhance the effectiveness of your other skin care products.
Fortunately, with today’s advanced formulations, you don’t need to buy one separate product to satisfy your skin’s antioxidant needs. After all, antioxidants come in all shapes and sizes, and you would want to maintain a balance intake of vitamins and minerals to get the most out of them. Here are 4 ways to incorporate antioxidants into your beauty diet.
Cleanser + Antioxidants
Healthy skin starts with a clean skin, so I always start and end my day by washing my face with Eminence Lemon Cleanser. This was recommended to me by my esthetician when I asked her about including antioxidants into my regimen. She likes this cleanser because it offers a nourishing blend of vitamins A, C and E, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid—all of which are powerful antioxidants that help eliminate potentially harmful substances from the body. Of course we know how important vitamins A, C and E are, but did you know that alpha lipoic acid, a fatty acid naturally found inside every cell in the body, has the unique ability to recycle vitamins after they’ve been used up? CoQ10 on the other hand—aside from being an antioxidant—helps produce the energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance.
Moisturizer + Antioxidants
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of moisturizer-cum-antioxidant products in the market, but the one product that even my editor swears by is Sanitas Skin Care Vitamin C Moisturizer. Aside from vitamin C, this oil-free formula contains beta-glucans, or sugars found in cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts and algae. Beta-glucans have powerful free radical-scavenging properties, and are even used to boost the immune system in people whose body defenses have been weakened by fatigue, stress and chemotherapy.
Sunscreen + Antioxidants
Here’s a shocking revelation: Studies say that even the best broad-spectrum sunscreens can only block up to 55% of UV-induced free radicals, leaving the skin still susceptible to environmental damage. Luckily, there are plenty of sunscreen products out there that offer antioxidant protection as well, such as Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF 55. I first tried this product as a sample here at Beautyfix, and it has been my go-to sunscreen ever since. I really like the texture and consistency of this product. It’s oil-, fragrance- and paraben-free, which makes it safe for sensitive skin. But more importantly, this product features green tea, one of the best food sources of flavanoids or phytochemical compounds said to be more powerful than vitamins C and E in thwarting oxidative damage to cells. This product also contains reservatrol, found in the skin of red grapes, peanuts and berries and known for its anti-aging and disease-fighting properties.
Anti-Aging Serum + Antioxidants
According to Women’s Health Magazine, antioxidants “patrol every part of our body, repairing damaged molecules that if allowed to run rampant would accelerate aging and disease.” So if you’re hoping to treat wrinkles, uneven skin tone and other visible signs of aging, look for anti-aging products that offer superior antioxidant properties, like Glytone Anti-Oxidant Anti-Aging Facial Serum. This product features time-released vitamins C and E, red tea flavonoids and glycolic acid—the chief ingredient Glytone is known for. Derived from sugar cane, glycolic acid is one of the best at sloughing off dead and dull skin cells, smoothing out wrinkles and evening skin tone. By combining antioxidants with glycolic acid, Glytone offers a two-tiered approach to rejuvenating your skin.