Confused by antioxidants? Here's what they can do to up your skincare game.
Antioxidants – what IS their deal? They think that they can prevent everything, from cancer through to the impertinent signs of ageing. And the beauty industry is categorically obsessed with them (they’re the most popular skincare ingredient ever, according to market analysts Mintel). While it might sound churlish to deny their prowess, I’m still a little dubious about these cocky swines and their cure-all approach. So, in order to clear up any confusion, I want to know what they do if they work, and whether all antioxidants are created equal. I’m guessing that you might like to get the lowdown, too.
If your skin looks drab first thing, try a cleanser with lycopene (derived from red fruit and veg). It promotes collagen and reduces DNA damage. Find it in Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser, £24.95.
This cold-fighter is also a kick-ass antioxidant that boosts collagen production and brightens skin. It’s at its most potent in SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Gel, £150, which remains effective for a minimum of 72 hours, even if you wash it off.
Bring in the big guns for your day cream, which needs to protect skin from the likes of air pollution and UV light. N7 Early Defence Day Cream, £19.50, contains a broad spectrum of antioxidants, including polyphenols and vitamin E, to fight the majority of free radicals that we’ll encounter during an average day. Nice work.
Retinol is a mega-antioxidant from vitamin A, but be warned: too much is an irritant; too little is ineffective. Wear Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum, £29, at night, when skin’s in repair mode.
The eye area is particularly susceptible to free radicals, so apply potent Idebenome, courtesy of Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-aging+ Intensive Repair Eye serum, £95.
Developed by the same scientist as Idebenone, CoffeeBerry has been shown to diminish the effects of harmful UV radiation. Try Priori Revaleskin Night Cream, £75.
Chemicals in green tea called catechins can reduce cell damage and inflammation. Use Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist, £36.90, to top up your antioxidant intake over a day.