What is an antioxidant?

Antioxidants are substances that inhibit oxidative damage. Just think of your skin like an apple slice - if left exposed to the air it changes colour and goes off very quickly. The same thing is happening to our skin over a longer period of time when left exposed to oxygen and therefore we must use antioxidants to prevent oxygen damaging our skin.

We are encouraged to consume and use as many antioxidants as we can to help prevent oxidative damage affecting our skin. Antioxidants are usually in the form of Vitamins C, E and Retinol that defend cells against free radicals by absorbing any damage instead of our skin.

Oxygen breaks down our skin’s natural cell structure through electrons called free radicals. Over time free radicals cause the skin to age and become more prone to diseases as they break the cell’s bonds which means they are no longer as strong and healthy as they could be.

Why should I use an antioxidant serum?

To make sure your skin is protected against oxidative stress, it is recommended to use an antioxidant serum as a part of your daily skincare regime. Serums ensure thorough protection as they penetrate the skin and cannot be washed off. The right antioxidant serum can even provide more protection than an SPF, therefore protecting your skin for longer against harmful rays. Using an antioxidant serum is the most important thing you can to prevent ageing skin and other skin conditions.

When should I apply them?

Serums are very powerful and only require a few small drops for the entire face and neck. The active ingredients in antioxidants penetrate the skin better when it is clean and slightly moist. Antioxidant serums should be applied to the face and neck after cleansing for best results as the skin’s pores are clear from impurities and dirt, ready to absorb the active ingredients of the serum.

What are the benefits?

Using an antioxidant helps to protect against environmental damage such as smoke, UV rays and pollution.

Every day our skin is attacked by free radicals and oxidative damage that eventually causes skin concerns such as premature ageing, hyperpigmentation, age spots and sun damage. It is important to neutralise these environmental aggressors through using antioxidants to help preserve the skin to fight ageing and damage.

The Apothecaries Top 5 Antioxidant Serums

SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF

The Ultimate Protection! This unique formula is highly concentrated with multiple antioxidants to protect and correct damaged skin. This superior antioxidant also provides broad-spectrum protection and is available in a traditional serum form, great for oily skin types, and a new revolutionary serum-in-gel, which is more suitable for dry to normal skin. This is great to wear under your daily moisturiser / SPF for advanced protection against photo-damage, ageing and skin damage.

NeoStrata Skin Active Antioxidant Defense Serum

Anti-Ageing Protection! This powerful antioxidant serum is a part of the award-winning Skin Active anti ageing skincare range. This serum protects the skin against environmental damage as well as working to reverse the visible signs of ageing, to reveal smoother and plumper skin.

Obagi Professional-C 10% Serum

Protect and penetrate! A great serum to penetrate the skin with high concentrations of vitamin C. This serum penetrates deep into the layers of the skin to offer high protection against oxidative damage and brighten the skin. This serum is also available in different strengths depending on what the skin can tolerate - 5% designed for very sensitive skin and 20% designed for more advance use.

Medik8 CE-Tetra

Correct and tighten! A revolutionary vitamin C serum that protects against photo-damage as well as correct it. This serum is great to improve skin firmness and brightness, helping fight lines and wrinkles. 

Discover more about antioxidants in the blog post: 10 Antioxidants you need to know about

Share your favourite antioxidants and how you use them on The Apothecaries social media channels, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+