The ABCs of antioxidants for better skin

Antioxidants — It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot in the skin care industry these days, and for good reason. So what do antioxidants actually do for skin? Can they really turn you into a glowing queen, or at least an even more gorgeous version of yourself? While antioxidants alone won’t solve all your skin woes, they are a big factor in helping your skin look its very best.

From wrinkles to radiant skin, antioxidants are undeniably important for good skin. Yet the science behind it is often overlooked. Some people choose the wrong antioxidants, or simply eat a few goji berries and hope for the best.

Good skin care doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. Armed with a little knowledge about antioxidants, you can make the best choice for your skin’s unique needs. Let’s dig in to learn more about exactly why and how antioxidants benefit skin. Education, like good skin care, is always a good look. 

A little science: What do antioxidants really do, anyway?

OK, so a little science is needed to put everything in perspective. Don’t worry, we’ll keep it simple. The whole point of antioxidants is to reduce free radicals, which are naturally present in the body and encouraged by external factors like sun exposure, pollution, and diet. Free radicals harm skin at a cellular level. They damage collagen and elastin, and cause a host of other problems, which ultimately lead to wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and a dull complexion.

Free radicals are simply an atom that’s missing an electron. Electrons like to be in pairs, so atoms with a missing electron go around stealing electrons from healthy cells. That’s not very nice!

That’s where antioxidants come in handy. They are kind enough to donate an electron to greedy free radicals so they don’t have to go around stealing from other cells. Antioxidants keep everything in balance so your skin doesn’t stress.

How to add antioxidants to your routine

So what is the best way to incorporate antioxidants into your regimen? Eating foods containing antioxidants is a good idea, but many experts agree topical application is even more effective for skin care purposes.

Foods like oranges, broccoli, and tomato are super rich in antioxidants, but most of the good stuff gets digested away before ever reaching the skin. Serums and creams pack a more powerful punch and are among the best ways to treat your skin to a healthy dose of antioxidants. Not to mention, they hydrate the skin, which is super important for keeping the skin healthy so it can fight free radicals.

Which antioxidants are best?

There are many antioxidants used in skin care. With so many to choose from, you may wonder which are best to use. Let’s go over a few you may have heard of, as well as some up-and-coming antioxidants in the skincare game.

Some commonly known antioxidants include Vitamin C (which, for all its benefits, has a notoriously short shelf life in beauty products making it unlikely to be that beneficial), Vitamin E, and retinol. You’ve probably heard of many of these while flipping through your favourite magazine, browsing for new finds at the makeup counter, or reading your favorite blog. These are the run-of-the-mill antioxidants that you’ll see slapped on the labels of everything from drugstore products to higher-end brands.

Keep in mind some products only contain tiny amounts of the advertised ingredient which helps big companies keep costs down. They add a little to the formula, make all sorts of lofty promises, and trick you into thinking you’re getting a beauty bargain. But quality skin care is important. Be sure to stick with brands backed by research to make sure you get the most benefit.

There are a few newer antioxidants in town. One of our favorites is Australian sandalwood, which works miracles for dry and even acne-prone skin. The oil contains ximenynic acid, which de-oxidizes free radicals and improves the skin’s microcirculation for a healthy complexion. Sounds good to us!

Another of our top picks is centipeda cunninghamii. It’s a lesser known (but super powerful) ingredient that contains one of the most effective antioxidants around. The name may be strange, but its antioxidant properties are well-documented. This medicinal plant fights free radicals and promotes cellular renewal.

When your skin needs a boost, turn to red grape vine. Experts say it’s even more effective than Vitamin C and E combined! While red grape vine has quite a few benefits (everything from softening and cleansing the skin), it is a free-radical ninja, reducing oxidative stress in the skin when applied topically.

Top products containing antioxidants

Why treat your skin to just one antioxidant at a time? You can combine ingredients for an even more powerful effect. griffin+row Enrich contains all three of our top ingredients, along with plenty of other skin-loving botanicals with its proprietary centess+complex. Not only does this night cream neutralise free radicals with West Australian sandalwood, centipeda cunninghamii, and red grape vine, but it also restores the skin’s natural protective barrier while offering intense hydration. This one works wonders for mature or dry skin types. It soothes, heals, and protects all night.

For daytime, treat your skin to griffin+row Nourish. Its light formula is perfect for all-day protection, even under makeup. Anti-inflammatory ingredients, paired with a triple threat of protective antioxidants, shield your skin against free radicals as you go about your day. You’ll feel good knowing your skin is protected from morning to night.

For a boost of moisture and protection on the go, griffin+row’s makes adding antioxidants to your skin so easy. This replenishing spray contains a perfectly balanced blend of nutrient-rich grape seed oil along with our top three antioxidant picks and many other skin soothers. If you’re always on the go, this one’s for you. Three to four spritzes all over your face is all you need. It seriously couldn’t be any easier.

Antioxidants should definitely play a starring role in your skin care routine. For healthy skin that wows and glows from within, add some antioxidants to your routine and watch the results unfold as your skin becomes stronger and more radiant over time. Healthier skin is just a few antioxidants away!