Chances are, you’ve heard the term ‘antioxidants’ before. It’s normally used in relation to healthy eating and superfoods. But what are antioxidants, exactly - and how do they relate to skincare? Well, put simply, antioxidants are compounds found in foods like fruit and veggies. Much like a Belle at an end-of-season shoe sale, they scavenge. But instead of looking for the perfect pair of heels, they’re hunting down free radicals.
While ‘free radicals’ sound like they’d be the cool kids at school, they’re actually unstable molecules which steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage to DNA and other cells. Not cool at all! This is known as the oxidation process and is caused by things like stress, sun damage, pollution and alcohol. Your body can deal with a certain amount of free radicals — in fact, it needs them. But once there’s an overload, it can lead to all sorts of issues, including accelerated ageing. That’s where antioxidants come to the rescue, by neutralising the oxidation process and preventing further damage.
The most common antioxidants found in food are vitamins A, C and E, and the minerals copper, zinc and selenium. However, antioxidants aren’t always edible and can actually be applied directly to the skin through beauty products to help keep your skin looking youthful and fresh.
To help you navigate your way through the maze of skincare antioxidants, we’ve put together this handy guide, to show you the best ones to look out for.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SKINCARE ANTIOXIDANTS
1. Botanical Extract Antioxidants
Botanicals are powerful plant extracts derived from flowers, herbs, nuts, seeds, roots and berries and they’re packed with antioxidants that work absolute wonders for your skin. Here are some of the botanical extracts we use in our range of natural products:
Green Tea Extract
Not only is green tea excellent for your health, it’s incredible for your skin! Green tea extract contains a high concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, which are known to stop free radical damage in its tracks, reduce skin inflammation and help to soothe acne. Green tea extract is the starring ingredient in The Tea Cleanser.
Introducing our favourite skincare saviour, the Edelweiss flower! The extracts from this gorgeous mountain flower are packed with free radical-fighting antioxidants called flavonoids and phenolic acid. It makes an appearance in our moisturiser, The Flower Face Cream.
This superfood for your face is a berry extract that grows on a shrub-like tree. Packed with 190 nutrients and antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamins A, C, and E, it fights free radicals while keeping your skin nourished and hydrated. It’s the one of the rare extracts that contain a high percentage of omega-7 along with omega-3, 6, and 9. You can find it in The Seed Face Oil.
2. Vitamin Antioxidants
Not only can you load up on vitamin antioxidants by noshing on delicious superfoods, you can actually fast-track their anti-ageing benefits by including them in your skincare regime. Here are some of the most effective vitamin antioxidants:
Also known as retinol, vitamin A is well loved in the skincare world thanks to its amazing anti-ageing benefits. However, ladies with sensitive skin may find it too harsh, which is why we use natural and gentle sources of vitamin A in our products, such as seabuckthorn extract & bakuchiol.
Also known as niacinamide, vitamin B3 is like your skincare guardian angel. Not only does it help protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun, it helps to boost the immunity of your skin and reduces the appearance of ageing. You can find it in The Flower Face Cream at 2% which is the perfect ratio for sensitive skin.
Sourced mainly from citrus fruits, vitamin C extract is extremely popular in serums thanks to its ability to stimulate collagen production, brighten skin, and fight wrinkles. Did you know that Australian native Kakadu plums contains 10 times more of vitamin C than oranges?
A slightly lesser known but equally amazing vitamin antioxidant, vitamin E speeds up new skin cell growth (hello, baby soft skin!) and treats wrinkles and pigmentation. It plays a very important role in The Flower Face Cream and The Seed Face Oil.
3. Antioxidants as Active Ingredients
Much like your morning cappuccino, active ingredients are what make your skincare work harder. They’re great for treating specific skincare issues like fine lines and pigmentation. While some active ingredients are manufactured in labs, they can also be created using natural antioxidants, including:
Also known as ubiquione or vitamin Q, CoEnzyme Q10 is an oil-based vitamin substance. It’s found naturally in the body but decreases with age and is a star player when it comes to reversing the signs of free radical damage on the skin. Want to replenish your skin with coenzyme Q10? Look for our Seed Face Oil.
Turns out, grapes are good for more than just making wine or fruit salads! Made from the skin of red grapes (and funnily enough, peanuts) Resveratrol is one of the strongest ingredients that can be applied to the skin to protect from and repair environmental damage.
It’s the most potent natural antioxidants to date! It is an extract derived from the leaves and seeds of the babchi plant and is commonly used to help heal, calm, and soothe the skin, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It helps with wrinkle reduction, increases skin firmness, and reduces the appearance of pores – but best of all, it’s great for sensitive skin sufferers.
Sounds amazing, right? What if it's combined with the best source of vitamin C, Kakadu Plum, Finger Lime and Hibiscus extract? See the magic right here!