I’m going to guess that you don’t really know what antioxidants are. The skin care world is confusing: you’ve heard antioxidants are good for you, but do you know why you’re slathering them on your skin?

Every cell in your body is fighting a war on a daily basis. It’s called oxidative stress. This is due to free radical formation. When you are exposed to sunlight, or when germs try to invade your skin, or when you inhale smog or cigarette smoke, or when you eat high sugar foods, you form free radicals. Sometimes our skin makes free radicals to help protect us from invaders or damage, and some free radicals form from normal cell functions.

Every one of our cells receives about 10,000 “hits” per day from free radicals. Free radicals can destroy protein, DNA, cell membranes and structures. Free radicals can cause damage that leads to skin cancer and premature aging. Some free radicals are formed to protect us from danger, and damage occurs when our body is unable to neutralize or clear them.

What’s the solution? Antioxidants to the rescue. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals that have formed, and can even prevent the formation of free radicals. Antioxidant rich skin care products, foods and supplements can help us by blocking and neutralizing free radicals. Another option is also skin beauty boosters.


Explanation on how radicals are formed

A free radical is produced from oxidation (think of iron rusting over time). Free radicals are toxic and highly unstable molecules. Simply put, they are electron stealing molecules that damage our cells. The resultant damage, if unaddressed, or repaired imperfectly, accumulates over time, giving rise to wrinkles, brown spots, and skin cancers. Antioxidants fix this by restoring missing electrons. We make antioxidants in our body (endogenous), and get them from our diet or supplements (exogenous). A single antioxidant may only repair one type of oxidative damage. So we need a comprehensive defence system to guard against all versions of free radical damage.

But that’s not all. Some antioxidants brighten the skin, calm irritation, and even smooth fine lines. So you need to know what antioxidants to choose.


Beautiful Woman Face

1. Brighter complexion

Select antioxidants have the ability to improve the appearance of dull, uneven skin tone.  Vitamin C is felt to be the best antioxidant for brightening your skin.  It can lighten hyperpigmentation and brown spots, and brighten your overall complexion.  Think of Vitamin C as a free radical quencher.  It is very unstable, and to be effective must be in the right formulation and in the right concentration. 

2.  Anti-aging

Without question, abundant research shows antioxidants help diminish and visibly soften the appearance of wrinkles.  Vitamin A is the superstar here.  Vitamin A smooths fine lines, fills in wrinkles, softens bumps and rough patches, brightens skin, fades scars and dark marks, and drastically reduces acne. Topical Vitamin A comes in many forms: the best known is Retinol. Topical Vitamin A should be used at bedtime, as it is inactivated by sunlight. This antioxidant can be irritating to your skin, and may need to be introduced slowly to avoid dryness or flaking or redness.

3. Moisturizing and Calming

Vitamin E is one of the most well known antioxidants. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, a strong shield against free radicals and premature aging, and a pro at keeping skin soft and supple.  Vitamin E works in powerful


Yes! If there is one category of skin care ingredients you can never have too much of, it’s antioxidants.  They intervene to defend your skin against environmental damage (think sun and pollution), and work deep down to improve how your skin functions.

When it comes to your skin and antioxidants, remember the saying:  “There’s strength in numbers”.  When the top performing antioxidants are combined to work together, and reinforced with daily use of sunscreen, the visible results can be remarkable.

It is important to know that antioxidants break down when exposed to light and air.  If packaged in a jar, the ingredients will begin to lose their effectiveness when you open the container due to their instability.  Look for products in air-restrictive containers.

To keep your skin young, healthy and beautiful add an antioxidant into your skincare routine.


At O’Neill Cosmetic Dermatology we can help you select the right antioxidant products for your skin type and needs.

(905) 820-7546
O'Neill Dermatology

Call us with all your questions!
(905) 820-7546