Antioxidants are everywhere, but what do they actually do?

by BiE - Beauty in Everything
Antioxidants are everywhere, but what do they actually do?



Have you ever seen a metal turn into a reddish-brown flaky layer over a period of time? Well, that’s rust formed upon the metal’s exposure to the oxygen in the air. This process is called oxidation, which forms unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals are like tiny vandals inside your body, lurking around and causing damage to your cells. Just like rust weakens metal, free radicals can damage your cell membranes and other structures, potentially leading to ageing and other skin conditions. Antioxidants in skincare are classified as skincare soldiers that protect the skin from free radical damage.

Just like you wouldn't leave your favourite bike to rust forever out in the open, your body has a built-in defence mechanism: antioxidants. These tiny superhero molecules act like shields, neutralising free radicals before they can wreak havoc on your cells. By understanding antioxidants in skincare, you can help your body fight back and maintain a healthy balance.


Come, let’s delve into the depth of it and understand the significance of antioxidants in the human body.

The Science Behind Antioxidants in Skincare

Understanding Free Radicals: The Role of Antioxidant

Think of free radicals as troublemakers crashing a cell party. They're unstable because they have an extra electron. Picture oxygen, which is usually chill, but now it's missing an electron – that's a free radical. It tries to calm down by snatching electrons from other molecules, just like a clumsy guest who accidentally breaks stuff at a party.

These natural processes, like our body converting food into energy, can create free radicals. But environmental factors like pollution, smoking, and even sunlight can also increase their production. Different types of free radicals exist, some targeting proteins, some fats, and others DNA. However, it is also important to understand that free radicals are essential for our body. Some immune systems use free radicals to fight infections. But, once the free radicals outweigh antioxidants benefits in your body, it can lead to a state called oxidative stress. This constant barrage of free radicals can lead to a slew of healthy diseases.

best antioxidants for skin

What do Antioxidants do?

Thankfully, our bodies have built-in security guards – antioxidants! These superhero molecules act in a few ways to neutralise free radicals. Some antioxidants, like vitamin E, are electron donors. They sacrifice their own extra electron to stabilise the free radical, calming it down before it can cause damage. Others, like vitamin C, act as scavengers, seeking out and mopping up free radicals before they wreak havoc.

The good news is that antioxidant benefits for skin often work together. Imagine a team effort – one antioxidant might weaken the free radical, and another might finish the job by donating an electron. This synergy between different antioxidants in skincare provides a more robust defence system for our cells and paves the way for healthy skin.

antioxidants meaning

Antioxidant Benefits For Skin

Antioxidants and Overall Health

Free radicals have been implicated in the development of various chronic diseases. While research is ongoing, studies suggest antioxidant benefits for skin might play a role in reducing the risk. For instance, antioxidants may help protect cells from damage linked to cancer development. Similarly, they might also contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system by potentially reducing inflammation and “bad” cholesterol levels associated with heart disease.

The benefits extend beyond physical health. Some antioxidants in skincare might support cognitive function by protecting brain cells from free radical damage. Additionally, antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin may contribute to eye health by filtering blue light and potentially reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Antioxidants and Skin Health

The war against wrinkles gets a boost from antioxidants! Free radical damage can accelerate skin ageing, leading to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Antioxidants in skincare act as warriors, neutralising these free radicals and potentially helping to maintain skin's elasticity and youthful appearance.

But the antioxidant benefits for skin go beyond aesthetics. They might also promote wound healing by supporting collagen production, a key component for healthy skin. They may even offer some protection against sun damage, although sunscreen remains the primary defence against harmful UV rays.

antioxidant food for skin whitening

Where to Find Antioxidants For Skin?

Food Sources of Antioxidants in Skincare

The good news is, incorporating a colourful & vibrant mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts and some dietary supplements increases your daily dose of antioxidant benefits for the skin. These plant powerhouses are packed with these beneficial molecules, vitamins, antioxidant properties, etc. Berries, known for their deep hues, are antioxidant champions. Think blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Leafy greens like kale and spinach are also loaded with antioxidants. Don't forget about the vibrant world of vegetables – like red peppers, carrots, and tomatoes. Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa add another layer of antioxidant defence. Nuts and seeds, like walnuts and almonds, are your gateway to unlock radiant, glowing skin. There is some ambiguity around the benefits of vitamins as well, which vitamin acts as an antioxidant? Which vitamins are antioxidants?

  • Vitamin C: One of most well-known antioxidants, Vitamin C helps protect the skin from free radicals and other environmental stressors. It is commonly found in oranges, berries, green leafy vegetables and other citrus fruits.
  • Vitamin E:Protects the cell membranes from free radical damage. It also gives your skin a luminous glow. Commonly found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.
  • Vitamin A: Protects the skin from environmental stressors and strengthens the immune system. Oranges, yellow fruits, papaya, vegetables and dairy products possess a good source of vitamin A.

  • antioxidant foods for skin

    Antioxidants Supplements For Skin

    While a balanced diet is ideal, some people choose to supplement their antioxidant intake. Antioxidant supplements for skin containing vitamins C and E, as well as beta-carotene, are readily available. However, it is always advisable to get your daily dose of antioxidant plant-sourced foods rather than relying on supplements. But, if you are having a specific deficiency, always best to consult a healthcare professional before taking any supplements to ensure they're right for you and won't cause any interactions

    antioxidants skin care

    Maximising Your Antioxidants Power

    Ready to elevate your antioxidant uses for skin? Here are some tips:

  • Paint your Palette with loads of healthy colours: Fill your plate with a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables. Deep hues often signify a higher antioxidant benefits for skin.
  • Variety is Key: Don't get stuck in a rut! Explore different fruits and vegetables throughout the season to maximise your antioxidant exposure.
  • Spicy is good: Herbs and spices like turmeric and ginger are antioxidant powerhouses. Add them liberally to your meals for reaping the benefits of antioxidant properties.

  • importance of antioxidants

  • Cooking with Care: Some cooking methods can impact antioxidants. Steaming or lightly stir-frying helps preserve these delicate molecules.
  • Nuts are good: Nuts like almonds, walnuts, apricots are classified as true-blue glow getters. Add them to your breakfast table or have it as an evening snack to achieve radiant, glowing skin.

  • antioxidants benefits

    Remember, antioxidants for skin work best alongside other healthy lifestyle habits. Regular exercise helps your body utilise antioxidants more effectively, and proper sleep allows your body to repair cellular damage more efficiently.


    In a nutshell, we all know that beauty and having healthy skin is imperative. No one wants to have sagging, dull and damaged skin even in their 50’s. Antioxidants act like tiny molecular soldiers that save your skin from going into a state of distress. By incorporating a colourful dose of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, vitamins like Vitamin E, Vitamin A & C into our daily routine, we can naturally boost our antioxidants in skincare. A vibrant plate that savours your palette empower your skin to thrive. Feed your skin the right nutrients and it will thank you for the extra tender, love & care. Till then, happy skin!

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