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The best antioxidants for the skin, according to dermatologists

You've probably heard at least Antioxidants and the seemingly unrestricted benefits to your skin, but you can not really understand what they are and what they really do. To explain it, we need to bring another buzzword for beauty and wellness: free radicals. Stay with us for a moment. "Free radicals are molecules that can damage various components in cells, such as DNA, proteins, outer barrier and matrix," Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, board-certified NYC dermatologist, clinical instructor at NYU Langone and Mount Sinai and founder of Entière Dermatology tells SELF. Antioxidants are basically fighters for free radicals.

The following happens at the cellular level. Free radicals are unstable and highly reactive molecules that steal electrons from other sources and thereby damage the cells. Antioxidants essentially donate electrons to neutralize or prevent free radicals from forming. Dr. Levin explains that there is a delicate balance between free radicals and antioxidants that are naturally produced in the skin. When this balance is lost – too many free radicals, less available antioxidants (a natural component of aging) – we experience so-called oxidative stress, which plays a role in premature aging, hyperpigmentation and inflammatory conditions, such as eczema and acne as well as skin cancer.

Antioxidants in skincare come into play here. The first way to avoid free radical damage is to use daily sunscreens with a broad spectrum that protect the cells from the negative effects of UVA and UVB rays. Dr. However, Levin points out that even if we wear enough sunscreen every day (which, let's say, nobody ), the sun is not the only source of free radicals we need to think about. "Free radicals are not only caused by UV radiation, but also by infrared radiation, pollutants and other stressors," she says. Therefore, they and other dermis recommend the daily use of sunscreen and of an antioxidant serum or cream (or sunscreen with antioxidants).

Many products now boast an antioxidant effect, but not all are created equal, Dr. Levin. "The formulation of a product that contains antioxidants is actually a challenge," she says, explaining that the antioxidant ingredients must have a sufficiently high antioxidant ability, have a sufficiently high concentration in the product, and are stable enough to not degrade, and actually be biologically active in the skin. "As a dermatologist, we see so many different formulations of antioxidants that we can use clinical studies to tell us whether a formulation actually works or not."

Levin and other dermatologists recommend the best antioxidants to try – and which products contain the most antioxidants.

Vitamin A

"Frequently referred to as retinol tretinoin acid and retinaldehyde, vitamin A has several functions, e.g. For example, healthy cell turnover (so the skin exfoliates and improves age spots), repairs the cell structure of the skin, reduces sebum production, [and] induces collagen formation (thus improving fine lines and wrinkles). " Stacy Chimento, Dermatologist in Miami Diane Walder of Riverchase Dermatology tells SELF. "We often recommend patients who have pre-cancer on the face to repair the skin and prevent the development of skin cancer."

Dr. Chimento's most popular vitamin A-containing products are currently SkinBetter Intensive AlphaRet Overnight Cream $ 110. "It's a cutting-edge subject that combines alpha-hydroxy acid and a retinoid to increase wrinkles and fine lines in four to six weeks reduce, "she says. "There's little to no irritation when using this product, especially for someone like me who works in Miami and is exposed to more intense sunlight than someone living in a colder climate." In fact, Dr. Your patients suffer from severe pigmentation problems as they are more prone to sunburn. "Using AlphaRet at night gives them the benefit of a retinoid with no added irritation and also provides moderate moisture to prevent dryness," she says.

Vitamin C

Often listed on the product labels as ascorbic acid, the nutrient typically associated with the immune system is a dermatologically preferred ingredient for your skin . "Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that binds and removes harmful free radicals, such as those produced by ultraviolet radiation and environmental pollutants," Y. Claire Chang, MD, cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in Manhattan, tells SELF. "All of these functions help prevent skin aging, including lightening brown patches stimulating collagen and protecting against UV damage." While we can rate vitamin C from a variety of foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, it best strengthens our skin through topical application . Their favorite skincare products, including Vitamin C, include Skinceuticals CE Ferulic $ 166, SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum $ 281, Drunkelefant C-Company Day Serum ] $ 80 and COSRX Triple C Lightning Liquid $ 27.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E or tocopherol has been shown in animal models and human studies to combat sun damage. "Scientific studies have shown that treatment with vitamin E can reduce UV-induced photodamage, reduce the risk of skin cancers and stabilize the skin barrier," Dr. Chang. In addition to its antioxidant properties, vitamin E can also protect the skin by absorbing UV light, but it is quickly depleted by UVB. Chang recommends using it in combination with other antioxidants. In particular, it has been shown that vitamin C stabilizes vitamin E and contributes to regeneration making the combination of the two vitamins particularly effective in combating UV damage. Because of this, many of their most popular vitamin E-containing skincare products include the combo, such as Skinceutical's CE Ferulic, SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum, SkinMedica Vitamin C + E Complex $ 102, and Sunday Riley Chairman C + E Antioxidant Moisturizer $ 65.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide, is a potent antioxidant found in many of the foods we eat – mostly meat. When it comes to skin benefits, however, it's important to put it on your face with dermis. "Studies have shown that topical application of niacinamide has many potential benefits for the skin, including improved skin hydration, reduced wrinkles and wrinkles, decreased brown spots, improved redness / blotchiness, and improved skin elasticity," says Dr Chang. Niacinamide is currently on the market in many skincare products. She recommends Murad's Rapid Age Spot Correcting Serum $ 75, CeraVe's Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM $ 16 and Skinceutical's Metacell Renewal B3 $ 112. It's also in one of her preferred sunscreens contain, EltaMD UV Clear $ 33.

Green Tea Polyphenols

For those who want to fight signs of premature aging, polyphenols can help in green tea. Chimento. "The main active ingredients of green tea extract are polyphenols, also known as catechins, which account for 30 to 35 percent of the dry weight of the green tea leaf and have several antioxidant effects, including anti-inflammatory properties, carcinogenic effects and [working against] a decrease in collagen degradation," explains Dr , Chang. As green tea reduces redness and inflammation, it is particularly suitable for those with sensitive skin .

But do not rub your morning cup of tea on your face (or the green tea extract ) Dietary Supplement – There are so many skincare products for green tea. To the products of Dr. med. Chang for green tea include: Boscia Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer $ 38, InnisFree Intensive Hydrating Serum with Green Tea Seed $ 25 and Neogen Green Tea Genuine Fresh Foam Cleanser $ 19. Chimento is a big fan of Alto Defense Serum from Skinbetter Science $ 145, which contains a high green tea content.


Naturally found in berries, peanuts, and red grapes. You guessed it, red wine, Resveratrol has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties. "Scientific studies indicate that topically applied resveratrol protects against UVB-induced light damage, pigmentation, and collagen degradation," explains Dr. Chang. In other words, Resveratrol can help lighten the skin and avoid fine lines. There are more and more skin care products on the market that contain resveratrol, but there are some good things that Drs. Chang recommends are: SkinCeuticals Resveratrol B E $ 153, Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster $ 68 and The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% $ 8.


This polyphenol antioxidant is found in Turmeric . root – the yellow gold spice popular in Mediterranean cuisine … and Instagram . " Curcumin helps reduce inflammation, accelerates wound healing, prevents oily skin and acne, fights free radicals and acts as a sunscreen against aging skin and against microbes (hence acne)," says Dr. Chimento. "From a medical perspective, it has been reported that it can help people suffering from dermatological conditions such as psoriasis and scleroderma through its potent anti-inflammatory effects."

The yellow color can make it difficult to integrate into topical products where there is a will. there is a way Chimento's most popular curcumin-packaged skin product is Kiehl's Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask $ 39, which is gentle, does not stain the skin and exerts slight exfoliating effects that leave a soft skin feeling with a nice glowing glowing effect "Curcumin's antimicrobial benefits make it ideal for acne-prone skin," she adds.

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