The Advanced Guide to Antioxidants: Benefits and Skin Types
Updated: Jun 27
Antioxidants are taking the lead as one of the most important skincare ingredient. This is largely attributed to their skin-health benefits in supporting healthy skin cells and fighting oxidative stress (which can lead to damaged, fragile skin). It thus comes with no surprise that dermatologists are singing praises of antioxidants, saying that they are a 'must-have' in every person's skincare routine.
With a variety of them available out there, you might wonder if some of the potent superstars are really suitable for your sensitive, dry, or combination skin. Here's a handy breakdown of these widely popular skincare antioxidants, their benefits, and the skin types that they work wonders for!
There are various types of Vitamin A and can be known as different names like retinoic acid, retinol, and more. However, they serve different targeted purposes in your skincare. As shared by Healthline, Vitamin A is easily absorbed by the skin when applied topically and helps to stimulate collagen production, effectively reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
By stimulating the dermis layer of your skin (one layer below the epidermis), this highly essential nutrient helps shed dead skin cells quickly.
In a nutshell, Vitamin A helps drive efficient results when lightening pigmentation, wrinkles, and even acne. It’s no wonder it’s called the anti-aging antioxidant.
Vitamin A is generally suitable for all skin types but it is particularly beneficial for aging, pigmented, and acne-prone skin.
Our recommendation for a good Vitamin A serum would be bglen QuSome Retino A. It is formulated with 3 different types of Vitamin A, namely - Retinol Plus, Retinoic Acid Tocopheryl, and Retinyl Palmitate, for triple the anti-aging benefits!
This skin perk-you-up provides a range of benefits—evening out uneven skin tone, fighting nasty effects of environmental impurities and pollution, helping with anti-aging and of course, brightening dull complexions. One of the best things about Vitamin C is that it helps to prevent dark spots from forming, but also effectively reduces pigmentation even after it’s occurred.
Also, did you know that applying Vitamin C to the skin is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion? Applying Vitamin C daily for three days can achieve optimal levels in the skin. It is also known that once a topical antioxidant is absorbed into the skin, it cannot be washed or rubbed off. So, even after stopping application, significant amounts of Vitamin C will remain in the skin for up to three days!
It’s important to mention that Vitamin C forms are effective in lower concentrations, so don’t get caught up in the belief that only higher strengths are beneficial for skin.
Research has shown that concentrations as low as 0.6% provide antioxidant and anti-aging benefits to skin (Skin Research and Technology, 2008).
For oily or normal skin, L-ascorbic acid is the most potent form of Vitamin C and can be the most beneficial, while for dry and sensitive skin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, a fat-soluble Vitamin C, is less irritating and more stable than pure Vitamin C (which means it is suitable for skin that's extremely sensitive).
For acne-prone skin, there is research showing that Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a water-soluble Vitamin C, can inhibit factors that cause breakouts while working to rid dark spots.
Add Vitamin C to your routine and you’ll have youthful skin in no time.
This antioxidant helps to keep your skin from pollutants while helping to improve skin health and fade pigmentation as it’s essential in the processing of Vitamin A. The latter is included in many skincare products like retinoids and specifically targets dark spots. Without Vitamin E, your body is unable to absorb Vitamin A properly, making your retinoids ineffective!
Additionally, Vitamin E is a wonderful antioxidant with properties that neutralize harmful free radicals, protect the skin from pollution, and damaging UV rays. Vitamin E further helps to enhance the skin's natural healing process and prevents trans-epidermal water loss.
Vitamin E is usually suitable for all skin types considering that it's a naturally occurring substance in the body.
Resveratrol is an extremely strong antioxidant that works to not just protect your body against things like heart diseases, but also provides a full suite of benefits like skin lifting and prevention against wrinkles. Another thing we’re celebrating about this miracle antioxidant? Its ability to control inflammation according to studies. More specifically, the processes that lead to inflammation of the skin. Think minimized redness and peeling—a huge plus for those with sensitive skin. You’ll be able to enjoy an all-round healthy, clear, and youthful complexion always.
As an incredibly potent antioxidant, Resveratrol also serves the same functions as estrogen to help maintain collagen levels, plump up delicate fine lines, reduce wrinkles, and improve skin elasticity.
Resveratrol is usually suitable for all skin types especially dry, hyper-pigmented skin.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
Also known as Vitamin B3, Niacinamide is an effective ingredient with various skincare benefits that range from pore-minimising qualities to the reduction of fine lines, dullness, and hyperpigmentation! Hyperpigmentation occurs when the transfer of pigment (melanosomes) from your melanocytes to the skin surrounding your epidermis. This causes your skin to rapidly produce uneven, blotchy pigmentation and speed up the appearance of aging skin. If you’re at your wit’s end on how to slow down the effects of hyperpigmentation, Niacinamide helps to suppress and slow down the transfer of melanin caused by UV rays to your skin’s epidermis so you have fewer freckles and age spots.
Literally everything about your skin becomes better when your skin’s epidermal barrier is functioning at peak performance.
Niacinamide has the power to strengthen your skin’s lipid barrier, preventing Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) and retaining moisture better while keeping it protected from environmental detriments.
Niacinamide has been widely researched as a beneficial ingredient for oily / acne-prone skin. It helps to regulate the amount of oil that your skin produces, keeps your complexion matte, and reduces the appearance of clogged, enlarged pores.
Antioxidant and nutrient-dense Green Tea is becoming a popular ingredient in skincare products. It helps to protect skin against environmental pollutants by boosting the immunity of skin cells against external toxins. Skincare treatments with Green Tea also act as an alternative method of getting rid of blackheads/whiteheads embedded in the skin while being extremely gentle.
Furthermore, the EGCG found in green tea also has shown improvement in battling acne and oily skin in various studies. According to research, the rich amount of polyphenols in Green Tea, when applied to skin, help to reduce sebum secretion, which can lead to acne. Polyphenols further help to slow the skin's aging process, maintain the elasticity and vitality of the skin, and improve its radiance.
Green Tea is generally suitable for all skin types especially combination, oily, blemish-prone skin, and skin that is dealing with premature aging.
Swiss Apple Stem Cell
You’ve probably heard about apple and other fruit essential oils being used in skincare products, but you may not be familiar with the use of Malus Domestica fruit cell culture extract. Malus Domestica fruit cell culture extract is a powerful, anti-aging skincare ingredient that comes from the rare Uttwiler Spätlauber – otherwise known as Swiss Apple. In many ways, it is an even more powerful ingredient than the essential oils that are so popular.
Swiss Apple Stem Cell is an antioxidant and skin conditioner that leaves your skin softer, smoother, and stronger than it was before.
Swiss Apple Stem Cell is suitable for dry, normal to combination skin types, and it is gentle on sensitive, irritated skin too.
Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are behind many common skin care issues such as fine lines and wrinkles. Eating and drinking antioxidants-rich fruits and juices are beneficial to your skin but you get even better results when you use a topical product with antioxidant-rich ingredients. Look for antioxidants that are suitable for your skin type to target specific concerns while delaying skin aging and protecting it from being damaged.
“As for how many antioxidants you should be using regularly….the answer is: the more the better!” says Dr. Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology.
About us: We are Skintelligence, a team focused on a 'skin-first' approach to beauty through artificial intelligence. We match products to you based on your unique skin type and needs. Results are highly accurate and personalized with AI and machine learning. It's fun, convenient, and it works. Try it here.
As featured in Her World, CLEO, FEMALE, Shape, Nuyou, Singapore Women’s Weekly, Daily Vanity, Layers of Skins.