There are plenty of products out there jam-packed with good-for-you antioxidants. If you’ve ever wondered what that actually means, you’re not alone. To gather some intel on how antioxidants help fight free radicals—and why that’s a good thing—we chatted with Leslie Baumann, MD , CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute, and head of the advisory board of Skin Type Solutions.
See, free radicals are destructive molecules that can compromise your health (and damage and age your skin) making them Public Enemy Number One in our beauty book. And since they’re caused by everything from pollution to UV rays to fried foods and even stress, they’re hard to avoid. Luckily, antioxidants can stop free radicals from wreaking havoc on your system—and keep your skin looking healthy, gorgeous and glowing.
While you can fill your plate with antioxidant-rich foods like chocolate (consider this your excuse to reach for some of the sweet stuff), avocadoes and almonds, to name a few, you can also slather them onto your skin.
“Both topical and digestive antioxidants play a role in fighting off free radicals,” says Baumann. Translation: Applying creams and serums that contain antioxidants will do your skin a whole lot of good.
A few of the most popular topical antioxidants? Vitamins C and E, caffeine, green tea, soy, ferulic acid and resveratrol, says Baumman. To add some of these skin superheroes to your beauty routine, take a look at our product recommendations above!
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Here's everything you need to know about topical antioxidants.
This facial oil will breathe life back into a dehydrated or dull complexion. A few drops of this green tea seed packed oil will leave your skin soft and glowing.
AMOREPACIFIC Green Tea Seed Treatment Oil, $195, sephora.com
Erase the signs of a late night and boost your skin’s radiance with this genius formula. It contains caffeine, an antioxidant that may help soothe inflammation, reduce puffiness and minimize redness.
Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrest Flash Radiance Skincare Brush, $55, bergdorfgoodman.com
This cleanser will give your skin a deep clean without drying it out. We especially like pairing it with our Clarisonic to gently remove traces of makeup, oil and dirt at the end of a long day.
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, $38, sephora.com
This serum, one of Baumman’s favorite antioxidant-rich products, contains a 15 percent concentration of vitamin C and will help brighten your skin and even reduce the appearance of scars.
iS Clinical Super Serum Advance Plus, $140, skinstore.com
Keep your pout soft and kissable with this deep-conditioning lip treatment. Vitamin E and honey will soften and smooth the delicate skin on your lips.
Jo Malone London Vitamin E Lip Conditioner, $25, bergdorfgoodman.com
Another one of Baumman’s go-to products, this serum contains not one but three of the most popular antioxidants: vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid. It seeps into your skin quickly and keeps working for 72 hours (or even longer!) after you’ve applied it.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment, $153, dermstore.com
It might be on the pricier side at $225 per bottle, but this ultra-luxe cream is a triple threat. It smoothes fine lines, moisturizes and softens your skin.
SUNDAY RILEY Bionic Anti-Aging Cream, $225, sephora.com