Antioxidant serums come pretty close to a beauty miracle and are thought as one of the three essential anti-aging must-haves, other than daily sunscreen and nightly glycolic. A nightly topical antioxidant in a serum form, texture and finish helps protect skin against free radical and reactive oxygen damage, which can lead to premature skin aging and skin cancer.
A serum is defined as a skin care product with a gel or light lotion consistency that contains a high concentration of performance ingredients. Antioxidant specific serums are ones that prevent free radical damage and inhibit oxidation. Free radicals cause damage to the DNA and cells. Antioxidants complex the free radicals, which are missing a molecule, and neutralize them.
Besides delivering advanced protection, there are plenty of other reasons to use an antioxidant serum. They improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and the overall texture of the skin, and is a great treatment for those worried about aging skin. Antioxidants also help boost the immune system from inside and out.
To target individual skincare needs, particular antioxidants have to be used: Vitamin C is considered the best topical antioxidant for its ability to increase collagen for firmer skin, prevent inflammation, and block excessive melanin to even and brighten skin tone. Vitamin E is another standout because it removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents. Other good antioxidant ingredients are green tea, caffeine, resveratrol, polyphenols, and xanthines. Other important ingredients include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and squalene for dryness; retinol for anti-aging; and glycolic acid or salicylic acid for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and acne.
Antioxidant serums can be applied in the morning and the evening, before moisturizing. Topical antioxidants work best at bedtime when there is no ambient UV light, which inactivates them if the skin is exposed to the UV before the antioxidant has a chance to absorb into the skin.
Antioxidant serums don’t come cheap. Effective antioxidant ingredients are more expensive than many other skincare actives. Since, they contain a high concentration of their active ingredients, especially high-tech actives, only a few drops need to be applied, which make them last longer.