Antioxidants are a common notion when it comes to areas like skincare, food and health. But what are they and why are they important to us?
We all need oxygen to survive, but when we breathe, a bi-product called free radicals is produced. Free radicals cause various types of damage to the body, so-called oxidative stress, which in a long-term perspective lead to inflammatory issues, and also speed up the ageing process. Furthermore, free radicals are believed to increase the risk of conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis.
Antioxidants are the natural enemy of free radicals and can help to fight against the negative impact they have on our bodies. From a skincare perspective, antioxidants support and protect the skin, making it stronger, healthier and younger looking. Examples of antioxidant rich ingredients comprise vitamin C and E, green tea, algae, sea buckthorn, blueberries, goji berries, tomatoes, avocado, broccoli and cauliflower. Whilst it is important to include the right balance of antioxidants in your food, they also fill an important function in your daily beauty routines. This is true especially in the fast-paced, polluted urban lifestyle that many of us lead today, which is full of factors that could increase the release of free radicals.
M Picaut Glorious Green Foaming Cleanser (£ 30.60)
Sea buckthorn is a key ingredient in the whole M Picaut skincare range; and the golden superberry is also a powerful antioxidant, which helps to fight inflammation and boosts skin with essential vitamins. Glorious Green Foaming Cleanser gently purifies and balances the skin with sea buckthorn and lemon myrtle. Cucumber juice has calming properties, whilst at the same time refreshing the skin and giving it a beautiful glow. A winner in the Swedish Beauty & Cosmetics Awards 2016, this product has a light and fresh feel to it and is suitable for all skin types. Leaving behind a soft and healthy complexion with a subtle, natural aroma of citrus. www.eleven.se
Beauté Pacifique Defy Damage Serum (£ 57.50)
A lightweight, powerful serum, containing a combination of antioxidants that helps the skin to counter signs of ageing and sun damage. The formula also includes refirming extracts, which diminishes facial redness by contracting the blood vessels. Very agreeable to apply, with a kind of healthy scent to it, and easily absorbed by the skin. Gives a smooth and plump feeling, with (potentially) visible results after only a few weeks of usage. www.beautepacifique.co.uk
Delizioso Green Tea Facial Cream (£ 18.91)
Green tea has been known for its healthy effects for thousands of years, and is considered to be one of the most potent antioxidants of them all. This facial cream, from Canadian, natural skincare brand Delizioso, is light textured and fast-absorbing. Based on raw vegetable oils, the formulation is enriched with green tea essential oil, green tea extract and bilberry extract, which helps the skin to stay young and radiant. The complexion is left hydrated and smooth, with a lovely, rejuvenated lustre. www.deliziososkincare.com
Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Eye Recovery Gel (£ 46.00)
The eye area is usually the first place where signs of ageing and stress are visible, which is due to the thin and delicate quality of the skin here. Therefore, choosing products for this area is important: they generally should be intensely nourishing, hydrating and protecting. At the same time, eye care products need to be gentle enough not to stress the skin instead of boosting it. Hydrating Eye Recovery Gel from the Image Skincare Vital C range is deeply moisturising and works with a blend of powerful antioxidants, peptides and patents to reduce the appearance of lines and dark circles. Skin is left fresh and firm, and puffiness is reduced thanks to improved lymphatic circulation. www.imageskincare.co.uk
La Roche Posay Toleraine Ultra Nuit (£ 17.50) laroche-posay.co.uk
Night-time is when the skin, just like the rest of the body, has the opportunity to recover and regenerate. This recovery phase is something we could and should enhance with our skincare regimen. The La Roche Posay Toleraine range is developed for sensitive skin and features a high tolerance recipe, with few ingredients and high efficacy. Toleraine Ultra Nuit is an overnight gel mask containing a powerful antioxidant duo, as well as soothing components. The formula works at night, when we sleep, to fight external aggressors like allergens and toxins. In the morning, skin is left hydrated, calm and boosted, without signs of irritation or reactivity. www.laroche-posay.co.uk
Kerstin Florian Rejuvenating Spirulina Mask (£ 47.00)
Algae is a powerful source of antioxidants and also contain important minerals, vitamins and proteins that help to nourish and revitalise the skin. In the Rejuvenating Spirulina Mask from Swedish-American skincare brand Kerstin Florian, spirulina algae is combined with antioxidant-rich rosemary leaf extract and cleansing and refining pacific rim clay. Featuring an aromatic, marine scent and noticeable deep cleansing effect, the formulation also nourishes skin and stimulates circulation. It can be used once or twice a week and leaves behind a healthy-looking complexion, with beautiful, natural glow. www.kerstinflorian.co.uk
Annemarie Börlind Vitamin Duo Mask (£ 31.50)
Award-winning (at in-Cosmetics Global 2017 in London) Vitamin Duo Mask, from German, organic label Annemarie Börlind, contains an antioxidant-rich superfruit-cocktail of goji, acai and sea buckthorn, as well as protective vitamin E from soy. A vegan, highly concentrated formula, which works on stimulating, energising and rejuvenating the skin. At the same time, this pampering mask provides care and comfort to a tired and dull complexion. It’s very agreeable and refreshing to apply, absorbs easily and gives a smooth, radiant and refined complexion as result. www.borlind.co.uk