To be clear that we're only talking topical anti-oxidants (those you apply externally on to the skin). Consuming anti-oxidants, while very (very) good for your body, has little to no effect on your skin; think of them as totally different districts; your face is the capitol, your body is district 12 and the anti-oxidants don't travel between.
Anti-oxidant Ingredients to look out for;
- Green Tea
- Cocoa Powder
- Vitamin A/Retinol
- Vitamin C/Ascorbic Acid or Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
- Vitamin E/Tocopherol
- Grape Extract
Some of these ingredients will protect your skin, some go further than that and will stimulate collagen production (Vitamin C/Retinol), encourage cell repair (Vitamin E) or even firm skin (retinol). The best way to use them is to combine them. Don't think you have to pick just one!! Apply your retinol serum and your Vitamin C serum as well as your DIY Green Tea toner.
IMPORTANT: Vitamin C is one of the best ingredients out there but grabbing an orange and rubbing it over your face is NOT the same thing! Our skin uses vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid which we cannot make ourselves. We just can't. Rubbing orange/lemon juice and peel over your face will only result in a lovely case of irritation and make your skin extra sensitive to the sun's ageing rays - steer clear..
Getting the most from your Anti-oxidant Skincare
Only apply in the evening - Anti-oxidants need a lot of time to rebuild your shield and are immediately broken down by sunshine; If you apply your anti-oxidants in the morning they're already dead - sunshine killed them before they could get to your shield.
Protect them from sunlight - If you make a DIY anti-oxidant recipe keep it in a brown or coloured pot to protect it from the light.
Keep away from chemical exfoliants - topical anti-oxidants like Vitamin C and Retinol are broken down and rendered useless by chemical exfoliants, so apply them at different times - glycolic/salicylic in the morning, vitamin C and retinol in the evening.
Combine them - Green tea toner + retinol serum + vitamin C serum + Vitamin E in night cream = happy skin and strong shield!
Don't Get Ripped Off - Just like chemical exfoliants, antioxidants need a long time on your skin to do their thing - we're talking hours - so a facewash scrub, or anything that is washed off, will deliver no antioxidant benefits - it will have no effect. At all - steer clear.
And by the way if you find a good vitamin C serum that isn't wildly expensive let me know - I'm always looking for the very best one I can find!
Ciao for now