Anti-oxidants and the Skin. The Low Down

Be informed about the ingredients you put on your skin so you can confidently choose products that are going to improve the way your skin looks and feels.

The Basics

The integrity of the skin’s structure isdue to proteins like collagen and elastin. We all know that with age, our skin structure is less robust, so let’s get the low down on what ages our skin and what anti-oxidants do to help the skin’s integrity.

So, the following cause skin damage:


  • With increasing age, there is a reduction in cell turnover and reduced repair so the skin becomes thinner
  • The skin loses some of its natural elasticity
  • Glands shrink so the skin has less protective moisturising oils
  • Repetitive movements cause lines, eg. Frown lines
  • Gravity causes the less elastic and less firm skin to sag

Sun damage

  • Both UVA and UVB damage the skin
  • UV damage leads to reduced levels of Vitamin A in the skin
  • UV damages the collagen and elastin fibres which causes a vicious cycle where there are increased free radicals produced and further collagen break down

Environmental Damage

  • Smoking – increases wrinkles because of free radical production
  • Pollution – reduces Vitamin E in the body

How to Anti-oxidants help?

ANTI-OXIDANTS work by protecting the cells against free radical damage. Anti-oxidants may be applied directly to the skin and they are also present in foods and supplements

What anti-oxidants can I use on my skin?

Vitamin A

  • Natural forms include retinol and retinaldhyde; chemically related products include retinoids such as treretinoin and tazarotene
  • Repairs skin damage secondary to aging and sun damage so reduces fine lines, liver spots (also known as age spots) and rough skin
  • May cause irritation to the some skin
  • Causes sensitivity to the sun, so you need sun (UVA and UVB) protection
  • Do not use in pregnancy

Vitamin C

  • Helps rebuild collagen
  • Can reduce and protect against sun damage
  • Needs to be active to work – just because your skincare product has Vitamin C doesn’t mean that it is active

Vitamin E

  •  Also known as alpha tocopherol
  •  Helps prevent sun damage
  •  Lower levels are seen in smokers
  •  Reduces skin roughness, length of facial lines and wrinkles


  • This is part of the Vitamin B3 complex
  • Closely related to niacin which is essential for health
  • Said to be beneficial for eye wrinkles
  • Increases elasticity
  • Reduces rosacea as it reduced inflammation
  • Protects against sun damage
  • Not to be used in heavy drinkers
  • May cause irritation in some people


  • Helps rejuvenate aging skin
  • Good for dry skin, age (liver) spots and hyperpigmentation

Soy extracts     

  • Helps rejuvenate aging skin
  • A common soy isoflavone is genistein
  • Brightens the skin
  • Reduces redness
  • Boosts collagen production
  • Reduces pigmentation due to sun damage


  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Has anti-inflammatory effects
  • Good for relief of sunburn


  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Contains anti-oxidant called gingerol
  • Brightens the skin
  • Good for acne prone skin

Grape Seed Extract

  • Promotes healthy skin


  • Good anti-oxidant that fight free radicals


  •  Claimed to improve skin roughness and fine lines

Alpha Lipoic acid (ALA)

  • Claimed to erase fine lines and wrinkles, reduce pore size and give a healthy glow to the skin

How do I choose a good skincare product?

We are happy to make recommendations and provide you with great deals. Message us or speak to the person who referred you to the page to get an idea of what products are best suited to you


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