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Benefits of Antioxidants in Skin Care

author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
Benefits of Antioxidants in Skin Care
A woman wearing an antioxidant facial mask relaxing at the spa. Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images


Antioxidants are powerful substances that help to fight inflammation-containing substances in the body known as free radicals. Free radicals are emitted when your body breaks down food or taken in when your body is exposed to harmful irritants, such as cigarette smoke, pollution or radiation. Antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin A or beta-carotene can be applied to the skin in order to reduce free radical damage.

Increased Collagen Production

When free radicals damage the body, they particularly break down collagen proteins in the body. Collagen is responsible for helping the skin maintain its elasticity and strength and help it to appear more supple and young. By applying an antioxidant cream that can seep into the dermal layers of skin, the antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and allow collagen production to continue.

Minimized Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Wrinkles and fine lines are a natural part of the aging process. They occur as collagen and elastic production slow and gravity begins to take further effect over facial skin, causing it to sag. Free radicals such as excessive sun exposure can accelerate the natural effects of aging. For this reason, antioxidants found in skin care products can help to ward against free radicals' effects, slowing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Antioxidants cannot reverse damage that doesn't occur as the result of free radicals on the skin.

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Reduced Age Spots

Age spots, known as solar lentigines in the medical community, are harmless brown-, gray- or black-colored spots that appear on the skin. These spots occur when sun exposure speeds up melanin--a skin pigment--in the body. Over time, this melanin becomes more clumped together, resulting in age spots. Antioxidants in skin care products, particularly vitamin C, have been shown to offer benefits in the realm of reducing the melanin pigmentation on the age spot. This can lighten the age spot's appearance in sum or part, improving skin appearance.

Reduced Acne

Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant. When applied to the skin, it's known as a retinoid; brand names of this include Retin A. When applied to the skin, vitamin A goes deep into the pores to remove keratin plugs, one of the chief causes of acne papules and blackheads, according to DERMADoctor.com. Because those with acne also tend to produce excess amounts of oil, vitamin A also helps to reduce the overall level of oil in the pores because the pores are more open to circulate oil. When combined with a quality skin care cleansing regimen, application of the topical antioxidant vitamin A can reduce acne.

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