8 Age-Fighting Antioxidants You Should Know About

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When it comes to anti-aging ingredients, antioxidants take the cake. Not only do they combat free-radical damage that causes visible signs of aging including lines, wrinkles, sagging and discoloration, but they also target dullness to leave your skin looking brighter and healthier. Here, we reveal eight of the most potent, youth-inducing antioxidants that should definitely be on your beauty radar.


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What It Is: A potent polyphenol antioxidant found in the skins and peels of grapes, berries and certain other fruits

What It Does: Protects skin from sun damage

What The Expert Says: “Resveratrol has several benefits in anti-aging products,” says New York dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD. “As an antioxidant, it may be able to neutralize reactive oxygen species, the so-called ‘free radicals’ that can damage DNA and proteins. Studies have also shown anti-inflammatory effects, but perhaps the most important benefit is the direct anti-aging potential: Resveratrol can activate sirtuins, the genes that help regulate the aging process. Note that not all resveratrol is created equal–some products will be more potent based on the concentration and the source.”

 Where To Find It: SkinCeuticals Resveratrol B E, $145, skinceuticals.com
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Grapeseed Extract

What It Is: A natural, polyphenol-rich substance sourced from whole grape seeds

What It Does: Helps diminish sun damage and aid in wound-healing

What The Expert Says: “I love grapeseed extract for its lightening and brightening effects on the skin,” says celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy. “It offers great anti-pigmentation effects by inhibiting the enzyme that speeds up melanin production.”

Where To Find It: Exuviance Antioxidant Perfect 10 Serum, $72, neostrata.com
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What It Is: A cellular antioxidant, also referred to as Coenzyme Q10, that occurs naturally in our bodies

What It Does: Helps neutralize free radicals and create collagen and elastin in the skin

What The Expert Says: “CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that helps repair aging and negative environmental effects on our skin,” says Delray Beach, FL, dermatologist Janet Allenby, MD. “Oxidants are like the ‘Pacman,’ in that they chew up our good cells. We capture the oxidants with antioxidants as the name describes, so they are part of our bodies’ military force in reducing skin aging and environmental stresses.”

Where To Find It: ORGO CoQ10 Antioxidant Moisturizer, $130, beautycirque.com
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Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

What It Is: An antioxidant made naturally by the body

What It Does: Improves overall skin texture, refines pores and reduces inflammation

What The Expert Says: “Alpha lipoic acid is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that has skin-rejuvenating benefits,” says Charlotte, North Carolina dermatologist Gilly S. Munavalli, MD. “Regular, proper use can result in a mild reduction of the appearance of facial fine lines and wrinkles. Products that contain between 1 and 4 percent alpha lipoic acid are most effective and less irritating than products containing retinoid acid or glycolic acid, especially for those with sensitive skin.”

Where To Find It: Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum, $45, juicebeauty.com
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What It Is: A synthetic antioxidant that is often compared to CoQ10

What it Does: Limits damage to skin cells

What The Expert Says: “The potential benefits of Idebenone for topical anti aging are quite promising, as it is an antioxidant which halts inflammatory reactions and destroys free radicals,” says New York dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum, MD. “However, additional research is still needed to clinically prove its anti-aging capabilities and safety. Always consult a dermatologist prior to starting any product containing Idebenone, so you can decide together if it’s the right option for you.”

Where To Find It: Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Eye Serum, $100, elizabetharden.com
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Vitamin C

What It Is: A water-soluble nutrient, also known as ascorbic acid, that acts as an antioxidant in the body and is commonly found in citrus fruits

What It Does: Promotes collagen production, brightens skin and reduces inflammation

What The Expert Says: “I recommend that all of my patients use topical vitamin C because it is an essential part of a daily skin-care regimen and protects against cellular damage and free-radical formation induced by UV rays,” says San Francisco dermatologist Vic Narurkar, MD. “It also clinically produces new collagen deposition, which results in the reduction of fine lines and improvement of skin texture.”

Where To Find It: Radical Skincare Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum, $190, radicalskincare.com
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Green Tea

What It Is: A plant-based antioxidant known as a flavonoid

What It Does: Minimizes visible signs of aging, reduces sun damage and sun-induced redness, and calms inflammation

What The Expert Says: “A cup of green tea may offer benefits to the skin’s appearance by providing much-needed antioxidants to slow down damaging free radicals,” says celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau. “Antioxidants are highly unstable and can oxidize quickly, so drink green tea within 20 minutes of steeping in order to get the full benefits. By consuming the tea within this time span, you will prevent the oxygen in the air from breaking down the antioxidants before they can enrich your skin and body with healing effects. Topically, green tea is a soothing anti-inflammatory and provides antioxidant protection.”

Where To Find It: Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist, $40, dermalogica.com
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Vitamin E

What It Is: A fat-soluble nutrient, found in many foods such as leafy vegetables and nuts, that serves as an antioxidant in the body

What It Does: Neutralizes free radicals, encourages skin hydration and helps heal scars and acne; also known to have a powerful synergy with vitamin C

What The Expert Says: “Topical vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant that helps to reverse the effects of sun damage and slow down the aging process, and as such it is a great rejuvenation product,” says New York dermatologist Adebola Dele-Michael, MD.

Where To Find It: Erno Laszlo Antioxidant Complex for Eyes, $75, ernolaszlo.com

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