What Do Antioxidants Do for Your Skin? – Best Antioxidants and Vitamins to Use

I’m going to take a guess and say that you don’t really know what antioxidants are. (Hey, no judgement—the beauty world is a confusing, jargon-filled place.) Sure, you know that they’re good for you (maybe?), and that they’re in all of your skincare products (probably?), but do you know why you’re slathering them on your face?

Well, here’s the gist: Antioxidants are naturally occurring vitamins and minerals—like vitamins A, C, E, and green tea—that protect your skin against free radicals. And yes, free radicals sound like a bad ‘70s rock band, but they’re actually molecules in the environment that damage your skin by clinging to your collagen and weakening elasticity. “They come from things like air pollutants, chemicals, and cigarette smoke, and they basically suck the life out of your face,” says dermatologist Mona Gohara, M.D., associate clinical professor at Yale University.

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