Applying sunscreen daily might have become as second nature as downing your morning cup of joe, but how about antioxidants? Think of them as sunscreen’s sidekick, helping to deflect free radicals produced by things like pollution and UV rays. There are tons of antioxidants to choose from, though, so we talked to N.Y.C. dermatologist, Marnie Nussbaum, to help figure out which ones you may want to consider adding to your regimen.
Those with dry complexions may want to look for products that contain the antioxidant niacinimide. “It protects the skin barrier and also increases ceramide and free fatty acid production, so it plumps and hydrates skin,” says Nussbaum who loves SK-II’s RNA Power cream, which contains the star antioxidant ($230; sephora.com).
If you’re prone to dark spots, become best friends with a Vitamin C serum. “It disrupts melanin production which causes splotches," says Nussbaum who recommends looking for a formula in an opaque or dark container. “Vitamin C can be highly unstable so minimizing exposure to air and light is crucial,” she adds. She favors Lumene’s serum (Bright Now Vitamin C Hyaulronic Essence, $19; ulta.com)
If you have mature skin, look for products that contain Vitamin E. “It basically inhibits acute ultraviolet damage so it really helps with redness, wrinkles, and sun spots,” says Nussbaum. She suggests trying a synergistic blend like Skinceuticals C,E & Ferulic Serum ($163; skinceuticals.com) to get extra antioxidant bang for your buck.
Have oily/ acne prone skin? You need an antioxidant that can help quell inflammation, like green tea. “It’s great for acne-prone skin because it decreases sebum production, inflammation and bacterial growth,” says Nussbaum. Even better, it tricks cells into amping up their own production of antioxidants, she adds. Try Perricone MD Pre-Empt Series Oil-Free Hydrating Cream ($75; sephora.com).
If you experience redness or rosacea, try resveratrol. The antioxidant found in red wine “has significant anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s ideal for people with eczema, rosacea and acne,” says Nussbaum. We like Caudalie’s (Premier Cru the Cream, $158; sephora.com)