The Best Anti-Aging Antioxidants to Add to Your Routine

Key Points

  • Aging is a natural process, but there is a way to reduce visible signs of aging: Prioritize your intake of antioxidants.

  • Antioxidants are substances that stop or limit cell damage, leading to aging indicators like wrinkles.

  • Get the best anti-aging antioxidants from a fresh foods diet, special skincare products, and supplements.

When discussing ways to slow aging, antioxidants inevitably come up. These substances, formed both naturally and artificially, reduce oxidative stress and cell damage. The best anti-aging antioxidants reduce wrinkles and help skin glow by minimizing cell damage. They even lead to shinier hair, stronger memory, and overall better physical and mental health.

Get ready for a breakdown of how antioxidants work, which antioxidants are best for anti-aging, and how to incorporate these antioxidants into your daily routine.

What Factors Lead to Aging Faster?

It's an inescapable truth: Everyone ages. However, certain lifestyle factors may be causing you to age at a faster rate. If you want fewer wrinkles, a glowing complexion, a more vibrant appearance, and better physical health in general, there are certain things to do each day — and certain things to remove from your life.

Too Much Alcohol and Nicotine

Smoking and alcohol consumption are linked to inflammation and cell damage, causing you to age faster. It's best to limit your use or cut out these substances altogether.

Woman washing face

Sun Damage

Ultraviolet rays cause sun damage, so it's best to avoid too much direct sunlight. Of course, no one can live in a cave all day, so make sure to apply sunscreen when you're out in the sun.

Poor Dietary Decisions

A poor diet — including too many sweets, fatty meats, and processed meals — can lead to cell damage that speeds up aging, so monitor your intake of these kinds of food. Try to make healthy dining decisions as often as possible.

Lack of Sleep

When you don't sleep enough, you risk damaging your skin. You get dark undereye circles, puffier skin, and even more wrinkles when you don't get your eight hours. Prioritize snooze time each night.

Although you may be unintentionally speeding up the aging process, changing your habits isn't the only way you can change how you age. Antioxidants may help you restore cell damage and slow down aging.

What Are Antioxidants and How Do They Delay Aging?

According to the stress theory of aging, antioxidants are manufactured chemicals or natural substances that combat free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals generated by the body as it turns food into energy. They're also created through exposure to harmful substances like UV rays, air pollution, cigarette smoke, and more.

Applying skincare product to face

Free radicals are chemicals that cause oxidative stress, which leads to cell damage. This cell damage directly impacts how the skin looks and bounces back from stress. Free radicals are also linked to diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, and other autoimmune illnesses. Since antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, they're a great way to combat aging.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), there are all kinds of antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, and carotenoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These are found in certain foods, skincare products like serums and creams, and vitamin supplements, among other things.

Can Anti-Aging Antioxidants Reverse Aging Altogether?

Nothing can completely erase the marks aging leaves on the body over time. However, anti-aging antioxidants can help decrease the rate of aging and reverse some of its effects — even if they're only minimal. After all, certain antioxidants like vitamin C promote collagen production. Increased collagen leads to tighter, firmer skin — or less visible wrinkles.

While you can't reverse aging entirely with antioxidants, their anti-aging properties can help make a difference in your appearance.

Woman with youthful skin

Can You Have Too Many Antioxidants?

Sure, antioxidants sound incredible if anti-aging is your goal. As with anything, moderation is key. You can, indeed, have too many antioxidants.

Don't panic, though: You don't need to put down the fruit or ditch your side of broccoli at dinner. The NCCIH explains that the real concern is with taking too many vitamin supplements for antioxidants. High doses of vitamin E, for example, have been linked to prostate cancer and strokes, while high doses of beta-carotene may increase your risk of lung cancer.

Although the dangers of too many antioxidants haven't been conclusively proven, aim to prioritize a balanced routine rather than overload on supplements. It's better to be safe than sorry!

What Is the Best Anti-Aging Antioxidant?

Not all antioxidants have the same properties. Some are better suited for certain purposes than others. When it comes to the best anti-aging antioxidant, consider what areas you're targeting.

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Vitamin C

Vitamin C is incredible for your complexion. It allows for firmer and smoother skin by encouraging collagen production and brightens your skin overall. The moisturizing properties enhance dull complexions and improve skin tone.

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Vitamin E

Like vitamin C, vitamin E promotes collagen production, which means fewer wrinkles and firmer skin. Vitamin E is also great for your hair!

As you age, you'll gain grays, and your hair gets drier and more brittle. It becomes harder to grow your hair as you get older. Vitamin E, however, keeps your hair moisturized and can even increase scalp circulation for more abundant hair growth.

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Retinol (also known as vitamin A) is one of the most talked about skincare ingredients available in 2023. People rave about retinol's effects on their skin, noting that it eradicates wrinkles and results in a glowing complexion. A study from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) found that a retinol product diminished cheek wrinkles by a whopping 64% and eye wrinkles by 39% within 12 weeks.

"Personally I'm a huge fan of retinoids and likely the majority of dermatologists who you speak to are on some type of topical retinoid regimen," Zakia Rahman, MD, told Stanford University.

Retinol doesn't just minimize wrinkles or skin tone issues, though. It's also a great tool to fight acne and can even erase red patches in your complexion. If you want smoother, brighter skin, retinol is a must.

However, retinol products aren't the right fit for everyone. For some people, it can severely irritate the skin, which makes it a no-go. Make sure to consult with your dermatologist before slathering it all over your skin.

Skincare product application

How To Incorporate Antioxidants Into Your Routine

The good news is that it's easy to add antioxidants into your daily routine to reap their anti-aging benefits. Whether you'd prefer the addition of specific foods to your diet, applying special creams, or taking supplements, you have plenty of antioxidant options to fit your needs.

Diets with Antioxidants

Many foods are rich in antioxidants. Bonus: They're good for your overall health, too! Most fruits and vegetables are heavy in antioxidants — think oranges, spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, avocados, kale, and sweet potatoes.

You should also add foods like nuts, beans, seafood, and even dark chocolate to your daily diet. Yes: Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants!

Eating well doesn't have to mean eating boring or tasteless.

Creams, Serums, and Other Topical Treatments with Antioxidants

Maybe you're not ready to fully switch up your eating habits. That's okay! A plethora of skincare items on the market boast antioxidants. Whether you opt for a retinol treatment, a vitamin C-infused moisturizer, or a serum with a vitamin E base, get your antioxidant fix through your skincare.

Everyone's skin is different. What works for one person won't work for everyone. Test different products until you find the best one that works for you and your skin.

Mature woman examining skin

Supplements with Antioxidants

There are many supplements on the market that you can take weekly or daily to ensure you're getting the right dose of antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and selenium.

However, there's reason to believe you may be better off getting your antioxidants from food or skincare products, as too many vitamin supplements may negatively affect your health. As always, you should consult your doctor when making medical decisions.

Woman with glowing skin

Antioxidants for Glowing Skin

Antioxidants are a crucial staple to consider as you plan your daily routine. By making a few lifestyle changes to prioritize your antioxidant intake, you will have better health and a more youthful appearance. The anti-aging benefits of antioxidants are plentiful.

From night serums and Mediterranean diets to anti-aging creams and supplements, let AgeDefying lead the way on gracefully aging. 

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