Let me guess: you've probably heard of the term antioxidants and how important they are for your skin, but maybe you don't know exactly what they are or why you should add them into your routine. Whether you're entirely new to the antioxidant game or need a little refresher on how they work, it's essential to know the science behind the serum so that you can make better choices when it comes to your skincare routine.
Here's how it works: every time you go outside, you're exposing your body to free radicals. These free radicals are produced by the sun, pollution, even our screens. Free radicals are tiny molecules that have lost an electron and are looking to stabilize themselves by taking an electron from something else (a process called oxidation!).
We don't want to have this happen to our skin because when we lose an electron from one of our molecules, it makes it unstable, leading to the breakdown of healthy tissue. This is oxidation and a significant cause of skin aging. BUT a well-formulated antioxidant serum provides a protective coating on your skin that offers free radicals those electrons, so our skin does not have to! So, in addition to using a zinc-based sunscreen every day, you also want to put a serum on your face that contains antioxidant ingredients, the most well studied of which is Vitamin C.
Incorporating an antioxidant into your routine is easy, especially if you've already participated in our #RESTOREreset. After the 28 days is up post-#RESTOREreset, your skin should now be resilient enough to incorporate an antioxidant serum into your regimen. It should be applied in the morning on bare skin before your moisturizer. There are many great antioxidant serums on the market. A personal favorite is the Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum. Not only is this product relatively affordable, but it also packs a punch with 15% vitamin C and vitamin E. Both of these ingredients work synergistically to brighten skin, smooth fine lines and rough texture, and dramatically clear dark spots from hyperpigmentation.
To incorporate any antioxidant serum into your routine, follow the steps below:
- Splash your face with lukewarm water.
- Apply an antioxidant lotion or serum to your dry face and neck.
- Apply our Face Lotion (normal to oily skin) or our Face Cream (normal to dry skin) to your face, neck, chest, and eye area.
- Follow with a zinc-based sunscreen containing at least 10% zinc. I love Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint or On-The-Defense Sunscreen by Eleven VENUS Williams.
- Apply makeup if you desire. Some of my favorite clean options from Credo include RMS Eye Polish, Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara, Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer, Kosas Color + Light: Crème, and Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick.
- Apply the Doctor Rogers RESTORE® Lip Balm, as needed, throughout the day.
- Wash your face with our Face Wash.
- Dry face
- Apply a retinol product to the face, neck, chest, and backs of hands.
- Moisturize those same areas with our Face Lotion or Face Cream according to your skin type.
- Apply our Healing Balm to any dry, irritated, sensitive areas.
Watch this video to hear more from me, where I dive deep into antioxidants, why they're so important, and which antioxidant products I love to recommend to my patients for their specific skin type.
Meet the author: Board-certified and practicing dermatologist, Dr. Heather D. Rogers, MD, is the founder of Doctor Rogers Skin Care and Modern Dermatology in Seattle, Washington. She studied at Stanford, University of Washington School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. She lectures nationally, is well published, and an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology. Highly respected among the skin care community, Dr. Rogers has been annually named “Top 1% of Most Honored Doctors in the US” by Castle Connolly.