Second only to SPF (and maaaaaybe retinol), antioxidant serums are hands down the best thing you can put on your skin. Bold claim, I know, but hear me out: All damn day, your skin is bombarded by free radicals (from things like UV rays, blue light, pollution, and stress) which damage your skin cells and, in turn, cause inflammation and deplete collagen and elastin levels. Sucky, right? But DW, that’s where antioxidant serums come in to help. Antioxidants neutralize these pesky free radicals so they can’t harm your precious skin cells—and some even have skin-brightening, firming, and soothing properties too. Ahead, the nine best antioxidant serums for every skin type (yup, even yours), so there’s no excuse not to add one to your skincare routine right freakin’ now.
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Best Antioxidant Serum for Fine Lines
SkinMedica GlyPro Antioxidant Serum
I recommend this antioxidant serum to anyone seeing the first signs on their face (ahem, fine lines and wrinkles). It uses stevia leaf and olive leaf extracts (two antioxidants proven to plump and protect skin) plus a dose of glycolic acid to break up dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover. The end result? Minimized fine lines and smooth-ass skin.
Best Antioxidant Serum for Sensitive Skin
Avene A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum
If your skin gets freaked out (aka red and blotchy) by new products or actives, this fast-absorbing antioxidant serum with vitamins C and E is for you. The gentle, hypoallergenic formula is designed to be non-irritating for sensitive skin types.
Best Antioxidant Serum for Dry Skin
Allies of Skin Triple Hyaluronic Antioxidant Hydration Serum
This antioxidant serum protects skin from pretty much everything thanks to resveratrol ferment extract and superoxide dismutase. A mouthful, but just know that they’re two ultra-potent antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and repair skin. Plus, it contains hyaluronic acid to draw moisture to the skin for all-day hydration.
Best Antioxidant Serum for Dull Skin
Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Antioxidant A C E Serum
The hero ingredient in this antioxidant serum? Vitamin C. It’s one of the best antioxidants out there when it comes to protecting skin from free radicals and brightening your skin. The gist: Vitamin C regulates pigment-making cells to help fade existing dark spot and prevent new ones from forming.
Best Antioxidant Serum for Oily Skin
Paula’s Choice Defense Antioxidant Pore Purifier
Oily skin types will looooove this purifying antioxidant serum. In addition to a blend of plant-based antioxidants (like white tea leaf extract, coffee fruit extract, and grape-seed extract), this serum contains salicylic acid to dissolve excess oil, dead skin cells, and buildup in pores to keep skin clear and healthy.
Best All-Natural Antioxidant Serum
Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum
One of my favorite natural skincare products ever, this lightweight serum from Juice Beauty makes skin ridiculously glowy. It uses two key antioxidants—organic resveratr0l and orange extract—to fight off free radicals and promote healthy, happier skin.
Best Drugstore Antioxidant Serum
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Multivitamin Booster
Facts: Antioxidant serums can be pricey. But if you want to add one to your skincare routine without spending a ton of $$, try this drugstore serum from Neutrogena. And just because it’s affordable doesn’t mean it’s not potent—the gel-like formula is infused with niacinamide and vitamin E—two powerful skin-smoothing antioxidants.
Best Multitasking Antioxidant Serum
Skinbetter Science Protect Antioxidant Alto Defense Serum
This serum contains 19 (!!) different antioxidants to protect, brighten, smooth, and plump your skin, making it the ultimate multitasker. I’ve been using it in the morning (under SPF 30, of course) and at night with my retinol serum and my skin looks super clear and baby soft.
Best Derm-Favorite Antioxidant Serum
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic
There’s a reason legit every dermatologist I’ve ever interviewed raves about this antioxidant serum from Skinceuticals—it works, like really effing well. It contains 15 percent L-ascorbic acid (one of the most potent forms of vitamin C), vitamin E, and ferulic acid, which together, are clinically proven to reduce oxidative damage from the sun, ozone pollution, and exhaust by up to 41 percent. Pretty major.
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