6 Best Antioxidant-Rich Moisturizers for Radiant Skin

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6 Best Antioxidant-Rich Moisturizers for Radiant Skin
In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

BEST FOR CLEAN SKINCARE

ZELEN Life Moisturizer

Your skin is exposed to the elements every day. Without you being aware of it, it faces the cold, the heat, the sun, radiation, pollution, dirt, hormones, and sustains damage over time—especially your face, since the skin is more delicate and thinner than the rest of the body.

A moisturizer that is enriched with antioxidants treats and prevents further skin damage. Applying antioxidants topically can also protect against internal damage to skin cells. They do this by neutralizing “free radicals.”

Free radicals are responsible for breaking down the proteins in the skin, such as collagen, and damaging the skin’s natural oils (sebum). Antioxidants can slow down these processes, which help to reduce pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, inflammation, and breakouts.

An effective antioxidant-based moisturizer can quickly become your skincare essential, which is why we have rounded a list of the best antioxidant moisturizers so that you can find the right one.

In this post, you will find a comprehensive review of 6 excellent antioxidant moisturizers.

For each product, we will highlight its best features, the pros, and cons, and identify who it is most suitable for.

Quick summary

Before you buy: 6 Things to consider when purchasing an antioxidant moisturizer

Before you decide to purchase an antioxidant moisturizer, there are a few things to consider. There are plenty of antioxidant moisturizers out there.

A quick search will yield umpteen products. However, the following six tips will help you make the right choice.

1. Skin damage

Antioxidant moisturizers are a great choice for those experiencing photoaging or are beginning to see the signs of skin damage. These can include fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, scarring, redness, and loss of firmness, among others.

The skin damage could be from dermatoses, sun damage and radiation, and a whole host of conditions.

First, you need to check if you have signs of skin damage or are seeing photoaging in your skin. If yes, then now is a good time to start with an antioxidant moisturizer.

If not, then depending on your age and how much time to spend outdoors, it would be a good option. By your late twenties, it’s better to up your antioxidant game.

2. Skin type

You must identify your skin type as antioxidants can come off strong for specific skin types. Certain ingredients can be harmful to certain skin types. For example, high concentrations of AHAs can cause a reaction in sensitive skin.

At the same time, honey, in some formulas, can be too drying for someone with dry skin. You have to know your skin type before you decide to get an antioxidant moisturizer.

3. Antioxidant ingredients

Do you use other skincare products that contain antioxidants? Today, many serums, facewashes, and toners have some of these ingredients in their formulations to simplify skincare routines.

Make sure you’re not doubling up on these ingredients. Antioxidant ingredients could be retinol, AHAs, polyphenols, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, etc.

4. Skin issues

Do you also have other skin conditions or dermatoses? It’s important to identify any associated skin conditions.

Do you have eczema or atopic dermatitis? Certain ingredients are super helpful to treat these and are incorporated into antioxidant moisturizers.

Do you also have acne and cystic breakouts? Do you tan easily? These are important questions as they will help you determine which product is most suitable for your skin condition.

5. Allergens

Many antioxidant moisturizers tend to have a high concentration of antioxidants. They may cause your skin to sting.

Do you have allergies to fruit peels, essential oil, algae, honey, or juices? It is essential to identify them so you can pick a product without these ingredients.

6. Sun exposure

If you’re frequently exposed to the sun, you may want to add SPF to the list of requirements as you find an antioxidant moisturizer. Or find one that protects against UV radiation.

UV radiation is one of the significant causes of melanoma and photoaging. It can cause irreversible damage if sustained over a long period.

So consider how much sun exposure you get every day and look for something that not just contains SPF but also treats and reverses the damage caused by photoaging. Also, look for ingredients that can prevent it from happening in the future.

The 6 best antioxidant moisturizers

Here are the 6 best antioxidant moisturizers.

There’s a variety to choose from, and there’s something for everyone.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer (Best for anti-aging)

 Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Contains an interesting blend of fruit stem cells
  • Alpha-hydroxy acid formula
  • Anti-aging and anti-acne

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

Mature or aging skin. Those who are experiencing fine lines and dullness.

Notable ingredients:

Organic apple, grape, lemon

Overview:

Antioxidants and anti-aging go hand-in-hand. So where better to start than with Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Moisturizer. The antioxidants in this moisturizer come from a blend of fruit stem cells and grape juice.

Let’s take a closer look at these ingredients. The fruit stem cells come from organic apple buds, grape buds, and lemon bark.

Fruit and plant stem cells are similar to human cells in that they possess self-renewing and self-repairing properties. They provide anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits. They help to stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen, which as a result, encourages skin regeneration. Their cellular components are loaded with antioxidants. These offer protection to the skin by improving its ability to fight free radicals that cause damage to it.

Studies have found that plant stem cells have more potent antioxidant compounds than human cells. This is due to plants being stationary, they have adapted to protect themselves from the environment.[11][12] When these stem cell extracts are included in skincare products, they offer the same antioxidant-rich and collagen-boosting benefits.

Grape Juice contains vitamin C and resveratrol-rich antioxidants that can energize the skin and promote a more radiant complexion. They help protect it from sun damage and reverse signs of aging. Grape is also a potent alpha-hydroxy acid, which provides natural exfoliation. As the skin ages, the rate of cellular renewal slows down. This leads to an accumulation of dead skin cells. This build-up can make the skin look lackluster and dull. AHAs assist the elimination of dead skin cells and can also encourage skin cell regeneration. They are often used in skincare as a superficial peeling agent and to improve the appearance of acne.[4]

With all that said, it should be of no surprise that this moisturizer’s anti-aging benefits are what separates it from the rest. But I bet you are wondering, does it work?

Anti-aging moisturizers are not easy to assess in practice. It is easy to determine their level of thickness and greasiness after the first time of using it. However, unfortunately for us, fine lines and wrinkles can not vanish overnight. There is no such thing as a quick result when it comes to an anti-aging solution. As a rule of thumb, you need between 6 weeks to 3 months of using an anti-aging cream before you can really assess its true effectiveness.

Although, I must say that the early signs are good with this product. Within a few days, it plumped up my fine lines and restored a good level of radiance to my complexion. But it should be noted that if you have very sensitive skin, this moisturizer might not be suitable for you. This is because the resveratrol and AHA content can cause some irritation.

If you have sensitive skin and are looking for an antioxidant-rich moisturizer then you might find the ZELEN Life Moisturizer more suitable. It is free of harsh chemicals and handmade with more tolerable botanical ingredients. Another option is Murad’s Essential-C Day Moisture. It comes with an SPF for those with sensitive skin who are looking for anti-aging benefits while having UV protection.

If you do not have sensitive skin, I am confident that you can tolerate Juice Beauty’s Moisturizer. It’s has a very light and non-greasy texture, which makes it suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. The inclusion of fruit stem cells and alpha-hydroxy acid not only helps with smoothing out wrinkles but can also help with banishing blemishes too.

The cream offers a good level of hydration but it might not be enough if you have very dry skin. If you prefer a heavier cream with superior moisture for your dry skin, then you might be better suited to Mario Badescu’s Hydrating Moisturizer. But take into consideration it will be more greasy. Alternatively, if you would rather a gel-based texture, then take a look at ELEMIS’ Superfood Juice on our list.

Price and value for money will always be factors. This moisturizer by Juice Beauty does come with a high price tag. This is often the case with quality anti-aging moisturizers. If your budget allows then I can say this moisturizer offers enough value in return. But ZELEN Life’s and Mario Badescu’s are much cheaper.

I think the scent of this moisturizer is a little strong. In my opinion, it doesn’t quite suit the natural and fruity blend. It’s not terribly unpleasant though. User reviews are also mixed about the scent. The opinion ranges from it being subtle and pleasant to very heavy and eye-watering.

Finally, the packaging is an acceptable standard. Perhaps it could be a bit better quality to reflect the high price tag. I also think the plastic jar is a little bulky, which conflicts with the brand’s raw, eco-friendly image. You could always recycle it, though.

The good:

  • Tightens and lightens the skin
  • Blessed with fruit-derived antioxidants
  • Improves skin tone and elasticity of the skin
  • For makeup users, can be used underneath foundation

Things to think about:

  • Not as hydrating as others on our list
  • The smell may not be to everyone’s taste

Bottom line

Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Moisturizer is an excellent antioxidant moisturizer for skin with fine lines and blemishes. As the skin ages, it can become sluggish. This product helps to inject some life back into it to provide a more energized and vibrant appearance.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

ZELEN Life Moisturizer (Best for clean skincare)

ZELEN Life Moisturizer


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Pure, organic ingredients
  • Blended together by hand
  • Matte-silver airless pump bottle

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

Men and women of all skin types who love clean skincare. Particularly those with sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Notable ingredients:

Jojoba, calendula, clary sage

Overview:

Just like skincare products, antioxidants can come from both natural and manmade sources. When it comes to the natural vs. synthetic debate, there is no clear right and wrong. Synthetic does not always mean bad or toxic. And just because something is “natural”, it does not guarantee that it won’t harm the skin. But there is no denying that synthetic antioxidants are substances derived from a chemical process.

More and more of us are moving towards cleaner, plant-based skincare. If you are a clean skincare enthusiast and are looking for a natural antioxidant-rich moisturizer that has not been produced in a lab, then take a look at the ZELEN Life Moisturizer.

It’s a handmade, chemical-free product. Let’s take a peek at its botanical blend:

Jojoba is a botanical substance much loved by the skin. This is largely due to its composition being so similar to the oil (sebum) that the skin naturally produces, it can’t tell the difference between the two. Its clever ability to mimic sebum brings a whole host of benefits. Firstly, this balances sebum levels which notifies the sebaceous glands that they do not need to produce more. This regulation of the overproduction of sebum reduces the chances of the skin developing blocked pores, which helps to alleviate the development of acne.

Jojoba is packed with vitamins (A, D, and E) and essential fatty acids (omega 6 and 9), as well as containing potent antioxidants. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and is effective against skin infections and wound healing.[3] Jojoba also has anti-aging properties that fight wrinkles and other signs of aging. It has a high content of wax esters while being non-comedogenic. This makes it a suitable repair option for conditions with damaged skin barriers, like seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, and acne.[2] 

Calendula is a highly nourishing oil that provides daily moisture. It’s a natural antiseptic and antifungal and contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it helpful to healing the skin and alleviating redness. Clary sage is a flowering herb that also offers calming and soothing benefits to the skin. It helps to reduce skin irritations and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria that causes skin issues. It also brings rejuvenation benefits, encouraging a tighter and youthful complexion.

Antioxidants, tick! Let’s continue:

This is a very lightweight and fast-absorbing moisturizer. What I like the most is that this does not affect its moisturizing abilities. Despite its thin texture, it is very hydrating. I can go further to say, it could even be suitable during cold, wintery climates. This comes down to its formula. The active botanicals (particularly jojoba) draw in moisture and hold it in the skin for longer. This is a humectant, occlusive and emollient all wrapped into one. Its protective properties shield the skin from the outside world.

However, if you are looking for a non-greasy summer moisturizer, this also works. It comes with an uplifting and fresh citrus scent. It also layers well and leaves a nice smooth, mattified finish. This is particularly useful for those with an uneven skin tone, or blemish-prone skin. Also, this texture can serve as a decent primer for makeup users.

The botanical mix offers anti-aging and anti-acne benefits. But if you are looking for a comparable moisturizer with a more aggressive action, then you may prefer Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Moisturizer because it contains AHA’s. However, it is more expensive and might not be as well tolerated by sensitive skin compared to ZELEN Life’s.

If like me, you are attracted by the citrus scent of this moisturizer. Murad’s Essential-C Day Moisture is another citrus-smelling option on our list. It also contains SPF if you want to combine your moisturizer with sun protection. But its formula is more artificial and again, comes at a higher price.

It should be noted that the ZELEN Life Moisturizer doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetic colors, or fragrances.

The good:

  • Unisex
  • Natural antioxidant formula fights free radicals and soothes inflammation
  • Fast absorbing and provides a protective film on the surface
  • Antibacterial and clears out clogged pores, helping to control breakouts
  • Anti-aging

Things to think about:

  • Matte finish
  • No SPF

Bottom line

The ZELEN Life Moisturizer is a natural moisturizer enriched with plant-based antioxidants. It is a versatile product that can benefit any skin type and it especially helps as an anti-acne and anti-aging day cream.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

boscia Tsubaki Swirl – Gel Face Moisturizer (Best for deep hydration)

Boscia Tsubaki Swirl - Gel Face Moisturizer


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Gel and moisturizer cream fused into one
  • Contains Tsubaki, japanese-inspired
  • Very hydrating

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

Those with dry skin looking for deep hydration.

Notable ingredients:

Camellia oil, rice bran oil

Overview:

boscia’s Tsubaki Swirl is a two-part hydration gel and cream moisturizer powered by, yes you guessed it, Tsubaki.

Curious?

Tsubaki, pronounced (soo-baw-kee), is a cold-pressed oil from the seeds of Camellia–a flowering tree indigenous to Japan.

It is an ingredient that has a historical past, dating back to the 1800s. It is believed to be a beauty secret of ancient Geisha’s who used it for their skin and hair. Japanese women of today are often admired for their radiant complexions, which makes these traditional methods as popular today as they were centuries ago.

Why is it so good?

Camellia oil is a natural source of antioxidants and possesses comparable properties to Vitamin A, B, and C. It supports the skin’s natural ability to promote firmness, hydration, and protection. This explains its anti-aging qualities, as these compounds help to restore elasticity and prevent the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Studies have shown that Camellia Oil nourishes and soothes the skin.[5] It absorbs very quickly to help deliver moisture. It contains Omega-6 and Omega-9 which penetrate the skin, offering support to the deeper layers and encouraging cellular development.

Rice bran oil has also been used in Asia as a beauty secret for centuries. A study has demonstrated the bioactive compounds of rice bran when incorporated into a cream provide antioxidant benefits and improved skin hydration.[6] It also contains essential nutrients that minimize the damage caused by UV rays, helping to prevent premature aging and reduce the appearance of dark spots.

If you like both cream and gel-based moisturizers and you have a hard time picking one, then this product could solve your dilemma. This is a gel and cream combo. Hence, the name “swirl”. This just furthers its uniqueness.

It is all well and good standing out from the crowd, but does it get the basics right? I.e., is it a good moisturizer?

First things first, it is surprisingly very moisturizing. I think it is ideal for those with dry skin looking for deep hydration. I am not 100% convinced you will like this if you have oily skin. But on the other hand, I am not 100% convinced you won’t like it. This moisturizer comes down to personal preference.

The good news for oily skin types is that despite offering deep hydration, it is very lightweight and non-greasy. It spreads nice and easily, and you don’t need to use a lot of product to get enough quality moisture. It does leave an excess residue but it can leave the skin feeling a little tacky. If you have combination skin (a mixture of dry and oily) then I would recommend this gel and cream mix.

The packaging further adds to this moisturizer’s interesting character. It has a very quirky and playful look, which also represents boscia’s fun and friendly brand image. I like the quality but I wouldn’t call it elegant or classy. The product comes in a jar container which always comes with a risk of contamination if handled incorrectly. However, boscia has nicely provided a spatula with this moisturizer to avoid using your fingertips. A nice bit of attention to detail!

But if you prefer to dispense your moisturizer from a pump bottle, then you might prefer the ZELEN Life Moisturizer. Not only does it prevent wastage, but the pump bottle is also airless. This means that no water, air, or dirt can enter the product, which reduced the risk of bacteria growth within the cream. Conversely, boscia’s Tsubaki Swirl is 2 fl oz / 60 ml in volume compared to ZELEN Life’s 1.7 fl oz / 50 ml.

Price-wise this moisturizer is in the middle tier. It’s not a budget pick like Mario Badescu’s Moisturizer but it’s also not a premium price like Juice Beauty’s and Murad’s.

The good:

  • Hydration, hydration, hydration
  • Protects skin against free radical damage
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Generous size

Things to think about:

  • Can feel slightly sticky
  • Not for oily skin

Bottom line:

Boscia Tsubaki Swirl is an antioxidant moisturizer full of character and uniqueness. It’s balanced, part cream, part gel formula means you don’t need to pick one or the other. But this product is no gimmick, it is deeply hydrating too.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

ELEMIS Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice (Best prebiotic)

ELEMIS Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Superfoods for your face
  • Prebiotic properties
  • Lightweight gel juice

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

Oily skin types.

Notable ingredients:

Cica, cucumber, aloe vera

Overview:

Superfoods are packed with antioxidants. When you eat them, they can assist digestion and improve gut health. So it is conceivable that when you apply superfoods to your face, they can improve skin health too.

This is where ELEMIS’ Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice comes in. It may sound like something you eat or drink, but it’s actually a prebiotic gel-based moisturizer.

What is a prebiotic?

Prebiotics are plant fibers present in fruit and vegetables that cannot be digested by humans. They trigger the development of healthy bacteria in the gut, which makes the digestive system more effective. Just like microorganisms are present in the gut microbiome, the same can be said for the skin microbiome. It is an ecosystem of all the living microorganisms and bacteria present on the skin.

It has been suggested that skin health can be enhanced the same way as gut health by the application of prebiotics. By having a balanced microbiome with ample good bacteria to protect it from damaging pathogens, the skin remains uncompromised and optimal. Through the inclusion of superfood antioxidants, ELEMIS claims that this prebiotic gel enhances the skin’s microbiome.

What are the ingredients?

Aloe vera is a fantastic botanical that offers several skin benefits. It has been used for hundreds of years as a skin healer. It presents cooling and soothing properties that help to calm wounds on the skin, as well as stings and burns. It is made up of vitamins A and C and antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory relief, which assists redness and areas of irritation. Aloe vera is also incredibly hydrating, making it a popular natural ingredient in moisturizers.[14]

Similar to aloe vera, cucumber brings cooling and refreshing effects on the skin. It is also a natural astringent and anti-inflammatory, which tightens skin cells and provides soothing and hydrating benefits. This can be highly useful for oily skin types and those who are prone to large pores and acne. Kiwi comes with powerful antioxidants that help aging skin by stimulating the growth of collagen. Bergamot is known to soothe complexions due to its natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory capabilities.

Bio-transformed Cica is another plant blessed with antioxidants. It is regarded as a highly effective wound healer. In fact, it also goes by the name “tiger grass” in traditional Chinese medicine, as it has been observed that Asian tigers roll their bodies on this herb to heal their wounds.

What I like:

This is a thin gel with a very nice cooling effect. The natural, prebiotic-focused formula makes it a great calming gel for sensitive skin. I can imagine this product being useful during times of uncomfortable breakouts and those experiencing some inflammation. It also provides a non-stick finish, which I think is better compared to boscia’s Tsubaki Swirl Gel.

Even though the gel creates a thin layer of moisture, it is deceptively very moisturizing. This is why I think it is highly suitable for all skin types. It adequately hydrates dry skin without being thick and heavy. By not being so intense, it is equally useful for those with oilier skin.

It also has a discreet smell which supports this moisturizer’s minimalist and uncomplicated approach. If however, you prefer a stronger smelling moisturizer, then you might prefer Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Moisturizer. Both products contain superfoods. Juice Beauty’s has a more aggressive action on the skin to support anti-aging, whereas this moisturizer by ELEMIS’ takes a sensitive approach to restore the skin’s microbiome.

Make-up user? Look here:

This lightweight gel also layers well under makeup. But for those who are looking for a mattified look that serves as a primer, the ZELEN Life Moisturizer is superior.

ELEMIS Superfood Hydration Juice is by no means a cheap product but I can not argue with its performance. It delivers good results and you only need to use a small amount to benefit from its prebiotic features.

The question is, how big a role does prebiotics play in one’s quest for a radiant complexion. There is evidence to suggests that ensuring a balanced microbiome and its interaction with bacteria can determine the state of skin health and diseases, such as acne.[13] If true, this product is well worth a try.

The good:

  • Balances and protects the skin’s microbiome
  • Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory
  • Hydrates and soothes
  • Absorbs fast and does not leave a sticky finish

Things to think about:

  •  Can cause some tingling

Bottom line:

ELEMIS Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice is an excellent antioxidant moisturizer for people with oily and sensitive skin and who are looking for a lightweight calming gel.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

Mario Badescu Hydrating Moisturizer with Biocare & Hyaluronic Acid (Best on a budget)

 Mario Badescu Hydrating Moisturizer with Biocare & Hyaluronic Acid


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Contains hyaluronic acid
  • Anti-aging on a budget
  • Bigger than the average 1.7 fl oz / 50 ml moisturizer

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

Those with mature, dry skin.

Notable ingredients:

Hyaluronic acid, vitamin A, collagen

Overview:

Antioxidant-rich moisturizers don’t have to break the bank. They can be found on a budget too. Such as Mario Badescu’s Hydrating Moisturizer with Biocare & Hyaluronic Acid.

When compiling this list of moisturizers, we just simply had to include at least one product that contained hyaluronic acid.

Why?

Hyaluronic acid is wonderful at providing hydration to the skin and preventing moisture loss. It is a humectant that acts like a sponge. It draws moisture from the air and retains it in the skin for long periods. It does this by its ability to bind up to 1000 times its weight in water. The water molecules that it keeps on the skin’s surface helps to keep it well moisturized.

A great inclusion, but not the only inclusion. According to the manufacturer, this moisturizer contains a “vitamin A and collagen formula”.

When I think of these two ingredients, I immediately think of anti-aging. It’s a very good combination. Vitamin A contains natural retinoids and carotenoids, which provide antioxidants that suppress free radicals from damaging the skin and breaking down collagen. This slows down the development of saggy skin, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Vitamin A is not only preventative. It also encourages the production of collagen and stimulates fibroblasts, which are skin cells that help to strengthen and rebuild tissue beyond the skin’s surface. This keeps the skin looking healthier, tighter, and plumper. Whatsmore, vitamin A plays a beneficial role in improving sun-damaged skin, as well as helping to prevent further damage by reducing its sensitivity to UV rays. Prolonged sun exposure can lead to photoaging (accelerated skin aging and pigmentation) and vitamin A helps to counteract this.[8]

A quick note on collagen. Collagen is a protein found in our bodies and a major component of the structure of the skin. It gives the skin strength and resilience and prevents it from sagging. Collagen contributes to a more youthful look.

What else:

Clearly, this moisturizer has a good formula for its affordable price tag. It also has a generous size of 2 fl oz / 59 ml, which is larger than the average moisturizer on the market. It is the moisturizer with the biggest volume on our list, along with boscia’s Tsubaki Swirl.

On the flip side, to be size-friendly and budget-friendly, I think Mario Badescu has had to make some compromises. Despite an impressive combination of key ingredients, the formula is more on the synthetic side. I would like to see more natural ingredients in the formula, but I appreciate this often reflects a higher price.

The formula contains parabens, which always polarizes opinion. Parabens do get a bit of a bad rap in skincare. I will not go into the deeper concerns because opinions and evidence on this subject are extremely mixed.

But from a skin perspective, parabens can irritate sensitive individuals. The same can be said for a variety of chemicals that are found in today’s skincare products. So if you have sensitive skin, you may not tolerate this product very well.

If you are looking for a more skin-friendly, chemical-free product then the ZELEN Life Moisturizer would be more suitable. It has a clean formula. It is around the same price bracket as this moisturizer, but it has a smaller volume at 1.7 fl oz / 50 ml. Alternatively, if you are looking for a moisturizer that offers comparable anti-aging benefits but in a more natural formula, then consider Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular on our list.

I think the artificial formula of this moisturizer is a factor in its scent. To be honest, it’s not my favorite smelling product. Again, if you are looking for a nice aroma to your moisturizer, you should be focussing more on cleaner skincare. However, Murad’s Essential-C Day Moisture contains a balance of artificial ingredients and still has a very nice citrus scent. It also comes with sun protection but it has a higher price point.

The texture of this moisturizer is also different from the others on our list. This is a heavier cream. Taking its thickness and its hyaluronic acid formula into account, I think it serves dry skin types very well. But if you have oily skin, I think this moisturizer will be too over nourishing and will feel a little greasy. For oily skin, you will be better off with one of the lightweight moisturizers from our list, or a gel-based option such as ELEMIS’ Superfood Hydration Juice.

The good:

  • Intense moisturizer for hydrating dry skin
  • Prevents water (moisture) loss
  • Improves elasticity and smoothens fine lines and wrinkles
  • Good value for money

Things to think about:

  • Contains parabens
  • May cause irritation or acne in sensitive individuals

Bottom line:

Mario Badescu Hydrating Moisturizer is a powerful budget-conscious antioxidant moisturizer for mature, dry skin types. A good all-rounder without breaking the bank.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
3.5 Overall Score

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30 (Best for sun protection)

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • UV protection
  • Refreshing citrus smell
  • Packed with vitamin C

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

Those looking for a moisturizer with vitamin C and sun protection. It is the most suitable for oily skin.

Notable ingredients:

Ginkgo biloba, vitamin C

Overview:

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C-inspired products are all the rage in today’s skincare, so we just couldn’t go without including one!

Whatsmore, when it comes to sun protection, antioxidants and an SPF make for a great team. Whether it’s weaknesses in the sunscreen or whether it’s been applied incorrectly, antioxidants provide a second line of defense to damaging UV rays that find their way through to the skin. They boost our natural immunity to sun damage by neutralizing the effects of free radicals as the SPF absorbs the sun’s rays.

Therefore, Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30 is a match made in heaven.

Where do the antioxidants come from?

Ginkgo biloba is a herbal plant known for its healing powers. It contains quercetin and kaempferol, which are natural plant flavonoids. They act as antioxidants that counteract the damaging effects of free radicals, alleviating inflammation and skin aging. Ginkgo biloba can also have a brightening effect on the skin. They slow down the progression of pigmentation and dark spots. It also calms and soothes areas of irritation. The result is a more luminous complexion and even skin tone.

Vitamin C is an anti-aging dynamo thanks to its antioxidant potencies. Oxidative stress on the skin caused by free radicals inevitably leads to damage and premature aging. Vitamin C helps to combat free radicals while boosting the skin’s synthesis of collagen. Similar to Ginkgo biloba, it also brightens the skin. It helps to prevent dull, discolored and pigmented skin by stopping the production of melanin. The result is often a smoother, even skin tone with fewer age spots and sunspots.

Texture:

Like many of the moisturizers on our list, this has a light texture. But unlike all the others, this is a lightweight moisturizer with sunscreen included. I like that it absorbs nicely while providing adequate sun protection. It is more suited for oily skin than dry skin. It is not as hydrating compared to boscia’s Tsubaki Swirl, Mario Badescu’s Moisturizer, or ZELEN Life’s Moisturizer. But none of these contain SPF. So you would need to double-up with sunscreen for UV protection. This moisturizer by Murad is good for sensitive skin, though.

It is sensitive to your skin, but not sensitive to your pocket. This vitamin C-rich cream is a high price. But taking into account it’s essentially a 2-in-1 moisturizer and SPF (and a good one at that!), I think it justifies the cost. Except for the packaging. It’s pretty basic. I think Murad has missed a trick here, I would have liked to have seen more quality in this area.

Smell test:

I was pleasantly surprised by the scent of this product. In my experience, sunscreen usually doesn’t smell too good. Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below.

Anyway, it comes with a refreshing citrus aroma. The smell is comparable to the ZELEN Life Moisturizer, but ZELEN Life’s has a more natural undertone due to its organic formula.

The good:

  • Chemical-free
  • Improves skin clarity, brightens and evens tone
  • SPF 30
  • Did I say it’s blessed with vitamin C?
  • Lightweight and non-greasy–a nice feature for a sunscreen moisturizer

Things to think about:

  • High price
  • Packaging could be better

Bottom line:

Murad Essential-C Day Moisture is an understated yet effective antioxidant moisturizer that is powered with vitamin C to fight free radicals and prevent further damage from the sun’s UV rays.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

How we chose these products

As we went looking for antioxidant moisturizers, we wanted high antioxidant concentrations. Formulations that were rich in ingredients and did what they claimed to do.

That is fighting free radicals and stress in the skin. This means not just treating skin damage and reversing it but also preventing it in the future.

And so we picked moisturizers that were rich in jojoba, collagen, vitamin C, vitamin A, grapes, rice bran, kiwifruit, Camellia oil, and other ingredients that you may have never even heard of like Wakame. These ingredients’ primary goal is to fight free radicals and repair the existing damage caused by them. Thus, they reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness of the skin.

They are available in a variety of textures. Since not all moisturizers are suitable for all skin types, we chose different textures to address every skin type. There are gels and creams on this list and even a duo. So you can pick the best antioxidant moisturizer for your skin irrespective of whether you have oily, dry, or sensitive skin.

We also considered sun protection One of the main causes of photoaging is exposure to the sun. And so we included an antioxidant moisturizer with an SPF–just in case you want to do away with the additional step.

We also picked a few that can be used as a primer or base for those who use foundation. Who needs twenty steps to their skincare routine?

Vegan and cruelty-free products are also on our list. We understand many people want to move away from animal testing and animal products. Keeping that in mind, we decided to add products that do not test on animals and use just organic ingredients in their formulations.

We also looked at the budget. Since this is a product you will use daily, we kept a wide price range to suit every budget. From luxurious to affordable brands, we have something for everyone on the list.

Frequently asked questions

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are man-made or natural compounds that prevent or delay cell damage. This cell damage can occur due to age, the sun, disease, and diet. They counter the free radicals that cause damage to the human body.

What are the examples of antioxidants?

Examples of antioxidants are vitamins C and E, selenium, polyphenols, flavonoids, and carotenoids, like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

Can I just take antioxidant supplements?

You can get most of the antioxidants you need by consuming a healthy diet. Supplementing high doses of beta-carotene may increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers while doing the same with vitamin E may increase the risks of prostate cancer and one type of stroke.[10]

How long will it take to see the reversal of skin damage with an antioxidant moisturizer?

It takes six weeks to see any effect on the skin, as that’s how long it takes for epidermal cells to regenerate. You can see effects much earlier as well, depending on the concentration of the antioxidants.

Remember, too much of any good thing is bad. A higher concentration of alpha hydroxy acid can cause peeling while at lower concentrations cause wound healing. For years of skin damage, it will take a good year to see a reversal.

This is a marathon, not a hundred-meter dash.

How often can I use antioxidant moisturizer?

It’s good to use it once daily. Antioxidants tend to be strong, and for those with sensitive skin, extra caution is advised unless the moisturizer has been formulated for sensitive skin and is labeled as hypoallergenic after rigorous testing.

What are the signs of skin damage?

Signs of skin damage are wide-ranging. They can be fine lines, age spots, dullness, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, hyper, or hypopigmentation.

Will antioxidant moisturizer cause me to have acne?

As with any new moisturizer, we advise you to do a patch test first to test the product. There are various ingredients like citrus peels, fruits, and essential oils that may cause you to break out. However, after safely doing a patch test, you can go ahead and use the product.

What do I do if I develop a reaction?

If you develop any burning or stinging after applying your antioxidant moisturizer, then wash it off immediately. Check the product, supplier, and expiry date.

Report it to the supplier. Also, repeat a patch test. If you develop a similar reaction with wheals and itching or burning, discontinue the product. Alternatively, if you do develop a cystic breakout, then see a dermatologist.

Conclusion

An antioxidant moisturizer will reverse any damage your skin has sustained. It will also prevent further photoaging by protecting your skin.

Have you found the best antioxidant moisturizer for your skin? If yes, tell us which one is your favorite.

If no, tell us why you’ve decided against it.

We’d love to know your skincare secret to that youthful look.

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References

  1. Abdul-Hafeez EY, Karamova NS, Ilinskaya ON. Antioxidant activity and total phenolic compound content of certain medicinal plants. Int J Biosci. 2014;5(1):213–222.
  2. Meier L., Stange R., Michalsen A., Uehleke B. Clay jojoba oil facial mask for lesioned skin and mild acne—Results of a prospective, observational pilot study. Forsch Komplementmed. 2012;19:75–79. doi: 10.1159/000338076.
  3. Ranzato E., Martinotti S., Burlando B. Wound healing properties of jojoba liquid wax: An in vitro study. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2011;134:443–449. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.12.042.
  4. Tang SC, Yang JH. Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the Skin. Molecules. 2018;23(4):863. Published 2018 Apr 10. doi:10.3390/molecules23040863
  5. Kim S, Jung E, Shin S, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of Camellia japonica oil. BMB Rep. 2012;45(3):177-182. doi:10.5483/BMBRep.2012.45.3.177
  6. Manosroi A, Chutoprapat R, Sato Y, et al. Antioxidant activities and skin hydration effects of rice bran bioactive compounds entrapped in niosomes. J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2011;11(3):2269-2277. doi:10.1166/jnn.2011.3532
  7. Alim A, Li T, Nisar T, et al. Antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiproliferative activity-based comparative study of peel and flesh polyphenols from Actinidia chinensis. Food Nutr Res. 2019;63:10.29219/fnr.v63.1577. Published 2019 Apr 26. doi:10.29219/fnr.v63.1577
  8. Mukherjee S, Date A, Patravale V, Korting HC, Roeder A, Weindl G. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clin Interv Aging. 2006;1(4):327-348. doi:10.2147/ciia.2006.1.4.327
  9. Kim SJ, Lim MH, Chun IK, Won YH. Effects of flavonoids of Ginkgo biloba on proliferation of human skin fibroblast. Skin Pharmacol. 1997;10(4):200-205. doi:10.1159/000211505
  10. Klein EA, Thompson IM Jr, Tangen CM, et al. Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA. 2011;306(14):1549–1556.
  11. Trehan S, Michniak-Kohn B, Beri K. Plant stem cells in cosmetics: current trends and future directions. Future Sci OA. 2017 Jul 12;3(4):FSO226. doi: 10.4155/fsoa-2017-0026.
  12. Tito A, Carola A, Bimonte M, et al. A tomato stem cell extract, containing antioxidant compounds and metal chelating factors, protects skin cells from heavy metal-induced damages. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2011;33(6):543-552. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2494.2011.00668.x
  13. Xu H, Li H. Acne, the Skin Microbiome, and Antibiotic Treatment. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2019;20(3):335-344. doi:10.1007/s40257-018-00417-3
  14. Surjushe A, Vasani R, Saple DG. Aloe vera: a short review. Indian J Dermatol. 2008;53(4):163-166. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.44785
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Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30
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  • Prevents UV and free radical damage
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About The Author

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Doctor and Seasoned Medical Writer

Doctor of Medicine MD (Angeles University College of Medicine)

United States

Pamela Q. Fernandes is a doctor and medical writer. Born and raised in Kuwait, she graduated from Angeles University College of Medicine, Philippines in 2007. Soon after that, she started her career as a medical writer and physician. Pamela is an advocate of preventive health, rural medicine, women’s health and tele-medicine having been active in these roles for the majority of her decade long career in medicine. As a seasoned medical writer, she has worked with many medical publishing houses and doctors, as well as pharmaceuticals, hospitals and practices. She specializes in training material for doctors and patient education material. As an academic writer, she is a qualified writer of articles for medical journals, case reports and medical presentations.

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