6 Best Antioxidant-Rich Moisturizers for Radiant Skin 2020
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6 Best Antioxidant-Rich Moisturizers for Radiant Skin

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best antioxidant moisturizer

In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

BEST FOR SENSITIVE AND ACNE-PRONE SKIN ZELEN Life Moisturizer
BEST FOR NORMAL TO COMBINATION SKIN Boscia Tsubaki Swirl - Gel Face 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

bb2-table__imageZELEN Life Moisturizer
  • Organic formula, packed with vitamins and antioxidants
  • Lightweight and non-greasy, absorbs fast to boost hydration
  • Soothes inflamed skin and helps acne breakouts
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bb2-table__imageJuice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer
  • Contains antioxidant-rich fruit stem cells
  • Tightens the skin and reduces wrinkles
  • Increases skin elasticity
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bb2-table__imageBoscia Tsubaki Swirl - Gel Face Moisturizer
  • Ultra-light formula, gel and cream combined
  • Improves the skin's resilience and protects
  • Increases collagen
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bb2-table__imageELEMIS Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice
  • Formulated with Biotransformed Cica, antioxidant compounds
  • Powerful hydrator and skin tightener
  • Calms skin, antibacterial properties
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bb2-table__imageMario Badescu Hydrating Moisturizer with Biocare & Hyaluronic Acid
  • Hyaluronic acid locks in moisture
  • Makes skin feel soft and supple
  • Anti-aging
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bb2-table__imageMurad Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30
  • Contains vitamin-C and antioxidant Ginkgo Biloba
  • Sun protection, SPF 30
  • Prevents UV and free radical damage
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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 in 2020

Here are the 6 best antioxidant moisturizers in 2020.

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

1. ZELEN Life Moisturizer

moisturizer zelen life

Best features:

  • Lightweight, non-greasy formula that absorbs quickly into the skin
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Fights free radicals and soothes inflammation

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

All skin types, particularly those with sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Overview:

The ZELEN Life Moisturizer boosts hydration to your daily skincare routine.

This is a moisturizing day cream, which, as you apply in the morning, moisturizes all day. It’s lightweight, non-greasy, and leaves your skin soft and smooth. ZELEN Life’s natural formula is packed with organic ingredients.

It’s chemical-free and doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetic colors, and fragrances.

Instead, the key ingredients are all-natural – jojoba, calendula, and clary sage and contain essential vitamins, essential fatty acids, as well as antioxidants.

Their protective properties act as a barrier for the skin. They also have a smoothening, calming, and soothing effect on the skin, leaving it refreshed and revitalized.

Jojoba has anti-aging properties that fight wrinkles and other signs of aging. It speeds up the skin’s healing process, and it regulates the production of sebum (the oil produced by the body).

Studies have shown that jojoba seed extract has flavonoids and lignans. These compounds have potent antioxidant and lipoxygenase inhibitory effects. They also inhibit oxidative stress.[1]

Jojoba oil also has a high content of wax esters. This makes it a suitable repair option for dermatoses or skin conditions with altered barriers, like seborrheic dermatitis, eczematous dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and acne.[2] 

It has an anti-inflammatory effect and is effective against skin infections, skin aging, and wound healing.[3]

Bonus:

Calendula is a natural oil derived from the marigold flower and provides daily moisture while nourishing the skin. It’s a natural antiseptic, as well, and it helps to heal the skin while reducing redness.

Clary sage is a flowering herb that’s native to the Mediterranean region and has many benefits for skin health and is often used in aromatherapy. It tightens skin while giving it a youthful, radiant glow, and it’s an anti-inflammatory that prevents skin irritation. It’s also an antibacterial that curbs bacterial proliferation.

The good:

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Reduces fine lines
  • Antibacterial and clears out clogged pores, helping to control breakouts.

Things to think about:

  • Matte finish
  • No SPF

Bottom line

This is a superior moisturizer enriched with antioxidants. It can be used on all skin types and especially helps as an anti-acne and anti-aging day cream.

2. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer

Best features:

  • Improves skin tone
  • Increases elasticity of the skin
  • Contains fruit stem cells

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

Skin with fine lines and dullness.

Overview:

Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Moisturizer contains a proprietary blend of fruit stem cells. This is infused into a Vitamin C, resveratrol rich grapeseed formula to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is made with certified organic, antioxidant-rich ingredients that hydrate and improve elasticity.

It hydrates and moisturizes with jojoba and shea. They fight free radical damage and firm up the skin.

Who should use it?

For all skin types showing the signs of aging. Studies have shown that resveratrol can help fight free radicals.

It also contains essential fatty acid emollients and a powerful antioxidant action with evening primrose, linseed & borage seed. For those who wear makeup, it can even be used under makeup for lightweight hydration by mixing with half a pump of your foundation.

What are fruit stem cells?

These are stem cells derived from organic apple buds, grape buds & lemon bark.

Grape Juice is rich in vitamins, is a potent tartaric alpha-hydroxy acid, and contains resveratrol antioxidants that all help promote beautiful skin. Different concentrations of AHA’s serve as a physical and immunological barrier to harmful external aggressors and prevent the breakage of DNA.[4]

Jojoba Oil is derived from the seeds of the desert shrub jojoba—a rich emollient antioxidant which is high in essential fatty acids and nutrients.

The good:

  • Tightens the skin
  • Lighten wrinkles
  • For makeup users, can be used underneath foundation

Things to think about:

  • Not as hydrating
  • The smell may not be to everyone’s taste

Bottom line

This is an excellent antioxidant moisturizer for skin with fine lines looking for a foundation base.

3. Boscia Tsubaki Swirl – Gel Face Moisturizer

Best features:

  • Protects against skin damage
  • Lightweight formula
  • Gel and moisturizer cream fused into one

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

Those with normal to combination skin where prevention of aging is the focus.

Overview:

Boscia’s Tsubaki Swirl is a two-part gel and cream moisturizer duo powered by Tsubaki (Camellia Oil). It deeply hydrates, rejuvenates, and restores moisture.

Tsubaki (Camellia Oil) supports the skin’s natural ability to promote firmness, hydrates, and skin protection.

This vegan-friendly moisturizer nourishes, hydrates, and smoothens dry skin with a two-part swirled gel and cream duo. Antioxidant-rich Tsubaki (Camellia) Oil instantly absorbs into the skin, leaving your complexion glowing and smooth without a greasy feel.

What is Tsubaki?

Tsubaki (Camellia) Oil also possesses comparable antioxidant properties to Vitamin C and acts as an anti-aging moisturizer while promoting firmness, hydration, and protects against free radical damage.

Camellia Oil also contains Omega-6 and Omega-9, which act as skin-penetrating enhancers to help deliver moisture deep within the skin. Studies have shown that Camellia Oil nourishes and soothes the skin and restores its elasticity.[5]

Rice Bran assists in the potential reduction of dark spots and increases microcirculation for soft, glowing skin. Palmitoyl Pentapeptide works to help provide a visible anti-wrinkle and lifting effect and activates the process of extracellular matrix renewal by stimulating cell renewal and boosting collagen production.

A study has demonstrated the antioxidant activities and improved skin hydration with rice bran bioactive compounds when entrapped in niosomes and incorporated in cream formulations.[6]

This gel and cream moisturizer duo can be applied before makeup application for instantly plump skin.

Wakame helps prevent the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of firmness by replenishing protein and helping to increase collagen production. It also helps even out skin tone by reducing melanin synthesis.

Rice Bran Oil has been used in Asia for centuries. Rice Bran Oil is an antioxidant-rich oil that helps prevent premature aging by providing essential nutrients and minimizing damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and lack of firmness.

Using provided spatula or fingertips, scoop onto fingers and apply liberally on cleansed and toned skin, blending gel and cream. It can be used morning and night, alone or under makeup. Rinse spatula after use.

The good:

  • Firms and hydrates the skin
  • Protects skin against free radical damage
  • Boosts collagen production

Things to think about:

  • Feels slightly sticky
  • Not for oily skin

Bottom line:

This is an excellent antioxidant moisturizer for normal to dry skin looking to prevent aging.

4. ELEMIS Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice

Best features:

  • Intensely hydrating
  • Soothes skin
  • Antibacterial properties

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

Those who have sensitive skin with eczema.

Overview:

ELEMIS’ Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice is a moisture-quenching, prebiotic gel moisturizer. It is formulated with soothing Biotransformed Cica to drench the skin in juicy hydration.

Antioxidant packed Biotransformed Cica, plus organic cucumber and organic aloe vera calm and soothe the skin, while Kiwi and Green Mandarin Fruit Waters leave the skin looking bright and refreshed.

The Prebiotic in this formula helps to protect the skin’s delicate microbiome for a healthy-looking complexion. For makeup users, the lightweight gel texture also layers well underneath.

The vegan-friendly, silicone-free formula moisturizes and improves the look of skin texture for a balanced-looking complexion.

It contains bergamot oil, a popular essential oil. It has antibacterial properties that can help acne-prone skin.

Aloe Vera soothes, moisturizes, and softens the skin. Cucumber has cooling, refreshing, and soothing skin care properties with moisture regulating activity. It has been shown to help tighten the skin.

Kiwi is great at minimizing age spots and hyper-pigmentation. Rich in Vitamin C and is excellent at nourishing and smoothing skin.

The pericarp of kiwifruit is more abundant in polyphenols and flavonoids than the flesh. It exerts more potent antioxidant, antibacterial, and anticancer activity when incorporated in formulations.[7]

Cica is full of antioxidants, which give skin an antimicrobial boost and provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

The good:

  • Firms up skin
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Prebiotic formula

Things to think about:

  •  Can cause some tingling

Bottom line:

This is an excellent antioxidant moisturizer for people with sensitive skin and who are looking for a lightweight calming gel.

5. Mario Badescu Hydrating Moisturizer with Biocare & Hyaluronic Acid

Best features:

  • Hyaluronic acid holds the skin’s natural moisture, preventing moisture loss
  • Leaves skin supple and dewy
  • Improves elasticity

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

Those with mature, dry skin.

Overview:

Mario Badescu’s Hydrating Moisturizer with Biocare & Hyaluronic Acid is an antioxidant moisturizer for mature skin. It’s Vitamin A and collagen formula nourishes and softens rough, dry skin and keeps it plump and supple.

Hyaluronic acid holds the skin’s natural moisture, preventing moisture loss. Vitamin A contains retinoids. They counteract photosensitivity and improve the elasticity and wrinkling of intrinsically/photoaged skin.[8]

This formula provides intense moisture and hydration that leaves the skin soft and dewy.

After cleansing and toning, apply daily all over the face avoiding eye area.

The good:

  • Hydrates dry skin
  • Smoothens fine lines and wrinkles
  • Intense moisturizer

Things to think about:

  • Contains parabens
  • Can cause acne

Bottom line:

This is a powerful antioxidant moisturizer for mature, dry skin types.

6. Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30

Best features:

  • SPF 30
  • For oily and sensitive skin
  • Contains Vitamin C

The best antioxidant moisturizer for:

Those looking for a moisturizer for their oily skin.

Overview:

Murad’s Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30 reveals radiant skin and protects it from UV damage. Its potent antioxidants shield the skin from environmental aggressors such as pollutants and radiation for a glowing, healthy-looking complexion.

This is a daily moisturizer that hydrates, protects, and revitalizes the skin from sun damage.

Where do the antioxidants come from?

Ginkgo Biloba is a potent antioxidant that fights free radical damage. Studies have shown an increased production of collagen and extracellular fibronectin with Ginkgo L. extracts, especially the flavonoid fractions: quercetin, kaempferol, sciadopitysin, ginkgetin, isoginkgetin, on human skin.[9]

It’s Vitamin C content improves skin clarity; it brightens and evens skin tone. Grape Seed Extract is also one of the ingredients that are rich in Vitamin C.

The good:

  • No, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten, animal-derived ingredients, mineral oil, formaldehyde, petrolatum/petroleum
  • Improves skin clarity; brightens and evens tone
  • UV protection

Things to think about:

  •  May cause breakouts

Bottom line:

This is an excellent antioxidant moisturizer for those with oily skin.


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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 have a few that have SPF. One of the main causes of photoaging is exposure to the sun. And so we included an antioxidant moisturizer with sun protection 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 the 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, flavenoids, 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.

About The Author

Dr. Pamela Q. Fernandes
Dr. Pamela Q. Fernandes

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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