Ask Jean: Best Antioxidant for Skin?

Ask Jean: Best Antioxidant for Skin?


We want to answer your most pressing questions—or, you know, just the things that you’re curious about. Please keep them coming to: [email protected]. Below, a q for our beauty director, Jean Godfrey-June.

Dear Jean, I know antioxidants are great, but every cream or serum seems to have different antioxidants in it. What’s the best, most powerful antioxidant for skin? —Zoe W.

Dear Zoe, From red wine and green tea to Arctic succulents, the variety of antioxidants that can be eaten, drunk, or extracted and used in skin care is mind-boggling. They’re good for health and for skin because they help protect against free radicals, which, in a famous example, do the same thing to us that they do to a sliced apple: They oxidize it, turning it brown and sending it more quickly to…its eventual disintegration, otherwise known as ripe old age.

I’m a huge believer in vitamin C—it’s the most-studied antioxidant, particularly for skin, and it clearly works on all sorts of levels to improve many aspects of skin and overall health. I love a green tea, a pomegranate, a what-have-you, but C is what I trust and use every morning. I particularly love the vitamin C powder from True Botanicals because when you mix vitamin C into a cosmetic formula, it starts to oxidize the second you open it, so most vitamin C skin treatments, even those with a truckload of preservatives, get less and less potent with each use. The powder, on the other hand, can be mixed it with plain old water, a serum, a moisturizer, even an SPF, right before you use it, so it’s always full potency when you apply it.

My skin—I feel—is noticeably firmer, brighter, smoother, and healthier since I started using it every morning. Even a week after I started, friends demanded to know what had changed/what I was using.

Then, a few weeks later, I asked one of those friends about her suddenly noticeably amazing skin. I demanded to know what she was using, and she laughed: “Duh. The True Botanicals vitamin C!”

Skin care always involves some level of hope in a jar, but this hope has more going for it than most: Antioxidants benefit our skin, and this powder version is a brilliant way to make sure the vitamin C remains active.