My Acne Vanished After I Added This Key Ingredient Into My Routine

Benefits of Using Antioxidants for Acne-Prone Skin



Anyone who has dealt with acne (either previously or currently) will relate to what I'm about to say: At some point, it feels like you've tried every trick in the book to clear up your skin including the harsh face washes, drying treatments, activated charcoal—you name it. But most of the time, all they do is strip your skin and aren't necessarily a permanent solution to the issue. Ugh. It took me a while to figure this out, but there's one particular ingredient I added to my routine that really made a difference for me in a short period of time.

According to Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist, adding antioxidants to your skincare routine can make a huge improvement in your skin. "Antioxidants help protect the skin from free radical damage," says Jaliman. "Many people with acne have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C helps to brighten the skin and decrease pigment so it is very beneficial." In addition to antioxidants like vitamin C, there are a few other well-known ingredients you can add to your regimen that isn't as harsh as other drying acne treatments. "Niacinamide is also another potent antioxidant that you will see in many skincare products," Jaliman shares. "It helps to reduce both redness and brown discoloration. It is also used to [actively] treat acne. Retinol can also help to stimulate collagen production and helps to unclog pores because it increases cell turnover."

As long as you test out ingredients like retinol in a lower concentration first, you shouldn't have too big of an issue with irritation. For a few powerhouse products selected by Jaliman and myself that contain potent antioxidants, keep scrolling below. 

This is one of my all-time favorite vitamin C serums for acne-prone skin. Everyone loses their minds over SkinCeuticals' original C E Ferulic formula, but if you have acne-prone skin, this formula is the perfect noncomedogenic alternative. Your complexion glows equally as much and doesn't leave a filmy feeling on your skin. 

If you're in the market for a good face oil, try Sunday Riley's antioxidant- and superfood-packed oil. It helps replenish your skin's moisture levels and nourishes your complexion with essential amino acids, omegas 3, 6, and 9, and vitamins A and C.

"This serum with vitamin E is one of my all-time favorite products. It’s great for acne-prone skin because it has vitamin C as well as vitamin E and ferulic acid. It also has aloe which is very soothing and [a great] anti-inflammatory for inflamed skin. Many people with acne also have dried out their skin so it contains both hyaluronic acid and glycerin which are excellent hydrators."—Debra Jaliman

I love this nighttime antioxidant serum because it pairs really well with retinol. I've heard mixed opinions on whether it's a good idea to mix vitamin C with retinol or not. So just to be on the safe, I opt for resveratrol at night instead—a potent youth-preserving antioxidant. It literally makes my skin glow overnight.

This daily firming treatment from Allies of Skin has been another favorite of mine recently. The antioxidant-rich formula helps repair a damaged skin barrier and reduces signs of premature aging.

This budget-friendly Amazon find really gets the job done. To round out this potent vitamin C formula, it contains jojoba oil aloe vera, and vitamin E to hydrate and brighten.

Typology's rich serum also has resveratrol, ferulic acid in it to offer serious anti-inflammatory benefits.

HoliFrog's Galilee serum is a great option for those with dry, acne-prone skin types. It helps keep your skin looking fresh and is enriched with squalane, marula seed oil, jojoba oil, and apricot kernel oil. It also has azelaic acid, a gentler exfoliant that calms the skin and reduces irritation.

For an extra-dewy and hydrated glow, add this serum from Paula's Choice to the mix. It's formulated to help smooth, refine, and brighten the skin with low-strength retinol and other antioxidants.

I currently use this niacinamide serum from Dr. Sturm and I'm totally in love. It absorbs so easily into the skin and contains other star plankton extract and panthenol to soothe existing breakouts and reduce redness.

The Ordinary provides this great budget option that has zinc in addition to a potent form of niacinamide. It helps with oil control and calms existing acne.

"This serum is oil-free and hydrating. It’s also good for stimulating collagen. People with acne [tend to] have weakened collagen from all the inflammation." —Jaliman

"This product contains retinol as well as being noncomedogenic. It also contains ceramides which hydrate the skin, niacinamide, and licorice-root extract which helps discoloration." —Jaliman

This cult-favorite serum from Dieux Skin addresses skin irritation with three potent ingredientsniacinamide, an encapsulated hemp complex, and a water lily complex.