Eating lots of fruit, particularly blueberries, is an effective way to increase your intake of antioxidants

4 Antioxidant Benefits For Skin

Learn all about the powerful anti-ageing effects of antioxidants with NIVEA

Before we explore the many benefits of antioxidants, let’s take a closer look at what they are and how they can protect your skin.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are naturally-occurring compounds that can protect your skin from free radicals. They take the form of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins A, C and E, and selenium, an essential trace mineral.


Free radicals are highly reactive, unstable molecules that can cause no end of trouble for healthy skin cells. Your body naturally produces free radicals, but it is also exposed to them via external sources, e.g. pollution, UV light and cigarette smoke.


A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is essential for your body to function properly; an excess of free radicals, however, can overwhelm your body’s ability to regulate them, and this can trigger a condition known as oxidative stress. Severe oxidative stress can damage your skin cells, cause inflammation and contribute to the signs of premature skin ageing, i.e. lead to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


Many of our products include antioxidants that counteract the damage caused by free radicals. The NIVEA Q10 range takes full advantage of the powerful antioxidant qualities of Coenzyme Q10, helping recharge and rejuvenate your skin. Our entire Q10 range is specially formulated to support your skin, protect it from damage and slow the ageing process.

What do antioxidants do?

The antioxidant benefits for skin

As we have seen, antioxidants can protect your skin cells and tissues from the effects of free radicals, and there are a number of tangible benefits that this has for your skin.


Oxidative stress causes collagen to break down, which leads to sagging skin and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Antioxidants fight the signs of ageing by helping to reduce and sometimes prevent oxidative stress.




Acne is an inflammatory skin disease, and antioxidants just so happen to have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties thanks to their ability to neutralise free radicals.

Free radicals can cause our skin to become inflamed, which blocks pores and causes pimples to develop. Time to bust out the antioxidants and stop those acne breakouts in their tracks.

Sunburn protection

UV light induces the formation of free radicals in the skin, which can lead to photoageing and cancer. The good news is that Carotenoids and Vitamins C and E have been shown to offer the skin protection from UV-induced photodamage. Vitamin C has been shown to stabilise and help regenerate vitamin E, which means that the combination of the two vitamins is especially effective in fighting UV damage.


Nivea Sun Moisturising Lotion SPF30 provides deep and long lasting moisturisation and includes vitamin E to help combat free radicals and premature skin ageing. Remember that you should wear sunscreen every day in order to give your skin the protection that it needs. Before you head out into the sun, apply generous amounts of sunscreen and reapply frequently, especially after swimming and drying yourself with a towel.

Brighter-looking skin

Vitamin C can lighten hyperpigmentation and dark spots and help brighten your complexion.


This is certainly ideal if you’re looking for a fresher, just-slept-for-more-than-4-hours, face!

Antioxidant for skin

Antioxidant foods for skin

You can find antioxidants in a wide range of fruits and vegetables. And if you’re not a massive fan of the fruits and veggies, you’ll be pleased to hear that antioxidant-rich foods also include nuts and certain meats and fish.


If you’d like to find out more about the foods which are good for your skin, read our guide on the subject.


  • Blueberries are packed full of anthocyanins, which are considered to be nature’s most potent antioxidants. In addition to reducing inflammation, they can also prevent cancer and heart disease.
  • Avocados offer up lycopene and beta-carotene, which are powerful carotenoid antioxidants. Carotenoids are pigments in plants, and they protect the skin from UV light exposure and improve the tone and brightness of your skin.
  • Grapes, especially those of the purple, red and blue variety, are loaded with phytochemicals - antioxidants that can neutralise free radicals and help protect against cancer and heart disease


  • Red and yellow peppers are very high in Vitamin C, a strong antioxidant that can regenerate other antioxidants within the body, and beta carotene
  • Leafy greens: cabbage, spinach, rocket and watercress contain high concentrations of beta-carotene and lutein, both of which act as antioxidants. Spinach also offers up our favourite antioxidant, Coenzyme Q10.
  • Red cabbage and red kale contain anthocyanins, which is excellent news if you just don’t like blueberries very much


  • Shrimp, crab and salmon are rich sources of astaxanthin, a reddish pigment that serves as a protective antioxidant

Nuts & Seeds

  • Almonds provide oodles of Vitamin E, an effective antioxidant that has been shown to counteract the effects of oxidative stress. It also absorbs the energy from UV light, which helps protect you from photodamage.
  • Cashews are full of selenium, which improves your skin’s elasticity and works alongside Vitamin E as a powerful antioxidant
  • Brazil nuts are also rich in selenium and come chock-full of omega-3
  • Walnuts are versatile and very tasty. You’ll find lots of antioxidants and B-vitamins in these lovely nuts, which helps keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay.