What deep breathing or a glass of red wine (your pick) does for your mental stress, the
best antioxidant moisturizers can do for the stress you're wearing on your face. While antioxidants are plentiful in the skin care world, some of the most common, and most potent, are vitamin A (or retinol, which is a derivative of vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide), green tea extract, coenzyme Q10, and resveratrol (which, you may be happy to learn, is derived from red wine). Plant extracts often contain stores of antioxidants, as well.
All these variants are special in their own, unique ways — for instance,
vitamin C is known for its brightening properties, and green tea for its soothing effects. But most of these antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that contribute to oxidative stress when piled up unchecked — and, in turn, that can lead to phenomena like collagen depletion, hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and, at worst, skin cancer.
These powerhouse molecules find their way into lots of skin care products, but the seven
best antioxidant moisturizers featured here contain them in relatively high concentrations for more efficacy. Scroll on to shop them now. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team. The One With Probiotics
this TULA overnight moisturizer has everything you need for a brighter and clearer complexion: like AHAs for gentle exfoliation, amino acids and panthenol for strengthening, vitamin C and green tea leaf extract for a healthy dose of antioxidants, and a combination of plant extracts and shea butter for moisture. But the hero ingredient in here, as in all TULA products, are probiotics — good-for-skin bacteria that promote a strong protective barrier, resulting in firmer, calmer, brighter skin over the long term. Despite its potency, this feels surprisingly lightweight and non-greasy — think yogurt, not butter — so it feels lovely on all skin types. The One With Niacinamide
If vitamin C is the old guard of the antioxidant world, niacinamide is very much the new — the Telfar to Dior’s Saddle bag, if your brain works in It bag metaphors. This highly permeable vitamin B derivative
helps soothe redness and inflammation, diminish hyperpigmentation, and strengthen your skin's barrier — hence why it seems to show up in virtually every new skin care product launch these days. But in terms of moisturizers, this one from Naturium is an especially good choice. It contains 5% niacinamide, a concentration on par with most serums (like Glossier’s cult-favorite Super Pure), while zinc PCA regulates oil production and helps minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. Coconut fruit juice and hyaluronic acid give this its refreshing, gel-like feel, but shea butter plants it firmly in the “moisturizer” camp. The One With Peptides
Peptides, like the spa-grade, patented form in
this Bliss moisturizer, are chains of amino acids that trigger collagen production in your skin, which leads to improved elasticity and locked-in hydration. That, plus antioxidants vitamin C, green tea leaf extract, and niacinamide, improve your skin's plumpness, firmness, and brightness (the Big Three of skin care, as far as most of us are concerned). This is also suitable for all skin types, since it’s rich without feeling heavy or greasy. The One With Superfoods
Ginger, goji berry, matcha: What sounds like tea off the menu at a vegan cafe are actually ingredients in
this Elemis cream. Even more antioxidant-packed superfoods show up in here as well, like broccoli and flaxseed oil for their stores of replenishing fatty acids. This also contains prebiotics, which feed the healthy bacteria in your skin’s microbiome (aka probiotics, like the ones present in the TULA moisturizer) so they can better stave off aggressors that trigger redness, acne, and other types of inflammation. The airtight packaging keeps this elixir fresh after you've opened it, and the pump-top bottle prevents you from contaminating the cream with your hands. The One With CoQ10
The headlining ingredient in
this night cream is CoQ10, which is not only the coolest-sounding of all the antioxidants, but is also among the most potent. It’s an enzyme that the body produces to energize cellular repair, but which naturally diminishes over time. Applied topically, CoQ10 replenishes your skin at a cellular level, stimulates collagen and elastin production, and protects your skin from environmental aggressors. That all gets a boost from a mostly organic ingredients list, including clarifying rosehip oil, nourishing avocado oil, and fellow antioxidant resveratrol. The Cooling One
If your skin is feeling dehydrated, itchy, inflamed, or otherwise in need of cooling and quenching, go for
this gel moisturizer from COSRX — the moisturizer version of the brand’s cult-favorite Hydrium ampoules. Antioxidants like green tea leaf, aloe vera, and allantoin offer soothing and hydrating benefits with no added weight, while glycerin attracts and seals in moisture (and makes this a moisturizer, not an ampoule). This is also a great choice for oily skin, thanks to its refreshing feel and lightweight consistency. The Comforting One
If that COSRX moisturizer is like a glass of ice water for your skin,
this one from Paula’s Choice is like a turmeric latte, if your brain works in beverage metaphors. It’s rich, comforting and nourishing, specifically for dry and rosacea- or eczema-prone skin, since it's is loaded with anti-irritants like panthenol and allantoin. Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and the polyphenols found in aloe vera offer their own healing and protecting benefits. Layer this over your retinoid to counteract any drying effects you’re experiencing. (And to double down on the antioxidants.)
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