Generally, antioxidants do not fight bacteria,
However, some vitamins and minerals (such as
vitamin C) act both as antioxidants and
There are numerous sources of antioxidants.
Many fruits and leafy green vegetables are
rich in them. A ton of vitamins and minerals have
antioxidant properties. Even chocolate and
red wine are
good sources. Antioxidant supplements often
include a broad mix of vitamins, minerals and
When talking about antioxidant treatments,
I'm typically speaking of those natural
supplements that pack in a long list of
antioxidant-rich ingredients, as opposed to
supplement that has an obvious main active
ingredient (note that power vitamins may
also be antioxidants, but that isn't their
main role). These remedies tend to take the
"toss in everything" approach, hoping that
if they throw enough antioxidants at the
problem, one of them will be the magic
ticket that your skin needs.
Without a doubt, antioxidants are good for
your skin, but most acne sufferers need a
The truth is, I'm not a big fan of
typical antioxidant supplements. Most cases of
persistent acne are not caused by the action
of free radicals or bacteria in your skin,
and thus treatments that focus on combating these causes
are unlikely to give satisfactory results.
But that's not to say they can't help.
If you have mild acne, it may be true that
antioxidants are all you need. This could be
even more likely if you are frequently
exposed to oxidizing agents, one of the most
obvious being the sun. Now, I am not
against a healthy degree of sun exposure
(most of us don't get enough sun),
but keep in mind that UV radiation causes
oxidation, so sun exposure can be more
harmful to your skin if you are low on
The bottom line is that antioxidants can
complement your clear skin regimen,
but they are seldom ever the cure.
When you see a natural treatment that has a
list of ingredients a mile long, packing
in dozens of exotic herbs, vitamins and
minerals, all touted to have powerful
antioxidant properties, be skeptical. These
supplements are hardly ever the cure-all
answer that you're looking for.
Antioxidants can be an important part of
your clear skin diet, and chances are you
should be getting more of them, but unless
your acne is very mild, antioxidants alone
are unlikely to put a stop to it.