In the last two decades the role of antioxidants in skin care has radically changed. In the early 2000s, it was typical to find finished formulas on the shelf that contained butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) or butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), which were mostly added to enhance the shelf-life of the product. As time went on, formulas containing vitamin C and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) became more common since many studies carried out during that period demonstrated the invaluable benefits provided to the skin by these antioxidants.
As the personal care industry entered the end of the first decade in the new millennium, naturally derived ingredients started to become more and more common. Of course, most of these ingredients were based on botanical ingredients, which are chock-full of polyphenols and other ingredients with antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants have also become key components of sunscreen formulas, as research demonstrated unique benefits from the addition of antioxidants in addition to any UV absorption properties. Further, a great deal of research has gone into delivery systems for antioxidants, which provide targeted delivery and stability for antioxidants. Nowadays, one can find antioxidants in just about every type of skin care product in the marketplace. In this article, we will review some of the latest advances in antioxidant technology in the skin care arena.
By New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists