One of the many fabulous skincare launches I tested during lockdown was the new Avène A-Oxitive range. As the name suggests, the products are packed full of skin protracting antioxidants to prevent oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are just atoms with a missing electron, and their only goal is to find another electron so it can become a pair. The problem is that they will scavenge out any electron, from anywhere. They are all around us, in air pollution, pesticides, fried foods and tobacco smoke. These invisible particles cause oxidative stress in the body and can damage cells, proteins and even our DNA. Free radical damage has been linked to illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to name a few. They also cause damage to our skins, and ultimately ages us.
It is important to remember, however, that they also vital for life, as free radicals within the body are a natural by-product of the body creating chemical reactions to metabolise food and air. They also serve to fight any unwanted substances within the blood.
But it is important that a balance is kept and we moderate the amount of free radical causing foods we ingest and make sure we get enough antioxidants in our diet. Antioxidants are basically the free radical police, and they prevent free radicals from poaching electrons from healthy cells by giving them one of their own, essentially neutralizing the threat and then getting rid of any free radical waste within the cells.
Externally, however, it is almost impossible to moderate our free radical exposure, so our only option is to protect our skin on a daily basis. That is why you hear the word antioxidant featuring in skincare more and more. They are able to stop the free radical particles before they damage the skin. The best-known antioxidants are (there are many and some work better than others for different free radical threats) vitamin C, vitamin E, resveratrol (from red grape skin) and lycopene. These are generally found in colourful fruit and vegetables.
The new A-Oxitive range contains 4 products; 2 more morning and 2 for evening use. The Antioxidant Defense Serum (R420) contains the Avène Antioxidant Shield Complex (containing pro-vitamins C & E), a cell energizer called GP4G, hyaluronic acid, and of course, Avène Thermal Spring Water. Top this with Smoothing Water Cream (R400) contains the Antioxidant Shield Complex, hyaluronic acid, Avène Thermal Spring Water, as well as pearlescent agents to help illuminate the complexion.
After cleansing your face in the evening, smooth your complexion with the Peeling Cream (R410), which contains the Avène Renewing Complex (containing Retinaldehyde and Pro-Vitamin E), Avène Thermal Spring Water and Evening Primrose Oil. This combination delivers the same results as 3 peel sessions, but without the irritation. You can use it every night, but I switched it up with my full-strength retinol.
The final step is the Smoothing Eye Contour Cream (R370). This formula also contains the Avène Renewing Complex and Thermal Spring Water. Fatty agents help to hydrate and further soothe the area.
I finished all the products, and loved them all. My skin was definitely smoother and brighter, and I saw a small reduction in the appearance of my pigmentation. This is a great range if you’re starting out with serious skincare, or are concerned with oxidative stress. It played well with all my other products, so is easy to add into your regular routine.
You’ll find the range at selected Clicks and Dis-Chem stores nationwide, as well as online at Dermastore.