I'll admit that my medicine cabinet is stocked with more serums than anyone could possibly need. I'll also readily, and somewhat embarrassingly, admit that I don't fully understand exactly how each elixir benefits my skin. Sometimes, even the pronounceable ingredients listed on the products' labels are somewhat vexing. Case in point: Antioxidants—what do they do exactly?
According to Sonya Dakar, founder of Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic, "Antioxidants work by reversing and preventing oxidative stress aka free radical damage," the skincare expert told Byrdie. "Free radicals and environmental damage stem from any of these factors: sun, pollution, toxins, smoke, and stress," she explained. "Antioxidants work by 'scavenging' those loose electrons so that they cannot cause damage as well as help repair existing damage."
In search of potent products containing these miracle-working ingredients, we combed Sephora reviews to find the nine best antioxidant serums, including a $48 buy with a staggering 130,000 "loves" on the beauty retailer's website. Keep scrolling to shop the serums Sephora shoppers swear by for brighter, healthier-looking skin.
With a staggering 130,000 "loves" on Sephora's website and over 3000 positive reviews, it's safe to say Ole Henriksen's antioxidant-rich Truth Serum has garnered something of a cult following.
Glowing review: "I've been using Truth Serum for over a year, and I can really tell a difference in my skin. It has helped with fine lines, really brightens my skin, and improves overall tone. An added bonus—it smells wonderful! It will always be a part of my morning routine. Love this stuff!"
Sunday Riley's Juno serum is loved by 30,000 Sephora shoppers and boasts over 200 reviews. It's described as giving skin "obsession-worthy radiance" with its unique blend of cold-pressed antioxidant oils.
Glowing review: "I've had problem skin since age 13. I've got a closetful of department store and drugstore brands, not to mention topical Rxs that will supposedly save my skin. Juno, in combination with a topical prescription from my dermatologist, has made all the difference."
This hydrating serum contains seaberry oil, a potent antioxidant rich in nourishing omega fatty acids. It absorbs quickly to reveal a glowing, healthier-looking complexion.
Glowing review: "This product has become a lifesaver for me. I have dry, sensitive skin and live in a very dry climate. I use it underneath my moisturizer, and it helps to keep my skin hydrated without making it oily. I buy this regularly and would definitely recommend!"
Lightweight and fast-absorbing, this resurfacing serum has over 5000 "loves" on Sephora's site. Its antioxidant-rich formula is said to restore radiance by fighting the effects of free radicals.
Glowing review: "If I could give this product 10 stars, I would! It completely transformed my skin! Old acne scars have faded, little bumps and texture issues are GONE, and my skin is soft as butter! A must-have for my fellow early 30-somethings!"
Another coveted product from Sunday Riley, this potent serum contains vitamin C to combat dullness and discoloration and claims to "instantly increase brightness, radiance, and luminosity." With 10,000 "loves," Sephora shoppers apparently agree.
Glowing review: "Listen, this is expensive, I know, BUT it is everything!! I've tried about 40 high-end and about 40 drugstore moisturizers, over the last eight years or so, and this is probably the best one I've ever used! After one full bottle, my skin is brighter, my pores are smaller, I look younger, more awake, and refreshed!! Don't hesitate to buy!!!"
This best-selling serum is formulated with viniferine, an ingredient derived from grapevine sap, that is said to be "62 times more effective at brightening than vitamin C."
Glowing review: "This product was so amazing. Truly gave my skin that natural glow-from-within look after two weeks."
With 90000 "loves" on the Sephora site, this serum is clearly a beloved best seller. The highly concentrated vitamin C formula brightens dull skin and evens out skin texture.
Glowing review: "I can't live without this. I have sun damage/freckles and mild acne and acne scarring. Nothing has helped me more than this. My skin tone is so much more even now. I've never gotten better results from a product in general than I have with this."
Boasting natural fruit acids and hydrating botanical waters, this serum promises to clarify, exfoliate, and smooth skin.
Glowing review: "This stuff totally delivers! I've been looking for a serum that's tough on my concerns, but gentle on the skin, and this is it. I can already notice some acne scars fading, and my pores are basically nonexistent. I'm so glad I purchased this, and I think you will be too!"
While this anti-aging serum doesn't have a ton of Sephora reviews, its antioxidant-rich formula promises to addresses a number of visible signs of aging, including dryness, fine lines, loss of firmness, uneven skin texture, and dullness.
Glowing review: "This is pricey, but worth it. I love this product, and my skin is so refreshed in the morning after using this serum. I'm impressed."
Ed. note: Reviews have been edited for length and clarity.
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