Navigating the beauty world can feel both exhausting and challenging and isn’t helped by the almost daily bombardment of new marketing solutions. So much more than industry buzzwords, however, phrases such as ‘free radical damage’ and ‘antioxidant protection’ are why I read labels, google ingredients, and never skip a treatment serum in my grooming regimen. Improving our chances in the fight against the environmental aggressors are the newly launched Avène A-OXitive Serum and Water-Cream. Read: next level French pharmacy skincare solutions have arrived.
What are free radicals?
I know that antioxidants play a crucial role in the health of our skin, but admit to being a little hazy on the scientific explanation for ‘free radical damage’. Luckily, during the Avène A-OXitive collection luncheon back in June, I sat (elbow-to-elbow) with Carolyn Jacob, MD Associate Clinical Instructor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Founder and Medical Director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, who demystified that science for me.
Basically, everyone and everything consists of clusters of molecules at their core. Molecules, in turn, are made of atoms. Paired electrons ensure the stability and health of these molecules. Are you still with me?
When an electron detaches and goes rogue, the unpaired molecule becomes a free radical, which behaves aggressively and tries to steal an electron from another atom. This chain reaction causes oxidative stress, which is like pressing the fast forward button on our natural aging process. Totally uncool.
Triggered by the sun’s UV rays, pollution, stress, a poor diet, or indulgence in alcohol, free radical damage can never be arrested completely. Our goal is to minimize the blow. Enter antioxidants. These helpful molecules donate spare electrons to unpaired molecules to restore balance. Found in fruit, vegetables, nuts and supplements, they are absolutely vital to our well-being. Think of them as an insurance policy that protects against wrinkles and loss of radiance.
The most prominent anti-aging blends, Vitamin C and E formulas are among the most effective for achieving a glowing, healthy complexion. And since our bodies do not produce either, sourcing them is crucial to staying alive pretty much. The new Avène A-OXitive defense serum is fueled by Pre-Tocopheryl (a pre-cursor to Vitamin E, which is 40x stronger than its pure form), Ascorbyl Glucoside (a stable and water-soluble Vitamin C derivative), GP4G (an energizing molecule that optimizes antioxidant activity of both vitamins), and skin plumping Hyaluronic Acid.
Most importantly, you won’t need to endure the smell of hot dogs, which characterizes so many C & E serums on the market. The signature Avène aroma is clean, fresh, and won’t irritate, since the serum is 68% Avène Thermal Spring Water. Literally pure perfection. $44 (30ml)
Those who need an extra boost of hydration will love the new A-OXidative Antioxidant Water-Cream. Featuring the proprietary blend of time-released Vitamin E and regenerative Vitamin C, the lightweight texture provides lasting comfort, while micro mother of pearl leaves behind a subtle glow.
Perfect for day or night, this balance restoring moisturizer layers great under a sunscreen or face oils. The highly advanced fusion of actives is among some of most impressive I have come across. As a huge fan of the Cleanance range and someone who battles congested pores 24/7, these latest additions complement my skincare routine flawlessly. $42 (30ml)
Worth a major nod is another recent Avène launch, the 3-in-1 Makeup Remover. Fans of no-rinse cleansing solutions will love this lush fluid. Those who double cleanse, use this as your first step and follow up with a water loving formula. Simple in composition, it is concocted of just nine ingredients, it removes face and eye makeup while soothing even the most sensitive skin. Cold weather tip: use it first thing in the morning, especially if you’re a bedtime Retinoid user like me. $20 (200ml)
Explore the entire range at aveneusa.com.