Skin Actives Facial Antioxidant Serum Review – Beautiful With Brains

The problem with antioxidant serums? They barely contain any antioxidants. Seriously, most brands pick one random antioxidant, add a couple of drops to the formula and tell you it’s better than Botox. As if… Skin Actives Antioxidant Facial Serum is one of the few exceptions to the rule. This baby is packed to the brim with all kinds of antioxidants you can think of – and it’s super affordable too! I know, I know, it’s not as popular as Skinceuticals or The Ordinary, but this underrated brand will make you fall in love at the first drop. Here’s why you should consider adding this serum to your skincare routine, pronto:

Key Ingredients In Skin Actives Antioxidant Facial Serum: What Makes It Work?
Skin Actives Antioxidant Facial Serum is loaded with antioxidants. Here are the highlights:

Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Epigallocatechin Gallate: The most powerful antioxidant in green tea, it fights free radicals and reduces inflammation – two of the main causes of aging.
Ferulic Acid: This antioxidant fights THREE types of free radicals: superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and nitric oxide and boosts the effectiveness of other antioxidants.
Glutathione: A tripeptide comprised of three amino acids (cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine), it helps defend skin against environmental damage and the premature aging it causes. It also helps brighten skin.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: A stable form of Vitamin C, it helps fight free radicals, boosts collagen production, brighten skin, and even hydrate it.
Superoxide Dismutase: An enzyme naturally produced by the body to reduce the harmful effects of DNA damage (including wrinkles). A 2001 study has also found that it can help heal wounds caused from burns in rats.

Related: Is Superoxide Dismutase The Most Powerful Antioxidant Of All?
Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 that does everything:

Impressive, isn’t it? There aren’t many ingredients that promise to all of that – and deliver!
Related: The Complete Guide To Niacinamide: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It
After water, Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate is the main ingredient of this serum. What does it do? It forms a protective film on the skin that helps to keep it moisturized. I know, you may have expected some secret property or something. But, don’t underestimate the power of hydration. Your skin needs all the moisture it can get. More moisture = brighter, smoother, softer skin.

Need help creating an anti-aging routine that really works? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Anti-Aging Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
Red: What is this doing here?!

Water: The main solvent in the serum, it dissolves other ingredients. Plus, it hydrates skin.
Sodium PCA: it attracts and binds water to your skin, helping it to stay hydrated for longer.
Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid): A humectant that draws and binds to your skin up to 1000 times its weight in water. It plumps up skin and softens the complexion.
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract: Made up of 99% water, it has hydrating and soothing properties for skin.
Carnosine: A synthetic peptide designed to mimic the natural carnosine found in the body. It has antioxidant and soothing properties.
Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone: A synthetic antioxidant that helps protect skin from UV damage.
Carnitine: A naturally occurring amino acid with antioxidant properties.
Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane (and) Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane (and) Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane: Three powerful antioxidants with soothing properties found in the turmeric plant.
Sorghum Bicolor Leaf/Stem Extract: It makes skin softer and smoother.
Lycopene: A powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes. It fights free radicals.
Astaxanthin: The antioxidant that gives flamingos and salmons their pinkish hue. It fights off free radicals and helps prevent wrinkles.
Fucoxanthin: A carotenoid, it has antioxidant and soothing properties.
Porphyridium Polysaccharide: A type of red algae that contains some fatty acids. I’m giving it a yellow rating because the jury’s still out there on whether it does anything for skin. But at least it doesn’t hurt it.
sh-Polypeptide-2: A peptide with antioxidant properties. It’s also said to produce new skin cells to reduce wrinkles. It gets a yellow rating because the only proof it works comes from the manufacturer.
sh-Polypeptide-77 (Glutaredoxin (GRX)): An enzyme antioxidant that protects against environmental stressors.
Citric Acid: It adjusts the pH of skincare products.
Propylene Glycol (and) Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Methylparaben (and) Propylparaben: Preservatives that inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, making your product safer and effective for longer.

This serum has a ightweight and fast-absorbing texture that spreads easily onto your skin.
Technically, it’s fragrance-free. Skin Actives knows how irritating fragrance can be for sensitive skin, so left it out. In reality, every ingredient has its own scent – and not all of them smell good. Without a fragrance to mask their odour, the ingredients give the serum has a strong and rather unpleasant smell. Still, I’ll take that over an irritating fragrance every single day.
How To Use It
You can use it in the morning and night, after cleansing (and exfoliation). I personally prefer to use a Vitamin C serum with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid in the morning. This form of Vitamin C is more effective than Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate in boosting sun protection. But if you have sensitive skin, go ahead and use this. I prefer to use this serum at night. It’s so gentle, you can use it even on nights you exfoliate or use retinoids.
Skin Actives Antioxidant Facial Serum comes in a white and green bottle. It’s a bit flimsy, but hygienic and keeps the antioxidant stable and effective for long. At this price point, I’ll forgive the flimsiness.
Performance & Personal Opinion
Skin Actives Antioxidant Facial Serum is one of my fave antioxidant serums – and not just because it’s so affordable. Antioxidant serums are tricky to review. Antioxidants prevent damage. They don’t treat it. You know what that means? Too often, they look like they don’t do much of anything in the moment. But 20 years later, you realise you have fewer wrinkles than your friends who didn’t bother to use one. Got it?
This serum is a little different because it hydrates and brightens your skin straight away. So, you’ll definitely see an improvement. But don’t expect any serious reduction in wrinkles. You need to invest in the long haul for that. Thankfully with this, you can do so without breaking the bank.

How Does Skin Actives Antioxidant Facial Serum Compare To Skin Actives Rejuvenating Antioxidant Serum?
It really depends on your skin type here. Skin Actives Rejuvenating Antioxidant Serum has a lot of the same antioxidants as kin Actives Antioxidant Facial Serum – but fewer in number. Instead, it’s loaded with natural oils that deeply moisturise skin. So, there’s a trade-off here. It’s more moisturising, but fights wrinkles more slowly. If you have dry skin, it’s worth it. Everyone else, I recommend you stay with Skin Actives Antioxidant Facial Serum. It’s half the price, too!
What I Like About Skin Actives Antioxidant Facial Serum

Lightweight fast-absorbing texture.
Lightly hydrating.
Brightens the complexion
Helps prevent wrinkles.
Contains more antioxidants than your average antioxidant serum.

What I Don’t Like About Skin Actives Antioxidant Facial Serum

It has an unpleasant smell (it’s the ingredients, there’s no added fragrance).
Packaging is a bit flimsy.

Who Should Use This?
Everyone can use it, even people with sensitive skin (unless you’re allergic to one of the ingredients, of course!).
Did Skin Actives Antioxidant Facial Serum Live Up To Its Claims?


Using a custom combination of antioxidants, Antioxidant Serum helps fight free radicals formed by exposure to the sun, pollution, and heat better than Vitamin C Serum alone.
True. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, but it’s just one. The more antioxidants you use, the better.

It is oil free and works on all skin types.

Moisturizes and soothes.

Price & Availability
£23.15 at Skin Actives
The Verdict: Should You Buy It?
Yes. If you want to prevent premature aging, this is one of the best serums out there.
Dupes & Alternatives

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum ($80.00/£67.00): This Vitamin C serum contains Vitamin E and ferulic acid to fight wrinkles and marula oil to moisturise dry skin, but that gives it a slightly sticky texture. Available at Cult Beauty, Sephora and SpaceNK
Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate ($43.00): It has pretty much every antioxidant under the sun to destroy as many free radicals as possible and slow down premature aging. Available at Paula’s Choice and Sephora

Water, Sea Kelp (Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate) Bioferment, Sodium PCA, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Ferulic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Epigallocatechin Gallate, Niacinamide, Carnosine, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Carnitine, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane (and) Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane (and) Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Sorghum Bicolor Leaf/Stem Extract, Lycopene, Astaxanthin, Fucoxanthin, Porphyridium Polysaccharide, Glutathione, sh-Polypeptide-2, sh-Polypeptide-77 (Glutaredoxin (GRX)), Superoxide Dismutase, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol (and) Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Methylparaben (and) Propylparaben.

About Gio
Hi, I’m Gio. I’m a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is skin coach and writer on a mission to help you achieve your best skin day ever – every day. I bust skincare myths and debunk marketing jargon to help you figure out what’s worth the splurge and what’s best left on the shelf – using science, not hype. I also offer skincare consultations to help you create the best skincare routine for your unique needs.

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