How Antioxidants Protect Your Skin

Episode #49 / Jul 20, 2009
Want to know how antioxidants prevent skin damage? Get ready for some science. From free-radicals to oxidation, Dr. Schultz explains antioxidants.
Mercedes on August 17, 2009 at 5:43pm

Hi Dr. Schultz. Thanks so much for your excellent videos. I just was wondering if you could explain why you prefer vitamin c antioxidant products. Also is there something about a serum that makes it preferable for antioxidant absorption as opposed to a cream (i feel like there are SO many creams on the market that claim antioxidant benefits).

Neal Schultz, M.D. on August 27, 2009 at 9:56pm

@Mercedes: While Vitamin C is "brittle", it's the best topical antioxidant in terms of potential efficacy, stability, and bioavailability (i.e., ability to be absorbed into skin). By "brittle" I mean it is easily damaged (you can tell when it starts to turn brown) and not all forms of Vitamin C are adequately absorbed into the skin so you need to check the ingredients to see which form of Vitamin C your antioxidant product contains. The two forms of Vitamin C that I like the most are tetrahexadecyl ascorbate and methyl silanol ascorbate, both of which are fat or lipid soluble which increases their absorption into the skin.

While many Vitamin C preparations are in serums, there are many cream forms as well. In my opinion, there is nothing special about serums versus creams except for marketing (some consumers think "serums" sound more effective).

Great questions!