So far, I have reviewed the importance of sunblock, hydration, and Retin A. Now let’s move on to antioxidants. I think antioxidants are the most underrated and neglected steps of skin care. Antioxidants are important for our general health, but even if our diet is sufficient in antioxidants, our skin will benefit from application of a topical antioxidant.

Let me explain what it does. During the metabolic process, our cells develop “Free Radicals”. These are poison to the cell and even damage DNA. This contributes to aging of the skin. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals, therefore preventing the damage. The benefit is well known and documented. Many skin care products contain antioxidants but are ineffective due to poor penetration. To work effectively, the antioxidant must penetrate deep into the skin to the basal layer where it is needed. This is technically very difficult to accomplish. Only a few products have been shown to do it.

At Pure Radiance, we carry what I think are the two best antioxidants available – Obagi Professional C Serum and ZO Daily Power Defense. I encourage my patients to apply the product every morning. Patients usually see improved skin brightness, color, and texture within two weeks. Antioxidant are good for everyone, regardless of age or skin type with one caveat. Patients with serious acne can sometimes see worsening of acne with C Serum. For patients with problem acne, I only prescribe Daily Power Defense.

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