By now, you know the importance of antioxidants in skin care. Today I want to give you some antioxidant tips and 3 Rules for maximizing their effectiveness.

To refresh your memory, antioxidants are the FIRST line of defense against free radicals (Reactive Oxygen Species).

Skin is ALWAYS under attack from free radicals.

Break the Free Radical Chain Reaction EARLY

The sooner antioxidants are added to skin, the better. This is because free radicals start a destructive chain reaction. In other words, free radicals generate more free radicals. So the best strategy is to stop free radicals early on in the process.

Antioxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin E are chain-breaking antioxidants. They interrupt the free radical chain reaction, before it has a chance to generate a long cascade of free radicals.

This is why applying a Vitamin C serum is such an effective aging prevention strategy.

Water-Soluble vs Fat-Soluble Antioxidants

Antioxidants can be water-soluble or lipid-soluble (or both).

You need both types in order to protect the different parts of a cell.

For instance, the cell membrane is lipid-soluble. But the fluid portion inside the cell (called the cytoplasm) is water-soluble. You want antioxidants working in both parts.

Water-Soluble Antioxidants

Oil-Soluble (Lipid-Soluble) Antioxidants

Both Water and Oil-Soluble Antioxidants

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
*** 3 ANTIOXIDANT RULES ***Rule #1

Incorporate antioxidants in your skin care routine DAILY. Skin is always under attack, and you want to stop that free radical chain reaction as soon as possible. Also, antioxidants lose their protective capacity, so they must be replenished constantly.

Rule #2

One antioxidant cannot fight all the forms of Reactive Oxygen Species. Therefore, a BLEND of antioxidants is needed.

Rule #3

Look for both water-soluble & fat-soluble antioxidants for complete cell protection. To keep things simple, look for the ACE trio (Vitamin A + Vitamin C + Vitamin E).

Storage & Packaging Tips

1. Keep your antioxidant serums and moisturizers in a dark, cool, dry place. Antioxidants are highly reactive with light.

2. Look for airless pump packaging. Antioxidants are highly reactive with oxygen. So they need to be protected by the container.

Airless pump containers are far better than regular jars or bottles with a lid. When you open the lid, you allow oxygen from the air to react with the chemicals in the product, causing oxidation of the product.

The Elizabeth Arden Optimizing Serum pictured here is an example of an airless pump.

Elizabeth Arden Optimizing Serum pump view

Antioxidant Food Tip

Wheatgrass juice, pictured above, is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, along with fiber. Drinking fresh wheatgrass juice is an excellent way to antioxidize your whole body. Look for it in juice bars, health food stores, or grow your own wheatgrass at home.

If you want to super-antioxidize, make your own fresh juices at home. This will give you superior vitamin delivery. Drink the juice right after juicing because vitamins lose their efficacy very quickly over time and with exposure to oxygen.