What are the Most Effective Antioxidants for Your Skin?

These molecules scavenge the skin-damaging free radicals generated by sun exposure, cigarette smoke and pollution and inhibit them from damaging healthy cells. The most effective antioxidants on the market are:

Co-Enzyme Q10:

This molecule exists in all human cells and helps convert food into energy. It’s more stable and less irritating than vitamin C. It’s also less effective.

Vitamin C:

Also known in skin-care circles as L-Ascorbic acid, vitamin C stimulates collagen production and decreases the damaging effects of sun exposure, helping to slow down the aging process. For maximum benefits, be sure to buy products with at least a 10 percent concentration of L-Ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is fairly unstable and degrades quickly when exposed to air and sunlight, so look for products that come in dark bottles or opaque tubes. You may feel mild stinging when you appy vitamin C to your skin.


Dermatologists are raving about this newly discovered super-antioxidant, which was originally used to treat Alzheimer’s disease and has been proven in numerous studies to be more effective than vitamin C, Co-enzyme Q10, kinetin and alpha-lipoic acid. It reduces dryness and improves the appearance of fine lines and skin texture, and is effective at preventing sun damage. Idebenone can be found in the non-prescription cream Prevage.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid:

This antioxidant and anti-inflammatory also occurs naturally in the body’s cells. Because it is both water-soluble and oil-soluble, alpha-lipoic acid can permeate every part of the cell (and even forage in between them) to fight free radicals.


This antioxidant is specifically known for moisturizing, evening out skin tone, soothing sunburn and (according to initial research) inhibiting hair growth.

Grapeseed Extract, Green Tea and White Tea:

In addition to fighting free radicals, grapeseed extract has been shown to increase circulation and strengthen blood vessels, and is also known for being extremely hydrating. Green and white teas have been touted for their anti-inflammatory and anticancer benefits; white tea also restores resiliency.