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Properly formulated topical antioxidants have been shown to provide protection from skin-damaging free radicals. Additionally some have a corrective action to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reduce discoloration resulting in a visible anti-ageing effect.

But what are antioxidants, how do they work, and what other benefits do these active molecules have for the skin?

Antioxidant Science

Properly formulated topical antioxidants have been shown to neutralize skin-damaging free radicals. Some improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration.

But what are antioxidants, how do they work, and what other benefits do these active molecules have for the skin?

A brown glass dropper bottle split in the middle


An antioxidant is a molecule that protects against the oxidation of other molecules.

Oxidation is a type of damage that occurs when molecules lose electrons. Five types of antioxidants found naturally in the body that protect against cellular damage are: glutathione, ubiquinone, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), and alpha lipoic acid. Antioxidants work by different mechanisms to stop or neutralise damage. Out of the five antioxidants found in the body only vitamins C and E have been proven to work in skin.


Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons, causing them to be unstable and highly chemically reactive.

These unstable molecules are generated by UV rays, infrared radiation, pollution, and lifestyle factors like alcohol and cigarette smoke. Over time, free radical damage can lead to visible signs of accelerated skin ageing, including fine lines, wrinkles, laxity and discolouration.

Topical antioxidants work in skin to neutralise free radicals and protect against environmental damage. Incorporating a topical antioxidant and sunscreen into a daily skincare regimen provides comprehensive protection from environmental damage.


In 1997, SkinCeuticals changed the face of skincare with the introduction of Serum 10, the company’s first stabilised, pure L-ascorbic acid topical antioxidant.

Representing four generations of antioxidant technology that have been proven to provide environmental protection. SkinCeuticals offers multiple formulations for the face and eye area.

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A topical vitamin C antioxidant must be properly formulated to be effective. This is dependent on three factors: The form of vitamin C used, the concentration, and the pH of the solution.

SkinCeuticals founding scientist Dr. Sheldon Pinnell conducted research about antioxidant formulation and discovered these factors, now known as the Duke Antioxidant patent. SkinCeuticals is the only brand to formulate antioxidants according to these standards.

In the years since the patent, each subsequent antioxidant generation has been subjected to rigorous scientific studies—and the results are clear: SkinCeuticals topical antioxidants neutralize free radicals caused by environmental exposure for protection and visible correction.

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