Free Radicals

Dermatologist explains why free radicals are bad for your skin and how antioxidants help.

Free radicals attack and destroy skin structures. They are involved in all aspects of skin misadventures that lead to complexion problems including sun damage, wrinkles, skin aging, skin cancer, inflammation and more.

Free radicals are chemical species possessing an unpaired electron, meaning they are a half of a molecule. This is inherently unstable and they rabidly look to grab another electron off of neighboring chemicals. In the process, they damage things - like components of precious skin structures including mitochondria, DNA, RNA, fibroblasts etc. Your skin has repair mechanisms but these are easily exhausted. Your skin also has an antioxidant reserve to fight free radicals, but this reserve is depleted after 10-40 minutes of UV ray exposure depending on your skin type.  

What causes free radicals in the skin?

It is estimated that 80% of skin free radicals come from UV sun exposure. They also form from stressors such as poor nutrition, physical and psychological stress, overeating, alcohol intake and environmental pollution. They are produced as part of normal physiologic processes too. 

How do you fight free radicals in your skin?

The unstable free radicals are neutralized by your skin's antioxidant reserve. When free radical formation exceeds your antioxidants, damage happens. Your skin gets its antioxidants mostly from your diet - hopefully! We now have topical antioxidants that have been shown to help too. 

How do you get more antioxidants into your skin to fight skin aging and damage? 

Replenish your antioxidant supply daily to fight free radical health and complexion damage with a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and veggies. Load your skin with more than you can supply from your diet using antioxidant-rich skin care products.

What are the best skin care antioxidants for your skin?

Skin care antioxidants with the best scientific evidence for fighting complexion problems and skin aging include,

  • Green tea polyphenols
    • They are more potent than Vitamin C or E at neutralizing free radicals.
    • They have anti-inflammatory and reduce skin redness
    • They have proven anti-cancer benefits.
    • They can inhibit the breakdown of collagen.
    • They reduce skin immune suppression (Langerhans cell depletion).
  •  Vitamin C
    • It neutralizes free radicals and help regenerate vitamin E.
    • It is a necessary cofactor for enzymes needed for collagen synthesis.
    • It helps to reduce pigment darkening by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme needed for melanin production.
    • Reduces the breakdown of collagen. 
    • Reduces sunburn redness, sunburn cells (skin cells damaged by UV) and skin UV immune suppression.
  • Vitamin E
    • Is easily deleted by free radicals
    • Helps fight free radical lipid membrane damage, skin aging, immune suppression, DNA damage and collagen breakdown.
    • Works best when combined with vitamin C.

What are the best antioxidant skin care products?

Antioxidants such as vitamin E are often added to sunscreens because they have shown synergy for preventing sun damage. These are good, but not a replacement for a powerful antioxidant skin care product. Also, most antioxidants are destroyed by contact with oxygen.

For serious antioxidant skin loading you want a stable, high concentration, professional antioxidant skin care product that is dispensed in an airtight container.

You want to use products protected from oxygen and light and formulated by pharmaceutical chemists who know how to stabilize and deliver the antioxidants through the skin. This means that you need to be a savvy consumer and not fooled by what I call a “fairy dusting” of antioxidants added to products for marketing appeal.

My Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy™ is loaded with the right green tea polyphenol antioxidants - the equivalent of 500 cups worth per ounce of cream. My Retinol Night Cream™ has this same amount too, along with retinol, as does Advanced Corrective Eye Cream™. My Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Professional Treatment Serum™ has high concentration, stable vitamin C in the right L-ascorbic form. All of these products are dispensed in air tight containers. They are the superstars of my antioxidant skin care products and I've watched them help my patients for many, many years. I use them daily on my own face too.

Many of my other products also contain antioxidants. The levels are good, but lower, and the containers are not airtight. For real antioxidant powerhouse products, you want to use one or all of the 4 products I mentioned above.    

Reference,

Poljsak B, Dahmane R, Free Radicals and Extrinsic Skin Aging, Dermatol Res Pract., 2012; 13526. Feb 29, 2012

Katayar SK, Green tea prevents non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2011 Apr 15;508(2):152-8.

Author:

View All 54 Products For This Search

List  Grid 
  1. Dr. Bailey's Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Professional Treatment Serum™

    Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Professional Treatment Serum™

    I think this is the best vitamin C skin care product made!  Dermatologists and skin care experts agree that vitamin C is one of the most important products in a serious anti-wrinkle treatment for sun-damaged skin.

    $132.00
  2. Dr. Bailey's Ultra-Fast Body Smoothing Triple Action Skin Care Kit

    Ultra-Fast Body Smoothing Triple Action Skin Care Kit

    Complete professional-strength treatment for fast results! This combination skin treatment is proven to improve body skin problems including keratosis pilaris (chicken skin), seborrheic keratosis (age barnacles), and solar lentigines (liver spots).

    Regular Price: $91.00

    Special Price $82.00

  3. Dr. Bailey's Ultra-Fast Body Smoothing AHA Skin Care Kit

    Ultra-Fast Body Smoothing AHA Skin Care Kit

    Complete professional-strength treatment for fast results! This combination skin treatment is proven to improve body skin problems including keratosis pilaris (chicken skin), seborrheic keratosis (age barnacles), and solar lentigines (liver spots).

    Regular Price: $79.00

    Special Price $71.00

  4. Dr. Bailey's Ultimate Pigment and Sun Damage Repair Kit

    Ultimate Pigment and Sun Damage Repair Kit

    Fade an uneven complexion almost instantly with the best pigment lightening products. Reverse fine lines and wrinkles and return your appearance to younger days. This kit has everything proven to do the job!

    Regular Price: $406.00

    Special Price $365.00

  5. Dr. Bailey's Triple-Action Exfoliating Cleanser

    Triple-Action Exfoliating Cleanser

    Eco-friendly beads combine with AHA and BHA to instantly brighten your complexion. Loosen dull dead cells and uneven pigmentation. Renew skin luster to a more youthful glow and instantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

    $46.00
  6. Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

    Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

    Non-greasy natural non-nano zinc oxide mineral sunscreen for every day sun protection. This is a lovely natural mineral sunscreen made with organic ingredients - and it's not just for babies!

    $24.00
  7. Suntegrity Lip C.P.R. SPF Sunscreen Lipstick

    Suntegrity Lip C.P.R. SPF Sunscreen Lipstick

    Natural non-nano mineral zinc oxide sun protection in a deeply hydrating base for your delicate lip skin. Prevent skin cancer and future wrinkles with daily use of sunscreen. That means lips too. Ever notice older lips are pale, shriveled, dry and chapped all the time. That’s sun damage. Just say no by wearing lip sun protection 365 days a year.

    $28.00
  8. Suntegrity 5-in-1 BB Cream SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen

    Suntegrity 5-in-1 BB Cream SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen

    This luscious and all natural face cream is my absolute new favorite face sunscreen! Natural, broad-spectrum mineral zinc oxide protection that feels and looks so good on your skin that you'll want to wear it 24/7.

    $45.00
  9. Sunsavvy Ready 4 Fun Sun Protection Kit

    Sunsavvy Ready 4 Fun Sun Protection Kit

    Soaking up all the sunny-fun summer has to offer means extreme, sun-protection tools need to be close at hand. Yep. You're you’re going to be outside at BBQs, concerts, lounging by the pool, having fun in the river or on the lake, and more. You’ve been waiting all year for this! And, I’ve got your skin covered so that you get all the bliss without the sun damage.

    Regular Price: $166.00

    Special Price $150.00

  10. SunSavvy Kit, Ultimate Protection

    SunSavvy Kit, Ultimate Protection

    The Ultimate Sun Protection Kit provides everything you'll need to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.This kit includes Sun Guard Laundry Treatment, UV Ray Detecto Ring, Vanicream Lip Protectant, Solbar Zinc SPF 38 Sunscreen and Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40 and a mesh travel bag for your products.

    Regular Price: $62.50

    Special Price $56.00

  11. SunSavvy Kit, Daily Wear Protection

    SunSavvy Kit, Daily Wear Protection

    The best dermatologist recommended mineral sunscreen products for everyday protection. This kit includes Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40 for the face, ears, and neck, along with Solbar Zinc Sunscreen SPF 38 for the chest, hands, and other areas that need sun protection.

    Regular Price: $48.00

    Special Price $43.00

  12. SunSavvy Around Town Sun Protection Kit

    SunSavvy Around Town Sun Protection Kit

    My SunSavvy Around Town Bundle is complete sun protection that’s perfect for everyday use. Whether you’re at work, school, a weekend outing, or special celebration, you’ll be covered.

    Regular Price: $119.00

    Special Price $107.00

  13. SunSavvy Antioxidant Backup for Your Sun Protection Kit

    SunSavvy Antioxidant Backup for Your Sun Protection Kit

    Antioxidants play a huge role in protecting your skin from free radicals that damage precious, nucleic acids (DNA) and skin structures (lipid cell membranes, to name a few).

    Regular Price: $309.00

    Special Price $278.00

  14. Dr. Bailey's Sheer Strength Pure Physical Tinted Matte Sunscreen, SPF 50™

    Sheer Strength Pure Physical Tinted Matte Sunscreen, SPF 50™

    Oil-free and oil control ultra-light and tinted matte technology in a hypoallergenic sunscreen – it’s the holy grail for oily and sensitive skin AND it’s elegant for all skin types too! Contains iron oxide too making it the best sunscreen for melasma. 

    $47.00
  15. Dr. Bailey's Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+™

    Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+™

    At last, an ultra-light sunscreen spray that’s pure mineral protection with micro (not nano) zinc oxide for the best anti-aging broad spectrum protection. 

    $44.00
  16. Dr. Bailey's Sheer Strength Pure Physical Invisible Sunscreen, SPF 50™ Broad Spectrum Protection

    Sheer Strength Pure Physical Invisible Sunscreen, SPF 50™ Broad Spectrum Protection

    Enjoy an oil free, non-whitening and “light as air” feel on your skin. Pure mineral zinc-oxide protection that’s perfect for even the most sensitive skin.

    Regular Price: $47.00

    Special Price $42.30

  17. Dr. Bailey's Rosacea Therapy Kit

    Rosacea Therapy Kit

    The right complete skin care routine is really important to healing your rosacea. My kit offers products to keep your complexion clear, healthy, and comfortable. >

    Regular Price: $197.00

    Special Price $185.00

  18. Dr. Bailey's Retinol Ultra-Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream™

    Retinol Ultra-Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream™

    Ultra-high concentration retinol is one of the best non-prescription skin care ingredients to fight skin aging. A serious anti-aging skin care routine should include a retinoid product, and all-trans- retinol is the best non-prescription retinoid for the job.

    $94.50
  19. Dr. Bailey's Retinol Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream™

    Retinol Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream™

    Retinol is one of the best non-prescription skin care ingredients you can use to reverse the signs of skin aging. Every serious anti-aging skin care routine should include a retinoid product to improve your skin complexion quickly.

    $83.00
  20. Dr. Bailey's Replenix CF Cream

    Replenix CF Cream

    This has been a popular facial product in my dermatology practice for years! This unique oil free cream contains a high concentration of green tea antioxidant polyphenol, combined with caffeine and hyaluronic acid (a very expensive protein moisturizing ingredient).

    $82.00
  21. Raw Elements Tinted SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

    Raw Elements Tinted SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

    Raw Elements is the highest performance sunscreen I’ve ever found. A product that’s perfect for your most rigorous athletic activities in intense sun exposure circumstances. Reef safe too.

    $19.00
  22. Raw Elements Eco Stick SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

    Raw Elements Eco Stick SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

    At last, the best mineral zinc oxide sunscreen product proven not to run into and sting your eyes - even when you're wet! Reef safe too.

    $16.00
  23. Raw Elements Eco Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Untinted

    Raw Elements Eco Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Untinted

    The highest performance sunscreen I’ve ever found. A product that’s perfect for the most active kids, high powered athletes and sensitive skin all in one! Reef safe too.

    $20.00
  24. Dr. Bailey's Pigment Fading Pads

    Pigment Fading Pads

    Made to order Pigment Fading Pads with 2% hydroquinone will even out your skin color. Add a missing treatment piece to most skin care routines to help even out skin color

    $68.00
  25. Dr. Bailey's Omega Enriched Face Booster Oil

    Omega Enriched Face Booster Oil

    Mother Nature is an amazing chemist and sometimes just what the doctor ordered! My Omega Enriched Booster Oil combines ingredients that help calm inflamed and irritated skin while restoring a weakened skin barrier with essential fatty acids.

    $44.00
  26. Dr. Bailey's Naturally Eczema Free Kit

    Naturally Eczema Free Kit

    Heal and prevent eczema with dermatologist’s hypoallergenic products specifically made for eczema prone skin.

    $77.67
  27. Natural Face, Hand and Body Lotion™

    Natural Face, Hand and Body Lotion™

    Elegant and light-textured, natural moisturizer for dry to normal sensitive skin.
    $22.00
  28. Natural Face and Body Butter Cream™

    Natural Face and Body Butter Cream™

    Highly Effective moisturizer to heal your extremely dry and sensitive skin.
    $26.00
  29. Dr. Bailey's Men's Face Care Kit

    Men's Face Care Kit

    My Complete Skin Care Kit for Men fights facial redness and premature skin aging all at the same time. 

    Regular Price: $177.00

    Special Price $160.00

  30. Dr. Bailey's Men's Beard Care Kit

    Men's Beard Care Kit

    Dermatologist recommended to have an enviable beard free of beardruff, itching and dryness.

    Regular Price: $125.00

    Special Price $112.50

  31. Layered Up Besties

    Layered Up Besties

    State of the art antioxidant skin care powerhouse and my absolute favorite facial product. If you were going to pick just one antioxidant for your skin care, the best would be green tea - it helps calm skin redness and fights sun damage.

    Regular Price: $168.00

    Special Price $151.00

  32. Dr. Bailey's Instantly Luminous Multi-Action Serum™

    Instantly Luminous Multi-Action Serum™

    Advanced skin care technology for firmer, brighter and smoother skin instantly! Instantly brighter, firmer, and smoother skin that keeps getting better and better with time.

    Regular Price: $82.00

    Special Price $73.80

  33. Dr. Bailey's Instant Skin Renewal Trio

    Instant Skin Renewal Trio

    Enjoy a new, winter escape and get rid of dull and dehydrated skin. Ring in the New Year with dewy, refined skin-texture and luminously-hydrated tone.

    Regular Price: $164.00

    Special Price $148.00

  34. Dr. Bailey's Hand Care Kit for Naturally Busy Hands

    Hand Care Kit for Naturally Busy Hands

    You know who you are, or who the people are in your life that never stop. Their rough and chapped hands tell the story of all that they do during the course of their busy lives.

    Give them (you) what they crave, healing for dry and chapped hands.

    Regular Price: $33.00

    Special Price $28.00

  35. Dr. Bailey's Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy™

    Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy™

    State of the art antioxidant skin care powerhouse and my absolute favorite facial product. If you were going to pick just one antioxidant for your skin care, the best would be green tea - it helps calm skin redness and fights sun damage.

    $86.00
  36. Dr. Bailey's Glycolic Acid Face and Body Wash

    Glycolic Acid Face and Body Wash

    This rich soap-free cleanser brightens your complexion and leaves your skin silky smooth and ready for your treating and correcting products. Ideal for all skin types including oily skin because it gently but thoroughly removes product, oil, dirt and debris from the skin surface.

    $34.00
  37. Glycolic Acid Anti-Wrinkle Face Cream

    Glycolic Acid Anti-Wrinkle Face Cream

    The perfect AHA face cream for normal and combination skin. Available in 10%, 15% and 20% strength for all skin types

    $31.00
  38. Dr. Bailey's Glycolic Acid 15% Body Lotion

    Glycolic Acid 15% Body Lotion

    No active ingredient beats glycolic acid for fast results when it comes to smoothing skin texture, creating a youthful and dewy skin luster, and lightening age spots.

    $39.00
  39. Dr. Bailey's Green Facial Redness Relief Kit - with Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy

    Facial Redness Relief Kit - with Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy

    This near-magical product combination is indispensable in my dermatology practice for calming facial redness. 

    Regular Price: $98.00

    Special Price $88.00

  40. Facial Glycolic Acid Kit for All Complexion Types

    Facial Glycolic Acid Kit for All Complexion Types

    Professional glycolic acid skin care products are among the best, non-prescription anti-wrinkle face creams that also fight sun spots. Glycolic acid rejuvenates and reverses so many of the signs of skin aging including: dull skin, fine lines and wrinkles, crepey skin, sun spots, and crusty age spots. Glycolic acid also helps prevent clogged pores, including blackheads that can lead to pimples and acne. 

    $64.80
  41. Dr. Bailey's Face Booster Oil, Sensitive Skin Formula

    Face Booster Oil, Sensitive Skin Formula

    Deeply quench and hydrate dehydrated skin with rich, organic oils direct from Mother Nature. Our Face Booster Oil, Sensitive Skin Formula combines the most-effective, calming and non-fragrant plant oils for the best results.

    $44.00
  42. Dr. Bailey's Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser

    Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser

    Foaming cleanser for complete skin cleansing without drying. Ideal for sensitive skin or skin made sensitive by professional skin care routines (such as glycolic acid, retinol or acne products) or facial skin conditions such as rosacea or seborrhea. The Gentle Foaming Cleanser is an ideal cleanser to alternate with Calming Zinc or your acne cleanser.

    $25.00
  43. EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 31

    EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 31

    Protect your delicate lips from the sun every day with a sunscreen lip balm you will love to use. Treats and prevents chapped lips with its uniquely effective moisturizing ingredients.

    $10.00
  44. EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40

    EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40

    Broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection in a lovely moisturizing lotion that's sheer and elegant of the skin. Perfect for normal to dry skin with it's hyaluronic acid and just a little light oil to moisturize your skin without leaving a heavy feel.

    $26.50
  45. EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Sunscreen

    EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Sunscreen

    Completely oil free and ultra light feel on the skin make this sunscreen a marvel. Perfect for oily to normal and acne prone skin. Comes with either a clear or tinted option to help soften complexion flaws for all skin types.

    $32.50
  46. Dr. Bailey's Fall Hydrating Skin Trio

    Deeply Hydrating Skin Trio

    Hot dry climates or cozy winter weather don’t have to mean dehydrated and dull skin. Change your skin care with the season.

    Regular Price: $140.00

    Special Price $126.00

  47. Dr. Bailey's Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin™

    Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin™

    Gentle, oil free hydration for facial skin. This light glycerin moisturizer is perfect for acne prone skin and to use in combination with all of our therapeutic facial products.

    Regular Price: $26.00

    Special Price $23.40

  48. Dr. Bailey's Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Dry to Normal Skin™

    Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Dry to Normal Skin™

    Richly moisturizing, non-greasy technology with just a hint of hydrating oils to balance dry facial skin. Fortified with antioxidants, vitamin E and CoQ10.

    Regular Price: $28.00

    Special Price $25.20

  49. Dr. Bailey's Daily Foaming Facial Cleanser

    Daily Foaming Facial Cleanser

    Non-drying, soap-free and pH balanced foaming skin cleansing for thorough removal of excess oil, dirt, debris and product residue. Gentle enough for all but the most intolerant and sensitive complexions.

    $37.00
  50. Dr. Bailey's Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40

    Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40

    My favorite every day sunscreen! I wear it every day on my face, neck and chest! It gives a great matte finish that's SPF 40 and water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

    $35.00
  51. Dr. Bailey's Chemotherapy Skin Care Kit

    Chemotherapy Skin Care Kit

    This is the skin care routine I used while undergoing chemo treatments myself. I designed these kits to help chemo patients simplify one aspect of their chemotherapy self-care. Be confident that you are taking good care of your body’s largest organ while you undergo chemo. These are also the perfect gift to send to a friend or family member who is undergoing cancer treatment. 50% of the profits donated to cancer research.

    Regular Price: $75.00

    Special Price $67.50

  52. Dr. Bailey's Bamboo and Clay Thermal Exfoliating Facial Scrub

    Bamboo and Clay Thermal Exfoliating Facial Scrub™

    Get smoother, softer cleaner looking skin with a more luminous appearance with this magic combination of physical exfoliation and thermal clay deep pore cleansing.

    Regular Price: $55.00

    Special Price $49.50

  53. Dr. Bailey's Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit

    Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit

    Dr. Bailey’s Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit offers the best skin care products made today to help brighten your complexion and reduce wrinkles and age spots. It also protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and everyday stresses.

    Regular Price: $320.00

    Special Price $288.00

  54. Dr. Bailey's Advanced Corrective Eye Cream™

    Advanced Corrective Eye Cream™

    6-in-1 technology to fight all eye-area problems in one cream! Advanced pharmaceutical-quality active ingredients in the correct balance to help fight aging and to improve the appearance of your eye area.

    $89.00

View All 54 Products For This Search

List  Grid 

Let Dr. Bailey help.
Pick products from 1) Cleanse, 2) Correct, 3) Hydrate, 4) Protect.
Build your complete skin care regimen here!

Free Radical Protection
Minimal Price: $10.00