News media, health magazines, and product manufacturers are constantly flooding consumers with information about skin care products and supplements. This creates much confusion for Houston dermatology patients, and many of our patients and West Houston Dermatology direct questions to Dr. Mahoney and our aestheticians about how to use antioxidants and certain “super foods” to prevent skin aging. Antioxidants come in both topical forms, oral supplements, and through natural foods. Antioxidants have many benefits for the body, but with respect to dermatology, antioxidants protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. Ultraviolet light is a catalyst for what is called radical oxygen species (ROS), and this is what causes damage to the skin. Overproduction of ROS can lead to oxidative stress in the skin. This oxidative stress causes damage to proteins on a cellular level, lipids and DNA. Most consumers have heard of free radicals such as ROS, but it is important to remember that free radicals also have some purpose in a healthy system. The standard of care in dermatology practices is to not only recommend daily sunscreen, but also topical antioxidants for maximum protection of the skin. Now that you know the role of antioxidants in skin care, stay tuned for which kinds of antioxidants may help you, and how to use them.