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J Drugs Dermatol. 2010 Jan;9(1):11-5.

Oxidative damage, skin aging, antioxidants and a novel antioxidant rating system.

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  • 1White Plains Hospital, Department of Medicine, White Plains, NY, USA.


It is believed that oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen and a biological system's ability to neutralize the reactive intermediates. Oxidative damage occurs because of both intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms. Together, intrinsic and extrinsic damage are the primary causes of skin aging. The skin uses a series of intrinsic antioxidants to protect itself from free radical damage. Naturally occurring extrinsic antioxidants have also been widely shown to offset and alleviate these changes. Unlike sunscreens, which have an SPF rating system to guide consumers in their purchases, there is no widely accepted method to choose antioxidant anti-aging products. ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) and ABEL-RAC (Analysis By Emitted Light-Relative Antioxidant Capacity), are both accepted worldwide as a standard measure of the antioxidant capacity of foods, and are rating systems that could be applied to all antioxidant skincare products. The standardization of antioxidant creams could revolutionize the cosmeceutical market and give physicians and consumers the ability to compare and choose effectively.

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