Recently there’s been a lot of chatter and even at lot of advertising about new drinks and dietary supplements that are supposed to help improve the appearance and even the health of your skin. Some of them even boast supplemental amounts of powerful antioxidants like resveratrol, polyphenols, coenzyme Q10 and alpha lipoic acid. We know with certainty that antioxidants are important for our health and all of the organs in our body including our skin. The real question here is, do supplemental amounts, do extra amounts of these antioxidants, protect and help our skin better then do the baseline amounts that are contained within our diet. We do know that topical antioxidants do help protect the skin and especially against high energy form free radicals and ultraviolet light, and particularly experiments have shown that certain types of vitamin C, especially tetra hexadcyl ascorbate and methylsilanol ascorbate do. The question though is, do additional supplements of oral antioxidants also help to protect the skin? Certainly, in theory they should. If certain antioxidants are good, we would hope that a higher dose would be better. Although there’s no certainty that it would be, it’s a very difficult thing to prove or demonstrate and there are three reasons for that. First of all, with regular amounts of antioxidants in our diet, they protect us, but it’s hard for us to see the actual end result of that protection. It’s not like looking at the skin at the end of the day you or I can tell that the antioxidants that were in our regular diet helped. And therefore, if you take additional levels of antioxidants, there’s no way for us to judge that they really in fact did help. Second, most of the experiments that have been done with oral antioxidant supplements have been done in laboratories with lab animals and it’s very difficult to extrapolate the effects in lab animals to human beings. And third and perhaps most important, when we take anything by mouth it gets diluted as it’s absorbed into our system until it finally gets to the cells in each organ, whether that organ is the heart or the skin. So for instance, if we talk about orange juice which has vitamin C… Well, a lot of our viewers have noted that I recommend topical vitamin C as an antioxidant, so they’ve asked, instead of putting it on their skin, can they just take extra doses of orange juice to get more vitamin C to supplement the amount of antioxidant power that they’re getting from vitamin C into the skin cells. The answer is: we really don’t know because as you drink more and more orange juice you just don’t know how much of that additional antioxidant power is getting to the cells. This is the bottom line: supplements of all antioxidants aren’t harmful. I eat two or three servings of broccoli everyday in an effort to obtain more antioxidants in my system but I really don’t know if it’s making any difference for my skin. I don’t know if it’s helping protect my skin any more by taking it orally and I don’t know if it’s making the appearance or health of my skin any better and until we know that for sure my best advice to you concerning these oral dietary supplements and new drinks - buyer beware. And if you want to make sure that you do get some additional antioxidant protection for your skin, then apply a topical antioxidant every night before you go to sleep.