Strongest Antioxidant Ingredients to Maximize Oxidative Stability?

What are the strongest antioxidant ingredients available in the chemical/personal care industry that formulators can use to add to lotions and creams at low usage levels in order to maximize the final product's oxidative stability?

In the interest of maximizing a lotion or cream product's shelf life and minimizing its chance of going rancid; what ingredients show particularly powerful antioxidant activity at relatively low percentage usage levels?

Also, is there an index/list available comparing the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of various ingredients available to formulators?

Any suggestions, comments or discussion about antioxidant ingredients would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks! 


  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    ORAC is just on of many antioxidant tests done. Each has advantages and peculiarities and may be extrapolated to some conditions but not to others.
    There is not THE strongest antioxidants, there's just some which are under certain conditions better than others or such which are no, poor, mediocre, or good antioxidants. The good ones may be piss poor in test A but excellent in test B.
    The best you can do is to combine the right ones to cover the full spectrum. Regarding rancidity, adding a chelate and avoiding any addition of iron containing ingredients (e.g. clay and many colour pigments) greatly boosts any antioxidants effect!
    Commonly, a vitamin C derivative plus a phenolic antioxidant are employed.
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