Aging is tightly associated with redox events. The free radical theory of aging indicates that redox imbalance may be an important factor in the aging process. Most studies about redox and aging focused on the static status of oxidative stress levels, there has been little research investigating differential responses to redox challenge during aging. In this study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans and human fibroblasts as models to compare differential responses to oxidative stress challenge in young and old individuals. In response to paraquat stress, young individuals generated more ROS and activated signaling pathways including p-ERK, p-AKT and p-AMPKα/β. After the initial response, young individuals then promoted NRF2 translocation and induced additional antioxidant enzymes and higher expression of phase II enzymes, including SOD, CAT, GPX, HO-1, GSTP-1and others, to maintain redox homeostasis. Moreover, young individuals also demonstrated a better ability to degrade damaged proteins by up-regulating the expression of chaperones and improving proteasome activity. Based on these data, we propose a new concept "Redox-stress Response Capacity (RRC)", which suggests cells or organisms are capable of generating dynamic redox responses to activate cellular signaling and maintain cellular homeostasis. The decay of RRC is the substantive characteristic of aging, which gives a new understand of the redox theory of aging.