See, my classes started. And of course I didn’t post on Monday/Tuesday, like I (informally) decided to post. University is obviously not for me 😀 Just kidding! But I still have to get a grip of time management now that my schedule is quite different. Anyhoo…
I have a new #FormulaFriday for you today! Today we’re dealing with Vitamin C. No, not consuming Vitamin C, but adding it to your skincare routine.
What is it?
Vitamin C, or Ascorbic acid, has a unique status—skincare experts around the world consider it an anti-aging superstar. It has many forms, and they all have potent antioxidant and anti-aging benefits that help mitigate problems both before and after they occur.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-researched and beneficial vitamins you can apply topically. However, you have to be careful, since almost all forms are vulnerable to destabilizing when exposed to air and light.
It is a normal skin constituent that is found at high levels in both the dermis and epidermis. The vitamin C content of the epidermis is higher than the dermis, although the vitamin C concentrations in both layers are approximately equal to that of other water-soluble antioxidants, including uric acid and glutathione.
Aging, however, causes a decline in vitamin C content in both the epidermis and dermis. Excessive exposures to UV light or pollutants (e.g., cigarette smoke and ozone) may also lower vitamin C content, primarily in the epidermis.
Oral supplementation with vitamin C effectively increases vitamin C levels in the skin, however, when plasma vitamin C levels are saturated, skin vitamin C concentrations no longer increase.
Some other labels
Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, L-ascorbic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate, ascorbyl glucosamine, and ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate.
Not all of these are the same, equally good for your skin, and some can even be completely useless. If you want me to talk more about all of these, let me know!
What it does?
Vitamin C helps create younger-looking, firmer-feeling skin while signs of uneven skin tone and spots seem to disappear. Ascorbic acid also helps skin’s surface defend itself from external stressors, lessening the effects of exposure to the elements. It is a powerhouse when mixed with other antioxidants. One ingredient, no matter how amazing, is never enough to take the best care of your skin(!).
In addition to its antioxidant functions, vitamin C regulates the synthesis of the structural protein collagen, which we talked about in the last week’s post.
It also helps with wound healing and dry skin. Environmental pollutants, such as ozone, can decrease vitamin C levels in the skin and lead to free radical damage. Topical vitamin C may be useful against acne to reduce inflammatory lesions.
Topical vitamin C may also have mild skin lightening effects that are caused by reductions in melanin production and melanin oxidation.
Forms of Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid is definitely an outstanding form of vitamin C, but there are also sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and ascorbyl glucoside.
3-O ethyl ascorbic acid is another, although this relatively new form of vitamin C doen’t have much peer-reviewed research behind it yet
Keep in mind that all antioxidants, including pure vitamin C and its more stable variations, remain vulnerable, and will break down if routinely exposed to air and light. That means if you want to get the best possible results from your antioxidant-enriched skincare products, then buy only those that are packaged in opaque tubes, air-restrictive bottles, or pump containers so the ingredients remain stable after you start using the product!
A vitamin C product in a jar isn’t a good purchase! Ascorbic acid must be packaged to protect it from these elements during routine use, or its effectiveness will gradually become diminished to the point of not working at all (you will see this as oxidized discoloration, meaning the product turns a copper to brownish color).
How to use it?
While higher concentration vitamin C products can be great, those with lower concentrations also provide stunning results. The higher strengths have benefits for specific concerns, but the lower strengths in some of our moisturizers, toners, and serums also help replenish skin in significant ways, and work beautifully with other beneficial ingredients.
Research has shown that vitamin C concentrations as low as 0.6% provide antioxidant and anti-aging benefits to skin. So, depending on your concerns, you may do just fine with a regular-strength vitamin C product to smooth, brighten, and replenish skin.
Ascorbic acid is also a powerhouse when mixed with other antioxidants, or when used alone in higher concentrations, such as 15% or 20% or greater, amounts that can be great for evening out skin tone. However, maximal absorption in a research was achieved with a 20% vitamin C solution, with higher concentrations showing lower absorption.
Collagen production, as mentioned, is another function of Vitamin C.
The stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin, consisting of keratinized cells) is the primary obstacle to efficient vitamin C absorption from external sources; removal of the stratum corneum by laser, chemical, or mechanical methods enhances absorption of vitamin C.
The vitamin C absorption greatly depends on pH. Preparations with a pH below 4.0 aid in transport by promoting the uncharged form of vitamin C, ascorbic acid.
I think vitamin C is an awesome ingredient! However, make sure you know which form of it is in your skincare. Again, if you want me to talk about different forms, let me know.
Make sure the concentration of vitamin C is not over 20%, because it can decrease its capability of absorption. It can really help with free radical damage, as well as aging, and it can make your skin look brighter and healthier.
Overall, it is a great ingredient, and if you can, try to incorporate it in your skincare routine. There are many serums out there containing vitamin C, but I’ve heard people make them at home. If you have a recipe, do share it with me 🙂
Allure.com products to consider
healthambition.com if you want to find out even more (health) benefits of vitamin C
And that’s it for today’s post! Which ingredient would you like to see in some of the upcoming posts? Do you use Vitamin C in your skincare? Which products do you use?
See all of my previous #FormulaFriday posts.
Thank you for reading!
See you soon x