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Vitamin C for Skin Health: Your Complete Guide

Vitamin C for Skin

Are you concerned about premature ageing?

Do you look in the mirror and see uneven skin tone and dark spots?

Then, it would be best to consider introducing Vitamin C into your skincare routine.

A dullness-eliminating, wrinkle-preventing, collagen-boosting, brightening ingredient.

We believe it should take its rightful place as an essential skin vitamin.

But why does Vitamin C deserve all this glory, you ask?

It can uniquely rebuild your skin’s DNA at a cellular level.

Environmental pollutants such as radiation, sunlight, cancer-causing free radicals, and smoke break down collagen, stressing your skin and accelerating ageing.

And this potent antioxidant powerhouse can help counteract that process, brilliantly boosting collagen.

It will lighten pigmentation areas and boost your skin’s luminosity whilst smoothing skin tone, reducing signs of ageing– it is deserving of its cult status.

What is Vitamin C Good For?

Vitamin C is a chemical that occurs naturally in your skin – mainly in the epidermis, with a small amount in the dermis – and its role in skin biology is well-documented.

It is a water-soluble antioxidant proven in studies to stimulate collagen synthesis, encourage barrier formation, heal wounds, lighten skin, and treat hyperpigmentation.

So join us as we dive in and look at what Vitamin C is good for when it comes to your skin:

The Types of Vitamin C

There are around eight different forms of Vitamin C used in cosmetics. There’s a lot of information about how the different versions work, how much to use, what formula is required to deliver the ingredients, etc.

L-Ascorbic Acid

Whilst there are several different types of Vitamin C used in skincare, Ascorbic Acid – also referred to as L-Ascorbic Acid on an ingredient list – has the most scientific research behind it, as the only form that your body can actually recognise and utilise right away.

It is stable at a pH of less than 3.5 in an aqueous solution and anhydrous systems.

Studies have found Ascorbic Acid can boost collagen, help firm and tone the skin, smooth out fine lines, and disrupt pigment production to give the complexion a healthy sheen.

The stability is vital: ideally, a concentration at a minimum of 10% or more to maximise benefits.

A pH of around 3.5 will ensure the best penetration of Ascorbic Acid into the horny layer of your skin; the pH is naturally low because Vitamin C almost acts like an Alpha-Hydroxy Acid and can “soften the glue” between the cells, allowing it to penetrate the deeper layers of your skin.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)

Another way to get Ascorbic Acid into the cell is to combine it with another molecule taken into the cell.

Magnesium Phosphate is water-soluble and is taken up into the cells more effectively than Ascorbic Acid. The Vitamin C compound is easily converted to Ascorbic Acid, Phosphate, and Magnesium or Sodium inside the cells.

Ascorbic Acid and ascorbic phosphates are helpful and have similar results but have a very different client profile. People with sensitive skin cannot use Ascorbic Acid, so we recommend that clients with susceptible skin use a Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate product or Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, as discussed below.

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate

The fatty acid component that makes it oil-soluble penetrates deep into the horny layers to enter the cell wall quickly. Here, it helps with adequate control of melanin formation, more collagen deposition, and more efficient antioxidant protection.

With a vast antioxidant brigade and adequate UVA protection, pigmentation marks can be treated effectively. It can also be used on sensitive skin to treat acne at high doses.

Other oil-soluble forms of Vitamin C are Ascorbyl Palmitate and Ascorbyl Dipalmitate. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to incorporate these into formulations in high doses without alcohol. Not nearly as much Vitamin C is achieved inside the cell as with Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate.

What Makes Vitamin C so Great?

It is important to remember that not all Vitamin C products are created equal.

The type of Vitamin C, the concentration, and other ingredients in the formulas to help stabilise the Vitamin C are all things to consider.

Our Ascorbic Acid products are as follows:

  • C+ Ascorbic Acid complex is our Vitamin C serum and contains Ferulic Acid to create an anti-oxidising powerhouse. Vitamin C helps the Ferulic Acid to regenerate and keeps this anti-oxidising power going for quite some time. We also add Vitamin E to increase this antioxidant awesomeness further – this combination has been shown to quench free radicals on our skin.
  • Halo (coming soon) is our speciality organic oil that contains a Vitamin C liposomal ingredient, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate. It is a stabilised, water-free serum in which the acid crystals have been finely micronised and protected within an oil ‘envelope’ to protect it from oxidation.

How Much is Enough?

How much Ascorbic Acid should a product contain? The maximum skin absorption occurs at 20% – the best insight into the origins of this 20% skin absorption is from this study.

Don’t Rush Application

After applying a Vitamin C product, you should wait a while before applying any other products. Other ingredients can potentially trigger oxidation; if they’re used on top of the Ascorbic Acid before it can be absorbed into the skin, it could become inactive.

How do I use it?

An armour on your skin during the day, Vitamin C helps shield your skin from free radicals and can boost the protection offered by your sunscreen. Therefore, it is recommended that you apply it in the morning to prevent skin damage during the day.

There is growing evidence that applying Vitamin C at night time won’t hurt either; some research suggests free radical damage continues to affect your skin overnight. Adding Vitamin C to your end-of-day routine can help reverse the skin’s injury from the day, rejuvenating while you sleep.

To conclude. The naked truth

There is so much skin science available, and we appreciate it is a lot to take in, so let us sum all of this up for you.

Although Vitamin C sounds simple, there are several different kinds of Vitamin C to be aware of. Ascorbic Acid is the most common in skincare; it absorbs the quickest, has the highest potency, and has much research.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a water-soluble form that can be effective in lower concentrations, and then there are the oil-soluble forms, with Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate being the most effective.

Vitamin C does have a few enemies; it isn’t best friends with all of the ingredients in your skincare repertoire.

A few notable incompatibilities exist because it is quite an acidic ingredient, creating adverse reactions such as stinging and redness.

Active ingredients in skincare have different purposes, and using them simultaneously as Vitamin C in high concentrations may result in irritation.

It’s best to avoid Glycolic, Salicylic, and Lactic Acids when using Vitamin C and use it at the opposite end of the day when using Retinol and Niacinamide.

Finally, we recommend checking the quality of your Vitamin C formula – especially if it is a serum – because it is a water-soluble powder that can oxidise quite quickly in water-based recipes. It converts it into Dehydroascorbic Acid, the oxidised version with an orange or brown tinge.

Please comment below if you have more questions about this great vitamin.

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