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How can a well-formulated vitamin C serum help your facial skin? Simply put, vitamin C stimulates collagen production, lightens hyper-pigmentation and improves the texture of your skin. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and is one of the few proven anti-aging ingredients on the market.
How Vitamin C Helps Your Skin
Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation and environmental pollutants cause free-radical formation in the skin. These free radicals trigger oxidative stress and degrade collagen (the structural protein that keeps our skin firm). The result is wrinkles, brown spots and other signs of aging.
Vitamin C provides our skin with potent antioxidant protection, shielding it from damage. Vitamin C is an essential component in the body’s production of collagen and its levels in the skin decline with age. Eating vitamin C rich foods is not enough, as most of it does not reach our skin.
When applied topically, Vitamin C is 20 times more effective than taken orally. When we continually supplement our skin with topical vitamin C applications, we help reduce wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration. Applying topical vitamin C is a scientifically proven way to combat the signs of aging.
Topical application of vitamin C is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion
Vitamin C Face Benefits:
- Firms your skin by boosting healthy collagen production
- Reduces inflammation and irritation
- Reduces the appearance to brown spots and other sun damage
- Improves skin's natural healing response
- Helps fade post-breakout red marks
- Increases your skins defense against UV exposure and boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreens
- Perfect for all skin types
- Improves the brightness, tone and texture of your skin
- Enhances the protective barrier function of the skin, allowing the skin to retain more water and stay smoother
Looking For a Well-Formulated Vitamin C Serum?
Studies Showing the Effectiveness Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a well researched and proven anti-aging ingredient. Below is a sampling of the hundreds of studies that have been done.
The role of antioxidants in photoprotection: a critical review (link)
Topical supplementation of antioxidants can provide additional protection to neutralize reactive oxygen species from both endogenous and exogenous sources.
Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation (Link)
L-ascorbic acid causes skin lightening by interacting with copper ions at the tyrosinase active site and by reducing oxidized dopaquinone, a substrate in the melanin synthetic pathway.
Topical vitamin C: a useful agent for treating photoaging and other dermatologic conditions (link)
A significant body of scientific research supports the use of cosmeceuticals containing vitamin C. Cutaneous benefits include promoting collagen synthesis, photoprotection from ultraviolet A and B, lightening hyperpigmentation, and improvement of a variety of inflammatory dermatoses.
Double-blind, half-face study comparing topical vitamin C and vehicle for rejuvenation of photodamage (Link)
This formulation of vitamin C results in clinically visible and statistically significant improvement in wrinkling when used topically for 12 weeks. This clinical improvement correlates with biopsy evidence of new collagen formation.
Ascorbic Acid : the Most Studied Form of Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid - also know an L-ascorbic acid - is the most extensively researched form of topical vitamin C. Because it is so well studied, it is the most commonly used vitamin C derivative in skin care products.
This form of vitamin C is a powerhouse when mixed with other antioxidants such as ferulic acid or vitamin E. Check out this study showing how the addition of ferulic acid to a vitamin C and E solution doubled its photoprotection.
Ascorbic acid also works well alone at a high concentration (15-20%) and can be used as a spot treatment for stubborn brown spots or wrinkles.
Note: Don’t get caught up in the hype that the more vitamin C, the better. Concentrations as low as 0.6% have been shown to be effective. Anything more than 20% is irritating and does not get absorbed (source).
Ascorbic acid is highly unstable and breaks down easily when exposed to light and air. This makes it essential that you only choose products that are packaged in pumps, opaque tubes, or air-restrictive bottles that help keep their ingredients stable.
Products containing ascorbic acid must be a low pH to help keep them from oxidizing. A low pH product can be irritating and drying for some people. Luckily, other forms of vitamin C are being developed for use in skin care.
We Have Found the Best Organic Vitamin C Serum
Other Forms of Vitamin C
There are other forms of vitamin C that have been shown to be safe and effective. These include: sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.
- Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate: Considered gentle and stable. This form is being studied as a topical treatment for acne. It is stable in water and does not get activated until it is in the skin. Protects from UV damage, increases collagen synthesis, and reduces skin pigmentation. The concentration of SAP should be no more than 5%.
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: Water soluble and gentle on the skin. It is effective at lower concentrations than ascorbic acid and remains stable at a neutral pH, making it less irritating. No proof that it protects from UV damage, but it does increase collagen synthesis and reduces skin pigmentation. A 10% concentration is ideal.
- Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: A lipid-soluble form of vitamin C that is ideal for sensitive skin. It has been shown to work with ascorbic acid to stimulate collagen production and reduce wrinkle depth (source).
Natural Source of Vitamin C
If you want a natural source of vitamin C, I recommend sea buckthorn berry oil. This oil contains 12 times more vitamin C than an orange. You need the berry oil rather than the seed oil, as the seeds do not contain vitamin C.
Choosing A Vitamin C Serum
A serum is a targeted treatment that will penetrate the skin deeper than a moisturizer. A properly formulated and packaged vitamin C serum will help your skin stay firm and healthy looking.
Tip #1 - Look For Ascorbic Acid
We know that ascorbic acid works. Every vitamin C derivative must be converted to ascorbic acid in the skin to be effective, so why not just use ascorbic acid? Ascorbic acid that is encapsulated in liposomes will be the most stable.
Tip #2 - Concentration
Maximum skin absorption occurs at 20%. If you find 20% to be too irritating, try using a 10% concentration.
Tip # 3 - Packaging
Opaque, pump packaging is best. This will protect the vitamin C from light and air.
Tip #4 - pH Level
Look for a low pH. A pH level of 3.5 - 4.5 is optimal.
Tip #5 - Other Ingredients
Other ingredients that work well with vitamin C are: ferulic acid, vitamin E, green tea, niacinamide and superoxide dismutase.
Our Recommended Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C (in the form of ascorbic acid) boasts decades of research showing its effectiveness in rebuilding collagen, repairing and reducing sun damage, lightening the skin and mopping up free radicals. It is a potent addition to your anti-aging routine.
For best results, use vitamin C serums as part of a well-rounded skin care routine that includes non-toxic products, skin nourishing ingredients, and a daily broad-spectrum SPF. Look for vitamin C serums that are in air-tight packaging and are properly formulated with the right concentration and pH.
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Yours In Beauty,