We all know sunblock is essential at the beach, but what about Vitamin C? And how do you know if you're using the right Vitamin C product?
Vitamin C is an all-star antioxidant, obtained through diet or supplementation (unlike other mammals, we can't produce our own!). But, even if adequate dietary Vitamin C is achieved, its benefits to the skin aren't always fully realized without direct, topical application. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble, potent antioxidant and charged molecule, an electron donor. As an electron donor, it essentially quenches the reactivity of free radicals, preventing their damage. Vitamin C is also essential for the production of collagen. In one study, after ascorbic acid was applied to the skin for 6 months, skin biopsy showed a 25% increase in mRNA levels of collagen type I and type III.
The biggest hurdle, when it comes to Vitamin C skincare, is getting the right formulation.
As a water soluble molecule, Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is a small enough molecule to pass through the epidermis, reach the dermis, thereby fighting the oxidative stress known to cause skin cancer, wrinkling, and sun damage induced hyperpigmentation.
But first it must get past the dead skin cells of the stratum cornerum! This is why exfoliation is key for product penetration. This can be achieved through chemical peels, microdermabrasion or any other gentle form of exfoliation. If you're interested in one of these services, schedule with our skin guru, esthetician and brow artist extraordinaire, Jessica Austin of Peace, Love & Brows!
Another key aspect for penetration is pH. Since the skin has an acidic pH, so must your product. A pH below 4 is ideal.
One more factor -- chemical stability. Certain things like heat, light, or air exposure can degrade Vitamin C. To address this concern, your Vitamin C should be kept in a dark bottle and stored at the appropriate temperature.
Antioxidants like Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E can be added to preserve the stability of Vitamin C as well- SYNERGY!