THE SKIN CARE ARENA
by Madeleine Arena, B.S., M.B.A.*
The bad news is that free-radical damage from the environment is inescapable. This daily assault on our skin can cause premature aging. The good news is research has shown that topical vitamin C can help fortify the skin against this onslaught. How? By providing powerful antioxidant protection, Vitamin C shields the skin from free radical damage.
(Dermatological Surgery, 2008 & Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012)
Adding a well-formulated vitamin C product to your daily skincare regime, can afford you a variety of benefits that can help keep your skin looking younger, longer.
Vitamin C, whether blended with other beneficial ingredients or in a concentrated treatment, can treat multiple skincare concerns.
Vitamin C can:
- Reduce the appearance of brown spots.
- Firm the skin by stimulating collagen production.
- Reduce inflammation and irritation, both of which can trigger additional skin damage.
- Improve the skin’s natural healing response, which helps fade post-breakout red marks.
- Increase the effectiveness of your sunscreen and boost your skins defense against UV exposure.
(Dermatological Surgery 2008, & Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2012 & The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 2010)
The most commonly used form of vitamin C in skin care products is Ascorbic acid—also known as L-ascorbic acid. It has the most research of any form of vitamin C when it comes to benefits for skin. It is equally powerful when mixed with other antioxidants, or when used alone in higher concentrations. Ascorbic acid concentrations of 15%, 20% or greater can be used for treating extra-stubborn problems. (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2008 & Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, 2012).
It’s important for you to know that there isn’t just one “best” form of vitamin C. There are, however a few derivitives that research has demonstrated are the most stable and effective. Other effective forms include sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. While there is less supporting research on these derivatives than ascorbic acid the research that does exist is positive.
The range of benefits for these forms of vitamin C includes repair and protection from free- radical damage, skin firming, and the improvement of skin tone. When added to a blend of other proven antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients these vitamin C derivatives enhance the formulation. Look for products that include these with ingredients such as green tea, grape seed extract, Resveratrol, peptides, and niacinamide.
All antioxidants, including vitamin C, are susceptible to destabilizing when exposed to air and light (Skin Research and Technology, 2008). To maximize the benefits of your vitamin and anti-oxidant treatments, as well as protecting your investment in those products, choose only those products packaged so that their ingredients maintain their stability. Look for opaque bottles or tubes, air-restrictive bottles, and pumps.
There’s no doubt; vitamin C is a powerful tool in your anti-aging arsenal. However, research is clear that using a range of beneficial ingredients is always best for keeping skin at its healthiest. Make vitamin C a part of a regimen that includes a daily broad-spectrum sunscreen SFP 30, an exfoliant, and a non-irritating products that contain a blend of antioxidants, skin-repairing agents, and cell-communicating ingredients.
* Madeleine Arena is a cosmetic chemist who develops private label skin and hair care products for the trade. Madeleine can be reached through her website – www.tscsource.com