Vitamin C

Everyone has heard it before, but very few people know about the function of this anti-aging vitamin. How does vitamin C work in the skin? What does it have to do with our skin care? Does a cream or a serum work better against wrinkles? And above all: what properties does a vitamin C product have to be really effective?

Vitamin C supports the skin with essential functions and contributes to healthy, beautiful skin in various ways:

1. It is an effective antioxidant that eliminates free radicals.
2. It plays a key role in building collagen. It ensures smooth skin with fewer wrinkles.
3. It helps with blemishes, acne and pigment spots.

Vitamin C as an antioxidant

The metabolic processes in the body constantly generate new free radicals. [1] These species are unstable and destroy cell membranes, lipids and proteins in the search for reaction partners which are lipids, proteins and cell membrane. And these ingredients are essential for healthy skin. That is why free radicals contribute to skin ageing. By the way, environmental influences such as UV radiation, outdoor and indoor pollution and cigarette smoke also generate a lot of free radicals. [1]

In order to prevent free radicals from damaging the skin or the entire organism, we need antioxidants. These make free radicals harmless and can stop premature skin ageing. [2] Vitamin C is the best known antioxidant. In addition, the effect in skin care products has been scientifically proven.

There are many more antioxidants

Vitamin A is a classic in skin care and thus should not be missed in an anti-ageing product; and neither vitamin E. But there are also special antioxidants from nature. Resveratrol is known as a long-life molecule. Astaxanthin from red algae is considered one the ‚most effective antioxidant in the world‘. I couldn’t find a study stating Astaxanthin is the most effective antioxidant. However, there are multiple studies that state it is a strong antioxidant thus, certainly worth to include in skincare. Overall, the key message is; our skin does not only need one antioxidant. Like your body, it needs different types of nutrition, your skin needs different actives, antioxidants, vitamins etc. Thus, the most effective active is a complex that combines several antioxidants. [3]

Vitamin C for wrinkles

The secret to tight skin lies in a protein called collagen. It forms the structure of the skin and gives it the necessary firmness and elasticity. If there are wrinkles on the face, the collagen structure is not strong enough. [6]

Vitamin C helps in two ways: First, vitamin C protects the collagen structure against free radicals that damage it. Second, it supports the body in the production of new collagen. This is how vitamin C ensures a healthy and stable collagen structure. It can withstand greater tensions and does not tear down as quickly. Wrinkles are slowed down and your facial skin remains free of wrinkles for longer. [6]

Vitamin C for acne and pimples

The antioxidant effect of vitamin C helps with acne and pimples. Vitamin C relieves micro-inflammation in the skin caused by acne. This anti-inflammatory effect calms the complexion. The skin condition can be visibly improved and the complexion looks more even and healthier. That is why vitamin C is a long-standing active used to treat acne and problem skin. [7]

Vitamin C for pigment spots

Vitamin C can also help with increased pigmentation. This phenomenon is known as hyperpigmentation. Studies have shown that vitamin C inhibits excessive melanin formation and thus counteracts the formation of age spots. Vitamin C also protects our skin from UV radiation. These photoprotective properties can also help with age spots. For pigment spots we recommend day care with sun protection factor and mild vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin C counteracts the formation of pigment spots.

Which vitamin C form and concentration is best?

We are often asked about the ideal form and concentration of vitamin C in skin care. Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered in general. Vitamin C is not the same as vitamin C. There are many different forms of vitamin C that are suitable for external use and are used in cosmetics. The same when you look at Retinol. 

The different forms are also called derivatives. You have probably heard of one form or another:

  • Ascorbic Acid (‘pure’ vitamin C),
  • Ascorbyl glucoside (connection between ascorbic acid and glucose),
  • Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or sodium ascorbyl phosphate (salt-like ester form)
  • Ethyl ascorbic acid (also a water-soluble ester form)
  • or fat-soluble vitamin C esters, such as ascorbyl palmitate or ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate

So which one is the most effective one?

  • The most direct effect is Pure vitamin C, asorbic acid, also known as L’asorbic acid (INCI: Asorbic Acid)
  • Why is L’Asorbic Acid the most effective one? In contrast to the other derivatives, it does not have to be converted into the active form.
  • Pure vitamin C cannot be processed in a cream because it is too susceptible to oxidation and decomposes quickly.

Vitamin C : this is how it works best

Studies outline that the most effective form of vitamin C is pure ascorbic acid (INCI: Ascorbic Acid), which is difficult to process in cosmetics when it comes to water-soluble formulations. Concentrations of up to 15% are recommended. The higher isn’t necessarily the better. And be aware: from a concentration of 20%, the effect decreases again.Thus, we are introducing a water-free powder-based product that you can activate at home with our serum. You only need a small dosis which you can mix with our serum to turn it into a Vitamin C serum.

In Summary

Studies have shown that vitamin C supports collagen synthesis and fights free radicals. It also works against age spots and acne. The most effective form of vitamin C is pure ascorbic acid (INCI: Ascorbic Acid), which is difficult to process in cosmetics.

Thus we have looked at a different ways to apply Vitamin C to your skin to deliver the best concentration to you .

Sign up to be the first to learn more about it. And we hope you enjoy our new product to give your skin a rich antioxidant boost.

Any questions, we are always here to help.

Sarah xoxo


Reference

[1] Alugoju PhaniendraDinesh Babu Jestadi, and Latha Periyasamy; „Free Radicals: Properties, Sources, Targets, and Their Implication in Various Diseases“,  Published online 2014 Jul 15. Available on: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4310837/

[2] Flavia Alvim Sant’anna Addor, „Antioxidants in dermatology“, Available on: ttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514576/

[3] Tominaga, K.T et.al., „Protective effects of astaxanthin on skin deterioration“. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 2017;61(1):33-39.

[4] Auf natürliche Weise zu schöner Haut; L. Thun-Hohenstein; Vitalstoffe 2/2019, S. 37-39

[5] Sergio Davinelli,1,* Michael E. Nielsen,2 and Giovanni Scapagnini1 „Astaxanthin in Skin Health, Repair, and Disease: A Comprehensive Review“,  Published online 2018 Apr 22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946307/

[6] Juliet M. PullarAnitra C. Carr, and Margreet C. M. Vissers, „The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health“,  Published online 2017 Aug 12. doi: 10.3390/nu9080866 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/

[7] Pumori Saokar Telang, „Vitamin C in dermatology“, Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr-Jun; 4(2): 143–146.

[8] Romain De Dormael, PharmD,corresponding author* Philippe Bastien, PhD,* Peggy Sextius, PhD, Audrey Gueniche, PharmD, Daniel Ye, PhD, Christian Tran, PharmD, Véronique Chevalier, MSc, Charles Gomes, PhD, Luc Souverain, MSc, andCaroline Tricaud, PhD, „Vitamin C Prevents Ultraviolet-induced Pigmentation in Healthy Volunteers: Bayesian Meta-analysis Results from 31 Randomized Controlled versus Vehicle Clinical Studies“, J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2019 Feb; 12(2): E53–E59. Published online 2019 Feb 1. Available on: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6415704/