Vitamin C: The benefits, do's and don'ts.
Vitamin C is one of the most exciting, research-proven ingredients
you can apply to the skin. It works as an antioxidant, an important
component to achieving healthy skin. When we're young, vitamin C
levels in skin's outermost two layers (epidermis and dermis) are
abundant, but as we age, these levels naturally deplete. Unprotected
sun exposure (UV damage) and pollution can accelerate this decline,
leading to skin looking and feeling dull, uneven, and less firm than it
Luckily, there are topical skin care solutions that can help mitigate
this damage, so skin looks and feels healthier and younger longer.
There are many forms of vitamin C for skin, and while they all have
antioxidant benefits, some types of vitamin C work better in skin care
formulas than others. The quality of ingredients will also play a part in
how well they work. Pharma grade vitamin C will provide clearer,
quicker results than cosmetic grade.
Ascorbic acid—also known as L-ascorbic acid—has the most skin-
related research of any form of vitamin C. When properly formulated,
this form helps create younger-looking, firmer-feeling skin while
fading signs of uneven skin tone and spots. Ascorbic acid also helps
skin's surface defend itself from free radicals and external stressors,
lessening the effects of exposure to the elements. It can also help to
reduce the appearance of pre-existing scarring.
Other beneficial forms that have notable research demonstrating their
efficacy include sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, 3-0
ethyl ascorbic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, magnesium ascorbyl
phosphate, and ascorbyl glucoside.
One thing to remember is that vitamin C is extremely sensitive to air
and light and will break down over time if routinely exposed to them.
All forms of vitamin C mix well and layer with other skin care
ingredients, including exfoliating acids and other vitamins and
antioxidants, such as retinol and niacinamide.
After cleansing, vitamin C is an essential ingredient for your AM
regime, applying the rest of the skin regime may from thinnest to
thickest texture (commonly: serum, moisturizer, SPF). During the day,
always finish with broad-spectrum SPF 30 or greater.
Article courtesy of Harper Grace International's - The Aesthetics Edit
(Issue 4 - Summer Quarter 3)
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