Vitamin C is one of the most popular ingredients used in skincare and personal care products today. A vitamin that has been popularly branded around citrus fruits and Emergen-C, you might be surprised to learn that Vitamin C is also one of the skin’s naturally occurring antioxidants. Unfortunately, our skin’s vitamin C content decreases over time with age, sun exposure, and pollution, which is why we need to add it back into our diets and skin care routines.
When adding vitamin C products to your skincare routine, it’s important to understand that this ingredient comes in many forms, which can have many different effects.
To start, you may have heard that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant for our skin, but what does that really mean? Well, oxidation is largely caused by the creation of free radicals at the cellular level when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet light and the sun’s rays. Antioxidants, like vitamin C, are touted to reduce this oxidative stress by neutralizing the free radicals, thereby reducing their damage to your skin. Vitamin C can also help to stimulate collagen production and even out skin tone by reducing the production of melanin pigment.
As previously noted, there are many forms of vitamin C (see Table 1) that have varying abilities to permeate and heal your skin. To be effective, the vitamin C in your skincare product must be able to breach the skin’s oil-rich surface and be able to penetrate the dermal layers of the skin. While a water-soluble version will not penetrate as easily, an oil-soluble version of vitamin C will break through more easily. For example, if you’re using vitamin C to try to boost collagen or even out skin color, then you need to choose a form of vitamin C that can penetrate your skin. For this reason, topical vitamin C is often fortified and optimized for penetration.
Another important factor in selecting the right vitamin C is its stability, which is its ability to withstand breaking down too early. Vitamin C can break down in response to exposure to air and sunlight and become less effective. In the treatment room, vitamin C penetration can be accelerated with the use of heat, electricity, and ultrasound, which can all lead to a quicker breakdown of vitamin C. This adds another dimension to why it is important to choose a stable form of vitamin C.
When the proper form of vitamin C is utilized in your skin care treatments and products, there can be many benefits to this ingredient. Take a look at your favorite vitamin C skincare product and you may be surprised to see multiple forms used in the formulation!
L- ascorbic acid or ascorbic acid
Already in natural form
* This blog is for general skin, beauty, wellness, and health information only. This post is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health condition or problem. The information provided on this Website should never be used to disregard, delay, or refuse treatment or advice from a physician or a qualified health provider.Integrative Dermatology Symposium.