Do you know what the most searched for beauty product was last year?
Take a guess. It wasn’t dermal filler, wrinkle injections, or anti-ageing cream. According to a story in The Telegraph, the hot topic was Vitamin C. One sign: “Research conducted by Pinterest shows that Vitamin C ‘saves on pinning’ were up 3379%, proving it to be the favoured ingredient of 2017,” they report. When Costhetics, Australia’s leading resource for trustworthy news and information about plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancement, saw that statistic, we had to know more, so we put on our Sherlock Holmes hats and got to work.
Here’s what we discovered…
Vitamin C Purity for Skin Clarity
There are several types of Vitamin C that are found in skin care products. L-ascorbic acid (LAA) has been widely studied, and even dubbed the “king” of anti-ageing. Unfortunately, it’s also royally unstable. It’s highly sensitive to the effects of oxygen, heat, and light, all of which can degrade its effectiveness and shorten its shelf life.
To prolong the life of Vitamin C products and offer a more targeted skincare treatment, cosmetic chemists developed derivatives of Vitamin C to work in conjunction with the original:
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) – water-soluble and gentle, it lasts longer and is excellent for sensitive and dry skin.
- Ascorbyl Palmitate (AP) – often found in oil-based skincare products, it is more stable than LAA and a top of the line choice for repairing free radical damage.
- Ascorbic Glucoasmine (AG) – the jury is still out on this from of Vitamin C, which is still being studied. It’s a water-soluble derivative that shows promise for skin-brightening.
- Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate – the “baby” of the Vitamin C family, TA is a new derivative with a lot to offer including superior stability and a fat-soluble nature that allows it to penetrate to deeper layers of the skin more easily.
- Sodium Ascorbyl Phospage (SAP) – a shifty derivative, SAP converts into LAA when it’s absorbed by the skin. It’s gentle, stable, water-soluble, and effectively brightens skin.
Some skin care specialists favour pure ALA while others say that derivatives are fine when used in carefully prepared formulations.
LAA & AP: The Batman & Robin of Skin Beauty
A wide range of research shows that L-ascorbic acid and Ascorbyl palmitate work in synergy, offering many positive benefits to skin. Individually and together, they
- Reduces the amount of oxidative stress and damage to cells
- Increase the level of inhibitors of collagen-degrading and collagen-synthesizing enzymes
New research suggests vitamin C may directly stimulate collagen synthesis by activating collagen gene regulation, though more study is needed.
5 Reasons Your Skin Loves Vitamin C
Your skin is in a fight for its life against free-radical damage eager to make you look old before your time. With Vitamin C, your skin can fight back (and win!) against the ageing effects of
- Environmental pollutants
- Some fried foods
- Skin dehydration
- UV exposure
Hmmm. The “sunshine vitamin” provides good protection against sunshine. Ironic, but true.
7 Ways Vitamin C Shows Your Skin Love
Vitamin C also minimises changes in the skin associated with ageing. It
- Slows formation of fine lines and wrinkles
- Accelerates collagen production
- Repairs photo-damaged skin
- Controls hyper-pigmentation
- Brightens the complexion
- Evens out skin tone
- Smooths roughness
A Little Dab Will Do You
Vitamin C gives a lot for just a little. Whether you’re looking at moisturisers (to hydrate your skin) or serums (to correct skincare issues), don’t fall into the “more is better” trap. Over-treating your skin is just as bad as not treating it at all.
The concentration of l-ascorbic acid is anywhere from 10-20% in most beauty products. Costhetics recommends you go slow, starting with a lower concentration. Give your skin time to respond to the treatment. If you aren’t getting the results you need, then you can move onto a higher concentration. A chat with your dermatologist or skin care specialist can help.
How Can Something So Good Smell So Bad?
A strange smell in a skincare product is often an indicator that the product has gone bad and outlived its shelf life. This isn’t true of Vitamin C products. L-ascorbic acid has a strong scent when it’s fresh. When it begins to break down, the scent becomes even stronger. Some people say it spells “burned.”
Don’t blame it all on Vitamin C, however. Other stinky ingredients include:
- Propylene glycol
When in doubt, throw it out. It’s better to invest in a new serum or cream than it is to expose your delicate skin to a product that’s gone toxic.
Skin Care Treatment by the Mouthful
Here’s some sweet news we thing you’ll enjoy: adding more Vitamin C to your diet, as well as your beauty regimen is a winning combination. Consider the humble orange. In addition to being packed with Vitamin C, they also are high in beta-carotene. Why is that important, you ask? Beta-carotene helps your body create and use Vitamin A, which is essential to the growth of healthy skin cells. Sweet orange-y globes make it easy to get your recommended daily requirements of Vitamin C. Just peel and go…but don’t throw away the peel! You can use them to make a skin rejuvenating mask with the help of the reporters at NDTV in New Delhi.
If you’re not an orange fan, consider getting your Vitamin C from these colourful alternatives:
- Kakadu plums
- Acerola cherries
- Red or yellow capsicums
- Black currants
There’s no two ways about it: Vitamin C is skincare gold. Who would have thought you’d find gold inside of an orange? Team Costhetics was surprised and that’s why we’ll keep on the lookout for other unexpected good news about staying beautiful.
See you soon!