Vitamin C and Skincare
Vitamin C is one of the basic nutrients the body needs to work properly. Most people know that when they’re sick, Vitamin C will make them feel better, whether it’s from taking vitamins, drinking orange juice, warm tea with lemon and honey, or eating oranges. This is because Vitamin C assists with quite a few functions in the body related to keeping you healthy.
How does Vitamin C help your skin?
In a society obsessed with anti-aging and looking younger, it has been discovered that Vitamin C applied topically can provide incredible anti-aging benefits for the skin. One important benefit of Vitamin C is that it helps the body produce collagen, which gives the skin elasticity and strength. Collagen is essential for that plumped, youthful appearance! Vitamin C is also known to suppress melanin (the pigmentation in your skin) synthesis, helping to fade hyperpigmentation (darkened areas caused by increased melanin production) over time.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant
Antioxidants protect the skin and body from free radicals, unstable cells that bounce around and damage whatever they come into contact with. The skin is constantly being bombarded with free radicals from pollution, overexposure to sun and oxygen. This causes premature aging of skin. Antioxidants can also reduce inflammation, an unfortunate effect of free radicals.
Think of an apple to understand the effects of oxidation and the benefits of Vitamin C. When an apple is cut and the inside is exposed to air, the flesh begins to turn brown. If you apply lemon juice, full of Vitamin C, it slows the oxidation. In addition, Vitamin C is an immune booster, helping to repair skin damage and fade discoloration. Vitamin C, applied topically suppresses melanin synthesis.
Of note, studies show that the best, visible results, especially for wrinkle reduction, occur after 90 days of consistent use.
Understanding the forms of Vitamin C used in Skincare
Vitamin C comes in many forms, the most common being ascorbic acid. There are others more particular to skincare, including Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, and Ascorbyl Palmitate, the three forms we use in our formulas.
Since Vitamin C is generally water soluble, it has a hard time penetrating the upper layers of skin to get down to the dermis where it is needed. When applied to skin, it guards against oxidation and can provide some exfoliation but doesn’t do much else.
- Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate solves this problem, as it has been altered to be more fat soluble. The epidermis is very lipid-rich and being fat soluble allows the Vitamin C to reach the dermis, where collagen is produced. Besides collagen, the skin also produces glycosaminoglycans, which help the skin hold water and stay hydrated. Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate assists in the production of this as well. Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a very stable form of Vitamin C as generally, Vitamin C oxidizes quickly and loses effectiveness when exposed to light and air, but this form prevents it. It is generally more potent than other forms of Vitamin C, so less can be used in products. We, however use up to 20% concentrations, providing your skin with incredible antioxidant support!
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is also more stable than other forms of Vitamin C, such as ascorbic acid. It does not degrade as quickly in light and air and is more stable in water as well. In skin-brightening and whitening compounds, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is used to suppress melanin. It also helps with collagen production. However, it is water soluble, so it does not go as deep as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. Vitamin C is acidic to the skin, therefore it has exfoliating properties, but magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is much gentler on skin without exfoliation if that is not something you want. It is also effective at lower quantities.
- Ascorbyl Palmitate is also fat soluble so it has a lot of the same properties as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. It is Vitamin C bonded with palmitic acid, which is a common fatty acid. Being fat soluble, it oxidizes much slower and is absorbed into the skin better. It also reaches the dermis and produces collagen and elastin. Ascorbyl Palmitate is used as a preservative in food for vitamins and colors. Its fat soluble properties means that it can be stored in fat cells and it can work with vitamin E, another antioxidant, to regenerate it. The palmitic acid makes ascorbyl palmitate have moisturizing qualities as well.
- For a complete list of the powerful ingredients in our Vitamin C Daytime Repair Serum click here
What do I need to know about the color of a Vitamin C Serum?
Some serums on the market with less stable forms of Vitamin C oxidize quickly, lose effectiveness, and can even be harmful to the skin. Ascorbic Acid and L-Ascorbic Acid are unstable forms of Vitamin C. Beware of products that contain these forms exclusively. Unfortunately, skincare marketers who use these forms caused consumers to be wary of any color in Vitamin C Serums, and misconceptions concerning oxidation abound. KRS, in fact, receives inquiries from new clients concerning the color of our Vitamin serums, in particular.
Our Vitamin C serums are amber/orange in color and this is due to the many beneficial actives in our formulas. This color does not mean that it is unstable or that oxidation has occurred.
At Kate Ryan we have a philosophy that no single ingredient provides all of the nutrition our skin needs for optimum, long-term health. We use a synergistic blend of the top ingredients to provide multi-faceted benefits for our clients – anti-aging, repair, hydration, anti-bacterial, exfoliation, defense against free radicals, and more. It is important to note that our multi-ingredient philosophy is applied across all of our products, not just our Vitamin C Serums (just in case you’re thinking “coverup”, another concern caused by unscrupulous marketers). It is also important to note that a lack of color does not guarantee complete lack of oxidation, (if oxidation is your concern).
The ingredients that contribute to color in KRS Vitamin C Serums:
The color of KRS Serums comes from the color of the natural ingredients inside. We are proud to be different! A few of the very beneficial actives that add color to our formula:
- Lycopene, a potent antioxidant, is especially beneficial for protecting the skin from free radical damage caused by UV exposure from the sun. Lycopene is naturally very dark reddish/orange.
- Green Tea EGCG is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals. – Green Tea contributes to the color of our serum.
Great for sensitive skin
Many people are wary of using Vitamin C, especially if their skin is very sensitive. Since the ideal skin pH is about 5.5, acidic forms of Vitamin C can cause irritation.
One of our clients, who continues to use our Vitamin C Daytime Repair Serum, summed it all up quite nicely, Read the Review below:
“I have always wanted to try topical Vitamin C after reading up about it’s many benefits for skin, but have always been too scared thinking my sensitive skin would react poorly to it. I recently read an article by Vivian Bucay, MD about how tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate penetrates deeper (all the way to the dermis) and 3x deeper specifically than ascorbic acid, all while being stable and less reactive on sensitive skin. I began my search for a product with this ingredient and eventually came across Kate Ryan’s line. What made their Vitamin C product stand out was the fact that it contained 20% of the ingredient I wanted most, along with a plethora of other ingredients I was so excited to incorporate into my regimen that I had also read about before. Niacinamide, peptides, CoQ10, DMAE…(all anti-aging superstars), ferulic acid (which increases the effectiveness of a Vitamin C), several EXCELLENT antioxidants that are normally only found in $100+ creams (Resveratrol, EGCG from Green Tea, Lycopene from tomatoes, etc.), pomegranate juice which helps with dark spots, stuff for dark circles, and the one I’m really excited about…Tetrahydrocurcuminoids from turmeric which has been proven to be an anti-bacterial as effective as benzoyl peroxide against the acne causing bacteria (p. Acnes), and an excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Basically you never find skin care products that are so packed with good things for your skin and not full of fillers and fragrances. I was sold. They recommend using 3-4 drops but I tend to use 5-6 to cover my whole face with a thin layer. It absorbs almost instantly and leaves a nice matte finish. It’s only been a couple days and my skin is already glowing and looking much healthier. The price is VERY reasonable as you’ll see if you shop around for Vitamin C products. I hope they add the bigger bottle on amazon as well, simply for ease of ordering. I also hope they never discontinue this product or change the ingredients as I am a customer for life. I will update this review after having used it for 90 days.”
One last comment in regard to color. Some natural ingredients, like Green Tea, will darken with continued exposure to light and air. The color change does not indicate the product is going bad, and does not impact the performance or effectiveness. It is just a color change. We suggest that our products be used entirely within 6 months after opening. If you use the product consistently, as directed, it will be used in much less time than that. Our Vitamin C Serums are packaged in amber glass containers to minimize exposure to light. We formulate every one of our products in small batch quantities and ship directly to our customers – no long-term, large warehouse storage. We provide you with only the best at affordable prices; we believe every woman has the right to feel beautiful!
- Vitamin C provides multiple benefits for your skin.
- The body limits the amount of ingested Vitamin C that is available to the skin, making topical Vitamin C an excellent way to take advantage of the many benefits of this vitamin.
- Look for forms of Vitamin C that are stable, have the ability to penetrate the skin, and are non-irritating.
- No single ingredient provides all the nutrition your skin needs for optimum health.
- Vitamin C must be packaged properly to maintain ingredient integrity.