Vitamin C: Just What the Doctor Ordered!

Too much sun this summer have you feeling regret? Or are you looking a bit sallow and needing a pick me up? Vitamin C is your answer! But, drinking some OJ and taking supplements is just not enough when talking about vitamins for the skin! 

Vitamin C is the most powerful antioxidant. We talk about antioxidants a lot, but do we really understand their importance? Let's dive in, shall we? They are the destroyers of FREE RADICALS (bad influences in our cells that eat up the good things, such as collagen and elastin; they also encourage the formation of bad pigment and negative functions). Every antioxidant has a good influence on the skin and targets healthy responses. However, Vitamin C changes the way our cells "think," helping to resolve all skin problems! 

How does Vitamin C change the way the cells think? This powerhouse is able to penetrate all the way to the cell's nucleus (it's brain). It then coaxes the cell into younger thought processes, which means a healthier, stronger cell, living a fuller life! (I'm picturing  my Mamaw Phyllis right now, btw! She is 73 and runs circles around me because she refuses to "think" like a stereotypical senior. For the record, she does not look as though she's over 70 either!)

Did you know that Vitamin C also increases the effectiveness of our SPF? Sunscreen starts breaking down the moment it's applied. In independent studies, Vitamin C applied before your SPF keeps it more stable until it is time to reapply in 2 hours. Did you also know that sun exposure alone can ramp up those pesky free radicals? Vitamin C sounds like a win win to me!

Like all ingredients, not all forms of Vitamin C are created equal. Considering that our skin is slightly acidic in nature, it makes sense that some of our best options would be acidic as well. But, that can bring with it another set of problems! Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of the most common forms of topical Vitamin C:

  • Ascorbic Acid: has been thoroughly studied and proven to be effective, especially for rejuvenation and pigmentation; while it can be highly acidic, researchers have found that using the "L" form (chirally correct) can be less irritating; its acidity also increases the likelihood of this ingredient oxidizing.
  • Ascorbyl Glucoside: composed of glucose (a specific sugar), it is still proven effective, but less irritating for sensitive clients. (still acidic, but not as intense)
  • Ascorbyl Palmitate: this is a non-acidic form because of its combination with a fatty acid; it is shown to be more stable during storage, but still degrades while on the shelf.
  • Ester-C: is comprised of mostly Calcium Ascorbate; while non-acidic, there are not many studies to prove its effectiveness.

While there are other ingredients available, remember they are more than likely to be a variation of the above list. And the most important factor when using Vitamin C, deals with its packaging and storage. The majority of antioxidants, including this liquid gold, will deteriorate quicker when exposed to light and air. For this reason, dark, airtight, pumps or dropper bottles are best suited to house this ingredient and keep its freshness until you have time to use it up! (Jars are not the best option!) Also, consider the delivery system of this ingredient. We'll cover this in a future blog, but be sure to get the skinny on this topic from whoever you are purchasing from! (Our fave Vitamin C products are from Osmosis, because of their liposome and exosome delivery system!) 

Just how a nutritionist tells us to "eat all of the colors of the rainbow" for a balanced, healthy diet, we should also consider giving our skin that same "nutrition" topically! Today's post has the orange covered with Vitamin C, and did you catch my last blog about Vitamin A? It's found in dark, leafy greens, by the way! Stay tuned for more skin nutrition tips! Questions or comments? Stop in and visit our amazing staff, or shoot me an email at tarrah[at]ameliagrayskincare[dot]com