Ingredients in focus: Vitamin C


Vitamin C is a skincare ingredient that is capable of delivering range of benefits to the skin. It is a potent anti-oxidant, anti-aging, has UV protective functions, has antipigmentary effects and can stabilise other ingredients in skincare.

Free radicals are unstable molecules which can damage skin cells. Via several pathways, free radicals can lead to the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentary changes, uneven skin texture, telangiectasia and solar elasticity.

Free radical formation is triggered by UV/ sun exposure, smoking and pollution.

While sunscreen is able to prevent much UV induced free radical activity, vitamin C has been shown to increase photo protection of the skin when the two are used together.

It’s role in anti-aging can be attributed to its involvement in the formation and stabilisation of new collagen fibres, and in it’s ability decrease collagen degradation, thus keeping slowing down the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin C has also been shown to help improve hyper pigmentation by inhibiting the action of tyrosinase -an enzyme which is essential for the formation of melanin.

When is comes to the skin, the effect of vitamin C is best achieved via topical application of the ingredient. Dietary vitamin C is utilised by bodily systems and processes, but rarely becomes available and active within the skin.

Vitamin C is water soluble. On its own it is very prone to oxidation and subsequently has a short shelf life. It also doesn’t readily penetrate the skin, due to the lipids present in the upper layers of the epidermis -remember lipids and water do not like to mix or pass through each other.

Therefore, clever skincare formulations and techniques are required to help this vitamin absorb and remain viable.

One way to help Vitamin C absorb into the skin is lower the pH of the formulation it is in. The skin better absorbs Vitamin C at a pH of lower than 3.5, though low pH formulations can irritate those with sensitive skin.

Alternatively, Vitamin C can be adapted into lipophilic (oil soluble) variants which are stable in a neutral pH environment. These formulations tend to be less irritating.

Formulations containing 10-20% vitamin C are most effective.

So, how can you incorporate vitamin C into your skincare routine?

We recommend to apply your Vitamin C in the morning, given it’s anti-oxidant properties and stabilising qualities.

The Biopelle Tensage serum is a great brightening serum which is great for anyone with concerns of fine lines and hyper pigmentation.

If you prefer a moisturiser, try Dermaceutic’s C25 light weight cream.  It contains Vitamins A, B and E and is the perfect thing for brightening a dull complexion.

For something light weight, a few drops of Rational’s #2 The Serum is perfect for layering underneath moisturiser and sun protection. It will leave the skin feeling supple and radiant.

If you would like to learn more about what skincare ingredients are right for your skin, book in for a cosmetic consultation with one of our Dermal Clinicians 

Email to organise.

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