The power of Vitamin C
Angela Hodgkiss – Angelique Day Spa and Skin Clinic
Vitamin C is one of the few ingredients that actually has the ability to create biological change in the cells. It is a potent skin antioxidant that protects and fights free radicals, will even skin tone and slow down melanin production, kick start the fibroblasts, stimulate DNA repair, repair barrier lipids minimising TEWL, reduce fine lines, scars and pigmentation and is anti inflammatory so great for acne. In the body it is required for tissue growth and repair, adrenal function and healthy bones, teeth and gums. Vitamin C can be found in our skin but our body steals it for other areas first. It is highest in the epidermal layer but ageing, sun exposure, UV lights, pollution and smoking all deplete supplies. Our body cannot produce its own Vitamin C so topical and oral intake is vital. Being water soluble our bodies loses much of its VIT C in our urine. Vitamin C is a great product to use in the morning because it is stimulating and drains toxins faster which why it’s often called King of the day.
it is absolutely essential for the formation of collagen so in my opinion, treatments such as CIT, HIFU or radio frequency are a waste of time if you are not feeding the new collagen the treatments are creating. Vitamin gives collagen the strength it needs.
Vitamin C is especially beneficially to sun damaged skin because it will increase depleted collagen supplies whilst concurrently decreasing and regulating elastin production . Elastin is over produced in photo damaged skin thus leading to ‘ropey’ looking skin. Vitamin C will limit damage caused by UV due to the antioxidant protection against free radicals. It cannot however absorb UV, so it not a sunscreen.
Optimum concentrations of Vitamin C is still a grey area. I recently read an article (APJ) that suggested levels higher than 20% appear to have a reverse affect and absorption becomes less. So more is not always better!! Studies have shown that ingesting oral Vitamin C supplements can effectively increase vitamin C storage in the skin. It has also been found that topical application of Vitamin C is 20 times more beneficial for the skin as it provides a more direct route. The stratum corneum however is a barrier so needling or rolling can help assist with deeper penetration.
Ascorbic preparations with a PH below 4 aids in transport of Vitamin C because it alters the skin natural Ph of 5.6 and creates pathways for absorption. Studies show Vitamin C when taken with Vitamin E has a greater effect than just C on its own.
There are a number of different types of vitamin C formulas and many more opinions on which one is best. Which one you choose is up to you and how your skin responds to them but here’s a summary of a few of them:
L-ascorbic acid is Vitamin C in its purest form and is generally considered by most as the champion of the Vitamin C formulas but there are challenges. It degenerates quickly with air, heat, light and sun exposure and has a lower PH so is more irritating. If you can find a solution that does not contain water it is less irritating because most of the inflammation caused is due to hydrogen ions generated by acid dissolving in water. The lower the PH the more effective and stable it also is. It is also water soluble.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Palmative – Magnesium Ascorbyl phosphate (map) is water soluble however it is also harsh on skin, not efficient in lower concentrations and unstable. It has been found to penetrate further into deeper layers.
Ascorbic Palmitate (ap) is a Vitamin C ester and is lipid soluble as opposed to water soluble so it can penetrate the skin more easily. It is much less irritating due to it being encapsulated in oil as a powder and activated by a serum. It acts as an anti inflammatory so good after peels and on sunburn and psoriasis.
Ascorbyl tetra-isopalmitoyl (atip) is fat soluble so less irritating and also more stable. Seems to be more effective than others at suppressing uv pigmentation at lower levels (as low as 3 percent). However it is a poor performer at penetrating skin.
Sodium Ascorbyl phosphate (sap) promotes collagen formation and is highly stable. Fights acne bacteria. However it’s newest of the ingredients so not alot is known yet.
If you want to try Vitamin C then here’s a selection of products Angelique Day Spa offers:
• Glymed Vitamin C cream – containing magnesium ascorbyl phosphate this cream will nourish, sooth, energise cell renewal, relieve redness and irritation. RRP $135
• DMK- Vitamin C Serum-containing 5% L- ascorbic Acid the strongest of all the vitamin Cs it will support the amino acids to produce collagen. RRP $159
• Sothys Cosmeceutique RX – Ultra-C Dermobooster –reduce signs of ageing, lighten hyperpigmentation, protect from environmental factors and smooth fine lines. Lactic acid and hyaluronic acid boosts the brightening and hydrating power of this serum.. Also may be beneficial for skins with fragile capillaries or rosacea. To use under moisturiser. RRP $95
• Intraceuticals Vitamin C booster – Especially for skin with signs of premature ageing, irregular tone and sun damage. Helps smooth, strengthen, and protect healthy skin with 3 synergistic forms of Vitamin C to benefit all skin types. Use under moisturiser. RRP $49.50
NOTE: IT SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR3 DAYS AFTER FILLERS AS IT BREAKS THE FILLER DOWN.