Vitamin C

An Amazing Vitamin BUT Are There Any Topical Benefits?

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that has incredible properties including being an antioxidant. Antioxidants combat and neutralize free radicals which can do a lot of harm to our bodies' cells, immune system, and organ systems (skin is the largest organ in our body ) to name a few. Factors that effect the number of Free radicals in our systems include sunlight, stress and pollution.

Oral Vitamin C

Dietary Vitamin C plays an important role in joint and bone health, vision health and more recently shown in studies, linked to cardiovascular health. These are critical physiological benefits from vitamin C through diet and supplementation.

Since Vit. C is water soluble, it won't accumulate in your system like fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K will. Taking Vitamin C supplements in addition to dietary intake, will not put you at risk of vitamin toxicity, since excess is excreted out of your system.

It is suggested by The Food and Nutrition Information Center that you do not exceed 500 mg a day. A recommended daily intake for adults is about 60 mg.

apple tip graphicIf you don't already, consider taking a Vitamin C supplement in addition to proper dietary intake of  C vitamin rich foods like oranges and tomatoes.

Now, What About Topical Vitamin C Benefits?

The topical benefits of  this vitamin are a little more difficult to determine and definitely in question.  When used topically, vit. C must be in the form of L-ascorbic acid to be of any benefit. Furthermore, L-ascorbic acid is very unstable and difficult to utilize in cosmetic formulations.

According to the conclusion of a Duke University Department of Medicine's study,

"Delivery of topical L-ascorbic acid into the skin is critically dependent on formulation characteristics."
The results of their study showed L-ascorbic acid must be formulated at pH levels less than 3.5 to enter the skin and at a concentration level of no more than 20%.

When effectively utilized, studies have shown L-ascorbic acid to produce collagen synthesis, display some skin lightening properties and provide protection from ultraviolet rays (not to be used in place of sunscreen though).

In other words, yes, in a proper formulation, topical vitamin C has been shown to restore skin and diminish signs of sun damage.

apple tip graphicBeware of Vitamin C claims in cosmetics... As mentioned in the above Duke study, and other supported by other research, C  vitamin must be in the form of L-ascorbic acid and have a very specific formulation, with low pH and good concentration, to even enter into the skin topically.

The cosmetic industry has toted the general benefits of Vitamin C, and its antioxidant, free radical fighting, prowess and we, as consumers, have made that next leap the cosmetic marketing gurus hoped we would. And that is, the presence  of C in a topical cream will generate all the known amazing benefits of Vitamin C.  According to research, even if an affective stable formulation of this vitamin has been generated, the next hurdle is actual penetration into the skin, and then observation of hard to measure, theoretical benefits that take place over a long time frame.

The topical benefits of Vitamin C remain primarily theoretical with the exception of a few, including this formulation first generated by a University of Wisconsin cell biologist. This patented formulation was brought to the market place by a company called Cellex-C.

Their first product, Cellex-C High Potency Serum, is pricey but I have seen some astounding before and after photographs of "half face" studies done by Cellex-C . At three months of using the corrective measure, Cellex-C High Potency Serum, you could definitely see change in the skins' texture, tone and firmness. At eight months, the improvement was dramatic.

Normal to Oily Skin

-Cellex C High Potency Serum

*Note the formulation concentration is 10% pure L-ascorbic acid and the pH is 2.0 - 2.5. This formulation is oil-free containing the Patented Cellex-C Complex - 10% pure L-ascorbic acid, L-tyrosine and zinc sulphate. It claims: Within 8 to 12 weeks of daily use, skin will appear firmer and smoother with visibly improved color and texture.

-Cellex C Advanced-C Serum

*Note the formulation concentration is 17.5% pure L-ascorbic acid and the pH is 3.7-3.9.

Dry, Mature, and Sensitive Skin

-*Cellex C Skin Firming Cream (Try as an alternative to the serum) -Cellex C *Advanced-C Skin Tightening Cream (Try as an alternative to the serum)

*Note the formulation concentration is 17.5% pure L-ascorbic acid and the pH is 3.7-3.9.

-Cellex C Serum for Sensitive Skin

There are a number of companies at present time producing good L-ascorbic acid formulations and getting good customer feedback.

  • SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
  • Skinceuticals Topical Vitamin C Serum 10
  • Skinceuticals Topical Vitamin C Serum 15

apple tip graphicThis type of product has a short shelf life. It is suggested that you make note of individual product details upon purchase (now required to be dated with recommended shelf life).

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Spring 2018

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