Everything you need to know about The Antioxidant Superstar, Vitamin C.
We get it, at times skincare ingredients can be tough to wrap your head around but chances are you’ve probably seen vitamin C everywhere, right? From serums to oils, and masks to moisturizers, facial products often leverage it due to the multitude of benefits it provides to skin. Better yet, these benefits are not only quick to deliver results at the surface level (hello, glow) but provide long term benefits well below.
So what’s all the hype about? We’re going to give you (3) reasons why you need vitamin C in your skincare routine but let’s first start with a quick cheat-sheet highlighting some of the differences amongst the variations.
Am I using the right kind of vitamin C?
When it comes to this wonder vitamin, let’s discuss something known as solubility aka how it dissolves and absorbs into skin:
- Absorbs by water
- Expelled quicker from the body
- Has a harder time absorbing deep into skin’s layers
- Higher risk of oxidation and loss of efficacy in topical formulations
- Generally more irritating to sensitive skin
- Common forms: L-ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP)
- Absorbs via oil/fat
- More readily stored in the body for longer term benefits
- Easily penetrates into deeper layers of the skin
- Highly stable even when exposed to oxygen
- Gentler on skin and appropriate for all skin types
- Common forms: Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THDA) and Ascorbyl Palmitate
The most common form used in skincare products is L-ascorbic acid, but here at No, Thank You, we use the vitamin C derivative called Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THDA).
As mentioned above, the reason we use THDA is because it’s oil-soluble, so it can easily penetrate the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) and the dermis (inner layer of the skin) for increased absorption and benefit. It’s also waaaaaay more stable than L-ascorbic acid, so not only will it last and maintain its efficacy longer, you don’t have to worry about refrigerating it to preserve “freshness”! Let’s reserve the fridge for our favorite snacks, shall we?
Alright, now let’s dive into the REALLY good stuff – the benefits!
What can vitamin C do for me?
Benefit #1: Protection
It’s called an antioxidant for a reason and we really need to stress the “anti” here as it’s all about saying No, Thank You (get it? 😉 ) to oxidative stress. We all know spending too much time outdoors can be harmful to our complexion, but let’s explore some of the science behind why that is.
When your skin is exposed to UV rays emitting from the sun, free radicals (the enemy!) begin to attack your skin cells. Free radicals cause the signs of premature aging in skin which can result in visible fine lines/wrinkles (from collagen destruction), loss of elasticity and those dreaded sun spots. Our skin cells use vitamin C to help neutralize free radicals and prevent future damage.
Unfortunately, the sun’s rays aren’t the only culprit. Exposure to pollution in the air has been said to be on par with UV exposure when it comes to the prematuring aging effects it has on the skin. Antioxidants like vitamin C are an excellent way to ward off these annoying little particles even while indoors.
Benefit #2: Brightening
While hyperpigmentation is often viewed as a harmless condition, that doesn’t mean it’s any less stressful to deal with. It can appear in many shapes and forms (age spots, sun spots, post-breakout discolorations and melasma) in which patches of skin become darker in color than the surrounding skin. This occurs when there is an excess amount of melanin (the pigment responsible for our skin, eye and hair colors) deposits that collect in the skin.
Not only can vitamin C help disperse this buildup, it can also help prevent future discolorations. Vitamin C helps inhibit an enzyme called tyrosinase which plays a crucial role in melanin synthesis. By disrupting the process, vitamin C can help prevent the overproduction of melanin so your skin can look it’s best: bright and evenly toned.
Benefit #3: Rebuilding
Vitamin C is a key component in the production and preservation of collagen, which is the all-star protein responsible for keeping our skin bouncy, firm and taut. As we age, we naturally lose collagen causing our skin to wrinkle, sag and lose its overall “baby skin” appearance.
Furthermore, exposure to the aforementioned UV and pollution only expedites the process, so using products that promote and maintain collagen production will keep your skin looking younger, happier and healthier longer. No signs of aging yet? No problem! Get a head start earlier on by leveraging vitamin C as a preventative maintenance ingredient.
Fun fact: You’ve probably heard of another buzzy ingredient called peptides, right? Peptides are strands of amino acids (which are also proteins) that in turn, can group together to form collagen. Vitamin C protection = more peptides = more collagen = firmer skin! Need we say more?
Vitamin C is one of the most research-proven ingredients you can use on your skin to provide a laundry list of benefits regardless of whether you’re looking to prevent, maintain or refine common skin concerns – but it’s all about choosing the right kind, and we’re here to help with that decision!
Check out our nourishing “Oil for All Day” for more information on how vitamin C works alongside CBD to give your skin its healthiest glow yet. You can thank us later.