It looks like more and more skincare products are including some form of Vitamin C in their formulations for obvious reasons of attracting customers who believe in their touted merits in skin rejuvenation and wrinkle reduction. However, which is the true Vitamin C, which are the derivatives and what type of vitamin C really works?
Here, I’ll take a look at the difference types of Vitamin C and find out how well they perform.
L-Ascorbic Acid is known to be the only natural form of Vitamin C in skin care products. It is a potent antioxidant proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, strengthens the capillaries and cell walls, as well as protect both beta-carotene and Vitamin E from oxidation. While it is easily absorbed by the skin and can stay for up to 72 hours, L-ascorbic acid can be irritating to those with sensitive skin. In addition, it is highly unstable and oxidize rapidly. Hence, it should be prepared and stored properly, otherwise Vitamin C in its oxidized form is of no benefit and actually promotes free radical formation causing damage to collagen and DNA. Skinceutical’s latest Phloretin CF and Cellex-C High Potency Serum are examples of products containing this ingredient.
Magnesuim Ascorbyl Phosphate
Magnesuim Ascorbyl Phosphate or MAP in short, is a water-soluble Vitamin C derivative that is said to have the same potential as Vitamin C to boost skin collagen synthesis but is effective in significantly lower concentrations. Because it is a water soluble Vitamin C derivative, which is stable in aqueous solution, and hence, can be easily formulated in skin care products. In addition, it is non-irritating and is thus, gentler for those with sensitive skin. However, products containing MAP should still be kept away from sunlight as the ingredient does degrade over time. The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost is an example of a product containing this ingredient which has received rave reviews.
Ascorbic Acid Polypeptides
Ascorbic Acid Polypeptide complex is a water stable, soluble form of Vitamin C, said to be able to penetrate the outer layers of the skin. From what I’ve gathered, it’s extremely stable and readily available to convert to Vitamin C when applied to the skin. The John Masters Organics Anti-Aging Face Serum I’m currently using contains this and I have to say it’s great for skin rejuvenation.
Ascorbyl Methyl Silanol
Ascorbyl Methyl Silanol is a Vitamin C derivative and is known to be more stable. However, reports have indicated that it cannot be absorbed by the skin nor will it convert into L-ascorbic acid by the skin. Despite so, I have actually seen visible improvement when I used TDF C Scape Serum which contains 10% of this ingredient.
Ascorbyl Palmitate is the most widely used fat-soluble derivative of Vitamin C in skin care. From what I’ve read, it is actually a Vitamin C ester (Vitamin C that has been esterified to a fatty acid but not Ester-C®) and supposedly non-irritating and slightly more stable. While it is said to be as effective as Vitamin E in protecting the skin from free radical damage in the skin, however, there is doubt as to whether the concentrations of Ascorbyl Palmitate achievable in skin care formulas are enough to support collagen synthesis as it takes much higher quantities to get the collagen-producing effects of L-Ascorbic Acid. In fact, this ingredient seems to be on the list of many natural or organic skin care products.
I’ve seen this around quite a bit in products like Jason Ester-C Skin Care Products. From what I’ve gathered, Ester-C is a trademarked name and in this formula, calcium ascorbate is added in order to reduce the acidic effects. Hence, Ester-C is the first non-acidic form of Vitamin C capable of penetrating the epidermis. Since it is non-acidic, I believe it should be less irritating. I’ve used Jason Ester-C Super-C Cleanser and while I did like it, but I didn’t really notice much of a difference in my skin condition since it was just a cleanser.
I think how well a skin care product containing the true or derivative Vitamin C performs really depends on the formulation too. In some cases, the concentration may not be significant enough to make a difference. In other instances, it may not be absorbed well in our skin. But having said that, I have to say that I’ve had fairly good experience with most products that indicates some form of Vitamin C as the key ingredient. I’ll also like to remind the ladies who are using products containing Vitamin C to use sunscreen in conjunction as such ingredients are mostly sun sensitive. Also note that topical Vitamin C especially Ascorbic Acid should not be used together with Copper Peptide because it tends to detach the copper from the latter ingredient.
Reference: www.smartskincare.com & www.dermadoctor.com