Skincare trends come and go, but vitamin C is here to stay—as it’s been shown time and again to be effective. (Not to mention it’s one of the most researched skincare ingredients, period.) When in doubt, definitely check the ingredients list for this potent molecule!
Vitamin C possesses quite a variety of benefits, from evening out the appearance of overall skin tone to rejuvenating the look of collagen-depleted skin. Here’s your ultimate primer on this extraordinary skin-loving vitamin.
Vitamin C and Its Many Functions and Benefits for Skin
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a molecule that has been shown to keep your skin healthy and vibrant thanks to its antioxidant properties and role in stimulating collagen synthesis.
The nutrient is naturally found in the skin’s epidermis (uppermost) and dermis (middle) layers. As many other substances like collagen and hyaluronic acid, vitamin C declines with age. Its quantity can also be more quickly depleted by pollution, sun exposure and lifestyle habits like cigarette smoking.
Boasts Antioxidant Properties
Vitamin C is photoprotective, which means it helps reduce the signs of environmental damage. It works primarily through its potent antioxidant activity that neutralizes free radical damage. (In short, free radicals are unstable atoms that damage cells in the body and cause premature aging.)
Helps boost collagen
Vitamin C stabilizes collagen, which increases synthesis of the protein. This promotes more youthful skin, slowing down telltale signs of extrinsic aging like fine lines, sagging and deep wrinkles.
Vitamin C can even out and brighten the appearance of overall skin tone. It works by reducing melanin and melanin oxidation in the skin.
The Downsides of Topical Vitamin C
Due to the many benefits of vitamin C, it’s one of the most studied and widely used topical ingredients used in skin care. However, it’s also one of the most problematic.
Issues associated with vitamin C include instability, oxidation and irritation. The ascorbic acid form of vitamin C is the most unstable, which means that exposure to air and light can ultimately make it less effective. Oxidation is also a problem because it causes vitamin C to lose its potency. You can usually tell that it’s oxidized because it will turn brownish or yellow in color.
Finally, irritation from vitamin C use can occur for some individuals. It is usually manifested as redness and stinging when first applied onto the skin. In some cases it can be so irritating as to produce itchy bumps on the skin.
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: An Stable & Effective Form of Vitamin C
It’s a mouthful, but it’s also the absolute best type of vitamin C. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (TA) is stable and lipid-soluble.
TA is also less irritating than ascorbic acid, so it’s especially ideal for sensitive skin types. Because it’s lipid-soluble, TA works well with skin and is able to visibly brighten and reudce the visible signs of aging.
TA won’t degrade as quickly as other types of vitamin C. It can last up to 18 months in the bottle, in fact. This stability is crucial if you want to make sure your skin care product can really be effective in the long run.
Research has shown increased hydration, decreased photoaging and “statistically significant overall facial improvement” thanks to TA. One study utilized a new vitamin C complex consisting of 10% ascorbic acid and 7% TA, and found that collagen was increased after use and photodamage lessened.
Another study conducted on 60 healthy females found that vitamin C significantly improved collagen synthesis with epidermis thickness increasing in all individuals with very little side effects. Participants in this study also personally reported some benefits, including skin softening, wrinkle reduction and increased hydration.
Vitamin C in Image Skincare
At Image Skincare, we harness vitamin C to give you the look of vibrant, glowing and even toned skin possible.
Our VITAL C Hydrating Intense Moisturizer uses the power of TA to hydrate and soften while boosting your skin with a potent burst of antioxidants to help fight the effects of environmental damage.
The VITAL C Hydrating A C E Serum is another powerful product that will help even out skin tone by reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation while softening the look of fine lines and deep wrinkles and making skin feel firmer.
The VITAL C Hydrating Enzyme Masque is particularly excellent for those with sensitive skin, as it decreases the appearance of redness. It works by removing dead skin cells to allow the emergence of healthier ones and reduces dryness by increasing moisture.