Skin Care and Treatments of Melbourne Dermatology - Ascorbic Acid

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Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic Acid

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Effects of Oxidized and Denatured Ascorbic Acid on Skin

Application of denatured, oxidized ascorbic acid serums appears to be a relatively and increasingly prevalent practice among individuals sourcing home-made, counterfeit and otherwise unprofessionally supplied or formulated skin care products.

Effects of Oxidized and Denatured Ascorbic Acid on Skin

In light of its characteristic instability, unprofessionally supplied ascorbic acid is any not in use within months of manufacture and not stored and distributed at low temperatures in the absence of light (refer Skinceuticals Antioxidant Storage Notes — Protective/Preservative Refrigeration).

Use of such serums, particularly in their more sensitive sample forms (refer Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Samples and the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Samples Discussion) would seem to be limited to:

  • individuals unable to afford initial or permanent use of fresh, topically effective ascorbic acid, yet still wishing to acquire it;
  • individuals uneducated or uninterested in ascorbic acid's sensitivity (its stability), yet still wishing to acquire it as a branded, packaged product removed and distinct from its actual, physical properties as an ingredient.

The bulk of skin care manufacturers are clearly well-attuned to satisfying the above scenarios:

Ideologically, therapeutically and dermatologically, the notion of skin care without actual care of the skin as an organ is corrupt because the process involved is one of largely and permanently converting the health of individuals' skins into financial profit for companies who tell their retailers and end-users they are doing exactly the opposite.

Going back some time, the situation surrounding cigarettes and smoking was fundamentally the same. Manufacturers gave the public the idea that mentholated cigarettes were therapeutic (as a periodic treatment for the harshness of "regular" cigarettes), and later that filtered and "light" cigarettes substantially reduced carcinogens without affecting the taste of smoke people had come to love (or more accurately, subconsciously associate with the addictive nicotine added to tobacco in order to make the scam pay).

Obviously, no widely available skin care represents anything approaching the insidious free radical cascade of deliberately sending burnt chemicals straight to the lungs.

Most skin care formulas are carefully tuned to ensure nothing physically measurable or permanent occurs to the skin. Ordinarily, an individual cannot seriously help or harm their skin with skin care products they find at the department store, beauty salon or spa.

Therein lies the problem of applying wishful thinking (beauty therapy, and variations on its themes) to topical ascorbic acid serums.

Oxidized and denatured ascorbic acid is not the anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, collagen-sparking primary antioxidant listed on the label — it's an extract of rotten oranges: a rancid mixture of breakdown products.

Oxidized Ascorbic Acid

Such ascorbic acid is not in a reduced state of potential — not simply less than it was at genesis — it is something more and different.

Cigarettes manufacturers list "tar" alone as an ingredient in their products, but governments often spell out the real-world truth of that tar for the smoker in an additional panel detailing the categories into which 1000s of bio-available chemicals emerge once that tar is oxidized (burnt by heat in the presence of air).

The skin has no choice but to convert oxidized ascorbic acid back into usable ascorbic acid, just as the lungs must somehow process any smoke forced into them.

Degraded topical ascorbic acid engages progressively exhausting glucose-powered metabolic processes within the skin which burn up alpha lipoic acid, glutathione (refer Glutathione: Anti-Aging and Anti-Glycation of Skin), proline and other elements of its synergistic antioxidant system.

Just a few days' obtuse ascorbic acid use is enough to secure permanent damage.

The more biologically viable the skin is to begin with the more reserves it has available to process poor materials and methods to delay readily visible changes.

Clinically, the foolhardy look of oxidized-C users' skins is easier to spot than smoker's skin.

The grey, stressed, retrained appearance is from the opposite pole of correctly employed fresh ascorbic acid, which produces incomparable photoluminescence.

Individuals who insist on using rancid C are not realistic cosmetic patients, they are users treating psychological needs distinct from those of their skin, just as 40% or more of smokers are mentally ill and use cigarettes to forestall feelings of unpleasantness.

I smoke and I'm fine, I like it and I never cough, I can always give up...

Like the idebenone of Priori and Prevage, the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

Oxidized ascorbic acid produces considerable harm from its first application when skin care users insist on forcing habitual and failed skin care theories and practices onto the ingredient.

Oxidized ascorbic acid accelerates skin aging by:

At large, the internet would seem to be a poor and harmful resource on the subject of topical ascorbic acid because it gives the impression that it is always beneficial.

Even when ascorbic acid hasn't oxidized, it may be entirely inappropriate, or less beneficial than other ingredients.

Ascorbic acid (fresh or oxidized) plainly highlights the essential qualities of skin care products and usage outside of dermatology:

  • largely useless;
  • generally neglectful;
  • harmful.

Effective topical antioxidants should not be used outside of medical consultation and direction.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

pH Neutral (7.07) Ascorbic Acid Alone/Primarily Fails Skin

pH Neutral (7.07) Ascorbic Acid Alone/Primarily Fails Skin

Neutral ascorbic acid keeps skin's gears out of drive.


Ascorbic acid formulations (see example serums) which are pH neutral are not firming or substantially antioxidant as far as their ascorbic acid content is concerned because pH-neutral ascorbic acid has no biological activity — it's stable, but it's also comatose.

pH refers to (hydrogen) potential.

Neutral means there is none — that neutral ascorbic acid wishes to do nothing.

Refer the Topical L-Ascorbic Acid: Percutaneous Absorption Studies (Dermatol Surg. 2001;27:137-142) for notes on optimal pH as well as concentration and usage characteristics.

pH-neutral ascorbic acid formulations are probably popular because they don't yield side effects and will not oxidize even if stored for years, however neutral ascorbic acid provides no therapeutic potential for skin either.

pH-neutral ascorbic acid formulations are common in the beauty therapy and department store setting for precisely this reason, namely that the presence and idea of beneficial ascorbic acid is held to be sufficient and desirable even if all real-world usefulness for skin is absent.

Benefits of pH-neutral ascorbic acid formulations are derived from other ingredients included alongside Vitamin C, and typically only pertain to basic moisturization and false ideas about what is happening when they're used.

Ultimately, there is no substantial difference to skin whether you use ph-neutral ascorbic acid or Strivectin — any benefit is fleeting, superficial and psychologically purported.

Putting into personal practice beauty therapy and the deparment store's mandate of providing only notional care, individuals have attempted to make their own skin care products containing ascorbic acid.

Unsurprisingly they arrive at batches which are useless (neutral, alkaline or excessively adulterated) or harmful (too acidic) for skin.

You cannot reproduce therapeutically valid formulas in your kitchen, even with pH test strips as a tool — keep these for the swimming pool, its properties need not be so absolute for success.

If you must (by personal choice or technical requirement) use pH-neutral Vitamin C, use ascorbyl palmitate (as found in Jan Marini C-ESTA) or another engineered Vitamin C derivative.

These do not contain true, naturally-occurring Vitamin C so do not provide benefits for skin associated with ascorbic acid, however can be beneficial or more appropriate for other reasons.

For most individuals the benefits of topical ascorbic acid are a moot point anyway:

Refer mature skin analysis , Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Samples [Discussion] and skin care failure in general.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Ascorbic Acid vs. Ascorbyl Palmitate (2008)

Although both antioxidants are marketed as firming Vitamin C for skin, ascorbic acid and ascorbyl palmitate should not be considered immediately interchangeable or equivalent.

Ascorbyl palmitate produces different short and long-term effects when compared with ascorbic acid.

Jan Marini C-ESTA contains ascorbyl palmitate in a range of relatively large percentages.

Lesser percentages of ascorbyl palmitate are available in La Prairie C Energy Cellular Serum and other skin care products.

Despite being non-endogenous, clinically the varying percentages of ascorbyl palmitate formulas available rarely provoke irritation.

Some concerns exist regarding the use of ascorbyl palmitate without adequate sun protection.

These concerns are generally absent with ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C as ascorbic acid is available in a large range of products including Skinceuticals Vitamin C Serums, Cellex-C Vitamin C Serums and various other formulas in percentages ranging from approximately 5% to 25%.

Within ideally-formulated serums, percentages of ascorbic acid over approximately 18% are not thought to be optimally absorbed.

Due to the highly reactive nature of the molecule, it is unclear what percentage of Vitamin C remains available to skin in ascorbic acid products in the period post-production and pre-use.

Ascorbic acid skin care product manufacturers may formulate excess concentrations which reduce to more beneficial levels post-production but decline considerably to poor levels on product opening.

While pH neutral ascorbyl palmitate remains stable and functional, only especially acidic ascorbic acid serums remain both useful and reasonably stable.

Oxidized ascorbic acid is often claimed to remain effective, however is deleterious to a greater or lesser extent.

Ascorbic acid serums should be used as soon after production as possible, and certainly before 4 months.

Despite the "cosmeceutical" designation associated with Vitamin C Serums, manufacturers are not bound to provide uniformity across batches.

Refer Skinceuticals Antioxidant Storage Notes — Protective/Preservative Refrigeration and Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Supply & Storage Notes.

Like chirality, concerns regarding stability/effectiveness of both ascorbic acid and ascorbyl palmitate are popularly and ironically misunderstood to the benefit of manufacturers.

In many instances, the benefit is deliberately construed.

Effective ascorbyl palmitate is inherently stable for long periods while no effective ascorbic acid is likely to be inherently and durably stable.

Clinically, low percentages of ascorbic acid can produce disappointing results, however higher and better-performing percentages can be considerably irritating, particularly for men, smokers, individuals with sensitive skin, rosacea or poor general health.

Ascorbic acid can also stimulate acne, although it appears less inclined to do this if combined with ferulic acid.

Neutral ascorbic acid is not an active ingredient.

Combining use of ascorbic acid with especially mineral-rich skin care (for example Phytomer or Gernetic GER-Lift) appears to be pro-oxidant, producing noticeable "greying" of the skin, although not erythema.

Skin care products containing small amounts of minerals may also therefore be contraindicated when used simultaneously with viable ascorbic acid.

Some topical Vitamin C users have attempted to make their own ascorbic acid serums by dissolving ascorbate in destabilizing water and/or glycerin.

Resultant extremely low pH and high concentration have produced permanent and deep skin texture irregularities combined with abnormal exfoliation taking several weeks to resolve.

In a related skin care failure, apparently gentler home-made recipes are safe but like many purported (beauty) therapies are entirely or largely useless for skin.

Additional Reference: Ascorbic Acid vs. Ascorbyl Palmitate — The Primary Antioxidant/Firming Quandry (2007).

Formulas containing ascorbyl palmitate and/or ascorbic acid include:

La Prairie C Energy Cellular Serum with Ascorbic Acid and Ascorbyl Palmitate.

La Prairie C Energy Cellular Serum (discontinued) with Ascorbic Acid and Ascorbyl Palmitate.

Cellex-C High Potency Serum with Ascorbic Acid.

Cellex-C High Potency (17.5%) Ascorbic Acid Serum.

Skinceuticals Serum 20 without Ferulic Acid.

Skinceuticals Serum 20 (20%) Ascorbic Acid Serum available with and without Ferulic Acid (without ferulic acid remains available as 15 mL).

Danné Montague-King Direct Delivery Vitamin C Serum.

Danné Montague-King Direct Delivery Vitamin C Serum with Ascorbic Acid and either Ascorbyl Palmitate or Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Ascorbic Acid vs. Ascorbyl Palmitate — The Primary Antioxidant/Firming Quandry (2007)

Ascorbic Acid vs. Ascorbyl Palmitate — The Primary Antioxidant/Firming Quandry (2007)

Few anti-aging skin care options create as much angst and long-term trepidation as the choice between ascorbic acid and ascorbyl palmitate.

The two prevailing forms of Vitamin C are neither technically nor cosmetically equivalent.

Their suitability and effectiveness for individuals wishing to limit unnecessary permanent damage and increase/restore lift and firmness, both in the long and short term, varies considerably from person to person.

Melbourne Dermatology has compiled extensive data from Visia Medical Complexion Analysis and patient feedback in a new monograph discussing current science and cosmetic dermatological practice.

Patient Spectrum, Patient Benefits: Ascorbic Acid vs Ascorbyl Palmitate — Truth and Utility of Dermatological Vitamin Cs is an authoritative and definitive survey and analysis of current topical Vitamin C theory and practice.

The condensed version serves to arbitrate among various skin conditions, types and cosmetic desires, guiding users quickly to the best possible protocol of use and therefore the most beneficial, satisfying and durable result.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Combining Use of Ascorbic Acid with Mineral-Rich Skin Care

Combining use of ascorbic acid with especially mineral-rich skin care (for example Phytomer or Gernetic GER-Lift) often appears to be pro-oxidant, producing noticeable "greying" of the skin, although not erythema.

Skin care products containing small amounts of minerals may also therefore be contraindicated when used simultaneously with viable ascorbic acid.

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