Skin Care and Treatments of Melbourne Dermatology - Ineffective (and Irritating) Topical Vitamin C

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Ineffective (and Irritating) Topical Vitamin C

Ineffective (and Irritating) Topical Vitamin C

Incorporating Vitamin C in a skin care product (as ascorbic acid) and maintaining its therapeutic potential is extremely difficult. Only a few patented methods exists and they are licensed to a severely limited number of companies.

Yet Vitamin C is one of the skin's most important nutrients — you cannot hope to even begin to permanently effect firmness without its use.

So how have many cosmetic companies managed the conundrum?

  • They've simply ignored the importance of Vitamin C for more than 50 years because its "too hard" — their users have purchased their "anti-aging" products in vain, their skin's left to become as lax as if they'd not used their products;

  • As Vitamin C has come into the mass market's view they've included tiny, utterly inconsequential amounts of Vitamin C in their products so they can at least list it on their labels, in a bid to cash in on the Vitamin C craze. Thinking any amount and formula of Vitamin C is equal, the users of these maker's "anti-aging" products have skin as fundamentally saggy as those who didn't use them (for this reason we list antioxidant and primary antioxidant products separately);

  • Because a little is good, more must be better — thus Vitamin C products containing ascorbic acid in excess of 20%. These are irritating, often unpleasant to use, and largely rejected by the skin. Lower percentages actually deliver more Vitamin C than very high amounts.;

    Ultraceuticals Excess

    "5 times more Vitamin C than other brands." Source: Ultraceuticals.

    Differences in the Absorption of Varying Concentrations of Vitamin C as Ascorbic Acid

  • Because Vitamin C is a primary antioxidant it is inherently unstable and prone to rapid and visible oxidization — manufacturers not in possession of the necessary technologies add orange/yellow/brown colouring and fragrances to mask the fact that their serum product's Vitamin C "dies" and becomes useless within just a few days of opening.

    Alternatively they put the ascorbic acid into a cream base, where emollients and other ingredients can buffer it from the environment. But ascorbic acid doesn't absorb properly in a cream. Try dissolving some powdered Vitamin C in a base of inert Cetaphil Moisturizer for hypersensitive skin to make your own Stinging Lightly Exfoliating Emulsion.

    Users of Vitamin C creams are often given a variant of the "no pain no gain" excuse — which would be ok, except the stinging is more than passing, and there aren't any gains;

  • "Natural" skincare manufacturers feel pure Vitamin C just isn't natural enough because it doesn't smell like a flower or plant, and therefore incongruous with their brand. They take something botanical, like a grapefruit, seaweed or pumpkin, and claim because these things contain Vitamin C they are "a source of firmness" or "a potent antioxidant."

    All manner of organic material contains Vitamin C, and your body can make use of it... if its first processed by your digestive system.

    Ultraceuticals Oranges

    Whole oranges fly through the skin. Source: Ultraceuticals.

    You can't get Vitamin C into your skin by pushing your face into an orange, let alone through a smear of cream containing 0.02% orange "extract."

You need the pure vitamin C molecule, delivered at the right concentration, held stable up until the moment of application, at the right pH, unadulterated by ingredients which exist only to take up space within a container, mask deterioration or ineffectiveness.

  • From the 100s if not 1000s of Vitamin C products, there is a serious choice of less than 20, and that's before taking into account skin type and condition.
  • Keeping everything in focus, and with a view for effectiveness rather than purely cosmetic/"lifestyle" use, this area of skin treatment is far from being the minefield its so often claimed to be.

Its well worth your time and patience to get this right, because topical Vitamin C represents somewhere between 1/3rd to 1/6th of the equation needed to realise the best skin possible.

Alternatively, just avoid inferior sources of skincare and treatment.

Related Skin Care Nodes:

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Related Skin Care Information, Products and Expert Discussions

Jan Marini C-ESTA Serum vs. Skinceuticals C E Ferulic

Enhancing Absorption and Penetration of Topical Vitamin C

Ascorbic Acid vs. Ascorbyl Palmitate (2008)

Idebenone — Prevage and Priori vs Skinceuticals C E Ferulic

Waiting Between Layers — A Path to Better Results


Skin Care: January 2007 :

Botanical Antioxidants in Dermatology: Ferulic Acid : How Does Daylight Permanently Damage Skin? : Treatment of Nicholas Perricone Nausea: Salmon with a Milder Taste : Ineffective (and Irritating) Topical Vitamin C : Body Sunscreen — UVA Blocking for Superior Anti-Cancer/Anti-Aging Protection : Jan Marini Age Intervention Eyelash/Darphin Nuances d'Aromes Special — January 2007 : Eye Contour Skincare Suitable for Eyelids : The Strivectin User Irony :


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