Vitamin C is a favourite of dermatologists and a wonder ingredient in skincare, but choosing the right product and form of vitamin C can leave you confused. While the anti-aging effects of vitamin C sound great, when you reach for a vitamin C product, you’ll find acronyms from AA to THD, all which say vitamin C. To fight the confusion, we’ve answered your common questions about Vitamin C below:
What are the skincare benefits of Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a powerhouse when it comes to anti-ageing skin results. Here are just a few of the incredible ways vitamin C leaves your skin looking fresh, rejuvenated and firm:
Vitamin C helps fade hyperpigmentation and age spots
When topically applied, vitamin C has been found to slow the production of melanin. Overproduction of melanin is responsible for creating age spots.
Vitamin C boosts collagen production
We know collagen production slows as we age, and vitamin C is proven to boost collagen synthesis, directly fighting the signs of ageing.
Vitamin C calms inflammation and redness
Calming irritated skin and evening out skin tone is another of Vitamin C’s superpowers.
Vitamin C protects against UV-induced damage and helps reduce ageing caused by the sun
Vitamin C has been proven to protect skin from the free radicals created by sun exposure. Careful though: This does not mean it acts as a barrier between your skin and the sun, you will still burn. Vitamin C is not a sunscreen.
Vitamin C helps your skin retain moisture
In a stable form (THD Ascorbate) vitamin C stimulates the productions of glycosaminoglycan. These are compounds which naturally occur in our skin and bind onto, and retain water. Glycosaminoglycan levels decline with age, which can lead to drawn, dehydrated skin, so boosting their production is an anti-ageing win.
I’ve heard Vitamin C is unstable, what does that mean?
This is where things get technical. Not all Vitamin C is the same and some forms can even cause nasty irritation. This can be due to the low pH required for the Vitamin C form used, as well as high concentrations to compensate for instability.
Pure vitamin C, in the form of L-ascorbic acid, is incredibly powerful but famously unstable. It’s water-soluble and piggybacks on water molecules to penetrate the superficial layers of the skin. In its purest form, vitamin C has potent anti-aging benefits and is a favourite ingredient in many dermatologically-prescribed skin agents.
Because it’s unstable though, it loses its effectiveness as soon as it’s exposed to light or air. If you’ve chosen a product containing L-Ascorbic acid, you’ll need to store it carefully so it stays potent:
How to choose pure vitamin C products:
- Look for products in dark, UV-safe containers so they won’t get damaged by UV light.
- Choose air-tight products with screw-lids or pump packs to prevent oxidation, and always close them tightly after use.
- Look for small quantities. Pure vitamin C products usually don’t last longer than 6 months.
- Avoid apply AHA ‘s or B3 with your pure vitamin C product.
If L-ascorbic acid sounds like too much hassle, choose a simpler, stable and deeply nourishing form of Vitamin C: THD Ascorbate.
How do I pick the right Vitamin C formula for my skin?
One of the most effective, easy-to-use forms of Vitamin C is THD Ascorbate (Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate) It’s everything you wished pure vitamin C was but isn’t: It’s stable, it works well with other ingredients and it penetrates more deeply into the skin.
THD Ascorbate is the holy grail of vitamin C in skincare
In other words, THD Ascorbate is a stable, safe and skin-loving form of Vitamin C. It’s oil-soluble, which means it needs to be in the form of a face oil to work effectively on your skin. Face oils containing vitamin C are powerful ways to unleash the benefits of Vitamin C on your skin as part of your daily skincare routine.
Why THD Ascorbate is the best form of Vitamin C:
- It penetrates deeper than any other form of vitamin C: Right down to the dermis, not just the epidermis.
- It’s 50% better than pure vitamin C at increasing collagen production. This leaves skin fuller, brighter and younger-looking.
- It’s delicately light oil-soluble and absorbs very quickly
- It is 10 x more potent than L-ascorbic acid
THD Ascorbate penetrates your skin 10x times better than pure vitamin C, allowing it to act on the deeper layers of your skin
THD Ascorbate is the best form of vitamin C, and the most gentle
Research shows THD Ascorbate converts to AA (Ascorbic Acid) in the skin. This way you get the potent benefits of AA, without the irritation. Perfect!
How do I choose the right Vitamin C product?
You know to look for THD Ascorbate, but the product options can still seem endless. Here’s what to look for:
- Genuine THD. Don't confuse it with Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate (vitamin C) which is derived from palm oil.
- Look at the price tag. THD is the most effective and safe form of Vitamin C, but it's also pricey. If the product is cheap, it doesn't contain genuine THD.
- Check out the instructions. Genuine THD products are easy to use as they're so stable. If a product requires emulsification or special storage, they're likely using a less potent form of vitamin C instead.
A key tip for getting the best results from your Vitamin C Product
So you’ve bought your THD Ascorbate vitamin C face oil, great job! You’re on your way to younger, more protected, brighter-looking skin. But to get the most out of it, try this tip. It will enhance the active ingredients, giving you more out of your new purchase.
Cleanse and tone first
Face oils penetrate the skin best on clean, clear skin. If your vitamin C face oil isn’t absorbing, try exfoliating first. These tips will help the oil penetrate your layers to hydrate, allowing vitamin C to work deep within your skin.
For more tips on enhancing face oil absorption, click here.
Vitamin C results and when to expect them
Diminished hyperpigmentation after 6 weeks
Reduction in fine lines after 12 weeks
Improved skin hydration for 6 weeks
Vitamin C is a powerhouse of anti-aging, protective and brightening goodness for your skin, but it pays to know what to look for when choosing a Vitamin C product. Look for the points above and you’ll be thrilled with how bright and fresh your skin looks with regular use.
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