The ABCs of Vitamin C
Every beauty influencer worth their ‘likes’ has an opinion about Vitamin C. Daniel Isaacs, Director of Research at Medik8, gives us the real rundown on the powerful ingredient.
Vitamin C should be a core ingredient in anyone’s morning skincare routine; it has a multitude of benefits. First and foremost, it is a powerful antioxidant, one of the very best in skincare. It is able to help neutralise damaging free radicals derived from the sun and from the environment, stopping them from attacking skin cells and causing premature ageing. Vitamin C is also able to help control the pathway to forming melanin pigments in the skin. This means it is ideal for those worried about patches of hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C is able to brighten, luminise and promote an even complexion. Finally, vitamin C can actually promote a plumping effect, helping to fill out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a smoother, more youthful-looking complexion.
When used in the day, vitamin C helps to shield the skin from free radical damage caused by pollution and sun exposure to prevent photoageing, fine lines and pigmentation. At the same time, it improves skin texture while plumping and brightening the complexion.
Medik8 boasts a variety of vitamin C. Customers can choose whether they want pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which is super powerful but needs a slightly shorter usage period due to ascorbic acid being a sensitive molecule. Or they can choose a vitamin C derivative; tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate which is a stabilised and super gentle form of vitamin C, or ethylated ascorbic acid which is stabilised vitamin C but with the power of pure ascorbic acid.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Antioxidant power
Our body naturally has a supply of antioxidants, which donate one of their own electrons to free radicals derived from UV rays and the environment which can cause skin cell damage. Ascorbic acid acts as a free radical scavenger, helping protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals. Ascorbic acid can donate an electron to unstable free radicals, and stabilise its own unpaired electron by delocalisation around its own conjugated carbon bonds. This forms a weak radical itself, which can be recycled by glutathione.
- Reduction in hyperpigmentation (melanin production)
Melanin is a natural pigment that determines the overall pigmentation of skin. Uneven skin tone is usually a product of overactive melanin production, or the skin not distributing the pigment evenly throughout skin cells. Melanin synthesis is triggered by UV rays, thus older skin types often have a more mottled, uneven appearance than young skin.
Ascorbic acid is able to inhibit the action of the enzyme tyrosinase, which is key in the production of melanin. This helps to stop the formation of melanin and help to smooth over an uneven skin tone.
Does it matter how much you spend on vitamin C?
It doesn’t necessarily matter how much you spend, but it does matter than you buy them from a brand you trust. Some antioxidants in skincare are notoriously difficult to work with due to stability issues. Vitamin C can be a pesky molecule which loses its power when exposed to light and air for too long. Using unstable actives on the skin can cause irritation, or even skin damage over time.
This means that formulations containing it must take extra steps to keep them stable over the period you are using them.
At Medik8, we take meticulous measures to ensure the stabilisation of our vitamin C products, including using oxygen-free chambers in production, using water-free bases in our formulas as water can often destabilise the molecules, and using amber glass bottles to keep out pesky UV rays.
An example being ascorbic acid, the purest form of vitamin C which remains the most difficult to stabilise. We have gone to exceptional measures to stabilise Pure C15™, from producing the formula in a nitrogen chamber to help prevent the fragile molecule from coming into contact with air, to teaming the ascorbic acid up with a rechargeable antioxidant network within the formulation. Innovative stabilisation techniques are the key to making the most out of our active ingredients.
Using stabilised vitamin C each morning provides essential antioxidant protection whilst helping to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time.
What are the beneficial forms of antioxidants for skin, and which types are best for what?
Using a vitamin C everyday is the key to a brighter, smoother complexion – that is why it is a key part of the Medik8 CSA philosophy. There are many different forms of vitamin C. However, they all work toward the same end goal – luminous, youthful-looking and protected skin. Vitamin C works with your skin to help plump the complexion while also helping to inhibit the enzyme that causes hyperpigmentation. Considered one of the best antioxidants in skincare, vitamin C is able to help fight off free radicals which can cause premature ageing. We recommend our C-Tetra® Luxe serum for all-round antioxidant protection, nourishment, and visible brightening results. Containing tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, a stabilised, gentle yet effective form of vitamin C, vitamin E and maracuja oil, the velvety serum works to slip effortlessly into the natural skin barrier to deliver all of the potent benefits we know and love with vitamin C.
Medik8’s Daily Radiance Vitamin C™ is an all-in-one moisturiser and sun protection that serves as the perfect introduction to vitamin C and Medik8’s anti-ageing strategy. It combines powerful antioxidant protection with sun protection. The multifunctioning vitamin C cream helps restore radiance and deeply hydrates skin, leaving a brighter, smoother, more youthful-looking appearance. The secret to more youthful, healthy-looking skin couldn’t be any easier.