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The power of Vitamin C    

 There is arguable not a Vitamin that is more researched than Vitamin C for both internal and external benefits. Vitamin C as a topical ingredient is a cosmeceutical which means it has the ability to create biological change in the cells.

Benefits include:

  • It is a potent skin antioxidant that protects and fights free radicals
  • Promotes faster wound healing and DNA repair
  • Increases barrier lipids therefore reducing Transepidermal water loss, dry and rough skin
  • Even skin tone, brighten skin and inhibit melanin production therefore recommended for age spots and melasma
  • It is an anti inflammatory so great for acne.
  • It promotes lymphocyte proliferation which are the white blood cells designed to fight off infection and disease
  • Growth and repair of tissues and formation of blood vessels.
  • Acknowledged as an essential ingredient in the formation of collagen production
  • It is especially beneficially to sun damaged skin because it will increase depleted collagen supplies whilst concurrently decreasing and regulating elastin production.  Elastin is over produced in photo damaged skin thus leading to ‘ropey’ looking skin.
  • Assists in healing but is depleted in smokers
  • Limits damage caused by UV. It cannot however absorb UV, so it not a sunscreen.
  • Use in morning as it is stimulating and drains toxins faster
  • Studies have found that topical application is 20 times more beneficial for the skin as it provides a more direct route. The stratum corneum however is a barrier so exfoliating, needling and peels can assist with deeper penetration.
  • Keeps bones and teeth healthy


Vitamin C for skin is best used in a topical formulation but internal supplementation is shown to further increase skin Vitamin C content.  As our skin is our least important organ, internal Vitamin C will often be directed to other organs first, whereas topical will reach the source directly. It cannot be stored or made by the body and being water soluble, any excess will be excreted, so daily use is essential.  It is found in skin and highest in the epidermal layer, but ageing, sun exposure, UV lights, pollution and smoking all deplete supplies.  Optimum concentrations of Vitamin C are still unknown but is appears that levels higher than 20% have a reverse affect and absorption becomes less.  10-20% appears to be optimal concentration.

Vit E supports and energises C so they have a greater effect when combined. Vit E scavengers for free radicals in cell membranes, whilst Vit C breaks the radical chain in the biological fluids.


There are so many types of vitamin C formulas and just as many opinions on which one is best.  This is mostly due to the fact the lower the PH the more irritating it is on the skin – however it also works best at a lower level.  It is also more stable at a lower PH but if it causes irritation then of course it is not having a desirable effect. Ascorbic preparations with a PH below 4 aids in transport of Vitamin C because it alters the skin natural Ph of 5.6 and creates pathways for absorption.   So, which one will really come down to your own skins sensitivity and what it needs.  We have some lovely lipid based formulas which are nourishing and feel amazing on the skin and also stronger powder concentrations that are great for acne.  And everything in between.  We have at least 15 types so definitely one for you!


  • L-ascorbic acid (AA) is a water soluble Vitamin C in its purest form and is generally considered by most as the champion of the Vitamin C formulas but there are challenges. It has a lower PH so is more irritating.  The low PH is essential to avoid degradation to air and UV.   It discolours when broken down which is why some brands colour it to hide the fact it is unstable.
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phospahte- (MAP) is also water soluble however it is more gentle on skin, and works well at lower concentration levels and stays stable at higher PH.  It has been found to penetrate further into deeper layers. It has higher antioxidant effects that ATIP but less than AA.
  • Ascorbyl Palmitate (AP) is a Vitamin C ester and is lipid soluble so it better able to penetrate skin barrier. It is much less irritating due to it being encapsulated in oil as a powder and activated by a serum.  It acts as an anti inflammatory so good after peels and on sunburn and psoriasis. Will reduce sunburn effects dramatically.
  • Calcium Ascorbate – stable but less effective Vitamin C
  • Ascorbyl tetra-isopalmitoyl (ATIP) is lipid soluble so less irritating and also more stable. Seems to be more effective than others at suppressing UV pigmentation at lower levels (as low as 3 percent).  However, it is a poor performer at penetrating skin. Great in VIT A, E and UV filter formulations.
  • Sodium Ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) promotes collagen formation and is highly stable.  Fights acne bacteria. However it’s newest of the ingredients so not a lot is known yet.

Having said all this the ingredient used can differ with the skills of the formulator and the quality of ingredient used.

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