L-Ascorbic Acid a.k.a Vitamin C
A lot of us have heard of this powerful antioxidant, L-Ascorbic acid aka Vitamin C but many of us may not fully comprehend the impact it can have on our skin.
It plays a big role in reversing skin damage to over exposure from our harsh Australian sun even boosting our collagen and elastin fibers to making our skin firmer and less saggy as we age. With its many skin health benefits it has become a favourite ingredient in the fight against ageing and pigmentation for it's brightening properties. Vitamin C can aid skin with dilated capillaries as it helps to strengthen the capillary walls and stops the skin from looking as flushed giving the skin a much more even complexion.
We have all heard that it can protect us from free radicals, but what does this mean? Free radicals are organic molecules we come in contact with on a daily basis that are responsible for premature aging, tissue damage, and possibly some diseases. These molecules are very unstable; therefore, they look to bond with other molecules, destroying their health and further continuing the damaging process. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent free radicals from harming healthy tissue.
Our bodies generate internal sources of free radicals through some of it's natural processes everyday but it is most often the external sources that add unnecessary damage. Some externally generated sources of free radicals are:
- Cigarette smoke
- Environmental pollutants
- Certain drugs, pesticides
- Industrial solvents
Using a high quality ingredient such as Vitamin C can make a big difference on how good our visible results are.
Vitamin C should be used in the mornings as they can increase your SPF protection. It usually can come in a form of a serum which is a concentrated form that we use to see benefits sooner as the molecules will be a lot smaller so that the ingredients can penetrate deep into the cells. You may see many different percentages of Vitamin C on the market but research does show that the higher concentrations do not necessarily give any better results, in fact in some cases the brands with less Vitamin C but better penetration into the skin have much greater efficacy, like The new Biolumin-C Serum by Dermalogica.
Using a cosmeceutical Vitamin C will again differ your results to a cosmetic in that the ingredients are far more superior where you will see a result based on its formula. In some cosmeceuticals like Aspect, they really focus on making sure they are using ingredients that are chirally correct, meaning that they are using the correct side of the molecule that is stabilised. This can make a huge difference in whether the ingredient will agree with your skin, with L-Ascorbic acid they harness the left side of the molecule which makes a massive difference to how the skin absorbs the ingredient along with all it's benefits.
Last but not least when shopping for a Vitamin C serum it is important to find one with stable forms of Vitamin C which can be an unstable ingredient. It doesn't last well when exposed to too much air which can diminish it's potency thus it's efficacy over time. Try and shop for a serum that contains stable forms of vitamin c and packaging that minimizes the products exposure like this one by Societe and always check the packaging for an expiry date and don't use it beyond the manufacturers recomended time.