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Why Topical Vitamin C is Good for Most Skin

Posted February 23, 2008 under Topical Ingredients - No comments

Vitamin C is great for the skin, but there are problems with appling Vitamin C to the skin. The Vitamin C is water soluble so it won't penetrate the skin. Vitamin C is unstable in air and water so it goes bad shortly after the bottle is opened. By the time the product starts to change from white to brown it is already bad. Many Vitamin C products are tinted so you can't tell when they have gone bad! Howver, there is a solution!

Dr. Sinclair's Response

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that benefits the body in many ways. It is a potent antioxidant that helps prevent cancer. Vitamin C is necessary for the body to make and repair collagen. Hundreds of years ago, sailors developed scurvy on long trips because they did not have any Vitamin C on board their ships. Today, inadequate levels of Vitamin C make it harder for your body to prevent and repair wrinkles in your skin.

Taking Vitamin C by mouth is not enough to maximize the benefit of Vitamin C on your skin. No matter how much Vitamin C you take by mouth, your body will eliminate any extra through your kidneys.

There are 2 problems with applying Vitamin C directly to your skin--poor penetration and poor stability. Because Vitamin C is water soluble and your skin is fat soluble, the Vitamin C has very little ability to penetrate into your skin. Furthermore, pure Vitamin C is very unstable in air and water. When pure Vitamin C comes in contact with air or water the Vitamin C becomes oxidized. Oxidized Vitamin C will not help your skin at all and may even cause skin damage. As the Vitamin C becomes oxidized, it turns colors changing from white when it is fresh to tan, yellow, orange and then brown as it becomes oxidized. Most manufacturers will tint their Vitamin C products so that you can't tell when the color change has occurred. How rude!

At Epilution Med Spa, we have two solutions available to solve the problems of poor penetration and poor stability of Vitamin C. Our Step 3 Max which contains a 20% solution of Vitamin C solves the problem by mixing the Vitamin C with a small amount of acid. The acid causes the Vitamin C to become ionized and the ionized Vitamin C penetrates the skin quite well. Furthermore, this mild acid will protect the Vitamin C from becoming oxidized. (This is similar to putting lemon juice in a fruit salad to prevent the apples from turning brown!) The only downside of this solution is that the product may sting for a few minutes. This is not a problem for people with normal skin, but people with sensitive skin need another solution.

For people with sensitive skin, we have another Vitamin C product called Step 3 Ultra Sheer Gel. In this product, the Vitamin C is modified by adding 4 small molecules to the four corners of the Vitamin C molecule. The new molecule (called Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate) is fat soluble and very stable in air and water. This means that when you put Step 3 Ultra Sheer Gel on your skin it will absorbed very quickly without stinging. The product is so stable that it will remain fresh for 18 months after you start to use it. This product is especially useful on delicate skin such as the skin around the eyes. The only downside is that this product costs a little more per ounce than the Step 3 Max.

Many of our clients prefer to use both products. They will apply the Step 3 Ultra Sheer Gel to the sensitive skin on their face (such as the skin around the eyes) and then apply the Step 3 Max to the rest of their face. Both products can also be used on other areas such as the chest, décolleté and hands. By applying these sophisticated products to your skin, you will maximize the delivery of the Vitamin C to the areas where you need it the most.



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