This year, it's all about kicking things way up and…
If you’re thinking about incorporating vitamin C into your skin care routine, it might be more of an incentive to think about what happens to the skin without it. Vitamin C deficiency or scurvy is a condition that, while mostly eradicated today, causes the skin to become rough, easily bruised and likely to bleed and heal poorly. Why? Because without vitamin C, the body can’t make collagen, and, without collagen, we lose the protein that keeps our skin from literally beginning to fall off our faces. Bottom line? Get some vitamin C in your skincare routine right now! But before you do, you should know what to look for. Here are some vitamin C derivatives you may want to know about.
This is the best form of vitamin C for production of collagen and UV protection, but it does have some disadvantages; formula instability, for one, and skin irritation for another. It’s also a water soluble antioxidant which means it can’t eliminate free radicals in the cell membrane and works best in water free formulas. As a result, scientists have synthesized the vitamin into different forms in an effort to eliminate or, at least lessen, the negative aspects. However, none have the ability of L-ascorbic acid when it comes to collagen synthesis, UV protection, and the ability to fight free radicals; plus they degrade over time. Still, they may be worth checking out. Read on to find out why.
Ascorbyl palmitate (AP) is one of the more common of the vitamin C derivatives; however, because it is fat soluble, it may not be able to penetrate skin as well as ascorbic acid (AA) and may tend to stay in the cream base of the formula. It works best in oil in water emulsions at 1-2%. There is also doubt that the concentrations in AP are high enough to get ascorbic acid’s collagen producing effects.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
Of the derivatives, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) will probably give you more bang for your buck; it’s water soluble, gentle on skin, effective in low concentrations, and remains stable at a neutral PH. Like AA, MAP can inhibit tyrosine to break down melanin formation at a concentration of 10%, although it a may be difficult to find protects with such a concentration on the market. MAP is able to keep up to 60-75% of its stability, after a year of storage in the dark, and there is evidence that it can promote wound healing, synthesis of collagen, UVB protection, and lightening of skin pigmentation. It also seems to be able to penetrate skin layers better than AA.
Ascorbyl tetra-isopalmitoyl (ATIP) is fat soluble and is effective at a concentration of only 3%. However, it does not penetrate the skin easily. It does well at quenching free radicals in lipid solutions, but you’re probably better off using vitamin E, which works better with vitamin C and outperforms ATIP when it comes to eliminating free radicals.
Since tetrahexykdecyl ascorbate is fat soluble, you might think it would have trouble reaching the deeper layers of the skin. However, although this may not be the case, there are conflicting reports as to whether it can perform effectively while it is there.
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
There is limited evidence that sodium ascorbic phosphate can improve acne and scarring (whereas AA has been known to cause acne) and it has also been proven effective as an antioxidant and stimulator of collagen. It is also relatively stable and will convert to ascorbic acid on the skin. While there is not much information available on this fairly new derivative, the concentration of sodium ascorbic phosphate in products designed for end use could be up to 5%, but it is typically available in 0.01 to 0.1% concentrations in most formulas.
Have you gotten ill side effects from using L-ascorbic acid? If so, what derivative works, or doesn’t work for you? Let us know!