Beauty with Substance
A blog by Marisa Vara Arredondo

Results We Can "C"

Published: January 21, 2016

Many of us rely on Vitamin C boosts for immunity. When we feel under the weather, the first thing we do is double-up on everything from orange juice to high-dose powders in hopes of staving off sickness. 

How do we know to do this? In the 1960s and 70s, Nobel Prize-winning chemist and activist, Linus Pauling, was among the first individuals to study and tout the benefits of high-dose Vitamin C for the prevention and treatment of ailments like colds. His later work - examining the effects of vitamin C on cancer patients - is more controversial, but his interest in the link between this powerful antioxidant and fighting toxins remains relevant - especially when it comes to skin care.

In fact, for those of us who follow beauty, the recent uptick in the number of Vitamin C-infused serums on the market is impossible to miss. There’s a good reason for that: The amount of naturally occurring Vitamin C (a.k.a. L-Ascorbic Acid) in the skin declines as we age, but we need it to build collagen and protect against damage like degradation and oxidative stress. Vitamin C has also been shown to reduce moisture loss, heal acne and fight against photo-damage or age spots. And - when it comes to seeing positive results in the skin - clinical tests have shown that the ingredient is 20 times more powerful when applied topically rather than ingested orally. After only three days, people have been known to experience positive effects.

We’re not the first culture to embrace this concept. During Tibet’s Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), women fought signs of aging with Vitamin C-rich Sea Buckhorn Berries. Native Americans have also long created Vitamin C-packed rose petal paste to heal the complexion.

All this history and potency makes Vitamin C treatments seem like a no-brainer. In some ways, that’s true. But not all L-Ascorbic Acid - and sometimes derivatives meant to convert to Ascorbic Acid - are created equal. As it turns out, Vitamin C is actually a pretty tricky substance with which to work. Unless its pH is lower than 3.0, it can be highly unstable. If exposed to air, it becomes oxidized and, therefore, potentially both ineffective and disruptive. Also, high-concentrations are required for real impact. So, while it’s an invaluable resource for aging skin, we also need to choose our products carefully.

So what should you look for? One primary factor to consider is the type of Vitamin C included in a given lotion or potion. Derivative versions have been created to sidestep that pesky instability, but many have not been amply studied and, without significant data, it’s impossible to know exactly how impactful they can be. For example, according to scientist-driven website, The Beauty Brains, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Ascorbate, Tetrahexydecyl Ascorbate and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate have very little data in terms of Ascorbic Acid conversion and efficacy. Ascorbyl Glucoside has more support, but, clearly, appropriately handled L-Ascorbic Acid itself is the most ideal option.  

Our Phace Bioactive Illuminating Serum harnesses the power of Vitamin C - with 15% pure L-Ascorbic Acid at a stable 2.8 pH level - to rejuvenate the skin and fight to reverse the effects of environmental toxins, sun exposure and time. Concentrated tea extracts provide complementary skin-beautifying effects by protecting against the damage from UV light and free radicals. So, you can trust it to help your skin look its best. 

And that really is a no-brainer.


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