Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Vitamin C in Facial Serums and Creams

I like to use vitamin C on my face in the form of a serum as it helps with collagen production and because it seems to decrease age spots (which I started getting in my 30s!) and redness. I was frustrated when my expensive name brand vitamin C serum gradually turned from clear to a deep yellow, and even more frustrated when I was told that it was simply oxidation and not to worry. As a pharmacist, I know that oxidation decreases effectiveness, so I have been on a search for a vitamin serum.

All vitamin C is not the same.

There are some versions that are more safe than others.

Some versions of vitamin C actually become toxic when exposed to ultraviolet radiation (the sun) and can contribute to formation of skin cancers.

The safest form to use is the water soluble L-ascorbic acid or ascorbic acid, which is the form of vitamin C found in nature and used by the body to repair wounds, build skin, and protect the body from disease. Magnesium or sodium ascorbyl phosphate or ascorbic acid phosphate is also safe as it has simply had a phosphate added for preservation.

The form to avoid is ascorbyl palmitate or any version of this, especially in liposome form. Ascorbyl palmitate (also known as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) is an oil soluble derivative. While the idea of making an oil soluble form seemed sound because it would increase penetration of the layers of the skin, studies have shown that ultraviolet exposure makes this form toxic to skin cells. Using the liposome form means that the palmitate is wrapped in lipids so that it is even further absorbed in the skin, which in this case, is a bad idea.

Read the labels and look for either L-ascorbic acid or the phosphate form.

At John Hollis Pharmacy, we use the sodium ascorbyl phosphate version. I started using this and my vitamin C serum no longer oxidizes, so I am delighted.

Also, oral vitamin C 500 mg daily is great for skin integrity. If your skin on your arms seems more fragile, vitamin C can help!

Healthy living and more vibrant skin with John Hollis Pharmacy!