VITAMIN C: Upgrades and Missteps You Need to Know

by | Jul 22, 2021

What is Vitamin C and how does it help with skincare?

Not just a skincare trend, our skin needs vitamin C to function. Although we can’t synthesize it, we’ve relied on a diet rich in vitamin C. A deficiency leads to the disease we know as scurvy – which breaks down skin and impairs wound healing. Diet remains a huge factor in skin health, but skincare can now deliver healthy vitamin C sources that our skin eats up; boosting collagen production, providing environmental protection, brightening skin tone and increasing hydration.

Vitamin C isn’t a new contender to the skincare arena, yet this classic ingredient is still being developed for the most advantageous skin benefiting results. 

There is a vitamin C for every skin type and Japanese skincare focuses on developing the least irritating and most beneficial forms.

Types of Vitamin C

The vitamin C family has grown over the years, and each have their own set of benefits and suitability for different skincare goals. New Japanese technology has focused on lasting effects, deeper penetration, and greater benefits than ever before. 

The Classic Types of Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid/L-ascorbic acid

What we consider the purest form of Vitamin C. In skincare products 8%-10% will assist with uneven tone and dull skin, 15-30% for stubborn pigmentation and improving texture. Works incredibly when active but is highly unstable so smaller product sizes are best for quick use (White Rush VC Serum 30) or used in a blend.

Sodium ascorbate (sodium salt of ascorbic acid)

Less effective than ascorbic acid but less irritating so suitable for highly sensitive skin. More stable to light and air, something to consider if you don’t get to empties too quickly!

MAP (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate)

Very stable, brightening, hydrating, soothing, anti-inflammatory, and gentle on the skin. The downside? It’s poorly absorbed.

SAP (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate)

As beneficial as ascorbic acid and more bioavailable. Phenomenal for acne fighting, fine lines reducing, brightening, protecting against UV rays (still use SPF), nonirritating and also water soluble. 

Calcium Ascorbate (Ester C)

Activate on skin, stable, penetrates well, high collagen synthesis, hydrating and non-irritating.

Ascorbyl Palmitate

As unstable as ascorbic acid and not great converting in skin, leaving it non-irritating yet non-effective.

Ascorbyl glucoside

sugar and ascorbic acid, very mild, works well with other vitamin c.

Cutting Edge Improvements to Vitamin C

VC-IP ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate

Heat and air resistant make this vitamin c derivative stay active in the skin 40 – 80x longer than ascorbic acid. Super skin penetrating, this vitamin C derivative targets uneven skin tone and texture while reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

APPS trisodium ascorbyl palmitate phosphate

Highly stable and ultra-hydrating, unique lipodisq delivery system means 100x more absorbent. This water and oil soluble vitamin C derivative has shown to be a powerhouse for vastly improving discoloration, environmental protection, evening skin texture and aging care.

Our conclusion – why choose one? Developed like vitamin C cocktails, find the mix that will work the best for your skin.

Japanese skincare uses vitamin C in many different skincare products

It’s used in cleansers for potent skin clearing and retexturing effects, in lotions to aid in hydrating, in creams for deeper diffusion for oil soluble derivatives, in masks for a mega dose that should be used sparingly, and of course in serums which provides the high concentration. Best used in the morning for skin protection with SPF. Can also be used at night but that gets us to…

Vitamin C’s Do’s and Don’ts

Ingredients to Avoid with Vitamin C

Retinols, AHA/BHAs (glycolic, salicylic, lactic acids), niacinamides and excess exfoliation. We know that using these together can irritate sensitive skin but it can also be too harsh for the skin which can cause damaging the skin barrier and mitigate the skin boosting effects. 

Ingredients to Upgrade Your Vitamin C

Hyaluronic acid, collagen, LPS, antioxidants, artichoke extract, and other gentle and hydrating ingredients mixed with a pH to support active vitamin C.

Not a Replacement for Dietary Vitamin C

A diet with vitamin C is still important for overall health. Supplements are easily available but the maximum daily intake should be 2000mg a day, more than that is not beneficial and can lead digestive distress and even kidney stones. 

Supplemental intravenous drips (IVs) have become more widely available and vitamin C can be delivered straight into the bloodstream, bypassing digestion. Speak with your primary doctor to see if oral or IV vitamin C is a choice for you.