At Oakville Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skincare we believe that daily use of high quality skincare is essential to the integrity and health of the skin. A comprehensive skincare regimen is incomplete without a topical antioxidant. Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is a key ingredient in many skincare formulations and it’s an important component when considering skin health. Here we discuss what makes vitamin C a powerful skincare ingredient and the features of an effective vitamin C formulation.
The importance of topical vitamin C.
Daily cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen application is a common ritual for many people; however, daily antioxidant protection is not widely understood, appreciated or practiced as of yet. Clinical research demonstrates a number of compelling reasons to seek out this ingredient in your skincare formulations.
The skincare benefits of vitamin C include:
Broad-spectrum UV protection doesn’t protect our skin from 100% of UVA and UVB rays. We also have to consider heat from infrared rays, which has been shown to cause inflammation that leads to cell damage. Research has shown that when vitamin C is present in the skin, this inflammatory damage is quelled – meaning antioxidant + broad-spectrum sunscreen =/<30 SPF = 100% UV protection.
Activates collagen synthesis.
Fibroblast cells in our skin generate the fibres that give our skin its structure and firmness. Vitamin C has been shown to stimulate these fibroblast cells, thus initiating new collagen synthesis. When there is adequate collagen production our skin is more resilient, pores are refined, fine lines are less noticeable and overall texture is improved.
Inhibits abnormal pigmentation.
Accumulative sun exposure, hormonal imbalance and injuries to the skin that cause scarring can result in abnormal pigmentation and an uneven skin tone. The enzymatic process by which melanin is produced in our skin can be disrupted by ingredients like vitamin C. Vitamin C inhibits melanin formation and helps fade brown spots for a brighter, more even complexion.
Provides antioxidant protection.
Environmental factors (also known as free radicals) such as sunlight, pollution and lifestyle choices such as smoking can cause oxidative stress to the cells in our body. This free radical damage leads to inflammation and contributes to the aging process. Vitamin C is an ANTI-oxidant, meaning it neutralizes free radicals to protect our cells from damage. Vitamin C is therefore an excellent ingredient to prevent skin aging.
What to look for in an effective vitamin C formulation.
There are a myriad of cosmetic brands and formulations boosting the skin benefits of vitamin C. To the consumer, the choices can be overwhelming. But there are a few key elements to look for when choosing an effective skincare product. These qualities make a skincare brand stand out above the rest:
A high concentration of active ingredients.
A highly concentrated formula will often state the percentage of an active ingredient that composes the formula – for instance, highly active vitamin C serums will usually start at a 10 per cent concentration.
When reviewing the ingredients list of a product, look for active ingredients at the beginning of the list. Ingredients are listed in order of their concentration from highest to lowest. If the active ingredient (in this case L-ascorbic acid) is listed towards the end, you know the potency of this ingredient is not high and therefore, your skin will not reap its benefits.
Use of a stabilization and delivery system.
Just as our cells are negatively impacted by oxidative stress, the active ingredients that we use for protection against free radicals can be compromised by oxidation. An effective formulation is developed with this concern in mind. The product should be designed to stabilize and deliver vitamin C into the skin in its active and potent form for optimal efficacy.
Oakville Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skincare offers skincare brands that meet these standards. VivierSkin®, Zo® Medical, Zo® Skin Health and glo minerals are physician-only brands backed by science. In order to ensure these results-driven skincare products are used and recommended correctly, they are not available in department and drug store settings. Because of the high concentrations of active ingredients, it’s important to have a thorough skin analysis before selecting an antioxidant serum, or any skincare product for that matter. A skin expert understands the complexities of the skin and can recommend products that are most likely to deliver results.
To learn about the most effective way to integrate vitamin C into your skincare routine, Oakville Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skincare invites you to book a complimentary skincare consultation with Bethany, our medical aesthetician. Call (905) 901-9545 or email [email protected] to request an appointment.