Skincare has come a long way but as Ashleigh Sharman discovers we’ve still got a major crush on vitamin C, both inside and out.
Oranges, supplements, skincare: you’ve likely discovered vitamin C in that order – and where oh where would we be without it!
No matter what sector of the industry you work in, from clinic to spa business, cosmeceutical to organic range; it’s this particular ingredient that forms an essential part of your client’s skin health regime.
There’s no denying that inner health for outer beauty is a great place for all clients to begin their skin journey with you and it’s very likely that they are already taking a daily supplement containing vitamin C, but do they know why?
“Vitamin C is involved in many biological processes in the body,” explains Blackmores advisory naturopath Charmaine Sofia.
“It plays a key role in maintaining wellness and keeping us healthy as it may support our immune system and reduce the severity and duration of colds.
“It’s also important for skin health, helping support skin suppleness and elasticity via its role in collagen production, and, again in the skin care department, it plays a role in wound healing. Not only this but it is a potent antioxidant, and helps to maintain capillary health.”
According to the Australian Government Nutrient Reference Values, the recommended daily intake (or RDI) for adults is 45 mg of vitamin C per day. However, Charmaine admits that during certain times, extra may be needed.
No stranger to vitamin C, Ultraceuticals skincare founder Dr Geoffrey Heber talks of this vital ingredient rather fondly almost as if it were a member of his family (just don’t get him started on the brown glass bottles his concoctions once came in – yes I remember and loved them too!).
“Vitamin C, as recognised by the body, is one distinct chemical entity, ascorbic acid – however it is highly unstable and difficult to formulate with,” explains Dr Heber, who first began working with this ingredient in 1998.
“Most companies avoid it by using synthetic derivatives of ascorbic acid that must penetrate into the skin and be converted into ascorbic acid to have effect.
“We have been able to make our vitamin C serums very stable so that they keep over 10 percent ascorbic acid over three years. I know of no other vitamin C serums that are as stable and we have been able to identify other ingredients, such as micro elastin and micro collagen, that are synergistic with vitamin C and which give enhanced results.”
Dr Heber advises that beauty therapists and aestheticians check their product ingredient list contains ascorbic acid – or Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (VC-IP) and ascorbyl glucoside (AG) as the two best synthetic derivatives of vitamin C.
Concurring that the instability of this ingredient ensures continued research, master aromatherapist and creator and founder of the active natural spa skincare range, Waterlily, Michelle Reeve prefers to use naturally-derived forms of vitamin C, from fruit and berry concentrates, in Waterlily’s product and treatment formulations.
“This is stable, nutritious and biochemically compatible,” Michelle says. “I believe, with a lifestyle increasingly stressed by environmental pollutants and diminishing nutrient sources, that supplementation of vitamin C (internally and externally) is essential for health and vitality.
“Vitamin C applied topically however is corrective and protective – essential for connective tissue, vascular strength, skin luminosity and helping to exfoliate, hydrate and refine the complexion.
“Also, for seasonal professional face treatments, Waterlily delivers 500mg of vitamin C in each performance contour masque, mixed fresh with each application.”
Succinctly put by Dr Heber: “Vitamins are vital to life and, therefore, never irrelevant!”
As professionals, our obsession with vitamin C is understandable. Maybe it’s because we can’t produce it ourselves and you always want what you can’t have, right?
But it’s time to share the love and ensure clients are well equipped to understand the internal and external benefits of our unstable but addictive crush.