Vitamin C is the most studied, celebrated and sought-after antioxidant in the skincare world.
When I started in medical aesthetics in 1999, yes 22 years ago, I recommended Vitamin C and I still whole-heartedly recommend it to this day. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant found in all organs in the human body and in the greatest quantity in our skin. We know there are benefits to the body if ingested as a supplement and benefits to the skin if applied topically. I’m old enough to remember watching I LOVE LUCY (I do think they were reruns- I'm not that old!) where Lucy and Ethal would rub lemon halves directly on their elbows for the skin benefits. We’ve come a long way Lucy- with major developments along the way!
All mention of classic sitcoms aside, why has Vitamin C remained relevant and recommended for decades? Like Vitamin A (delivered as retinoids), Vitamin C has been researched and written about in countless studies and clinical trials. When an ingredient, such as Vitamin C, is found to perform well, repeatedly, we medical professionals take the hint and place it high on the list of tried-and-true, reliable and safe, “home-run” ingredients for our patients and ourselves.
The benefits of Vitamin C are multiple and well documented. It is a true superhero ingredient for its multi-tasking nature and ability to be absorbed by the skin.
- Vitamin C is a powerhouse Antioxidant
- Vitamin C is a skin brightener
- Vitamin C is a skin softener and smoother
- Vitamin C is a collagen booster and elastin preserver
- Vitamin C offers natural protection against damage from UV light
- Vitamin C has natural anti-inflammatory properties
- Vitamin C may help improve uneven skin tone
Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants IN and ON the skin. Antioxidants neutralize the “oxidative stress” (i.e., free radical damage) caused by simply living and breathing, aging, exposure to an “urban lifestyle” consisting of pollution, sun/UV radiation, emotional stress and lifestyle choices (smoking, excessive drinking, drugs, lack of exercise and sleep imbalance). Vitamin C is a clinically proven potent antioxidant against oxidative stress to skin cells from pollutants and UV exposure/damage. The creepy truth is the minute we are born thus begins the assault of free radicals and why we have natural antioxidants in our bodies in the first place. We must replenish them or boost them nutritionally through food and/or supplements for our body (a little bit gets to the skin this way). But mostly our skin gets the extra help from antioxidants through topical delivery in skincare products. Vitamin C has also been shown in clinical studies to have an anti-aging/anti-pigmentary effect and it helps replenish another natural antioxidant in the body- Vitamin E. In other words, it helps your skin produce and support collagen (which is 75% of the dermis), it inhibits abnormal melanin production that causes age spots or hyperpigmentation.
Having the luxury of experience on my side, I have used Vitamin C in many ways with varying experiences over two decades. The big issue with traditional Vitamin C (called L-Ascorbic Acid) in skincare formulations is its known instability and irritation potential. This form of Vitamin C is the classic, but also notoriously tough to formulate because of its well-known issues with stability. Vitamin C as L-Ascorbic Acid can quite literally lose its potency while sitting in its container. I have witnessed Vitamin C products oxidize and change color (the product looks brown) as a result of exposure to air from an improper container or an unstable ingredient. Formulations rely on adding other ingredients to stabilize this process, but if it’s not in an airless container you are not protecting this antioxidant and its function the best you can!
Ingredient manufacturers know the challenges of L-Ascorbic Acid and as a result spend much of their R & D expenditures creating the next Super Vitamin C - a derivative that is stable, potent and safe (non-irritating). This is where time and technology were on our side! THE ROUTE formulated our products with the next generation of Vitamin C (INCI: Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate). Ours is a unique, patented molecule that is highly active and the most stable in a comparison study to L-Ascorbic Acid and other derivatives. Our Vitamin C has an incredible activity profile and is one hardworking ingredient. There are several modes of functionality all of which have skin benefits and are supported by clinical studies.
- Collagen support resulting in the reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Skin brightening from skin tone improvement
- High antioxidant activity (free radical scavenging)
Based on our 24-hour skin rhythm, our Vitamin C is both useful in its antioxidant activity during the day and for skin restoration at night. As with ALL our ingredients we use only the clinically tested, efficacious dose of Vitamin C found in THE EVERYTHING DAY® daytime moisturizer and THE EVERYTHING NIGHT® nighttime moisturizer. During the day, it supplies antioxidant support and helps the skin combat the most toxic skin aggressors (sun and pollutions) and at night, our Vitamin C helps support collagen synthesis and combat the ramifications of free radical damage.
I have been a huge proponent of and have loved topical Vitamin C for skin beautification and preservation for over two decades. The missing link was finding a Vitamin C that not only performed but remained stable and consistent in the formula. We found the holy grail of Vitamin C for its activity and stability and we use it at the clinically tested doses for peak performance in our products. We took it a step further and spent the dough on airless bottles. We would never dare subject any of our antioxidants, much less the Queen Vitamin C, to air and light that could compromise its performance. You will never see droppers or jars, only airless bottles that protect and keep our ingredients at their highest integrity. Our Vitamin C is awesome for all the reasons described above, heck, I dedicated this entire blog about it and for good reason. It ranks up there with retinoids as a super-hero ingredient, but frankly we have a ton of best-in-class ingredients in our products so stay tuned for more ingredient highlights. For now, enjoy the best Vitamin C available found in THE ROUTE.
Lucille Ball was a crack up and a beauty who totally entertained me as a teenager. In her show, she used actual lemons for the Vitamin C skin benefits and I’ll never forget it. Just imagine if she had used THE ROUTE!