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Vitamin C and Vitamin C derivatives

About Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is one of the very few skin care ingredients that is supported by strong and reliable scientific research and evidence.

However, it is also one of the most difficult products to formulate with, because it is extremely unstable.

As soon as l-ascorbic acid is mixed with water it starts oxidizing. This makes the l-ascorbic acid ineffective and also dangerous, because oxidized L-ascorbic acid is a pro-oxidant which may increase the formation of free radicals.

So, the challenge has been to make stable L-ascorbic acid products, or to make l-ascorbic acid itself stable.

Currently there are three ways this has been done:

1. The Skinceuticals Vitamin C Plus Ferulic Acid + Vitamin E formulation: The Skinceuticals study and patent shows that Ferulic acid stabilizes L-ascorbic acid, and in a lab this is probably true. However, the reality is that by the time customers get their bottle of Skinceuticals C+E+Ferulic it has been sitting on the shelves for too long, and when they open their bottle the product has turned orange, which means the L-ascorbic has started oxidizing and has become pro-oxidant.

2. Anhydrous C: “Anyhydrous” means “without water,” and this is a great way to formulate with the unstable Vitamin C. Instead of dissolving the vitamin C powder in water, it is mixed and dispersed into a silicone gel. W hen the silicone is applied to the face it acts like a dermal patch. The l-ascorbic acid will slowly be dissolved by the natural moisture in the skin, and the L-ascorbic acid will then be absorbed into the skin.

3. Vitamin C derivatives: To improve the stability of vitamin C in skin care, scientists have been looking for alternative solutions. One of these has been to create Vitamin C derivatives. Usually these are made by combining ascorbic acid with other molecules. Examples of these are the water soluble Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and the oil soluble Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (which is also known as Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate)

Vitamin C derivatives


Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)

MAPMagnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a water-soluble vitamin C derivative. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is not acidic so it does not irritate the skin and it is more stable than vitamin C.

Studies have shown that Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is JUST as effective at boosting skin collagen synthesis as L-ascorbic acid.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate has proven to be an effective skin lightener, reducing hyperpigemnetation in some test subject.

Finally, studies have shown that Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate protects against UVB induced skin damage, such as inflammation and free radical formation, both duuring and after exposure to sunlight.

Even Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a lot more stable than L-ascorbic acid, it still degrades slowly when exposed to light and air.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate ( Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate)

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is the latest development in Vitamin C derivatives.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is oil soluble, just like your skin, which means that it easily penetrates into the skin. It is not acidic and it does not require a low pH to get it to penetrate the skin so it does not sting. It is also stable in air and water for up to 18 months, which means it will work as an anti-oxidant long after you start using it.

Studies have shown that Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is an effective skin care product. It effectively suppresses UVB-induced skin pigmentation, possibly through its anti-oxidative activity.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate also prevented UVA induced oxidative stress, and it boosted collagen synthesis.


Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) References

Kameyama K, Sakai C, Kondoh S, Yonemoto K, Nishiyama S, Tagawa M, Murata T, Ohnuma T, Quigley J, Dorsky A, Bucks D, Blanock K. Inhibitory effect of magnesium L-ascorbyl-2-phosphate (VC-PMG) on melanogenesis in vitro and in vivo.

Geesin JC, Gordon JS, Berg RA. Regulation of collagen synthesis in human dermal fibroblasts by the sodium and magnesium salts of ascorbyl-2-phosphate.

Austria R, Semenzato A, Bettero A., Stability of vitamin C derivatives in solution and topical formulations.

Kobayashi S, Takehana M, Kanke M, Itoh S, Ogata E. Postadministration protective effect of magnesium-L-ascorbyl-phosphate on the development of UVB-induced cutaneous damage in mice.

Kobayashi S, Takehana M, Itoh S, Ogata E. Protective effect of magnesium-L-ascorbyl-2 phosphate against skin damage induced by UVB irradiation.


Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate ( Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate References

Xiao L, Kaneyasu K, Saitoh Y, Terashima Y, Kowata Y, Miwa N. Cytoprotective effects of the lipoidic-liquiform pro-vitamin C tetra-isopalmitoyl-ascorbate (VC-IP) against ultraviolet-A ray-induced injuries in human skin cells together with collagen retention, MMP inhibition and p53 gene repression.

Ochiai Y, Kaburagi S, Obayashi K, Ujiie N, Hashimoto S, Okano Y, Masaki H, Ichihashi M, Sakurai H. A new lipophilic pro-vitamin C, tetra-isopalmitoyl ascorbic acid (VC-IP), prevents UV-induced skin pigmentation through its anti-oxidative properties.

Fitzpatrick RE, Rostan EF. Double-blind, half-face study comparing topical vitamin C and vehicle for rejuvenation of photodamage.

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