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Melanie Dymott

Topical Vitamin C – The Facts

Skin care professionals and consumers are bombarded with information regarding skin care, skin science and skin health from the media, clinics, brands and retailers on a daily basis. We would like to focus on relevant research, background, types and the pro’s and con’s of VITAMIN C.

Professor Sheldon Pinnell, MD was the first doctor who researched and promoted the use of topical antioxidants. His research changed the way the world uses topical antioxidants today, and he was the first to patent a stable form of vitamin C proven through peer-reviewed research. Professor Sheldon’s research revealed that Vitamin C effectively penetrates the skin, and can deliver up to eight times the skin's natural antioxidant protection.

There are four or five forms of vitamin C which are available to therapists, although there are many more, natural and synthetic vitamin C are chemically identical. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for maintaining a healthy body and healthy skin. The antioxidant protective reservoir can be increased, and photo-protection and skin cell repair can also be enhanced as a result of topically applied Vitamin C.

Free Radicals

Ultraviolet (UV) rays, cigarette smoke and pollutants can cause free radicals and photoaging of the skin. Free radicals damage DNA, proteins and lipids, which cause skin cells to mutate and die, resulting in skin aging.

Topical Vitamin C

Research results have shown that Vitamin C can improve the skin texture and tone, reduce pigmentation, decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and help prevent their formation skin lesions, as well as contributing to the fight against cancer.

There are several types of Vitamin C that have been developed which are not water-based, they can penetrate the skin and remain more potent for longer periods of time. 

  • Non acid Vitamin C (C-Tetra)
  • New patented antioxidant based Copper derivatives


  • Vitamin C has been long known as one of the top antioxidants for neutralizing free radicals. Vitamin C serums will help improve visible environmental damage while boosting new collagen production.

 Applying Vitamin C Serums:

After cleansing & toning, apply a thin layer over entire face & neck, avoiding eyes & lips

The use of a sunscreen is highly recommended with this product. If irritation occurs, rinse off immediately. Keep away from eyes.

Antioxidants imitate the body’s own protective mechanisms

  • natural antioxidants, L-ascorbic acid, Vit A and Vit E, Alpha lipoic acid
  • catalase deals with excess free radicals by a neutralisation process, converting the H2O2 into water and oxygen

superoxide dismutase (or SOD) an enzymes neutralising the singlet oxygen free radical, but it converts it into H2O2 (or hydrogen peroxide – bleach!) which damages skin cells.

Antioxidants plus Sun protection, are the highest importance in any anti-ageing skincare program.

Types of vitamin C

  1. L-ascorbic Acid aka Ascorbic Acid (AA)

AA is the water soluble, biologically active form of vitamin C found in nature. This is the form the body uses to build skin, repair wounds, and protect itself from disease and disorder.

  1. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) Magnesium-L-ascorby-Phosphate (VC-PMG) Ascorbic Acid Phosphate (AA2P)

These are all different names for essentially the same derivative of AA formed by adding magnesium phosphate in a process known as esterification. The addition of traises the pH level ascorbic acid remains stable in when in solution

  1. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is another vitamin C derivative synthesized to deliver the same benefit. Ascorbic acid naturally occurs at a pH of around 3.5 which is fairly acidic.
  1. Ascorbyl Palmitate aka Ascorbic Acid-6-Palmitate (AA6P)

This is another ester of AA using palmitate (palmitic acid) to form an oil-soluble molecule. The idea behind creating an oil-soluble derivative is to enhance penetration through the stratum corneum

  1. Ascorbyl Tretaisopalmitate (ATIP) Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

Ascorbyl tretaisopalmitate and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate are both names for the same molecule. ATIP is able to successfully penetrate the epidermis and move to the layer underneath called the dermis and has the ability to stimulate the skin to produce glycosaminoglycans, natural moisturizers that allow skin to absorb moisture from the body itself. Significant improvement was found when 7% concentration of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate with a 10% concentration of ascorbic acid and saw a decrease in visible photoaging and increased collagen production,

  1. Liposome Vitamin C

Encasing a molecule in a liposome is a technique devised by cosmetic chemists to impart stability and penetration properties to AA and other molecules. The molecule is wrapped in a bubble of lipids

The safest form of topical Vitamin C

For the naturalists amongst us, it will come as no surprise that the safest form of Vitamin C is ascorbic acid

The most dangerous Vitamin C derivative

Ascrobyl Palmitate AA6P is a vitamin C derivative which is best avoided. Palmitate is an oil and when it is attached to ascorbic acid it penetrates the skin better. Researchers studied what AA6P and what occurs after the molecule breaks down. Results proved that after UV exposure and the explosion of free radicals, researchers recommend not to use this form of Vitamin C derivative.

Our products containing Vitamin C

Dr Schrammek Mela White Active C Serum

Gentle evening out of hyperpigmentation in connection with moisturising and vitalising effects.

Effective ingredients:
• Alpha Arbutin:
blocks melanin synthesis, gentle whitening • Vitamin C + Vitamin C Glucoside: gentle lightening through inhibition of melanin production, protects against free radicals and supports collagen synthesis
• Urea: lends moisture and improves absorption of active

Dr Schrammek Resvera Cell Concentrate

Products Main Use:

Increases cell lifespan for firm and youthful skin. The skin gains renewed elasticity, firmness and tone, whilst protecting against free radicals.
Also promoting collagen synthesis leaving the skin looking refeshed
and youthful.

Effective ingredients:

• Resveratrol
(“youth molecule” from wine) protects cells against oxidative damage and a compound that reduces inflammation.
• Vitamin C (triple power) protects against free radicals and supports collagen synthesis.
• Silanole (Silicea) strengthening of connective tissues and cells within the skin.

BIODROGA MD Advanced Formula Vitamin C Concentrate 15

Stabilised vitamin C

Stabilized vitamin C (3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid) is a stable form of vitamin C. As ingredient it has the same positive effects. Due to its excellent penetration properties, it is very well absorbed by skin and then converted in L-ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is a perfect radical scavenger sustainably protecting skin against the harmful influences of free radicals and thus preventing the premature, environmentally induced skin aging. It balances the sensitive skin condition, strengthens skin’s tissue, diminishes light irritations and redness, imparts more radiance and helps to gradually lighten pigment spots. By gently stimulating skin’s collagen, fine lines and wrinkles diminish. The result is a visibly more balanced, plump, firm and radiant skin.

Efficiency studies of the company Corum:

• Stabilised vitamin C offers over double the protection of sun exposed skin exposed skin in comparison to ordinary vitamin C.

• Stabilized vitamin C stimulates the collagen synthesis by 69 % (Evidence in a cell culture after 72 hours incubated with stabilized vitamin C).

• Hyaluronic acid improves skin’s moisture binding, protects skin against dehydration and imparts smoothness and suppleness.

Stabilized Vitamin C
- 3-o-ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid - Sodium Hyaluronate


Advanced Formula Vitamin C Concentrate 15 is an excellent „energy cocktail“ with a vitalizing effect skin function.

• Protects skin against the harmful influences of free radicals
• Strengthens skin’s resistance and stimulates its collagen formation
• Improves skin’s moisture balance
• Diminishes fine lines and wrinkles
• Improves skin’s protective mechanisms
• Soothes light irritations and redness

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