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Sex Male     Female    
Product Style Ready to Use     Do It Yourself    
Skin Type Combination     Dry Skin     Normal Skin     Oily Skin    
Body Part Body     Face    
Need/Issue Anti-Aging     Antioxidant Rich     Basic Skin Health/Nourishment     Hyperpigmentation     Increase Collagen Synthesis     Prevent Oxidative Damage     Sun Damage     Wounds/Healing    
Age 20s/30s     40s/50s     60+    
Product Type Exfoliator     Serum    
Ingredient Type Paraben Free     Vitamin    

Vitamin C Serum

$15.50

Select Type

SKU 19771

Refresh your skin with our Vitamin C Serum. Although it might not be suitable for individuals with sensitive skin, the acidity of Ascorbic Acid (L) will exfoliate and promote skin renewal. The vitamin C will help restore elasticity to aging skin, promote collagen synthesis, protect against UV Damage, reduce redness, promote wound healing, suppress melanin synthesis, and more.  

Vitamin C Serum can be purchased in premixed 15% form, or in a 'mix-your-own' kit that can be used to make a customized vitamin C serum of up to 20%.

A mixing demonstration for the 'mix-your-own' kit can be found here: New Vitamin C Serum Kit Video.

Click the expert details tab for complete information on Vitamin C and Vitamin C products.

Sex Male     Female    
Product Style Ready to Use     Do It Yourself    
Skin Type Combination     Dry Skin     Normal Skin     Oily Skin    
Body Part Body     Face    
Need/Issue Anti-Aging     Antioxidant Rich     Basic Skin Health/Nourishment     Hyperpigmentation     Increase Collagen Synthesis     Prevent Oxidative Damage     Sun Damage     Wounds/Healing    
Age 20s/30s     40s/50s     60+    
Product Type Exfoliator     Serum    
Ingredient Type Paraben Free     Vitamin    

The acidity, and by extension, the exfoliating strength of our Vitamin C Serum depends on how much powder is added to the serum base. The chart below shows the acidity of the serum compared to that of a simple solution of L-Ascorbic Acid crystals in water as the concentration of the crystals increases. A 20% concentration is pretty close to the maximum solubility and at that point you may see some crystals coming out of solution, especially in a refrigerated serum. The pH scale shows increasing acidity as the number goes down. 7 is neutral on the scale. The scale is exponential so a difference of 1 on the scale is a factor of 10 difference in proton concentration.



pH. Examples:

Skin Actives Sea Kelp Coral/ New Collagen Serum - pH. = 5.5
Skin Actives Salicylic Wash - pH. = 3.5
Skin Actives L-Ascorbic Acid Serum 20% - pH. = 2.1

We also measured the pH of some Vitamin C Serums on the market (notes by Lauren):

    Testing serum with a pH strip yielded a pH range of 3-4. His ingredient list is interesting, as no ascorbic acid is listed and is just assumed as part of the CamuCamu extract.

    Test strip yielded a pH range of between 4-5

    Test strip yielded a pH of 6-7. They claim to use calcium ascorbate in conjunction with vitamin C, which I personally haven't seen before. 
 

Vitamin C and Vitamin C Products

Vitamin C is a chemical, its chemical name is L-Ascorbic Acid. 

Deficiency of vitamin C results in scurvy, and the name “Ascorbic Acid” is derived from the Latin word for scurvy (scorbutus), a nasty illness whose (easy) fix, citrus fruit, eluded pirates and sailors until 1753.

Why is L-Ascorbic Acid a vitamin? Most animals can make their own vitamin C, but humans can’t, because somewhere along the line we lost a crucial enzyme, L-gulonolactone oxidase, required for the synthesis of L-Ascorbic Acid. This makes it an essential nutrient, i.e. we must get it by eating food containing it (or applying the vitamin to our skin).

 L-Ascorbic Acid is important for plants and animals because it works as an antioxidant.  More specifically, it is a water soluble antioxidant, and this means that it can work in almost all the reactions occurring in the cell. [Conversely, chemicals with vitamin E activity are lipid (oil) soluble and can work in the lipidic side of the cell membranes. They are both important, this is why they are vitamins!]

There is more to vitamin C than “just” the antioxidant side. In humans and many animals ascorbic acid is also a cofactor in the synthesis of carnitine (look this up in our website) and tyrosine (an amino acid) and it is required for the synthesis of collagen, wich is a very important protein in the skin. Collagen is a protein of complex structure, and the final protein we require is very different from the peptides initially made at the ribosomes. It is composed of a triple helix, which consists of two identical chains and an additional chain that differs slightly in its chemical composition. The amino acid composition of collagen is unusual for proteins with a high content of hydroxyproline. The peptides synthesized in the ribosomes undergo many modifications of their structure before they become collagen; among other modifications, proline (and lysine) residues in the peptides must be hydroxylated in a process catalyzed by enzymes that require ascorbic acid as a cofactor. The many symptoms of scurvy result from the inability of the human body to complete the transformation of the nascent peptides into collagen because of this lack of ascorbic acid. [Incidentally, here you see why it is silly to add hydroxyproline to a skin care product: this amino acid is NOT used in the synthesis of collagen. Proline is used and after protein synthesis, the proline residues are hydroxylated.] 

I prepared a complete overview of the properties of vitamin C, and its use in skin care products. The article is a little long so I have posted it in our forum (http://skinactives.websitetoolbox.com/post/vitamin-c-and-vitamin-c-serums-6668112). The summary is as follows:

Chemistry

  • Vitamin C is a chemical, its chemical name is L-Ascorbic Acid. 
  • Why is L-Ascorbic Acid a vitamin? Most animals can make their own vitamin C, but humans can’t. We must get it by eating food containing it (or applying the vitamin to our skin).
  • L-Ascorbic Acid is important for plants and animals because it works as an antioxidant, preventing damage to cells from oxidation reactions.
  • L-Ascorbic Acid is also require to create collagen, an important protein in the skin.
  • Un-oxidized L-Ascorbic Acid acts as a strong antioxidant; oxidized L-Ascorbic Acid acts as an oxidant and will not be useful to the skin.


Effect

  • Ascorbic Acid (L) provides important protection against damage induced by UV radiation (and the DNA mutations and cancer that may result from it), improves skin elasticity, decreases wrinkles by stimulating collagen synthesis, reduces redness, promotes wound healing, and suppresses melanin synthesis.
  • Visually, the use of L-Ascorbic Acid improves wrinkles and decreases inflammation.
  • Glycolic and lactic acids are frequently used in peels because they are weak acids that will do their job and later be metabolized by the skin. L-Ascorbic acid is also a AHA and useful for an acidic peel. [See below for information regarding the strength of Vitamin C Serums as an exfoliant]

Formulation

  • Chemical derivatives such as MAP (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate) offer advantages such as stability and an acidity level that can make them more suitable for skin care products. 
  • MAP is a good vitamin C derivative, because it has been shown that it penetrates the skin and in the skin it is converted to L-ascorbic acid. As for the most important question, is it an actual vitamin C? MAP has been shown to protect the skin from UV damage and prevent synthesis of melanin, just as L-Ascorbic Acid does. This is why, in our popular collagen serum, you will find MAP and not L-Ascorbic acid.
  • Sometimes an oil-soluble version of vitamin C is wanted for a special formulation, and for that, we turn to Ascorbyl Palmitate. But it must be remembered that the principal role of vitamin C is as a water-soluble antioxidant.
  • It is important not to combine vitamin C with metallic ions such as Copper or Zinc in a formulation.
  • A 20% concentration is pretty close to the maximum solubility and at that point you may see some crystals coming out of solution, this will occur more frequently in a refrigerated serum. If the vitamin C comes out of solution, warm the serum up a little and shake well.

Stability

  • It is very important that vitamin C products contain un-oxidized L-Ascorbic Acid. Old products with oxidized vitamin C can cause damage to the skin.
  • In non-acidic formulations, like our Collagen Serum, it is important to use a vitamin C form like MAP or Ascorbyl Palmitate.
  • At an acidic pH, L-Ascorbic Acid will be quite stable. The shelf life of the serum will depend on the acidity of the serum.
  • Our new best estimate is that a serum with a pH of 2.5 will have a shelf life of around 6 months.
  • Because of the above point, we suggest checking the pH of any L-Ascorbic Acid serum and ensuring that its pH is below 3.5 (pH. strips can be purchased to measure this).
  • Refrigeration slows the oxidation of L-Ascorbic Acid and extends the lifespan of the serum. 
  • Alpha Tocopherol and Ferulic Acid are added to L-Ascorbic Acid serums to delay the oxidation of vitamin C.
  • It is very important to make sure that you do not use oxidized L-Ascorbic Acid Serums. Make sure your product contains a 'made on' or 'use by' date. Do not use a product that is over 12 months old as it will not be useful to the skin. If mixing your own water/ascorbic acid mix do not keep the solution for more than a few hours. Refrigerate the products if possible.

Vitamin C Links

L - Ascorbic Acid ( to create your own serum or mix into water as a simple wash)
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (for a stable, less acidic mixture compatible with complex actives)
Ascorbyl Palmitate (an oil soluble ester)
Vitamin C Serum (our ready-to-use L-Ascorbic Acid Serum)
Collagen Serum (our best anti-aging serum, containing MAP, EGF, and other actives)

Usage will depend on individual tolerance to the acidity of the serum. Test the serum on the inside of your arm first and rinse well if you feel any discomfort.

We recommend applying a thin layer of serum to clean skin once or twice weekly. Vitamin C Serum can be applied on the face, neck, or wherever your skin is in need of exfoliation and renewal, keeping away from the eyes.

Note: Be sure to wear Sunscreen as exfoliation may increase skin sensitivity.

'Mix Your Own' Instructions: Add the desired amount of vitamin C Powder Mix to the Base Serum and shake well to create a custom Vitamin C Serum of up to 20%. Keep the serum refrigerated and shake well before each use.

A mixing demonstration can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUsNRpU0OA0

Additional notes:

  • We recommend using a Vitamin C product daily
  • High concentration L-Ascorbic Acid serums, or even fresh L-Ascorbic Acid crystals dissolved in water, are great exfoliating options. 
  • Because over-exfoliation can cause inflammation and other problems, we recommend careful use of L-Ascorbic Acid serums. Usage once or twice a week is optimal for most skin types. Our Collagen Serum with MAP (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate) is a great alternative for daily use, as it contains other valuable actives we cannot use in an acidic solution.
  • Do not worry about waiting for the acidity of the skin to go back to normal (it will take a few hours) before using most other products. If you are using products with complex proteins, such as our EGF or our antioxidant products, it is recommended that you wait at least an hour to ensure the proteins are not damaged.
  • Our 'mix your own' serum kit is optimal because freshness is assured, and the exfoliation level can be tailored to suit the mixer.

Premixed:

Water, Ascorbic Acid (L) (Vitamin C),Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Phloretin, Pomegranate Seed (Punica granatum) Oil, Tocotrienols, Vitamin E Oil (Alpha-D-Tocopherol), AstaxanthinLycopeneLutein, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Beta Carotene, Xanthan Gum,  Lemon (Citrus limon) Extract, Orange (Citrus sinensis) Extract, Citrus Essential Oils, PhenoxyethanolCaprylyl Glycol,Sorbic Acid.

Mix Your Own:

Serum: Water, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Phloretin, Pomegranate Seed (Punica granatum) Oil, Tocotrienols, Vitamin E Oil (Alpha-D-Tocopherol), Astaxanthin, Lycopene, Lutein, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Beta Carotene, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Essential Oils, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid.

Powder: Ascorbic Acid (L) (Vitamin C), Lemon (Citrus limon) Extract, Orange (Citrus sinensis) Extract.

Customer Reviews

  • Author: Mary Lord
    I LOVE this new C Serum. It goes on very silky and gives my skin a matte shimmery glow. I also love the convenience of a premix but made fresh C Serum.
  • Author: Mari
    I gave this to my mother to try as she is a smoker and has lots of medical condition requiring mountains of meds so her skin is always a little dull, dry and grey, if unlined. After a month she reported getting lots of compliments on her skin and it was brighter and smoother. I then gave her anti-ageing cream to use along with it and her skin just transformed and is smooth and radiant.
  • Author: Karenv
    I bought the mix-it-yourself kit and started out with a small amount of the vitamin C in the serum and gradually added a little more to the bottle as my skin got used to it. It made my skin smoother and a little glowy (word??) :) It seems to smooth out the sun damage too. I wish we could buy the serum bottle separately as I still have some of the dry ascorbic acid mixture left over. I hope to keep increasing the ratio of ascorbic acid to serum.

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