Vitamin C in the Skin - Simplified
Vitamin C in the Skin – Simplified
Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid (aka; L-ascorbic acid) is a potent antioxidant with many rejuvenating benefits for the skin. When vitamin C levels in the skin are sufficient, it repairs and impedes environmental aging, preserving skin's health and youth longer.
Skin layers - shield
The primary role of the skin is to encompass and shield internal tissues and organs from the external environment. The skin's main structure is composed of two layers, the epidermis, and the dermis.
The epidermis – surface layer
The non-vascular epidermis is composed of many layers of cells migrating towards the surface of the skin. During migration, the cells undergo a complex transformation into a water-resistant barrier that resists dehydration and external invasion of the internal tissues before eventually shedding. A continuous rejuvenating process that protects and replaces skin cells.
The dermis – tissue layer
The vascular dermis, mainly composed of collagen fibers, fibroblasts, and blood vessels, provides structure, support, and nutrients to the epidermis. It is believed, nutrient delivery does not reach the outermost layers of the epidermis (the stratum corneum); thus, a topical application of nutrients to the skin's nutrient-deficient epidermal layers may be beneficial to maintaining the overall health and youth of the skin.
Passing through the lipid barrier - skin's brick wall
One role of the lipid barrier is resisting access to external substances. Studies indicate water-soluble vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid will not pass through the lipid barrier unless formulated at a pH below 4.
Saturation levels - skin's reservoir
"Optimum skin concentrations of the vitamin are not yet known." [source]
A popular pigskin study confirmed, "L-ascorbic acid must be formulated at pH levels less than 3.5 to enter the skin. Maximal concentration for optimal percutaneous absorption was 20%. Tissue levels were saturated after three daily applications; the half-life of tissue disappearance was about 4 days. Derivatives of ascorbic acid including magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl-6-palmitate, and dehydroascorbic acid did not increase skin levels of L-ascorbic acid." [study]
A simple analogy - skin's fuel
Think of vitamin C as skin's fuel. Topical C levels must be refueled before depletion to maintain optimum antioxidant benefits.
For best results, refuel the skin's C topical levels every 24 hours.
Self-maintenance - is key
Once vitamin C passes through the lipid barrier, it fuels the skin with a reservoir of antioxidants that it cannot be washed or rubbed off and remains active in the skin for several days after application unless prematurely depleted* by exposure to environmental assaults.
*Skin repeatedly exposed to environmental assaults such as unprotected sun exposure, nicotine, ozone, etc. may benefit from an additional 1-2 pump overlay of any of our nutrient cocktails per application.
Maintain C levels - inside out
It is believed that the epidermis's non-vascular structure and barrier, is the main roadblock to sufficient nutrient delivery; thus supplying vitamin C through both, topical application and dietary (supplements, fruits, and vegetables), ensure all layers of the skin are sufficiently supplied; enabling the skin to function properly, restore itself and remain healthier longer.
Feeding the skin - less is best
Skin will do what it should naturally with the right nutrient balance (both topically and dietary); start with less until you find the right balance; as skin improves and adjusts, reduce or add topical nutrient supply.
Linus Pauling Institute Vitamin C and Skin Health
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