Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Skincare ingredients demystified, part 2: Vitamin C

(Post contains gifted products)
In today's instalments of  'skincare ingredients demystified' series (see part 1 here) we're talking about Vitamin C. I'm pretty sure most of you are very familiar with this vitamin, we all have heard/been told to eat fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C or take supplements containing it to keep colds/flus away. But what about using Vitamin C topically, in our skincare? Do you know all the benefits this powerful ingredient can offer your skin?
You probably know that Vitamin C is very effective at brightening the skin, lightening dark spots and it's an amazing anti-oxidant. But what else can this vitamin do for our skin?
Pixi Vitamin C tonic, Omorovicza Daily Vitamin C Serum

There are several different types of vitamin C that are used in skincare products, including L-Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Glucozamine and Retinyl Ascorbate, they differ in strength, stability, how quickly they will give you results and how gentle they are on the skin.
L-Ascorbic Acid (LAA) is the most potent form of Vitamin C and has the most research showing its effectiveness. However, it’s less stable than other forms and can cause skin irritations in high doses.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate are water-soluble derivatives of Vitamin C which are more stable then LAA and they also cause less skin irritation, so they're the best form if you have sensitive or dry skin.
To help stabilize Vitamin C and offer some additional benefits there are usually added some other ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid.
The benefits of using Vitamin C in skincare:
1. As a powerful anti-oxidant it protects the skin from free radicals by neutralising the damaging molecules and the latest research also shows that it actually enhances your skin' natural defence system. The result is younger and healthier looking skin.
2. Thanks to boosting the collagen production in your skin, Vitamin C helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines for firmer and smoother skin.
3. Vitamin C helps to lighten hyperpigmentation and brown spots by stopping the biochemical reactions that cause uneven pigmentation in your skin whether caused by natural (aging) or environmental (UV radiation) factors.
When you look at all the skin benefits Vitamin C can offer then it's a no brainer that we should use products that contain it. There are hundreds of them on the beauty market these days. Depending on which form of Vitamin C they contain and at which concentration, their effectiveness will differ. It's all about starting with something gentle and when your skin is happy with it then you might slowly try more potent products.
There's no strict rule as at which time of day to use products containing Vitamin C but because of its skin defending from environmental factors benefits I like to use it in the morning and separate it from my other actives like retinol, AHA's and BHA which I use at night time.
I have tried quite a few different Vitamin C products, some more effective then others, (will link at the end of the post some products I've used and reviewed on the blog) but currently I am using Pixi Vitamin C Tonic and Omorovicza Daily Vitamin C Serum* which have been working really well for my skin. I've been using both products for 2 months and I have seen a massive improvement in my dark spots I was left with after Summer, (despite using SPF50 daily I might add, they're just the damage I've done in my youth which comes back to me every Summer).
Pixi Vitamin-C Tonic, from £10 for 100ml
Aqua/Water/Eau, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ascorbic Acid, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Beta-Carotene, Ferulic Acid, Tocopherol, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract, Microcitrus Australis Fruit Extract, Microcitrus Australasica Fruit Extract, Citrus Glauca Fruit Extract, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Citrus Junos Peel Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Phospholipids, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide.
One of the latest additions to Pixi Tonics and one I can highly recommend as a part of your skincare routine, used after cleansing your skin and before serum/moisturiser. It contains lots of ingredients but without getting into the finest details let's focus on the ones that I am most interested in as a part of today's post. Ascorbic Acid, high up on the ingredient list suggesting higher concentration, is supported by Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E (Tocopherol) and Sodium Hyaluronic (Hyaluronic Acid). There are also plenty of fruit extracts to provide gentle exfoliation and further brightening effect and probiotics (Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate) to help strengthen skin's barrier.
The Tonic smells really citrusy and it's perfect for the morning to help me feel more awake, it feels hydrating on the skin and I've never found it irritating. Perfect for anyone to add Vitamin C to their skincare routine.
Omorovicza Daily Vitamin C Serum*, £87 for 30ml
Aqua (Hungarian Thermal Water), Glycerin, Propanediol, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Alcohol, Yeast Extract, Sclerotium Gum, Sodium Levulinate, Alcohol Denat., Niacinamide, Sodium Anisate, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Pca, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Benzyl Alcohol, Parfum (Fragrance), Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Nasturtium Officinale Flower/Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phospholipids, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Benzoate, Actinidia Arguta Fruit Extract, Limonene, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Geraniol.

Omorovicza Daily Vitamin C Serum
This is a very expensive serum but all Omorovicza products are, they're formulated with the Hungarian Thermal Water (their patented Healing Concentrate) which soothes the skin and helps to make it look healthier and younger. 
The Serum contains Vitamin C in it's stable and gentle form (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) supported by Kiwberry (Actinidia Arguta Fruit Extract), a naturally potent source of Vitamin C. Sodium Hyaluronate not only helps to stabilise Vitamin C but it's a powerful humectant which attracts and retain moisture in the skin making it look plumper.
Complex of Watercress Extract (Nasturtium Officinale Flower/Leaf Extract), Zinc and Niacinamide work to inhibit the production of melanin, reducing pigmentation and correcting skin tone for a brighter, more even complexion.
The serum comes in a glass bottle with a pipette type of applicator, it has milky consistency and subtle citrusy scent. It sinks in quickly into the skin without leaving tacky residue but it doesn't feel hydrating on its own, I feel an immediate need to follow with moisturiser. There is an addition of alcohol in this serum which isn't ideal but apart from the initial feeling of a bit of dryness upon application I haven't experience any long term sides effects of the alcohol content. In fact I've been really enjoying using this serum, alongside the Pixi Tonic, and my skin has been looking pretty bright with even skin tone, something that was my main skin concern a few months ago.
If the Omorovicza serum is out of your budget there are some cheaper alternatives which I have tried and enjoyed using:
Do you use Vitamin C serum/moisturiser?
 *Products gifted to me without the obligation to feature them on the blog


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