It’s no secret that Vitamin C is one of the essential ingredients to help your skin radiate. We certainly know it to be an ingredient that enables our skin to truly glow from within and it also helps at removing those persistent dark spots we all get from time to time due to sun exposure or scarring. Vitamin C has become a staple in many people’s skincare routine - but we should all be aware that there are different kinds to look out for that may have differing levels of efficacy. It is important to know what we are buying into and whether it is truly going to be beneficial to our skin.
Some varieties of vitamin C are synthetically made, often added to products to cut cost. Whilst ascorbic acid (synthetically made Vitamin C) can sometimes be beneficial to fortify certain foods, it is missing certain compounds compared to its natural counterpart which can hinder its absorbency and potential benefits in skincare. As we have mentioned in a previous Journal article, it is always good to look out for what ingredients are in your skincare bottles. Just because it has vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be absorbed into the skin and utilised.
So, what is an effective option for us if we want to benefit from vitamin C? When we were formulating our facial serum, we looked into the most effective natural oils we could find. One of these hero oils was sea buckthorn, derived from the bright orange berries of the sea buckthorn shrub (hippophae rhamnoides). It is known amongst the natural skincare world for having especially high levels of natural vitamin C, around 15 times more than found in oranges. Rosehip oil (rosa canina) is another hero oil we use in our facial skincare, also packed full of natural vitamin C. You can find it in our Serum, Moisturiser and Cleanser.
Let’s delve into some benefits of using the natural form of vitamin C...
1. Bioavailability, naturally!
The human body has evolved over time to utilise nutrients from natural sources efficiently. Natural vitamin C is a complete complex and all the elements within it work synergistically to provide benefits to your skin. Synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is lacking in most of the elements of its natural counterpart. Natural sources of vitamin C (like sea buckthorn oil and rosehip oil) have a full range of compounds, enhancing bioavailability. In simple terms this means our skin and body has a much easier time absorbing it. Yay for reaping the rewards of these amazing ingredients.
2. Antioxidant Powerhouse
Synthetic vitamin C will always fall short in our eyes for this reason. It lacks the diversity of antioxidants to fight against free radicals, compared to its natural counterpart. These antioxidants play an important role in protecting our skin from oxidative stress, pollution, and UV damage. When using an oil-based serum high in vitamin C, there is no doubt that you will start to see the resulting glow as your skin is protected from those free radicals.
3. Better when accompanied
Synthetic vitamin C is an isolated compound. Synthetic means ‘man-made’ and not found in nature. Ascorbic acid (synthetic vitamin C) is often claimed to be ‘natural, but it is not made in the same way as naturally produced vitamin C and does not have the same compounds on completion. Synthetic vitamin C is normally manufactured from corn starch, and whilst this is natural, the starch is broken down with heat, enzymes, acetone, and hydrochloric acid to make ascorbic acid. The final ascorbic acid can be found in nature, but only in small amounts and as part of a complex of phytonutrients that all come together as natural vitamin C. Naturally derived Vitamin C as found in sea buckthorn oil and rosehip oil works better to protect and nourish the skin as it has not been removed from the other vitamins and minerals alongside it. The harmony between these other vitamins and minerals and vitamin C increases the effectiveness and absorption to support our skins health.
4. Slow Release is The Way
Oils like sea buckthorn and rosehip provide a gradual and sustained release of Vitamin C into the body which ensures a steady supply to the skin cells. This contrasts with the short-lived effects of synthetic formulations which may not deliver lasting impact.
5. Reduced Risk of Irritation
We needed to consider that although synthetic vitamin C may be potent, if it is not formulated into products correctly it can cause skin irritation, particularly in those that have sensitive skin. Natural vitamin C may not pack the same initial punch, but it is generally gentler on the skin making it suitable for a wider range of skin types.
In conclusion, it’s simply Nature’s Bounty
When it comes to skincare, we love to sing about the benefits of natural ingredients for our skincare products. Natural ingredients have many unique advantages such as those we’ve written about above. We’ve found the holistic approach is often best at truly nurturing your skin and providing long-term benefits. From enhanced bioavailability due to the synergy of nutrients working in unison, to diverse antioxidant protection, ready to fight off different free radicals, we know there’s a big benefit from opting for a natural vitamin C source in your skincare routine.
Julie and Bea