A Better Vitamin C for Sensitive Skin and Pregnancy
Vitamin C is a well-researched skincare staple that should be included in everyone's routine. It is effective at boosting collagen production, inhibiting enzymes that lead to hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, and offers excellent antioxidant benefits. Bonus, it is also an amazing pregnancy safe and breastfeeding safe skincare active that can brighten, firm and protect skin.
However, choosing the right form and formula is key.
Ascorbic acid is the original form, but it must remain at a very acidic pH (3-3.5) to absorb effectively into skin. Formulas also need a high concentration of ascorbic acid to achieve desired brightening effects. A notoriously unstable ingredient, ascorbic acid can be stabilized with advanced formulation methods (like AA + Vitamin E + Ferulic acid). However, effective formulas still require a high percentage at a low pH, making this superstar ingredient irritating for many people.
Over time, chemists have created a variety of Vitamin C derivatives to get around instability and absorption challenges, but some evidence has concluded that these forms do not convert into ascorbic acid in the skin and therefore have inferior benefits relative to pure Vitamin C.
Enter a Non-Irritating, Efficacious Vitamin C
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THD) is a novel, oil-soluble Vitamin C ester. Studies also show that THD has unique multi-functional capabilities for skin and hair.
THD delivers on all the promises of Vitamin C (firms, brightens, protects) but also:
- Is extremely biocompatible (absorbs into the stratum corneum and converts into ascorbic acid)
- Is non-irritating, even at highly concentrated levels
- Shows excellent efficacy and utility for both skin and hair
- Is very stable when stored correctly
Benefits of Oil-Soluble Vitamin C for Skin and Hair
At Syll Botanics we are all about leveraging proven, multi-tasking, synergistic ingredients in our formulas to achieve the most impactful and wide-ranging results with the least amount of products. We love THD because of the many promising uses is offers for both skin and hair, and it's compatibility with other amazing actives.
Let's explore THD's key benefits.
BRIGHTENS & ENHANCES THE COMPLEXION
Vitamin C helps to reduce the synthesis of melanin and thus prevent and treat hyperpigmentation (including melasma). In vivo testing shows that THD specifically can eliminate dark sports and fade hyperpigmentation within four months.
An even more unique differentiator is THD's demonstrated ability to reduce acne in 80% of participants in one clinical trial.
How we use it: The Face & Eye One contains optimal levels of THD plus the natural retinol alternatives, bakuchiol & rosehip, and the powerhouse antioxidant CoQ10. We used these ingredients synergistically to make our facial serum more effective brightening and improving the complexion, without irritating side effects of ascorbic acid (or retinol for that matter).
FIRMS AND SMOOTHS
Applied topically, Vitamin C promotes collagen synthesis and enhances cellular processes for the production of healthy skin. Evidence shows THD’s ability to minimize fine lines and achieve firmer, healthier looking skin. It may even help skin to produce collagen more effectively than ascorbic acid.
How we use it: We amplify this effect in The Face & Eye One by using complementary actives (our retinol alternatives mentioned above) in addition to potent levels of THD. We also included ceramides, phytosterols, squalane and complete spectrum of Omegas 3, 5, 6, 7 & 9 to promote a healthy healthy skin barrier. This is critical for helping skin to retain moisture and achieve a naturally plump, hydrated effect.
Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant for protecting against both biological and environmental stressors. Free radicals are created when skin is exposed to elements like UV rays or pollution, causing cellular damage and pre-mature skin aging.
Vitamin C and other antioxidants can help neutralize these free radicals and prevent this damage from occurring. This protection is important for scalp and hair as well, to inhibit the oxidation process that weakens hair follicles and damages cuticles.
How we use it: Research shows that Vitamin C defends best when combined with other antioxidants, so we've formulated with THD alongside a cocktail of other defenders, like Vitamin E, in both of our Vitamin C rich serums.
In addition to boosting collagen production, Vitamin C supports a healthy lipid layer, which is needed for resilience to stressors and improves the ability to grow comfortably (extra important during phases like pregnancy when skin is being stretched rapidly).
How we use it: The Body & Hair One leverages this benefit of THD, plus hyaluronic and behenic acids, nutrient dense superfoods and added ceramides to improve elasticity, smooth texture and provide lasting moisture.
THD has unique topical benefits for hair, too! Like skin, hair is exposed to environmental stressors like UV, heat, chlorine and pollution. In vivo trials demonstrate THD's ability to repair damaged hair cuticles, smooth strands and increase shine. It even resists wash-out after cleansing, so that it's strengthening and protective benefits can last over time.
How we use it: The Body & Hair One smooths and repairs hairs strands, and helps soothe and fight environmental damage to skin, hair and scalp. Our special Vitamin C ester is a major factors in obtaining these benefits, but we've also upleveled this serum with plant squalane, ceramides and sterols along with a range of other nutrients and antioxidants from several superfood oils.
This Vitamin C is Safe, Gentle and Effective During Pregnancy
It's hard to find safe skincare actives that give great results during pregnancy. Vitamin C is one of those awesome ingredients, but as mentioned above, it can be quite irritating. And if you are pregnant, you probably notice how much more sensitive your skin is over all.
That is one reason we love THD so much: it provides results without the irritation. We use it in The Face & Eye One to even out skin tone, help prevent pigmentation and fight the appearance of melasma, illuminate the eye area and promote clearer skin. It shows up in The Body & Hair One as a powerful booster for helping improve skin elasticity and minimize the appearance of new stretchmarks and scars.
Sustainable Sourcing of Vitamin C
Although Vitamin C is a naturally occurring substance, virtually all forms of Vitamin C that you might see on an ingredient label have been manufactured and purified in a lab. They can be derived from natural sources and/or produced using synthetic raw materials.
Whether synthetic or natural, we believe that all raw materials used to create cosmetic ingredients must be safe for both humans and the environment. For this reason we do not use petrochemicals in our products.
Ensuring petroleum derivatives haven't snuck into our supply chain requires extensive ingredient vetting. We were surprised to find that many manufactures do use petrochemicals as a source to synthesize raw materials used to make THD. It's a bit like detective work, because you have to really dig in to find the material origins (and many supplier representatives don't even know this information).
However, we did find one ingredient supplier with an ISO certified 100% natural origin rating for THD. Their raw materials are all non-GMO, and any palm oil used is RSPO certified as well. It's not perfect, but it is by far the most sustainable option available.
There must be downsides, right?
The main downsides of THD are price and data.
It's one of the most expensive forms of Vitamin C. But, as with many great things, price reflects quality. We believe the benefits outweigh the (literal) costs.
Finally, because it's a newer ingredient, there just aren't as many scientific studies about THD as compared to ascorbic acid. However, considering it alongside other derivatives of Vitamin C and many lesser studied skincare actives, there is still material evidence that it is incredibly effective and amazing for sensitive skin.
We use tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate in both of our serum-moisturizers to achieve real results from head to toe. Check them out and give your skin a daily dose of Vitamin C!
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Please note this information is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease. If you have a specific medical concern, please consult with a licensed medical professional for personalized care.