Supplement or Serum? Vitamin C in skincare.

We've had a few customers ask if we use Vitamin C in our serums and face creams.  In answer to their queries, I wanted to let everyone know why it's a ‘no (or at least a 'not yet') until more research comes to light. 

I’m sure you have seen a lot of natural products on the market extolling the virtues of Vitamin C in skincare and may still notice the absence of it in our products.

I recommend our patients and customers take Vitamin C orally on a regular basis for many beneficial actions including:
  • antioxidant
  • immune boosting
  • cellular repair

Human beings are one of just a handful of animals that cannot produce their own sources of Vitamin C within their body and rely on it from their diet.

It's recognised that the skin, especially the epidermis, has high levels of Vitamin C which helps to protect it from sun and environmental damage, to assist in collagen production, to help maintain skin elasticity and to heal wounds.

Vitamin C is transported to the dermal layer of the skin via the blood supply, in those of us with healthy levels.
Research tells us that only when the Vitamin C levels are deficient, can more be absorbed through the skin. So, at the body’s saturated levels, no more can be absorbed via the gut or the skin.
This is why taking larger doses of Vitamin C (for instance, when you are fighting a virus) are recommended at staggered intervals throughout the day. 

Many forms of water soluble Vitamin C are notoriously unstable and oxidise immediately when they come into contact with air (and therefore the skin) - rendering them useless as a skin nutrient. Those that are more stable in skin preparations, are usually fat soluble, esterised forms and these can be encapsulated, to keep the molecules intact while being transmitted through the protective, oily stratum corneum of the epidermis, allowing them to penetrate to deeper levels. These are likely the most effective forms of topical therapeutic Vitamin C, yet research is currently telling us that they are potentially rendered useless  - unless you are Vitamin C deficient.
(Most common causes of deficiency include: Heavy smokers, alcoholics, anorexia, kidney failure, mental illness).

So, in my opinion, for the time being, you may be better off physically and financially taking a recommended daily dose of a plant based form of Vitamin C orally (fruit, vegetable or supplement) and letting it work on your skin from the inside out via the blood supply to the dermis. It will do a lot of good elsewhere too!

This is what we recommend and sell in the clinic and shop:
  • Pukka capsules
  • Buy (and nurture) one of our organic parsley plants for sale at our shop. Or grow your own parsley, as it's amongst one of the higher forms of available Vitamin C.
Here’s some links to lists of fruit and veg high in Vitamin C - they all vary a bit but you’ll get the gist of it:

In my search for research around Vitamin C, I found an informative article written a few months ago by Jen Noakovich. She has kindly let me share this link to her article with you on our site:

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