Is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate The Best Vitamin C Serum?

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Pure Vitamin C serums for the face containing L-Ascorbic Acid are beneficial for the skin helping to protect against damaging free radicals that encourage wrinkles by destroying the collagen matrix. They also help to brighten and freshen the appearance of dull looking skin, together with inhibiting the formation of pigment in skin prone to hyperpigmentation. However, Vitamin C serums containing pure L-ascorbic acid do have some limiting factors which can influence their effectiveness.  We explore:

Limiting Factors of Vitamin C Serums

Most vitamin C serums are water-soluble because L-Ascorbic Acid, known as vitamin C or L-AA for short, disperses evenly in a water-based serum, but therein lies a problem. The dermis of the skin has a rich lipid (oil) barrier and it is here that many of the nutrients, including vitamin C, are required to manufacture collagen, a protein that gives skin its youthful firmness and the ability to resist wrinkles. Using water soluble vitamin C serums containing L-AA can be an issue since this nutrient cannot make it through the oil barrier and therefore cannot provide maximum benefits as far as collagen manufacture is concerned.

To overcome this, some formulators use very high strengths of L-ascorbic acid (including us) so that at least some of this vitamin will be delivered to the dermis, however this can still be a problem and we are aware of this. If you have sensitive or reactive skin, such high strength vitamin C serums can cause tingling, irritation, redness and may be uncomfortable to use.

Vitamin C is highly pH dependant. It only works at a low pH since it is an acid and anything added in the serum that is alkaline will neutralise it, rendering it ineffective. Formulating this form of vitamin C into a serum is not easy because you have to use preservatives and other ingredients that have a low pH and this can be problematic especially to those with sensitive skin.

Another problem can arise using high strength vitamin C serums containing L-ascorbic acid. L-Ascorbic Acid is highly unstable when exposed to light and/or air. It oxidises to Dehydro Ascorbic Acid (DHAA)which then further degrades to different irritating acids. In effect, the best case is that you may have a product that is not so effective and the worse case is that the oxidation creates free radicals that are actually damaging to the skin. To mitigate this during the day, a sunscreen is absolutely imperative, but it is unlikely that this will provide protection all day unless applied reasonably frequently.

These are just some of the limiting factors of using the pure acidic form of vitamin C, L-Ascorbic Acid. This has led to a host of synthetic vitamin C derivatives such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate and numerous other vitamin C esters.

Vitamin C derivatives

When a compound is added to vitamin C, such as a palmitate or phosphate, this then changes the compound making vitamin C less likely to degrade. So aside from being less likely to degrade, the other advantages of vitamin C derivatives is that they are less irritating and to a large extent not dependant upon pH.

The disadvantage of these derivatives is that they tend to be less effective than L-ascorbic acid. Many of these derivatives tend to be water soluble meaning that tend to work only on the surface layers and some of the oil soluble derivatives such as ascorbyl palmitate tend not to be converted into ascorbic acid when they reach the dermis meaning they are not that beneficial.  Knowing these limitations, we have been in research and development and the result is C-Deep Vitamin C Serum.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a form of vitamin C which has been modified to be soluble in oil or lipids. Studies indicate that it not only penetrates the epidermis, the uppermost layer of skin, but also the dermis, which is the deepest layer of skin. In fact, it penetrates the skin faster and deeper than any other form of vitamin C.

So if it penetrates both layers of the skin, does this make it more effective? Vitamin C derivatives need to be converted into L-ascorbic acid; it is the L-ascorbic acid element that fades away your age spots, enhances collagen production and fights free radicals. Studies indicate that Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate does convert into L-ascorbic acid and behaves in exactly the same way as L-ascorbic acid, but without the limitations.  This is important.

Its benefits are:

Provides potent antioxidant protection by destroying free radicals that cause premature ageing of skin.

It provides skin brightening benefits by reducing the amount of skin pigment by almost 80%.

Helps boost collagen production and, in fact, more so than L-ascorbic acid. This is because one of the limiting factors with L-ascorbic acid is its inability to penetrate deeper into the dermis.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate also stimulates the production of glycosaminoglycans such as hyaluronic acid that are naturally present in skin and so help to hydrate skin as well as plump skin cells. Levels of these glycosaminoglycans decline with age and this may account for some of the changes that occur with our skin as we age.

Tetrahexydecyl ascorbate is stable, safe, effective and suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin.

Garden of Wisdom’s C-Deep Vitamin C Serum is, in my opinion, one the best vitamin C serums currently available on the market. This vitamin C serum contains a therapeutic strength of Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate which is suspended in Squalane, a light oil that is easily absorbed into skin.

Included in this vitamin C serum is Thiotane®, a powerful antioxidant amino acid that occurs naturally in the body. It is found in high concentrations around cells prone to free radical damage helping to protect the genetic material and the mitochondria, which are the energy factories within our cells. These energy factories are absolutely vital for cell regeneration and repair.

Garden of Wisdom C-Deep Vitamin C Serum provides a potent blast of vitamin C to your skin without any irritation. Like all Garden of Wisdom serums, this vitamin C serum is clean, non-toxic, free from alcohol and silicones.

This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Shabir Daya, Skin | , , , , , , ,
  • Eve1874

    hi, for pigmentation caused by sun damage would I be best using the GOW c-deep serum or the alpha arbutin serum? Or both? From what I’ve read both seem to help fade pigmentation but I’m not sure what the difference between them is. Thanks

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, Vitamin C, Alpha arbutin and kojic acid all work as skin brighteners and often are paired together to have a greater effect. You might wish to try the Garden of Wisdom Alpha Arbutin + Kojic acid which also contains a vitamin C derivative.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Eve1874

    OK I will give that a try. Thanks Shabir.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Please keep me informed if you can.

  • BJ

    Hi – do you feel this product could be used if one has stage 2 Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea? Papules are located only along the lower part of the face. Pustules are not present. Thank you.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate itself is not acidic in nature and is converted deeper into the tissues into L-ascorbic acid so definitely this will not aggravate erythematotelangietatic rosacea. If anything, vitamin C strengthens the tiny capillary networks over a period of time as well as calming down underlying inflammation. You can use this form of vitamin C for its multiple benefits but the gold standard for rosacea treatment remains the skin-friendly azelaic acid which gradually smoothes surface irregularities.
    Shabir

  • BJ

    Great, thank you very much Shabir. May I also ask what you would suggest in regards to applying which product when (vitamin C and the azelaic acid ), along with a mineral sunscreen?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, I would be inclined to use in the AM regimen, Vitamin C first followed by your sunscreen whereas in the PM regimen I would use Azelaic acid before the vitamin C.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Patricia

    Hi, [I’m French, sorry for my bad English!].
    Someone told me about Vitamin C Serum 23% + Ferulic Acid. But now I see all the products from Garden of Wisdom, and I don’t know what to choose!
    I’m 61 years old, with a very sensitive and deshydrated skin, with some wrinkles, some redness, some dark spots, some age spots…
    What would you recommend to me to improve all this?
    Thank you in advance for your kind answer.
    Kind regards,
    Patricia

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Patricia, I am going to recommend a simple regimen to be used in the order listed which I am sure will provide marked benefits.
    AM: Anti-aging MultiPeptide Serum; Alpha arbutin + Kojic acid; Neurophroline Serum; your own cream (optional).
    PM: Vitamin C Serum 23% + Ferulic Acid; Anti-aging MultiPeptide Serum; Prickly Pear Oil
    The peptide serum works to enhance collagen production and at the same time is a powerful antioxidant serum to protect skin against free radical damage and oxidative stress.
    Alpha arbutin serum works to control the amount of pigment being produced and at the same time brightens and lightens any age spots.
    Neurophroline serum contains super low molecular weight hyaluronic acid to hydrate as deeply as possible whilst the neurophroline works to reduce inflammatory cortisol produced as a result of environmental aggressions including pollutants and chemicals.
    Vitamin C 23% provides l-ascorbic acid which works on multiple levels to improve skin texture, tone and elasticity. This is fine is you do not have sensitive skin otherwise use C-Deep Vitamin C Serum.
    Prickly Pear seed oil replenished lipids lost through cleansing and other factors to help restore elasticity whilst also improving skin tone.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Patricia

    Thank you so much, Shabir!
    I suppose I have to wait until each serum has penetrated the skin before applying the other one?

  • Patricia

    And what about Eye Contour serum? :)

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Yes absolutely Patricia and normally allow 30 seconds approximately.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    I love Eye Contour Serum and it was my personal mission however many people prefer to use the face serum such as peptides taking it right through to under the eyes but the Eye Contour is different and so you can use just before the last step of your moisturiser.

  • Patricia

    Thank you so much for all your advice!
    Kind regards,
    Patricia

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome Patricia and please keep us informed if you can.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Naomi, niacinamide is a topical that works for a myriad of concerns many of which occur in the epidermis (the outer cell layers) such as hyperpigmentation, oil secretions, the breakdown of ceramides (tiny oil particles that prevent dehydration) and so on. One of the functions of niacinamide is for collagen production which occurs deeper down and if this what you really need a topical for then the C-Deep Serum would be the one of choice.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Marie Laure

    Hi, As this C-Deep Vitamin C Serum contains squalane oil, does it leave a greasy film on the face? So then could I apply it at the same time as for example The Ordinary Retinol in Squalane or other oil based retinol in the evening? I have been using the regular Vitamin C from GOW and I love it, is this new serum stronger/more efficient? And finally could I use the regular one in the AM and C-deep in the evening, would there be any benefits? (For info I’m 49 and I have faded freckles which used to be a lot more prominent years ago, no dark spots as of yet) Thanks

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Marie, most users report that this serum sinks into skin readily and often within the first 30 seconds. You can safely use this vitamin C derivative with retinol in squalane. Like you, many customers use Vitamin C Serum 23% in the AM and the C-Deep Vitamin C Serum in the PM regimen. Being oil-based, it does tend to work at the deeper levels but do remember that vitamin C is also required with the epidermis for a myriad of other processes and for photo-protection.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Sophie

    Hi!
    Thank you for the article. I’d like to order it and I’m wondering which other products to get to target a mix of skin concerns. What would you recommend for combination skin that tends to be congested, is dull, with enlarged pores on the cheeks and signs of ageing?
    Thanks!

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Sophie, I have set out a regimen which might prove to be effective for your concerns. Please use in the order listed.
    AM: Anti-aging MultiPeptide Serum; Niacinamide Serum; Daily Hydrator
    PM: Salicylic Acid Serum; Anti-aging MultiPeptide Serum; C-Deep Vitamin C Serum
    The reason I have kept C-Deep to be used once daily is because I dont wish to overuse the squalane which although a very light oil could potentially clog pores if used twice a day. The Salicylic acid will help unclog pores and exfoliate to improve pore appearance whilst niacinamide works in tandem to normalise oil production.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Sophie

    Hi Shabir,
    Thank you very much for your answer and for the detailed explanations. I will follow the recommended routine.
    Best Wishes,
    Sophie

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome Sophie and please keep us informed if you can.

  • Sven Huylebroeck

    I am a bit underwhelmed. It contains only 3% of THD… To compare Peter Thomas Roth’s serum with vit c. contains 20%… I bought twe bottles because of the promissing article but I doubt that 3% will work. Why so low? Sorry for my bad English but I’m from Belgium where we speak Dutch and French.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Sven, most of the research points to 3% THD being sufficient for collagen synthesis and for the numerous other benefits that this vitamin C derivative offers. Please either email me through our customer care team and I will respond back in greater detail.
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, I see no reason why resveratrol + ferulic acid could not be used. Dermatologists recommend using L-ascorbic acid in a separate regimen to copper peptides.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • mfair

    Hi Shabir,
    Over the past few months the skin on my cheeks and nose has become blotchy and there are more broken veins in these areas (although I have been outdoors more than is usual ). I have been using Neurophroline serum preceded by the Anti-Aging Multipeptide serun and always use a sunscreen AM.. Can you please suggest what I can use to improve this. My skin is very sensitive at the best of times. Thanks, Maura

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Maura, please incorporate Fulvic Face Cream into your regimen if you can. This cream acts to calm down inflammatiion, acts as a primer to improve skin’s appearance and helps nourish to aid cell regeneration. This would be applied before your sunscreen in the AM and the last step in the PM regimen.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • mfair

    Hi Shabir,
    Thank you for suggesting the Fulvic Face Cream and when to use it. I will buy some.

    Best wishes,
    Maura

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    I am sure you will love it like most of our customers.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Amanda

    Hi Shabir, I hope you can help me. I am looking for a new facial regime due to recently developing rosacea during the menopause. My skin is very dehydrated, lacking in elastacity with a rough, bumpy texture. Its very sensitive and I am struggling to find a moisturiser as I cannot tolerate aloe vera, which is in alot of good products that might otherwise be suitable. Would be very grateful for any advice you could give. Kind regards ps. I have just started using your new azaleic acid which seems to be working well for me.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Amanda, I like to keep things simple with rosacea-prone skin so perhaps we should start with using a simple regimen as outlined below:
    AM: Daily Cleanser; Neurophroline Serum; Daily Hydrator
    PM: Daily Cleanser; Azelaic acid (two or three times a week); Niacinamide Serum; C-Deep serum

    Daily Cleanser cleans skin without stripping it of natural oils and respects skin’s microbiome.
    Neurophroline contains super low molecular weight hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin and also wild indigo to keep skin calm and free from redness.
    Daily hydrator is a light non-pore clogging emulsion ideal for sensitive and rosacea-prone skin.
    Niacinamide serum calms down redness and improves skin barrier function
    C-Deep provides a derivative of vitamin C to enhance collagen synthesis and additonally contains squalane to replenish lipids in skin and therefore restore elasticity.

    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Amanda

    Thank you Shabir, very much appreciated. Would I need to use an additional moisturiser or is the above sufficient without it?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Amanda, generally speaking you would not need a moisturiser unless you have very dry skin.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Riikka

    Could you please help… I just bought Vit C-deep and also 23% Vit C serum. I believe 23% C serum could be used in the morning and C-deep in the evening. I use Retinol in the evening (Medik8 Retinol 3TR) in the evening. Would I apply your Vit C serum BEFORE or AFTER my Retinol? Thank you for your advice.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Riikka, Vitamin C 23% can be used in the morning as long as you use a sunscreen. Retinol works at a higher pH and so it is always best used towards the end of the regimen just before a moisturiser. If using C-Deep then use the retinol first followed by C-Deep. If using vitamin C 23%, then this comes first.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Riikka

    Thank you ever so much Shabir for the great information. I really appreciate that!

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome Rikka.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Paul, C-Deep is suspended in the squalane oil which ensures that this vitamin C derivative does reach the deeper layers of skin. If the serum appears to leave a greasy shine then I have to assume that you are either using more than necessary or that the product is not suitable for your skin type. Alternatively, you can use in the PM regimen an an overnight treat. The INCI decoder have got a list of studies and facts about this derivative converting into ascorbic acid in skin.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Paul Fellowes

    Thanks Shabir, I shall read the INCI decoder list of studies. I think you are correct, whilst Squalane is light, my skin does not take to oil bases, so I shall do as you suggest and use in the PM. I will go back to my first love for the AM, GOW Vit-C & Ferrulic. I have used the Skinseuticals L’ascorbic acid and Ferrulic version in the past, and in terms of efficacy, I’d say this is almost identical at a fraction of the cost. Win/Win.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Paul, indeed not every derivative or the “other” ingredients will suit all skin types. I am glad that you like the Vitamin C 23% Serum which is as you say a fraction of the cost of some other vitamin C serums.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Melissa, I am so glad that the regimen is working well and that people have noticed that your skin is hydrated. Vitamin C 23% Serum would cause tingling as it uses the gold standard vitamin C, L-Ascorbic acid, which has been shown to enhance collagen synthesis aside from its numerous other benefits. If the sensation is simply unbearable then use C-Deep Serum instead in the PM before the Fulvic Face Cream.
    Retistar Retinol is the gentlest product i have come across and can be used in the PM regimen before C-Deep Serum.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Evelina Vžesniauskait?

    Hi, I was wondering if this serum could be applied on wet skin, or it should be treated as vitamin c 23 % serum from GOW (applied on dry skin). I use this in am: first apply water based serum (hialuron acid serum) on wet skin, and then, before a moisturizer, I apply c-deep serum, but should I wait for skin to dry out or not. I do like to apply my moisturizer on wet skin too and I always use flower water to keep my skin wet before serum or moisturizer, but with this c-deep serum I am a bit confused.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Dear Evelina, unless your skin very dry, C-Deep should be used after water based serums and before your moisturiser otherwise it might hinder their ability to sink into skin. Most women find that the light oil sinks into skin within a minute or two and they simply apply the moisturiser onto lightly oily skin which then vanishes over a minute or two – this use means your moisturiser glides over easily.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Dear Evelina, the new azelaic acid derivative in serum form is ia super hydrator as well as providing all the other benefits of azelaic acid such as exfoliation and skin brightening. Use AM and PM after the vitamin C 23% in the PM and before the hydrating serum in the AM. You can then continue with the other serums in the order listed.

    Best wishes,
    Shabir