Is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate The Best Vitamin C Serum?

Leom Rind on White Background

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.

Does Blue Light Affect Our Health?

bluelight

Over the past few years, there has been plenty of debate about the effects of blue light can have on us. While techies applaud the convenience that brighter, clearer screens offer our hectic schedules, sleep gurus and skin experts have warned about the implications they can have on our sleeping patterns and complexions. 

Last year, a study found that blue light can be detrimental to our eyes and cause damage to our cornea and retina. Researchers from the University of South China warned that we should take protective measures, especially at night to help prevent putting our eyes under oxidative stress.

Earlier this week, another study highlighted that it could be possible that blue light doesn’t just damage our eyes, but it could also affect our brain. Scientists at Oregon State University looked at the effect of blue light has on fruit flies and found that even if it’s not shining directly into your eyes, blue light can damage the neurons in your brain. 

“There is evidence suggesting that increased exposure to artificial light is a risk factor for sleep and circadian disorders,” says co-author of the study, Eileen Chow. “And with the prevalent use of LED lighting and device displays, we are subjected to increasing amounts of light in the blue spectrum, since commonly used LEDs emit a high fraction of blue light.”

Wait, what is blue light?

From your laptop to your smartphone, pretty much every screen in your home emits high-energy visible (HEV) or ‘blue’ light. Even some of your light bulbs give off blue rays. Why have we moved to blue light? Well, essentially it’s super bright and allows you to see your screen clearly in sunlight and it is thought to help boost attention and mood levels.  

How does it impact your body?

Blue light hasn’t been around for long enough for us to fully understand how it affects us, however scientists have been exploring the topic. Plenty of experts agree that blue light can disrupt our circadian rhythm and light exposure at night has been shown to decrease our melatonin (sleep hormone) levels. 

A couple of years back, a study compared the impact of blue light with green light when it comes to our body clock and found that the former suppressed our melatonin levels for twice as long. So, if you’re the kind of person who wakes up in the middle of the night and reaches for your phone, it’s time to take note and potentially invest in a gentler bedside lamp.

There have also been murmurings about the impact of blue light on our skin and some brands have even brought out formulas that promise to help protect our complexions from the premature ageing that is believed to be triggered by our screens.

Can you protect from blue light?

Aside from living by candlelight and limiting your screen time, a very easy trick is to change the light settings on your phone, laptop and computer. If you have an iPhone you’ll find this in your settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift, which you can set a timer for. While there’s not a lot of research around the benefits of the Night Shift setting, it does highlight how bright the standard blue light setting is and will help limit your exposure in the lead up to bedtime. There are also protective blue light filters in the form of glasses and phone cases. 

If you find it hard to get to sleep at night it is worth taking Cherry Night by Viridian as cherries help to boost your melatonin levels over time. Admittedly the powder does take a couple of weeks to kick into action, but you will notice that it is easier to drift off if you take it consistently every night around an hour before you want to go to bed.

For those who are concerned about the damage blue light is doing to their skin and potentially the rest of their body, it’s worth increasing your intake of antioxidants to help protect against free radical damage. Look to supplements such as astaxanthin and fulvic acid to help protect your body. We recommend Ful.Vic.Health Fulvic Acid Elixir – those who prefer tablets should try Ionicell. Fulvic acid is a fabulous antioxidant and it provides 65+ essential macro and trace minerals to your body (learn more about the benefits, here).

While a lot more research needs to be done to discover exactly how to protect our skin from blue light, dermatologists tend to recommend applying a good quality antioxidant, such as a good vitamin C serum. Regardless of your budget, Garden of Wisdom’s Vitamin C Serum 23% and Ferulic Acid is a good place to start and if you want more of a treatment mask, try Lixirskin’s Vitamin C Paste.

This is an area of research that is going to continue to evolve though. “Human lifespan has increased dramatically over the past century as we’ve found ways to treat diseases, and at the same time we have been spending more and more time with artificial light,” says Chow. “As science looks for ways to help people be healthier as they live longer, designing a healthier spectrum of light might be a possibility, not just in terms of sleeping better but in terms of overall health.”

Do You Need A Super Serum?

Serum Bottles with a dropper lid on pink background

Applying a serum has become a regular protocol in most people’s beauty routines and while stats show that many of us are eschewing multi-step routines, serums are sticking. “A need for simplicity has pushed UK women towards minimalist skincare products with more intense active ingredients, such as serums,” explains Alex Fisher, Global Skincare Analyst at Mintel. “Serums are also a well-liked format, perceived as brightening and nourishing and often include ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants that are said to illuminate skin.” Read More…

September Newsletter

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The September issue and I welcome you to the newsletter where we do several new launches, including two new Garden of Wisdom products and for the second month running another new product from Ameliorate, which makes me extraordinarily happy because it’s pretty amazing, as you would expect.

Additionally, we have new products from The Light Salon and Lebon and we unveil a new skincare brand. Trinny and Shabir are together again, this time doing vitamins through the ages. But there are other things too; we celebrate the awesomeness of Jo Fairley, which I will follow through with a competition. I’m trying to remember if I have ever done a competition on a newsletter and actually I don’t think I have, although no doubt somebody will correct me if my memory is failing me and Shabir can prescribe me the appropriate supplements!

And yet another newsletter when you will need to get keyboard ready as there are a few treats scattered throughout. I also jump onto The Podium with some pretty hard-hitting words, because they need to be said and so I will say them. Let’s go: Read More…

Prickly Pear Seed oil that works for Face, Hair and Hands

Creams, oils, unguents – our guest columnist has tried them all, but this is the one product she recommends to friends the most – by Nigella Lawson

  • When I was 24, I was told by the great Eve Lom that if I wanted to keep my skin good for ever, I absolutely had to wash my face nightly with her thick cleanser-in-a-tub, using a muslin cloth. This, she told me, would be all the exfoliation the skin needed, and the brisk nightly polish would get rid of old, dead skin cells and keep my complexion bright, even as I got older.

    This has since been superseded for me by Temple Spa In The Beginning Deep Cleansing Melt or, when I’m travelling — as it’s lighter and fits better in a make-up bag or the liquids bag at the airport — Lixirskin Electrogel Cleanser, both used with Balm Balm’s organic muslin cloths, which have just the right amount of scritchiness. Read More…