Vitamin C has enormous benefits for your skin but not every skin care product will help you unlock those gains.
As well as strengthening our immune system, healing wounds and supporting the absorption of iron, vitamin C vastly improves skin by stimulating collagen formation.
Collagen is the wonder protein that gives skin that plump suppleness that's mostly only seen in young skin. (Stimulating your own collagen is the best way to have lifelong firm, healthy looking skin.)
Why we lose that plump, youthful look as we age is because the vitamin C that was plumping up the outer layers of skin gradually decreases.
This ageing process is accelerated by sun exposure and environmental pollutants such as cigarette smoke.
No surprises there.
You may be surprised, however, to realise that using the right type and right dose of vitamin C in your skin care products can actually reverse and prevent collagen loss.
Most commercial skin care products don’t use the right vitamin C in their products, rendering them as useful as a white crayon. Here’s why:
'Good and bad' vitamin C
There are two types of vitamin C:
- Natural vitamin C– extracted from vitamin-rich plants such as citrus trees and rose bushes, and
- Synthetic vitamin C– aka ascorbic acid, manufactured in factories from corn syrup.
Which do you think gives the best results for skin?
You won’t be surprised to hear that, even though natural and synthetic vitamin C are chemically identical, only natural vitamin C is skin-friendly.
This is because natural vitamin C comes with bioflavonoids and beta-carotene, which aid skin absorption and the uptake of active ingredients.
Natural vitamin C and many bioflavonoids work closely together to reduce the likelihood of allergies and inflammation.
This perfect combination of natural nutrients helps to make the skin more resilient and able to resist the challenges of environmental exposure.
By themselves, they cannot give the same beneficial results.
But it is not enough to merely use a natural form of vitamin C.
For the very best skin results, natural vitamin C must be delivered in concentrated, potent and viable amounts.
The naked truth about Ascorbic Acid and vitamin C
Ascorbic acid (the synthetic type) is a naked version of vitamin C.
it's 'naked' because it lacks natural vitamin C's naturally occurring co-nutrients bioflavonoids and beta-carotene.
Many brands mislead customers into thinking that the ascorbic acid comes from oranges, but this is simply untrue.
There was never an orange anywhere near these products - regardless of the orange packaging and pictures of oranges. Many brands even add orange colouring to their 'vitamin C' products in an effort to link them (falsely) with oranges and 'natural skin care'.
Ascorbic acid skin care products have nothing to do with oranges
Ascorbic acid is extracted from corn syrup in pollution-pumping factories in China and India and transported to Australia and elsewhere in vast drums.
No oranges found here - how Ascorbic Acid is manufactured
Journalist Ruth Ostrow, writing in The Australian newspaper, quotes the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition as saying natural Vitamin C is more readily absorbed by the body than synthetic Vitamin C.
It’s the same for skin.
However, skin care ranges that add lots of synthetic Vitamin C aren’t even doing it for the vitamin effect.
They're simply using Ascorbic Acid as an alternative to glycolic and other acid products.
Not that this is effective.
High levels of Ascorbic Acid only serve to irritate the surface of the skin and cause it to swell.
First-time users of Glycolic Acids might notice an initial ‘plumpness’ to their skin from this swelling. It works the same way as the formic acid that causes swelling after a bee sting.
This plumpness soon disappears. The end result is an acid burn, no matter how mild the daily applications appear to be. And the resulting hyper-sensitivity can take some time to fix.
Only natural skin care products that have an added boost of real vitamin C (vitamin C that naturally also contains flavonoids) will boost skin radiance and refinement.
The weak logic of our rivals
Many natural and organic skin care products that claim to contain natural Vitamin C don’t even contain much of it at all.
Some brands use ingredients such as Native Kakadu Plum extract or Lemon Peel Bioflavonoids as the natural Vitamin C component.
But the companies that manufacture and supply these commercial extracts state in their literature that they dilute their extracts with glycerin and water.
So, while you think you're getting natural Vitamin C, there's probably only about 0.4% of Natural Kakadu Plum in the product.
A tiny percentage of ingredients like this is not enough to achieve skin results.
Effective natural Vitamin C in skin care
Naturopath and herbalist David Lyons only uses natural Vitamin C extracted from the fruit of the rose in Simplicité products.
He extracts these vital ingredients for his serums from Rosehip husks, the flavonoid-and-vitamin-rich seed covering that is usually discarded in the commercial manufacture of Rosehip oil.
Rosehip husk is one of the top three known sources of natural Vitamin C.
Simplicité fresh Rosehip extract naturally contains bioflavonoids, which have been shown to reduce skin inflammation and to be anti-allergenic.
The extract is also rich in pro-Vitamin A or carotenoids, the orange and red pigments found in plants, which act as antioxidants.
David Lyons combines this fresh extract with the highest quality Rosehip oil taken from plants growing in the mountainous regions of Chile.
Then he adds anti-ageing retinoic acid, extracted from Rosehip seeds.
These are powerful, active antioxidants.
The Simplicité fresh rosehip extract naturally contains bioflavonoids which tone weakened blood vessels near the skin’s surface.
Just the thing for rosy cheeks that are a bit too rosy (a common complaint about rosacea).
Skin loves this ‘real’ Vitamin C because it’s bioactive – it produces visible results in living tissue.
It can’t help but give effective, lasting results for anti-ageing and repairing sun damage.
Where to find natural Vitamin C in our products
Natural Vitamin C from Rosehips features in many Simplicité products, including Results Lift Gel.
Because Results Lift Gel works to boost skin elasticity and tone with every use it is also known as a natural alternative to Botox.
As well as Rosehips, Results Lift Gel contains:
- Olive leaf polyphenols to promote elasticity
- Calendula flower oligoglycoside - works against sun damage
- Mandarin essential oil containing methyl anthranilate, which restores a youthful complexion
- Cajeput limonene and Fennel seed estragole - skin firming
- Lemongrass citral - naturally fades sun damage.
Always be sure to exfoliate effectively, use one of the active Serums, Firming Rehydration Eye Creme, and a Day and Night nutritive moisturiser in conjunction with Results Lift Gel for maximum benefit.
Promote collagen production by using the natural vitamin C rich Rosehip and Lavender Complexion Refiner at least twice weekly. It firms skin while helping to shrink the appearance of pores and gives similar or better results than microdermabrasion - without the negative side effects of the latter. Sufferers of rosacea and acne benefit greatly from regular use of this mask.
Another way of replenishing stores of vitamin C in your skin is with a twice-daily drenching of Rehydration Serum, which rebuilds deep moisture reserves.
As well as Rosehip extracts, this results-driven serum contains Sesame and Hazelnut to reduce the appearance of sun damage and scarring. It also contains the Vitamin A benefits of Calendula and Carrot which are anti-inflammatory and restore elasticity.
You will recognize the potency of natural vitamin C when you see the results.
What are your experiences with vitamin C products? Leave your comments below.