Not trailing far behind, during the past 5 years is non other than Vitamin C, or should we call it the ‘New new black’. Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C endogenously, so it is an essential dietary component.
Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, certain neurotransmitters and involved in protein metabolism. Collagen is an essential component of connective tissue, which plays a vital role in wound healing. It is not difficult to guess why it has become a natural choice for many pharma and skincare manufacturers to race towards stabilizing this ‘easily oxidized’ active ingredient, bottle it and ship it into our hands.
What happens when we apply concentrated Vitamin C skincare on our pigments?
Vit. C interacts with copper ions at the tyrosinase-active site and inhibits action of the enzyme tyrosinase, thereby decreasing the melanin formation. However, Vit. C is an unstable compound. It is therefore often combined with other agents such as soy and liquorice for better depigmenting effect.
Will topical Vitamin C serum or cream work to get rid of our pigments?
Whilst most topical Vit. C is largely safe to use on a daily basis for long durations, it is observed that while Vitamin C and other anti-pigmentation agents including AHA like Glycolic Acid tends to over-stimulate the skin. Thus causing dryness and sensitivity. Minor adverse reactions include a yellowish discoloration of the skin of skin may also be observed.
It has to be accompanied with a good skincare routine of cleanse, tone, skin tonic like serum, essence or ampoule, hydrating/anti-senstive cream, sunblock. Ideally, a facial oil a couple of times at night. This will help balance the water and oil content in the skin for optimum biochemistry function, hence maintain a healthy skin barrier.
Can it be used as a long term skincare?
Having used a 3 bottles of stabilized Vitamin C serum on my Solar Lentigo (sunspot), I noticed the pigments dispersed into a ring around my original spot. Whilst the sunspot looks lighter, the surrounding skin has also become lighter. Not very sightly. Indeed Vitamin C serum was my first attempt on getting rid of my sunspot, albeit not very successful in meeting my expectation.
Further to consultation with my dermatologist, I went on to try Laser Facial (broadband light) combined with Vitamin A cream at night. The best results so far.
The pigments are much lighter now but having cared for them for last 5 years together with my dermatologist and my knowledge as a practicing beautician (with access to so many world’s best’ skincare, these are my learnings.
- After pigments have formed due to over sun exposure or hormonal changes, cell memory persists and the pigments will return after 6 to 12 months.
- A good yearly maintenance program (a combination of laser facial and topical vitamin A in my case) with a trusted dermatologist (do not doctor hop).
- All the invasive treatment is not a replacement of a good skincare routine including Sunblock. Hydrating is the key for day time and Anti-aging with facial oil or more nourishing product is key at night.
- Our goal is to maintain a healthy skin with a good exercise routine, meditation with deep breathing, a diet full of anti-oxidant, good oil eg. Udo oil and good protein source esp. fish and beans.
- A balanced approach to skincare is a lasting one as glowy skin is a reflection of peak state of mind, soul and spirit.
Hope you have enjoyed this Skin Care Singapore article.