If you love skin care, you probably love vitamin C because of the long list of benefits it brings to your skin, but did you know that not all vitamin C are equal? There are two forms:
- Natural vitamin C comes from plants, fruits like berries, citrus fruits (like lulo), peppers, and other natural foods. Natural vitamin C also contains additional phytonutrients that are beneficial for the skin.
- Synthetic vitamin C – the most popular one is ascorbic acid. Made in the lab, usually from ingredients like corn syrup and processed with chemicals like acetone, yes… acetone as in chemical nail polish remover… Yikes!
At Lulo Skin, we obtain our vitamin C from the Lulo fruit. It is 100% natural. This fruit has an extremely high content of vitamin C. In fact, it has one of the highest vitamin C contents of any other food, topped only by camu camu.
The best way to know if your skincare products use natural or synthetic vitamin C is to look at the ingredient list and see what the wording is next to the nutrient (Vitamin C in this case).
If it's from a natural, real food source, you will only find the name of the fruit (i.e. solanum quitoense – lulo fruit). But if it has been produced synthetically, it will say "from ascorbic acid" (or some other chemical compound).
It's clear that vitamin C should be part of any skincare routine; the question then becomes, what kind of vitamin C is best? Which is better?
Natural Vitamin C is Better, But Let us Explain Why!Both types of vitamin C appear identical in molecular structure, and we know that even synthetic vitamin C provides benefits to the skin. The point is not to say that synthetic vitamin C is bad, but some differences support our preference for natural.
- Bioavailability (i.e. the ability to be readily absorbed and processed by the body): A 2001 study found that L-ascorbic acid has to be formulated at just the right pH level (3.5 or less) to be absorbed by the skin. They also found that other forms of synthetic vitamin C, like magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and ascorbyl-6-palmitate, did not penetrate skin, and did not increase skin levels of vitamin C. Researchers concluded that “delivery of topical L-ascorbic acid into the skin is critically dependent on formulation characteristics.
- Stability (i.e. the ability to remain unoxidized): L-ascorbic acid is the preferred synthetic form, but it’s the least stable of the synthetics. More stable options, like ascorbate phosphate, have limited ability to permeate the skin and also show limited functionality once they get there. In other words, your skin may not be receiving any benefits at all.
Natural vitamin C, like the one we use at Lulo Skin, is bioavailable and stable. It also contains other components like bioflavonoids and enzymes that help the skin use the nutrient like it was designed.
Lulo's Vitamin C Face Oil - Coco & Café, offers all the benefits of natural vitamin C, and also, the additional properties of nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, coffee seed oil, hibiscus, and sunflower seed that work with vitamin C to protect from environmental stressors, firm and tone your skin, reduce the appearance of dark spots, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Choose products like Lulo's Vitamin C Face Oil - Coco & Café to get all the benefits from real, plant-based vitamins and nutrients and to achieve the anti-aging benefits you desire.
Sources: Anitra C. Carr, Margreet C. M. Vissers, “Synthetic or Food-Derived Vitamin C—Are They Equally Bioavailable?” Nutrients, November 2013; 5(11):4284-4304, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3847730/.