We've noticed a lot of conversations happening about Vitamin C Super Serum Plus - and we love it! Our inboxes are flooded with exclamations of adoration as well as really great questions about how this serum works. Whether you're a fan or a skeptic, we've heard you loud and clear: you need to know the science behind this serum, it just seems too good to be true. So here it is! This is The Naturium Lab Team explaining how modern technology allows us to achieve the seemingly impossible...Vitamin C Super Serum Plus.
THE THREE KEY TAKEAWAYS
- Our Vitamin C Super Serum Plus is a water-based cocktail of skincare superstars that perform in synergy with one another.
- While past research indicates that you cannot mix certain “free” active ingredients, new delivery technologies allow these actives to work in harmony to further optimize performance.
- Our advanced delivery systems enhance bioavailability, minimize irritation and allow actives to work independently from formula pH and each other, allowing for maximum effectiveness.
FOUR MYTHS DEBUNKED:
Myth: You can’t mix vitamin C with retinol.
False: Encapsulation allows these two actives to work together to deliver antioxidant benefits, as well as their respective skin improvements.
Myth: You can’t wear retinol during the day.
False: Encapsulation of retinol minimizes interaction with environmental aggressors such as heat and UV (sunlight), to allow for enhanced photo-stability and therefore, daytime use. Of course, we always recommend the use of SPF everyday.
Myth: You can’t mix vitamin C with niacinamide.
False: They can coexist in a pH appropriate formula, since encapsulations allow them to perform independently and prevent them from neutralizing each other. Our encapsulation technology also protects and amplifies ingredient efficacy.
Myth: You can’t mix vitamin C with salicylic acid.
False: When encapsulated, they can coexist and function independently, within a non-irritating pH environment.
Ready to go deeper? Read on to learn more.
Our biocompatible Vitamin C Super Serum Plus uses clinically proven, well-known actives with cutting-edge technology in order to overcome pH restrictions, oxidation restraints, and irritation potential of the more traditional formulas.
L-ascorbic acid is the biologically active form of vitamin C, the form the body recognizes and, when applied topically, protects the skin from oxidative stress, increases collagen synthesis, and reduces hyperpigmentation; however, there are two great drawbacks to using free L-ascorbic acid. The first is that L-ascorbic acid oxidizes quickly in the presence of light, oxygen, and water. The second, is that free L-ascorbic acid can only be transported across the stratum corneum if it is formulated in a product with a pH less than 3.5.* This is because L-ascorbic acid becomes an ionic or, charged molecule above pH 3.5. Bioactive ingredients (ingredients that have a biological function in the skin) that are ionic or large (over 500 daltons) do not favor penetration and therefore, are limited in reaching the site of action to produce a biological effect on the skin. The ideal skin-penetrating ingredient is small, uncharged, and the optimal ratio of hydrophilic and hydrophobic (predicted using the octanol-water partition coefficient). If the final pH of a product containing L-ascorbic acid is less than 3.5 the molecule is no longer ionic and is therefore less hindered from penetrating the stratum corneum. Unfortunately, having a pH this low can cause skin irritation. The key word in this whole dilemma is “free” L-ascorbic acid. To overcome these strict penetration requirements and improve oxidative stability, Naturium sourced a novel technology that relies on gold submicrometric particles to deliver L-ascorbic acid to the site of action.
Our specialized delivery system allows the ascorbic acid to be ten times more bioavailable and effective than free ascorbic acid without irritation or oxidation.
The use of gold particles for transdermal delivery has proven to be an effective carrier of both cosmetic and drug related bioactives.** Spherical gold submicrometric particles are a favorable option because they are nontoxic to human skin cells, are small enough for penetration, have a high surface to volume ratio, demonstrate good biocompatibility, and have a functionally modifiable surface. We conjugated L-ascorbic acid to these nontoxic gold particles to prevent oxidation of the vitamin C. The bonds to the gold particle only break under physiological conditions. This means that our vitamin C is not pH dependent and will remain in the reduced and active form, until it reaches the intended site of action in the skin, at which point, the bond breaks and releases the biologically active ascorbic acid. To further enhance the efficacy of the ascorbic acid, we also attached glutathione to the gold submicrometric particles. Glutathione is an antioxidant found naturally in the body that modulates vitamin C activity, regenerating vitamin C as it quenches free radicals. Our specialized delivery system allows the ascorbic acid to be ten times more bioavailable and effective than free ascorbic acid, without irritation or oxidation. Without the pH restrictions associated with vitamin C, we were able to formulate our Vitamin C Super Serum Plus at a skin friendly pH.
In addition to vitamin C, we added niacinamide to our Vitamin C Super Serum Plus. Niacinamide is also a powerhouse vitamin that benefits every skin type; however, some are concerned about the hydrolysis of niacinamide to nicotinic acid in low pH formulas. Nicotinic acid is a vasodilator that causes skin flushing, as well as a possible sensitizer. We formulated our Vitamin C Super Serum Plus to pH 5.5-6.0, so hydrolysis of niacinamide is not a concern.
Our skin-perfecting serum also contains salicylic acid, a well known organic acid, naturally found in willow tree bark. At a low pH, salicylic acid functions as a peeling agent to break down the glue holding the corneocytes together, thus helping to increase cell shedding. That being said, salicylic acid is also a precursor to acetylsalicylic acid and has similar anti-inflammatory properties. We wanted to harness the anti-inflammatory properties of salicylic acid in our Vitamin C Super Serum Plus, rather than its kerotolytic (peeling) benefits, since our vitamin rich serum is above the pKa (acidic level) of salicylic acid.
Finally, to create a universal, well-rounded, biocompatible serum, we added retinol. Retinol is the gold standard when it comes to reversing signs of aging. It works by increasing epidermal thickness, boosting collagen production, and speeding up cell renewal, making skin firmer, smoother, and more radiant. Unfortunately, traditional retinol and retinoids have a number of setbacks. Anyone that has used traditional retinol products can attest to the irritation, flaking, erythema, and “purging” at the start of use. Retinol and retinoids are also chemically and thermally unstable molecules. They are polyunsaturated compounds, having a number of C-C double bonds, which make them degrade and oxidize in the presence of oxygen, UV, and visible light. This renders them inactive and creates reactive oxidative species.*** There are safety concerns about the oxidative byproducts of retinol and its esters, especially byproducts from photodegradation. Traditionally, this has led to retinol being formulated only in night products and directions urging the avoidance of the sun. However, our Vitamin C Super Serum Plus contains a highly stabilized microencapsulated retinol to overcome the setbacks of traditional retinol.
Microencapsulation involves encasing an ingredient in a shell of a second material(s), resulting in small capsules called microcapsules, varying in diameter from 1 to 1000 µm.**** The shell material(s) is selected based on compatibility with the active in the core, intended site of action in the skin, desired particle size, and the correct amount of lipophilicity to penetrate the stratum corneum and partition into the epidermis and upper dermis. Microencapsulation protects the active ingredient from external sources such as UV and oxygen that could degrade the active. They significantly improve photostability of actives, allowing for new applications and, in the case of our Vitamin C Super Serum Plus, create a day product with retinol.***** The encapsulation also enhances penetration and diffusion of retinol to the epidermis and upper dermis, making it more bioavailable. Another key feature of microencapsulation is the ability to control the release of the active over time for a sustained release and therefore, lower irritation potential. Our microencapsulated retinol reduces irritation potential, enhances penetration, increases bioavailability, and minimizes interaction with environmental aggressors such as UV. In fact, our microencapsulated retinol pairs perfectly with our vitamin C, as both provide antioxidant benefits that counteract photoaging.****** One study found that sunscreens only block 55% of UV induced free radicals; therefore, adding an antioxidant to your skincare regimen is crucial for skin health.* Our microencapsulated retinol does not counteract or inactivate the gold-conjugated vitamin C, niacinamide, or salicylic acid in the formula.
We developed our Vitamin C Super Serum Plus with traditional actives paired with new technology, to achieve the impossible. We packed all these bioactives into one functional, efficacious, and most importantly, biocompatible serum, to cater to the minimalist and those that want the guess-work taken out of their skincare regimen, without sacrificing results.