What Is Topical Vitamin C?Before you can understand why vitamin C and hyaluronic acid work so well in combination, you'll need to know more about what makes types of vitamin C different. Natural vitamin C is too unstable to include in topical products, but the leading synthetic version of this vital compound, ascorbic acid, is a known inflammatory substance that causes acne. Since causing acne would defeat the purpose of a product that's designed to deliver nothing short of radiant skin, it's necessary to use another version of this substance if you want to deliver the potent antioxidant benefits of vitamin C in a topical product.
Thankfully, there's an alternative to ascorbic acid that doesn't have any of that version of vitamin C's dangerous side effects. While sodium ascorbyl phosphate is a relatively new version of vitamin C, research has shown that it is a potent anti-acne ingredient, and anecdotal testimony has confirmed that this substance has all of the anti-aging benefits that are associated with powerful antioxidants like vitamin C.
Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which is why skin care manufacturers have long sought to include this ingredient in their products. It wasn't until the advent of sodium ascorbyl acetate, however, that it was finally possible to deliver vitamin C topically in a way that didn't cause a whole host of other issues.
An antioxidant is a type of molecule that disrupts the activity of free radicals in your tissues. A free radical is a type of particle that is created when an oxygen molecule splits into two atoms that have unpaired electrons. These malicious and unstable atoms ravage through your body stealing electrons from other atoms, which weakens the integrity of your tissues. It has long been understood that free radicals wear out your cells through a process called oxidative stress, and oxidative stress is one of the primary causes of the aging process.
When you're able to deliver the antioxidants in vitamin C effectively, therefore, the levels of free radicals in your body decrease and your cells are able to retain their integrity. The two functions of cells are to maintain their structure and to multiply, and cells that are unmolested by free radicals are able to fulfill these mandates effectively and efficiently.
Most skin conditions are either indirectly or directly caused by the cellular breakdown that's a hallmark of the presence of free radicals in your body. While antioxidants don't treat one disease specifically, they do help your cells maintain their health, which means that you become much less susceptible to common skin conditions.
Some of the conditions that topical vitamin C can treat are acne, rosacea, and dry skin. In addition, this simple compound appears to be a valid treatment for eczema and psoriasis, and it may even protect your skin from cancer with its anti-free radical action.
Where vitamin C shows the most promise, however, is in the arena of anti-aging. One of the main reasons that your skin starts to show signs of age is because of the persistent destructive efforts of free radicals, and vitamin C can serve as a buffer between your skin cells and these cellular health antagonists. Vitamin C can also protect your skin against the effects of environmental contaminants like smog or unhealthy factory conditions. While quitting smoking is, by far, the best way to protect your skin's health, this amazing vitamin can even combat the free radicals that are introduced into your system via cigarette smoke.
Even if your skin is perfectly healthy, no body is completely free from free radicals, and applying a topical antioxidant like sodium ascorbyl phosphate can help keep your skin healthy for the rest of your life. While synthetic ascorbic acid harms your skin on the way in, sodium ascorbyl phosphate waits to convert to vitamin C until it is already safely inside of your skin, which means that this disease-fighting compound won't do anything that takes away from its immense potential to heal.
What Is Topical Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid, which is also known as hyaluronan, is a substance that is naturally occurring in the human body. This substance is found in your eyes and joints, and it helps keep your eye sockets and connective tissues healthy and lubricated. Hyaluronic acid is also found in your skin, and it helps your skin remain supple and strong.
Under ideal conditions, your hyaluronic acid levels remain constant, but environmental conditions like UV rays, smoking, and pollutants can reduce the levels of this critical substance in your tissues. Also, the levels of hyaluronic acid in your body reduce as you age, which means that older people who are otherwise healthy will need to supplement with this compound in order to maintain their skin's shine and elasticity.
Traditionally, hyaluronic acid was derived from rooster combs. Unfortunately, roosters are killed in this extraction process, and animal-derived ingredients are a no-go for vegans, who constitute an ever-growing portion of the skin care market. With these considerations in mind, a vegan alternative to animal-based hyaluronic acid was sought, and a botanical version of this substance called cassia angustifolia seed polysaccharide was eventually formulated.
While many people may still believe that killing animals is the only way to derive hyaluronic acid, an alternative has been available for a number of years, which means that you can try this remarkable substance without feeling any guilt.
Benefits of Hyaluronic AcidIf hyaluronic acid is present in your skin at optimum levels, your skin will feel and appear the way that it did in your mid-20s for the rest of your life. By promoting the production of collagen and elastin, hyaluronic acid works to keep your skin full and healthy. It also makes your skin more elastic, which means that it keeps away the onset of wrinkles.
It's even been shown that hyaluronic acid helps you recover from wounds more quickly by reducing inflammation levels in your skin. Therefore, if you have acne, applying hyaluronic acid to your skin can help pimples heal faster. It should also be noted that hyaluronic acid reduces skin redness, which is a hallmark of acne.
While this substance is most effective at promoting joint health when it is ingested topically, it can also make your joints healthier when applied topically through the magic of transdermal absorption. When you apply water-based topicals to a particular area of your skin, the active ingredients in these topicals are absorbed through the skin and into the underlying tissues. Therefore, applying hyaluronic acid topically can be especially effective if you have issues like arthritis in a particular joint.
Two Is Better than One: A Perfect Synergy
When combined, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid provide your skin with practically everything that it needs to remain healthy. The effects of these two substances are different enough that they don't perfectly overlap, which means that both vitamin C and hyaluronic acid impart unique benefits when they are included in the same skin care solution.
For instance, recall that vitamin C reduces inflammation by eliminating free radicals in your skin tissues. Chronic inflammation is a condition in which your immune system incorrectly labels healthy tissues as being dangerous to your body, and it then sends white blood cells to attack these supposedly threatening cells. If your skin experiences chronic inflammation, your skin cells will not be able to reproduce or repair themselves properly, and they will not be able to pursue the vital work of maintaining your youthful appearance.
However, when vitamin C is applied to your skin, inflammation is reduced, which means that hyaluronic acid can then begin the process of returning your skin's vitality. While vitamin C is a potent anti-aging substance in and of itself, it truly shines when it is used to clear the way for hyaluronic acid, which is a natural substance that your body constantly craves.
Conversely, hyaluronic acid is nowhere near as effective when it is applied to your skin without vitamin C. While it may be even better at restoring your collagen levels and skin elasticity than vitamin C, it isn't as potent of an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory as vitamin C, which means that hyaluronic acid may find its way to success blocked by your immune system if you suffer from chronic inflammation.
When these two substances are used in tandem, they fill in each other's gaps and constitute a super-remedy that removes any obstacles between you and ideal skin health. However, there are a few more considerations that you should take into account before you pick a hyaluronic acid/vitamin C product to heal your skin and protect it from the effects of aging.
The Importance of Water-Based Skin Care ProductsVitamin C and hyaluronic acid aren't inherently effective on their own. In order to help your body heal and withstand the tests of time, these two incredible substances need to be paired with an effective delivery mechanism. It is now widely understood in the skin care field that topicals that use oil bases are largely ineffective because oils don't do very well at penetrating the skin to deliver active ingredients. This recognition has led to the need to develop a new way to achieve optimum transdermal absorption.
Water, which is usually listed as "aqua" on ingredients labels, is a moisturizer and serum base that is becoming increasingly popular among skin care manufacturers. Unlike oils, water never runs the risk of going rancid, and it is also the most effective skin barrier penetrator known to science. When water-based topicals that contain vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are applied to your skin, they efficiently penetrate every layer of your skin before depositing their payloads of active ingredients deep in your tissues.
Another benefit of water-based topicals is that they don't leave any residue on your skin. If you've ever used an oil-based topical, you know that these products leave an oily sheen on your skin even hours after you applied them. Water-based topicals, on the other hand, absorb quickly, and any product that is left behind on your skin evaporates without a trace.
Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid Topicals: Final ThoughtsNow that you understand the potential that vitamin C and hyaluronic acid have to revolutionize your skin care routine, you're probably champing at the bit to try these practically miraculous ingredients for yourself. However, as you search for a product that fits your needs, you should remember that not all vitamin C and hyaluronic solutions are made equal.
For instance, some products may include ingredients that are tested on animals. To avoid using products that come with ethical concerns, you should always look for Leaping Bunny's "cruelty-free" sticker on products you're considering. Also, the benefits of vegan products can't be overstated, so your ideal hyaluronic acid and vitamin C product won't contain any animal ingredients.