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 Vitamin C & E Ferulic Serum…what is it and what does it do? Part I (of 2)

Posted by Dan Narsete on

One of the most popular serums out there are called CE Ferulic. They have great ratings and are all the rage. But, what are they? What exactly do they do? Let’s review them and take a look at the facts.

The sun

We cannot avoid the sun. At least not the average person. Therefore, it is important to understand the effects of the sun on our skin. As the source of energy for our entire planet it’s role is obviously a big one. But, the effects of sun on our skin are significant. Photons are microscopic particles the sun emits in the form of radiation and move in a wave-like pattern from the sun, through the Ozone and into our skin. The photons that have shorter wavelengths are found in the ultra-violet spectrum (UVA, UVB) and cause damage to our skin cells. When these rays hit our skin they make atoms unstable. This process is called oxidation. These unstable atoms are called “free radicals,” and they try and destroy other atoms, eventually destroying skin cells. It’s kind of like that crazy girl running around trying to steal everyone else’s boyfriend, husband, etc. To stabilize the crazy atom you need an anti-oxidant and that’s where vitamins, or um Prozac comes in.

Vitamin C serum

If you are new to the skin care world vitamin C serums are amongst the most popular products on the market. Vitamin C was first used to cure sailors suffering from a disease called Scurvy. Sailors were on ships for months at a time they had little to no access to fresh fruits and vegetables, so no vitamin C. Since we cannot produce it ourselves we need to consume it. In a nutshell, vitamin C acts like the glue that holds collagen together. Without it our bodies would deteriorate and we would perish- which is what used to happen to sailors on long journeys. Understanding the importance of vitamin C in our bodies is a good thing. But, what does this have to do with skin care?

In short, vitamin C is used in the production of new collagen and as an anti-oxidant. Remember talking about the crazy friend and Prozac? Vitamin does that to our skin as a stabilizing agent. It helps to keep atoms be oxidized and in turn, stabilizes cells against sun damage. It can also help inhibit production of melanin (sun spots) and slow down issues like Melasma. Sounds good, right? There is a but here. The biggest challenge with vitamin C serums is the stability of vitamin C itself. It degrades very quickly when exposed to air and the elements. So, a lot of vitamin C serums are completely useless. There are several skin care “gurus” and so-called “experts” that will tell you vitamin C can come from a fresh squeezed lemon or orange. It can, if you consume them, but it is also ph dependent. Any ph different than 3.5 and poof! (keep in mind your skin’s ph is all over the place) there goes your magic potion. When looking for vitamin C based serums, look for products with a minimum of 10% L-Ascorbic Acid. According to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information “it has been shown that application of 10% topical Vitamin C showed statistical reduction of UVB-induced erythema by 52% and sunburn cell formation by 40-60%.” This means vitamin C serums with at least a 10% concentration had a significant impact to reduce both swelling and sun damage. Quick tip: When using a vitamin C based serum, it should be clear in color. If it turns yellow it has been compromised and should be thrown out.

Next up...Part 2 with vitamin E and what Ferulic Acid does. Stay tuned.

To being informed, with great skin,


Team Reflect

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