It’s a jungle out there
Everyone and their brother is claiming that they have the best vitamin c and hyaluronic acid serum. I normally don’t dedicate a blog to discussing what is tantamount to one of our products, but in this case, I am going to use our renewal serum to illustrate that you might be falling for totally bogus claims and doctored up b/a photos of what is being touted as the best hyaluronic acid and vitamin c serum preparations for sale. Yes, full disclosure is that we do indeed sell this “type of serum.” But don’t shy away from this blog-it is great consumer information so that you will learn what you need to look for in your hyaluronic acid and your vitamin c. It’s not as simple as it seems. Yes- a good serum will show some good results- not the crazy-20 years younger in a month type results you see on the internet, but some visible results for sure. First, why are we so focused on the hyaluronic-C serum anyway?
These two ingredients have gotten a lot of airtime thanks to a certain T.V. doctor making a good profit from his product. One thing that is always good is an endorsement from the organization which monitors what is “natural” and healthy and what is not called Skin Deep. All of our MoorSpa products are listed on the SkinDeep website as safe, organic and natural. You probably don’t know the difference between a hyaluronic acid product that penetrates well and one that doesn’t. That’s fine; that’s why you’re reading this article I hope. There is a lot of junk on the market and all I’m going to do is arm you with the truth. You can google anything you read here and you’ll see that (holy smokes!) I’m right. So let’s get started on the main ingredient.
Hyaluronic Acid versus Sodium Hyaluronate for your skin
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is the naturally occurring component found dispersed in the extracellular matrix within bodily tissues, especially those of the face. Originally (Ew!) extracted from rooster combs for commercial use, it is now produced as a reactive byproduct of benign bacteria. It is identical to the substance found within the dermis. Its’ water-binding and water-attracting attributes fill up the spaces between the connective fibers in the dermis; collagen and elastin. When injected into the face, HA functions to hydrate and separate- holding onto water and supporting all that makes the face plump up and become line-free. When applied topically it does nothing. Absolutely nothing. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Read on. First- the function of hyaluronic acid.
Why do you need it?
The dermal layer of your skin is made up of about 70% water and claims nearly 50% of your body’s total hyaluronic acid allotment. It helps to support and hydrate the above and below structures, resulting in a healthy and attractive appearance. As your amount of HA decreases (which it will do with age; in fact, adults have only 1/20th the amount of HA of a baby-snif)- the membranes become dehydrated. This then leads to flaking, fine lines, surface roughness, and lots more. Dry skin also leads to wrinkles. Wrinkles come about from the loss of three important components: collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin. Hyaluronic acid provides the nutrient-transporting and skin moisturizing framework needed to “hold it all together.” If elastin is not bathed in water it becomes dry and brittle, invariably leading to dull, loose and less-elastic skin. So if topical hyaluronic acid does nothing, what do we do?
It’s about the Sodium Hyaluronate
Sodium Hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. Sodium hyaluronate has a smaller molecular size than hyaluronic acid, causing it to easily penetrate the skin’s surface. It is able to retain a relatively large amount of water — up to 1,000x its’ own weight. This means it can penetrate to lower layers, attract and retain water, and promote nutrient absorption. Thanks to these to attributes, when applied topically it can work it’s magic and should never be confused with large molecule injectable hyaluronic acid.
It can extend deep down into the dermis to combine with, maintain and attract water. It also promotes micro-circulation and nutrient absorption. Thanks to its super-sized hydrating properties, sodium hyaluronate will result in smoother, softer skin with decreased wrinkles and an all-around “skin-plumping” appearance.
Does Sodium hyaluronate make you look younger?
Topically adding sodium hyaluronate transforms the dermal layer into a super-duper sponge for your face.
By helping to maintain and attract water within the extracellular matrix, it not only hydrates the skin and increases its volume and density, but it also stabilizes the entire intercellular matrix. This matrix is the glue that holds your face together!
The result of all of this leads to a slight swelling of the skin that reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
This means you will look younger! The intense moisturization does allow for the skin to operate at higher capacity to provide a better defense against the environment even if most of the results are temporary.
Now-onto the next magic ingredient!
How Does Vitamin C Help?
If you’ve shopped the skincare aisle lately (or in the last decade), you know that there is no shortage of so-called anti-aging ingredients or anti-aging products on the market. Despite the marketing hype often assigned to a single ingredient, research is clear that using a selected range of beneficial ingredients is always best for promoting the appearance of healthy, young “acting” and appearing skin. This includes inside-out care like getting rid of inflammation and oxidative stress of course. It also includes good sleep and good management of stress.
There are some exceptions—standout ingredients that, whether included among a mix of beneficial ingredients or in a concentrated treatment, are among a select few that can treat multiple skincare concerns. Vitamin C is one such example.
Vitamin C for Anti-Aging & Brighter, Healthier Skin
In any form (and we’ll get to which types work best), vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection, shielding skin from damaging free radicals. Free radicals are those unpaired electrons which promote premature aging in the skin and the entire body. The most abundant forms of free-radical damage are environmental factors we can’t escape. These are things like sun damage and pollution. That’s where topical vitamin C can help. When incorporated into your daily skincare regimen, well-formulated products containing vitamin C can provide a range of benefits that keep your skin looking younger-longer.
What Vitamin C can do for your Skin
It can help boost healthy collagen production. It can also reduce the appearance of brown spots and other types of sun damage. It will fade post-breakout red marks by improving your skin’s natural healing response. It will reduces inflammation and irritation; both of which cause a cascade of damage. Lastly, it will increase the effectiveness of your sunscreens and boosts your skins’ defense against UV exposure.
Ascorbic acid—also known as L-ascorbic acid—has the most research of any form of vitamin C when it comes to topical benefits. For that reason, ascorbic acid is the most common form of vitamin C used in well formulated skincare products. When properly formulated, it helps create younger, firmer skin while fading signs of sun damage and even certain types of acne scars.
With decades of research around its benefits, vitamin C is a long-established skincare superstar that can help you achieve a younger, healthier and more radiant glow. However, like any ingredient, skincare will never be as simple as any single ingredient. Just as no single nutrient can keep your body healthy, you need more than just one ingredient to keep your skin in great shape, too!
It’s important to mention that vitamin C forms are effective in lower concentrations than you are hearing that you should use. In other words don’t get caught in the thinking that is touted on marketing sites that only higher strengths (15-20%) are beneficial for skin. Research has shown that concentrations as low 0.6% provide identical antioxidant and anti-aging benefits to skincare products. And that’s what we use. Higher concentrations will (commonly) cause irritation which defeats the whole purpose unless you are counting on an “irritant effect” to stimulate collagen production.
Best delivery of Vitamin C
A topical vitamin C serum is an oil-and-water-based cosmetic product that delivers concentrated vitamin C. Vitamin C serums offer two major advantages over vitamin C moisturizers: rapid absorption and deeper penetration. These two traits create a distinctive characteristic of serums — their ability to produce results in less time than moisturizers.
VItamin C Serums
Vitamin C serums should be designed to deliver a high (but not irritant) concentration of vitamin C right to the dermis. Although the formulas are generally oil-and-water-based, they are created to have an oil-free texture. In fact, good serums are described as having a velvety finish.
I know we touched on this (collagen) but it’s a very important feature of a good vitamin C serum. Collagen is naturally present in the body. It is responsible for the plumpness of our skin. With age, however, collagen production begins to slow. Topical vitamin C serums can stimulate collagen production. The added collagen just might reduce and prevent the signs of aging, such as wrinkles. Therefore for collagen stimulation you want to choose a vitamin C serum with either ascorbic or L-ascorbic acid as the active ingredient vitamin C ingredient.
Vitamin C serums offer some protection against UV rays. However, vitamin C is a weak sunscreen and should be used in conjunction with a traditional SPF. And again; vitamin C is also known to repair some signs of sun damage, such as discoloration and fine lines. It’s the potent antioxidant properties of vitamin C serums that are responsible for reversing some signs of aging and reducing age spots.
Topical vitamin C serums can brighten age spots and hyper-pigmentation. The vitamin C serums act as a natural bleaching agents to lighten the skin, including age spots and dark circles under the eye. In addition to having brightening effects, non-high-dose-topical vitamin C serums can prevent mild redness associated with sun damage.
What else do we add to the Best Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid Serum?
Plant Collagen (Phytocollagen)
The phytocollagen sourced from plants gives the skin the effect of a protective film with a firming effect similar but likely superior to animal collagen.
The firming ingredients in animal collagen are the two amino acids – hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine. However, a plant protein, called extensin, contains a form of hydroxyproline which appears to outshine the animal source. Plant-derived hydroxyproline increases the moistening and plumping of the skin. In clinical studies, it’s effects are considered to be similar and possibly superior to animal-derived collagen.
In fact, vegetable collagen might be more suitable for promoting the hydrating and conditioning properties desired than animal collagen.
Some scientific testing has determined that plant based collagen is superior to animal collagen for moisture-holding ability. The added benefit is that you are not putting animal-derived products on your face!
What Happens when you add Yeast to the Best Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum?
Yeast’s benefits include antioxidant and cell renewal properties, with the ability to improve skin smoothness and texture. And there’s more. Yeast “calms” inflamed skin. Recall that inflammation of skin is part of what causes aging skin. Yeast’s calming claims are substantiated because it is a known source of beta-glucan, making in a great antioxidant and a soothing active ingredient. Pigmentation and age spots are diminished by yeast extracts which decreases the production of the brown or red skin pigment. Used topically, yeast extract promotes skin lightening by regulating production of the enzyme tyrosinase, the key enzyme in melanin production.
As you know, collagen production slows down with age and the remaining collagen bundles and fibers become disorganized and damaged. Yeast extract is thought to stimulate collagen production. Exposure to sunlight also accelerates the loss of collagen by activating enzymes that break it down. This is what causes skin to develop wrinkles and laxity that make it look less youthful. Therefore yeast extract and yeast proteins may help to fight skin laxity and keep wrinkles in check by helping protect you from the environment.
Now you know you need to shop for the “right” form of hyaluronic acid called sodium hyaluronate. You also know that you need to couple that with the right type and strength and delivery system for Vitamin C. You know that a serum will work more quickly than a moisturizer. You know not to “fry your skin.” You’re now a very informed consumer!