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Ingredient Spotlight: Vitamin C

Ingredient Spotlight: Vitamin C

February 25, 2020

Customer: “I recently started using this 20% L’Ascorbic Acid serum to brighten up the skin. That’s when I started having all these little acne. What should I do?”

Us: “Try skipping the L’Ascorbic Acid serum and see if the skin clears up.”

- one week later -

Customer: “You’re so right! Once I stopped using the serum all my acne cleared up!! Why’s that?”

Us: “Because not all Vitamin Cs are created equal and not everyone can use L’ascorbic acid.”


Benefits of Vitamin C For The Skin

  • A potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals
  • Aids in the skin’s natural regeneration process and repairs damaged skin cells
  • Boosts collagen production
  • Inhibits melanin production which can lighten and prevent dark spots and hyperpigmentation


Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin C For The Skin

While our skin needs vitamin C without question, the vitamin in a potent, isolated form can mean you are getting too much for your skin to handle.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have a necessary function in the body. Too much ROS over time, of course, is a bad thing, as it can age the skin, and that is why we need antioxidants for the skin. However a regulated amount of ROS naturally produced by the body is needed to prevent bacterial, fungal and other pathogenic invasion from infecting the skin. 

In addition, the skin has a delicate microbiome of bacteria that maintains a proper balance necessary for a disease-free environment. When that balance gets disrupted, for example by using too much ascorbic acid which can affect the skin’s pH level, the skin gets sick in the form of acne and dermatitis, amongst many others.

This means, too much vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid can potentially be harmful to the skin.


Different forms of Vitamin C

L’Ascorbic Acid

The most potent form of vitamin C, yet also the most unstable and would easily oxidized and rendered inactive, or worse, turn into pro-oxidant, by exposure to oxygen, heat, water or UV rays, that can potentially cause skin irritations, flakiness and even acne, especially in high doses and low pH (ascorbic acid, after all, is an acid). Even wonder why your ascorbic acid serum is often yellow in color? This is how brands do to mask the fact that serum is oxidizing. It is also worthy to note that most ascorbic acid is derived from GMO corn starch, corn sugar or rich starch, which can potentially have a negative impact on the skin.

If you have sensitive skin or are prone to acne, avoid products that contain ascorbic acid. Note that none of the products Ambrosia carries contain ascorbic acid.


Ascorbyl Glucocide

A water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C. It is less potent than L’ascorbic acid but much more stable and gentle with a high pH, and thus can be used on all skin types for its antioxidant and skin-brightening properties.


Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

A stable, water-soluble form of vitamin C that also functions as an antioxidant and possesses skin brightening properties. Additionally, it has antimicrobial benefits. In fact, research has shown that it can reduce acne with continued use. So if you have are prone to acne, this might be the vitamin C for you.

Vitamin C from Botanical Extracts and Oils

The vitamin and mineral content, fatty acid composition, etc. in botanical oils and extracts together assist with maintaining the skin’s healthy balance. Vitamin C in extracts and oils is much more balanced and gentle, and can extend the benefits of vitamin C in its entirety, bringing the skin full-spectrum anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and brightening benefits. This form of vitamin C is perfect for sensitive skin.


Product Recommendations

Modern Radiance Concentrate 
<- Click to shop

Using advanced technology to extract actives from Kakadu Plum cells to maintain integrity and stability, the gel-cream serum is fortified with Vitamin C that is 60 times more than oranges to brighten, reduce hyperpigmentation, and fight free radicals. Together with other natural brightening ingredients such as Aronia Berry and Licorice Root, as well as Barbary Fig Oil, Helichrysum, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Gotu Kola, Green Coffee Been Oil, Ferulic Acid etc., it effectively inhibits the formation of melanin, reduces inflammation, promotes collagen synthesis, and strengthens the skin’s lipid barrier.

Agent Nateur holi(c) The C Duo | Ambrosia | Hong Kong

holi(c) The C Duo  <- Click to shop

Carefully formulated with European Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, the most stable, water-soluble form of Vitamin C, and French patented Calcium Ketogluconate, the fine powder brightens, reduces hyperpigmentation and lightens age spots, all the while fighting free radicals, as well as promoting collagen synthesis and cell regeneration. It also reduces acne with continued use. The non-irritating, gentle formula is also safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding!

Stellar Restoration Corrective Complex  <- Click to shop

Featuring Ascorbyl Glucoside and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, as well as 1.8% Encapsulated Retinol, 1.5% Salicylic Acid, Niacinamide, Licorice Root, Gotu Kola, Willow Bark, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate and Squalane, the powerful yet gentle serum effectively brightens the skin, reduces hyperpigmentation, stimulates collagen synthesis and rejuvenates skin to effectively reduce wrinkles and acne, smoothes skin texture, slows aging, and minimize pores in a soothing, hydrating way.

Elixir™  <- Click to shop

Rich in high concentration of Vitamin C, as well as Omegas-3, 6 and 9, Vitamins ABDEK, Antioxidants, Flavonoids, Tocotrienols, Phenolic Compounds, Proteins, and Minerals etc., the Apricot Oil, Marula Oil, Sunflower Oil, Neroli Oil, Frankincense Oil and Rose Geranium Oil in Elixir™ effectively brighten the skin, reduce scars and hyperpigmentation, repair the skin barrier, lock in moisture, slow aging, soothe sensitivity and eczema, fight inflammations, bacteria and free radicals, and promote skin cell regeneration.

Anfisa Skin Lilou Regenerating Balm | Ambrosia | Hong Kong

LILOU Regenerating Balm  <- Click to shop

Rich in Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Black Currant Seed Oil, Watermelon Seed Oil, Blueberry Seed Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil and Kakadu Plum extract, this beautiful balm is packed full of vitamin C amongst other vitamins and phytonutrients and fatty acids to brighten, reduce redness and hyperpigmentation, fight free radicals and stimulate collagen synthesis and cell regeneration.


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