When you think of skincare staples, vitamin C is typically top of mind. From its antioxidant properties to its brightening abilities, it’s a must-have step in just about every skincare routine. And yet, it’s also confusing. Traditionally, topical vitamin C products contain L-ascorbic acid, the “grandparent” form of the ingredient, if you will, but it’s famously unstable. Many a skincare lover has experienced the too-quick yellowing of a formerly clear serum—that’s because when exposed to light and air, L-ascorbic acid is quick to oxidize, which renders it ineffective. And for some people, it can also lead to irritation.
But while L-ascorbic acid is finicky, the good news is, there are other forms of vitamin C that get the same job done without the stability issue. Youth To The People has three favorites: ethyl ascorbic acid, tetrahexyldecyl (or THD) ascorbate, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP). All are heroes on their own, but together, they’re a true powerhouse.
“They are great together because they are a blend of oil soluble, water soluble, and a hybrid of the two, penetrating the skin differently and complementing each other,” explains Laura Cline, Youth To The People’s Director of Education.
Here’s a bit more on each one:
ETHYL ASCORBIC ACID Ethyl Ascorbic Acid
This next generation vitamin C derivative is best known for its exceptional collagen boosting properties. It’s non-irritating and both water and oil soluble.
Commonly abbreviated to THD ascorbate, this oil soluble form of vitamin C is known for being able to penetrate the skin fastest and deepest of any form. This, Jacob Tomás del Rosario, Senior Regional Sales + Education Executive at Youth To The People, explains, was the “first synthesized vitamin C specifically designed for use in topical skincare.”
MAGNESIUM ASCORBYL PHOSPHATE
Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is water soluble and chelated for stabilization and to preserve its efficacy. “The process of chelation stabilizes ions, preventing them from chemically reacting with any other substances while in the bottle,” del Rosario explains. This ensures speedy delivery of both stable and potent vitamin C to the skin at every application.
The benefits of combining these three forms yield the kinds of results that can benefit everyone: brighter, firmer skin, with less hyperpigmentation and a more even skin tone.
Written by Sara Spruch Feiner for Youth To The People