Everything you need to know about THD Ascorbate (as found in the Superberry Dream Mask)
Vitamin C is one of skincare’s most-loved ingredients—and for good reason. It’s scientifically-proven to help with common concerns like uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation and dark spots, dullness, and even fine lines. ALL that, plus it’s a potent antioxidant that works to neutralize free radicals and protect our skin from daily environmental stressors.
But, Vitamin C, is also famously finicky. It oxidizes quickly (meaning it’s quality is compromised when it comes into contact with the air) and it loses potency, meaning products containing Vitamin C generally have to be used within six (or even three) months of opening.
Most frequently, you’ll see Vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid, which Lisa Guerrera, a chemist and the founder of See Thru, explains is the form that gives Vitamin C its reputation for being particular—“L-Ascorbic acid-based vitamin C needs to be in the right kind of packaging (airless) and applied on the face early on in skincare application (before oils or moisturizers),” she explains.
All this information led us to seek out something more stable and more powerful when it came time to formulate our overnight brightening and hydrating Superberry Dream Mask. Instead of L-Ascorbic Acid, the mask uses Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THD Ascorbate, the latest clinically researched form of topical vitamin C, known to be as much as 50x more powerful than standard L-ascorbic acid.
“L-ascorbic acid is water-soluble (meaning it dissolves in water) and the most well-researched form of vitamin C.” However, “it can be problematic to formulate with that ingredient because it’s very unstable and can oxidize when exposed to water and/or air fairly quickly,” Guerrera says. Hence, the need for airtight packaging.
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THD Ascorbate), on the other hand, is a more stable form of vitamin C than L-ascorbic acid—and it’s fat-soluble, meaning this kind of Vitamin C can be dissolved in oil-based products. Simply put, using this form of Vitamin C is what allowed us to use this potent, super ingredient in a cream. “There’s been some research that shows this type of vitamin C may penetrate the skin better than other forms because of it’s fat soluble components,” Guerrera explains. That’s key, because we know that you may be applying the Dream Mask after a toner and serum, but the Vitamin C still needs to be able to get to your skin.
Of course, we didn’t stop at Vitamin C. The Dream Mask is fortified with Youth to the People’s signature superfoods. In this case, the hero is maqui berry (the world’s most antioxidant dense fruit), while squalane and hyaluronic acid round out the intensive nourishing features of this super rich sleeping mask.
If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time.
Written by Sara Spruch Feiner for Youth To The People