How to Harness Vitamin C Benefits for the Skin

 

Vitamin C has a long-standing reputation as one of the strongest antioxidants in skincare.  Antioxidants protect the skin against external aggressors, namely ultraviolet (UV) exposure, but also environmental pollutants and harsh chemicals, or “xenobiotics.” These attacks on the skin are called “oxidative stress” and it’s one of the main drivers behind the appearance of aging (1). Therefore, one of the main Vitamin C benefits for the skin is that its antioxidants protect against oxidative stress and, as a result, help prevent the appearance of aging. That’s something we can get behind! 

How, Exactly, Vitamin C Improves Skin Appearance 

 

Oxidative stress compromises DNA, hydration, and lipids; however, this post will only cover the destruction of important proteins in the skin. I will discuss two different types of Vitamin C, l-Ascorbic acid and Tetrahexyldexcyl Ascorbate, and their powerful ability to keep the skin youthful.

The top layer of the skin, the epidermis, is equipped to deal with moderate exposure. It even contains its own Vitamin C! However, the second layer of skin, the dermis, is more vulnerable to such stressors and the visible signs of aging. In the epidermis, it is the protein-rich keratinocytes and corneocytes that are affected. Oxidative stress alters the “cornified envelope” (2) around cells, lessens its antioxidant capacity, and reduces the strength of its barrier function (1). In the dermis, it is the collagen and elastin that are negatively impacted by oxidative stress. These proteins provide strength, support, and flexibility to the skin, so when they’re compromised the skin can develop fine lines and wrinkles.

One of the incredible Vitamin C benefits for the skin is that the topical antioxidants enhance the skin’s natural defenses (3) by providing sustained protection and reducing inflammation. 

Our Favorite Skin Care Products with Vitamin C

 

Because oxidative stress can occur on both the epidermis and the dermis layers of the skin, it’s best to use a two-pronged approach with a water-soluble product first, to penetrate the epidermis, followed by an oil-soluble product to reach more deeply into the dermis layer. This will help you fully take advantage of the Vitamin C benefits for the skin. 

 

a bottle of Citrus and Kale serum

 

For the Epidermis: Citrus & Kale Potent C + E Serum

 

The Eminence Organics Citrus & Kale Potent C + E Serum contains an impressive 16% stabilized Vitamin C! 10% comes from l-Ascorbic Acid, 3% comes from Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, and 3% is from leafy greens and citrus oils. l-Ascorbic acid is notoriously unstable, so Ferulic Acid from bran and Vitamin E from avocado have been added. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is actually a salt that the skin converts to Vitamin C. 

Without adding Vitamin C to the skin, it has been shown that protein oxidation and detectable unfolding occurs after only 30 minutes of UV exposure (1)! Fortunately, the Citrus & Kale Serum will stay on the skin for 72 hours, will boost sun protection, and will strengthen the skin barrier. In third party studies, this powerful serum reduced oxidative stress by 47% in 3 hours! Because it’s water-soluble, this solution is best for supporting oxidative stress in the epidermis.

For best age-corrective results, I recommend using this serum during the day on clean, dry skin. Follow with your moisturizer and sunscreen.

Buy the Citrus & Kale Potent C + E Serum, here! 

For the Dermis: Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil

 

For deeper-reaching antioxidant support, Eminence Organics makes a lovely neroli scented Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil.  The Vitamin C in this product, called “Tetrahexyldexcyl Ascorbate,” is made from organic corn. Because it is oil-soluble, this luscious face oil can make its way through the intercellular matrix to provide antioxidant support to the protein fibers deep in the dermis.

For best results, apply this firming oil at night on clean, dry skin. Follow with a moisturizer. For optimal barrier function strength, try it under the Rosehip & Lemongrass Repair Balm as recommended in my post, Psychological Stress + Skin Barrier Function.

Buy the Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil, here! 

Rosehips are one of the ways you can use vitamin c benefit for the skin

In Closing, 

 

As with everything else in the body, the epidermis and dermis are intimately connected. Treating the skin’s surface indirectly impacts the health of the deeper layers. And, alternately, nourishing the underlying layers strengthens the top. The Vitamin C benefits for the skin are incredible, and with the right care, you can prevent a significant amount of oxidative stress and, as a result, the appearance of aging.

If you feel like your skin needs a little extra TLC (or you just need some pampering during these hectic times), then reach out to us about scheduling a spa day. A facial treatment is a great time to get specific feedback from Jessica about your skin’s unique characteristics. 

Schedule your appointment

Not ready to come back to the spa due to COVID or live out of the area? Reach out to Jessica for a virtual skin consultation.

 Contact us, here. 

 

REFERENCES

  1. Rinnerthaler, M. et al, Oxidative Stress in Aging Human Skin, Biomolecules 2015
  2. Elenor Candi, The Cornified Envelope: A Model of Cell Death in the Skin, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, April 2005
  3. Karen E Burke, Protection From Environmental Skin Damage With Topical Antioxidants, Clin Pharmathe Ther 2019

Stone Crop

Eminence Organics has a NEW Summer launch. Can we ever have too many Stone Crop products? The 4 H’s remind us that Stone Crop can be beneficial to us all summer:

-Hydrating
Stone Crop adds hydration when the summer sun takes moisture from our skin

-Healing
Stone Crop has regenerative properties that heal damaged skin

-Hyperpigmentation
Stone Crop brightens and lightens pigmented skin

-Heat
Stone Crop removes heat from sun exposed skin

My review of the new Stone Crop line:

Everyone knows I love scrubs and oils. My new farmhouse has a well and septic system. So, while I say goodbye to water bills I also had to say goodbye to my handmade scrubs because we want to reduce how much oil we put into the septic. At first I was skeptical about the new Stone Crop Revitalizing Body Scrub because I love my abrasive salt scrubs and this one by Eminence is so gentle. My skin gets very cracked and dry looking when I go out into the sun. How was this water based exfoliant going to cut it? I was pleasantly surprised that when I applied it correctly (to dry/slightly damp skin) that the fine sugar and rock salt refined my skin surface quite nicely. Aiding in the smoothing and brightening effects are other fabulous ingredients like Green Tea, Turmeric and Lemon Peel.

After rinsing off a scrub it’s a MUST to apply a lotion or oil. Really, the skin’s barrier function stays much stronger if you apply a lotion or oil after EVERY shower or bath. I prefer oils because their large molecular structure makes them more occlusive to better protect the skin against moisture loss. The Stone Crop Body Oil tends to be a little light for me, even though it has nourishing Avocado and Rosehip oils, making it perfect for those that like a “non-greasy” oil. But mixed with the Stone Crop Contouring Body Cream, I get the perfect amount of hydration!

Pro Tip from our Lead Esthetician and resident Eminence Organics Training Specialist, Tiffany: Add a few drops of the Stone Crop Body Oil to your bath. The Arnica soothes sore muscles and when you emerge you feel “magical”.

For those of you who love a lightweight body lotion, the Stone Crop Contouring Body Lotion is lovely. The Caffeine and the Algae doesn’t hurt either, for those of us with some cellulite.

I give the new summer launch a thumbs up, but only time will tell if my cellulite agrees.

4 Helpful Tips to Transition to Summer Skin Care

May is the time we want to see our clients transitioning to SUMMER PRODUCTS! We have 4 helpful hints for your spring/summer home care regimen:

1. Add a sunscreen
Hopefully everyone is getting outside more often now so if you are not already using a sunscreen, now is the time to make that change. Our Eminence Organics sunscreens are a moisturizer and sunscreen all in one! Use alone or on top of a serum (we prefer the latter).

2. Lighten it up
As the humidity in the air increases (we are in Michigan here where winters are very dry and summers quite humid), your products do not need to be as rich and occlusive. Lighten the lipid content in your cleansers, serums, and moisturizers. Your Esthetician can help you make smart purchasing decisions.

3. Use your winter day cream as your night cream
One of our favorite tips to help you avoid buying a whole new summer regimen is to use your winter day cream (unless it has an SPF in it) as your night cream. Even on those warm summer nights your skin’s oil production decreases by 50% so don’t forget to wash the day away and use a night cream.

4. Be less aggressive
Most people get enough sun exposure to warrant avoiding chemical peels, high percentage glycolic acid formulations, and strong vitamin A products in the summer. Using such products makes your skin more vulnerable to the damaging rays of the sun. Unless you are extremely diligent about protecting your skin from the sun consider using a gentle glycolic, mandelic acid, lactic acid, or enzymes instead.

Spring-Summer Skin Regimen

This just in from our Esthetician, Tiffany Genter.

“As we move into spring, now is a great time to adjust your skin care regimen for warmer and sunnier weather!!  While I will be heading into winter when I get to Australia it will still be very sunny and the temperatures will be in the 70’s.  Here is a look at what I am taking down under with me and how I am prepping my skin for the change in season:”

Morning:

Eminence Bamboo Firming Fluid – it has a Natural Retinol Alternative minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while the coconut water tones and balances pH.

Eminence Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil – while I usually like a daytime moisturizer this oil absorbs really quickly. The rosehip oil improves moisture and the seabuckthorn oil brightens.

Jane Iredale Power-Me SPF Dry Sunscreen- since my daytime moisturizer/oil doesn’t contain a SPF, I will be using this dry sunscreen to protect me from the harsh rays. It is a broad spectrum, physical barrier SPF 30.

Eminence Bright Skin Moisturizer, SPF 32 – I will be taking this SPF with me for my sister. She loves this since it not only minimizes her hyper pigmentation but also protects her from the sun!

Night:

Eminence Lavender Age Corrective Night Concentrate – this not only softens fine line and wrinkles but adds hydration along with antioxidants to help with free radical damage.

Eminence Monoi Age Corrective Night Cream – since my skin is always dry this moisturizer is a staple for me year round. The argan oil, shea butter and evening primrose soften and hydrate my skin, especially if I accidentally get too much sun.

Eminence Clear Skin Targeted Acne Treatment – this amazing spot treatment will definitely be going with me. This contains tea tree, salicylic acid, and cucumber to reduce redness and inflammation and kill bacteria.

And of course I will be using the Eminence Tropical Vanilla Body Sunscreen SPF 32 so I don’t get burned while I am there.

Jessica’s Vacation Essentials

After a family vacation to Alabama and Florida, I have compiled a list of what I now covet as my VACATION ESSENTIALS!

1. Eminence Organics Tropical Vanilla Body SPF 32
This product is easily my number 1 pick!  My whole family loved it.  I was prepared with my California Baby Sunscreen that I have used for the past 5 years but I ended up using this one exclusively.  It rubs in really well and Simon loves the vanilla scent.  I used it on my kids face and body.  My husband and I used it on our whole body (see face product next).  I kept one in the beach bag and one in the car and applied it as hand and body lotion the entire trip.

2. Eminence Organics Bright Skin Moisturizer with SPF 30
Both my husband and I used this product on our faces every day.  It is the perfect moisturizer for normal to combination skin even in the humid southern climate.  The stone crop plant in the product lightens pigmentation naturally.

3. Apivita Exfoliating Face Cream with Olive and Lavender
When vacation includes camping, hiking, or beaching nothing makes the skin feel fresher than this product.  The combination of olive seeds, salicylic acid, lavender and grape seed oil deep cleanse and cool the skin.  It eliminates “summer bumps” that sometimes occur on my skin when I am traveling.  I recommend using this every morning while on vacation.

4. Glymed Plus Mega-Purifying Cleanser
Skin always needs balance and this creamy cleanser is my staple.  Use every night to break down dirt and oil that builds up on your skin, without stripping your skin of its natural moisture.  The lavender is cooling for sun exposed skin.

5. Jessica’s Apothecary Coconut Lime Whip

After every shower applying Jessica’s own Coconut Lime Whip is vacation in itself.  With organic, unrefined coconut oil and essential oils of lime, bergamot and grapefruit this whip smells like key lime pie!  Coconut is the most cooling oil available, and rich in essential fatty acids.  Your skin needs it!

6. Eminence Organics Aloe Mint Hydrating Cream Gel-Body
For the record I did not get burned on my vacation.  I reapplied diligently and am proud of it!  There was a member of my family that did not reapply.  I won’t mention names.  Playing in the ocean got the best of him.  Applying this aloe gel cooled the skin and prevented peeling.6.  There are 3 night time moisturizers that all make the list.  I used all 3.  Take your pick:

Eminence Organics Lavender Age Corrective Night Concentrate
This is the night moisturizer I ended up using most of the vacation.  The Argan Oil was just the right amount of nourishment for the skin without being too oily.  And again, Lavender is the best ingredient for after sun.
Eminence Organics Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer
I always have this product on hand in the event of breakouts or “summer bumps”.  For acne or oily skin this is essential.
Glymed Plus Intense Peptide Skin Recovery Complex
Addressing fine lines and wrinkles is still a priority while I am on vacation!  I used this as a serum under my sunscreen but you can also use it as a night time moisturizer.  In addition to 5 Peptides that reduce wrinkle depth, this product contains sea whip to help reduce inflammation, licorice and bearberry to lighten pigmentation, ceramides to improve hydration, and vitamin E to fight free radicals.  Last on the list but probably the most potent, comprehensive skin care product in our Apothecary.
I hope you find this information helpful.  As always let us know if you have any questions.

Coconut Oil & Coconut Water for Summer Skin

This summer your skin will not forgive you if you don’t add at least 1 coconut product to your regimen.  These warm, sunny spring days are just the beginning.  Coconut is the queen of cooling, and its oil, water, and “milk” provide a plethora of benefits.  Coconuts are high in free-radical fighting antioxidants so the damage caused by the sun (and harsh chemical sunscreens) can start to be mended with coconut.

Coconut Oil (the result of the crushed and pressed fruit) provides nourishing fatty acids to the skin that protect it from moisture loss.  It contains 3 fatty acids- Capric, Caprylic, Lauric- that provide antimicrobial and disinfectant properties.  It is also high in skin healing Vitamin E.

Coconut Oil can be found in: Eminence Coconut Milk Cleanser, Coconut Age Corrective Moisturizer, Coconut Cream Masque, Bamboo Firming Fluid.

Coconut Water (the juice on the inside of the coconut shell) is high in Vitamin C, toning to oily skin, hydrating to dry skin, and rich in plant hormones called Cytokinins, which strengthen connective tissue and keep the skin elastic.  Coconut Water is also an aide in combating acne because it is anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and may promote scar healing.

Coconut Water can be found in: Eminence Coconut Age Corrective Moisturizer, Bamboo Firming Fluid, Neroli Age Corrective Hydrating Mist, Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum, and Coconut Firming Body Lotion.

Coconut Milk (the liquid that comes out of the grated meat of the fruit) is high is fatty acids that can soothe the symptoms of many skin issues, includes eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.  Coconut Milk moisturizes the skin and cools it after sun exposure.

Coconut Milk can be found in: Eminence Coconut Milk Cleanser, Neroli Age Corrective Hydrating Mist, Coconut Cream Masque, and Coconut Firming Body Lotion.

The skin experts at Jessica’s Skin & Body specialize in matching the right level of fats and water in a product to the needs of your skin.  No matter how dry or oily your skin, there is a coconut product that is right for you.

Sunscreens: chemical vs. physical barriers

Who knew I would need to post about sunscreens this early in the year!  But YES it is time for sunscreen.  If you are not already in the habit of using sunscreen all year long now is the time to SPRING into your new regimen.

The most important question you need to ask when choosing a sunscreen is not the number associated with the product (15, 30, 45 etc.) but rather whether the sunscreen is a chemical or physical barrier.  Chemical sunscreens (like Benzophenone and Octinoxate) neutralize UV rays.  Physical sunscreens (like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide) are minerals that provide a barrier against UV rays.  Your skin type is an important factor in deciding what kind of sunscreen product to use.  If there is any sensitivity or inflammation in the skin the physical barrier is a must!  The reason being, it blocks the rays and keeps HEAT out of the skin.  Chemical sunscreens, while neutralizing rays, traps heat in the skin.  Fine for normal to oily skin with no sensitivity issues but a disaster for inflammed, sensitive skin.

Next, ask yourself what NUMBER SPF you should use.  Did you know that higher numbers don’t protect you more?  They just protect you longer.  The number just means how much longer you can stay in the sun without burning compared to if you were not wearing sunscreen.  I found this handy equation on www.howstuffworks.com:

Minutes to burn without sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time

Lastly, don’t forget to make sure the product says Broad Spectrum!  We don’t want protection for the UVB (B for Burning) rays and no protection from the UVA (A for Aging) rays!

Jessica’s Skin & Body Apothecary stocks both kinds of sunscreen to suite your needs.  Choose from the following sunscreens that are so lovely they make you want to wear them.  Broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and moisturizer all in ONE!

Glymed Photo Age Gel 15 ($35.50 for 4 oz.) 

Glymed Photo Age Gel 30 ($48 for 4 oz.) 

Glymed Photo Age Cream 15 ($34 for 2 oz.) 

Glymed Photo Age Cream 30 ($58.50 for 1.6 oz.) 

cream-30“What is the difference between Gels and Creams?”

Glymed Gel sunscreens are oil-free and use chemical barriers against the sun, leaving a light-weight finish that many people prefer, especially oily skin types.  Plus, they smell like cherries!

Glymed Cream sunscreens are primarily titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, leaving a thick physical barrier against the sun.  There is a whiteish cast to the skin for a couple minutes, but then it absorbs.  The Cream 30 is also loaded in antioxidants!

I gave you a lot to think about but I hope it helps you choose!

Summer Skin

Summer is here and with that comes changes in your skin!

Here is an easy to follow guideline to treatments and products that can help to address some of your summer skin issues:

Increased Oil Production

TREATMENT-

Clarifying Acne Treatment using Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid to exfoliate and manage oily skin.

HOME CARE- Glymed Sulphur Mask, Glymed Serious Action Mask, Glymed Astringent no 2, Eminence Pink Grapefruit C Gel, Eminence Tomatoe Oil-Control Gel, Eminence Eucalyptus Cleansing Concentrate, Eminence Citrus Exfoliating Wash

Small Summer Bumps (pustules)- on lower half of face, due to heat, humidity, and sun 

TREATMENT-

Clarifying Acne Treatment using Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid and Tea Tree oil.

1 Hour Organic Facial with the Clear Skin Mask, containing clay, yogurt, tea tree oil and cucumber.

HOME CARE- Glymed Anti-Aging Exfoliant Mask, Eminence Clear Skin Mask, Eminence Eucalyptus Cleansing Concentrate, Eminence Stone Crop Hydrating Mist

Sun Damaged, Devitalized Skin

TREATMENT-

Vitamin C & Sea Treatment using Vitamin C and seaweed.

1 Hour Organic Facial using the Stone Crop plant to lighten and hydrate.

Illuminating Antioxidant Treatment using enzymes, peptides, botanicals and antioxidants.

HOME CARE- Glymed Hydrating Enzyme Mask, Glymed Anti Aging Exfoliant Mask, Glymed Stem Cell Power Serum, Glymed Mega Purifying Cleanser, Glymed Gentle Facial Wash, Eminence Stone Crop Gel Wash, Eminence Stone Crop Hydrating Mist, Eminence Stone Crop Masque, Eminence Stone Crop Moisturizer, Pevonia Vitamin C Concentrate