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Topical Vitamin C article
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Chrissie
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Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:25 pm      Reply with quote
I was doing some research on topical Vitamin C, and thought others would like to read this article. It was written by Richard J.Greco M.D., and was published in the Jan. 2000 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal.


Should topical vitamin C be a part of your skin care practice?
Skin care has become an integral part of the "total patient care" that is offered by many plastic surgeons. Many surgeons have aestheticians available in their practices for skin care education and follow-up. Much has been written about the use and efficacy of Retin-A and glycolic acid skin care programs. The addition of topical vitamin C to these skin care programs may prove a valuable one.

Emerging information about the role of ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation as a critical factor in the photoaging of skin and the development of skin cancers has led to the study of its mechanism of action and of potential protective treatments. UVA is more prevalent than UVB in sunlight, can travel through clouds and glass, and penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin. It is very effective in stimulating the formation of reactive oxygen species, which are singlet oxygen molecules that either have an unpaired electron molecule or could be converted to one. These oxygen free radicals mutate cells, destroying the collagen, elastin, proteoglycans, and cells that give the skin its firm, plump texture and elasticity.1

Skin fibroblast cultures that are exposed to UVA but not to UVB generate a family of matrix metalloproteinases, which are enzymes that destroy connective tissue.2 This is accomplished through the formation of reactive oxygen free radicals. Because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin C is one of the skin's major natural aqueous-phase protectants against reactive oxygen damage. If the skin is depleted of antioxidants, photoaging accelerates because of the ongoing destruction of the dermal and epidermal connective tissues. Photoaging of the skin is then manifested through the appearance of wrinkles, freckles, and dark blotches; a leathery texture; and a loss of elasticity.

Humans lack the intrinsic capability to synthesize vitamin C. Therefore, their diet must include adequate quantities of the vitamin to replenish reserves. The skin receives approximately 8 percent of the amount of vitamin C that is absorbed. The half-life of vitamin C is less than 20 days, and UVA can readily deplete its antioxidant activity. Topical vitamin C must be able to penetrate through the skin to provide adequate antioxidant protection and to be resistant to washing or rubbing off.

Most sunscreens protect against UVB radiation and thus against sunburn but offer little protection against UVA radiation. Zinc oxide is the first truly broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection against both UVA and UVB radiation. Titanium dioxide offers protection against UVB and UVA II radiation, but not against UVA I radiation.

Results have shown that topical vitamin C application can protect against the harmful effects of sunlight on skin. It is equally effective against UVB and UVA radiation. Using histologic evaluation of the degree and amount of sunburned cells as the criteria, photoprotection of the skin from UVA radiation is demonstrated.3 Vitamin C also appears to have a positive effect on the inflammation that is associated with sunburn. L-ascorbic acid does not absorb UVA or UVB radiation like sunscreens. Instead, it neutralizes the reactive oxygen molecules that are created by the ultraviolet radiation, including the superoxide anion, the singlet oxygen, and the hydroxyl radical, making it a useful adjunct to sunscreens.4

Topical vitamin C becomes an integral part of the skin and can be neither wiped nor washed off. Studies have demonstrated that it remains fully protective for a period of 3 days.3 Beyond its photoprotective nature, L-ascorbic acid has proven useful in the production of collagen synthesis and in the stimulation of collagen production in wound healing. Studies have also demonstrated its usefulness in the reduction of wound inflammation. When used postoperatively, it decreases erythema in post-laser patients.5 Some dermatologic surgeons have recommended using it as early as 14 days after laser ablation.5 Attempts to prevent radiation dermatitis with topical vitamin C secondary to x-ray radiation have not been beneficial.6

In conclusion, vitamin C is a valuable antioxidant and protectant against photodamage that is created by sunlight in both the UVB and UVA bands (290 to 400 nm). Although oral supplementation may also be useful, topical preparations are able to deliver a higher dosage to the needed area. Topical vitamin C does not absorb or block harmful ultraviolet radiation like a sunscreen. Instead, it augments the skin's ability to neutralize reactive oxygen singlets that are created by the ultraviolet radiation, thereby preventing photodamage to the skin. It becomes an integral part of the skin and remains unaffected by bathing, exercise, clothing, or makeup. Used appropriately, topical vitamin C is an important adjunct to the use of sunscreens, an adjunctive treatment to lessen erythema in skin resurfacing, a helpful adjunct or an alternative to Retin-A in the treatment of fine wrinkles, and a stimulant to wound healing.

Richard J. Greco, M.D.

5361 Reynolds Street; Savannah, Ga. 31405

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doba
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Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:43 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks for posting the article.
Chrissie
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Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:14 am      Reply with quote
I just started using topical Vit C. And from what I've read lately, I'm not going to stop. I'm skeptical of everything (especially of "miracle products"), but the benefits of regular use of topical Vit C are clearly documented. I may even have to break down and share my homemade Vit C serum with my 2 sisters!

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nreed
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Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:52 pm      Reply with quote
Topical Vitamin C is Abundant in Arbonne's RE9 anti-aging line, must be the reason it really works! Thanks for posting the article!
Shelley01
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Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:35 pm      Reply with quote
Nreed,

I noticed that all your posts are pushing Arbonne and that your email address is for Arbonne. Maybe you should put in your signature line that you are a sales consultant for Arbonne?

Pushing a product that you sell without letting people know that you are a paid consultant leaves a very bad feeling with people.

Just a thought.
Shelley

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Shelley01
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Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:36 pm      Reply with quote
Chrissie,

Thank you for the article! Very interesting....and will show my SO since I just got him hooked on Vit C!

Shelley

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nreed
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Fri Feb 17, 2006 5:29 pm      Reply with quote
Not trying to push a product just offer facts, sorry if I came off that way I'm new to this message board, found it kind of by accident and thought thought the topics were sooo interesting. I am an independent consultant with Arbonne and first and foremost just love the product and want to share with everyone!! Of course you can go to www.arbonne.com and find a consultant in your area if interested!
Thanks for the tip!!

Nicole
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Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:49 pm      Reply with quote
Thank you Chrissie for posting the article. I've been using SkinCeuticals CE+Ferulic since last summer, after first trying IS Clinical Super Serum (which turned orange about 2/3 of the way through the bottle). I chose Ferulic because it's supposedly even better than other Vit.C sera when it comes to sun protection. I really like it, and it always normalizes my skin when it's dry or irritated from retinol and acid products. I'm anxious to see what my skin looks like, particularly my freckles, when I hit the one year anniversary of usage.

It's worth noting that skin cancer rates are rising, even as the rates of some other types of cancer are in decline.

For me, sunscreen, Vit.C serum, and retinol are the three must-haves in my regimen. All of us who use exfoliating products should be extremely fastidious in our sunscreen use, since the skin is even more exposed and vulnerable -- not just for vanity's sake, but also for our health.
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