A fine, white powder with no aroma. It is a stable form of ascorbic acid. Other variations of Vitamin C are not stable when used in cosmetic formulations and simply do not work for their desired function. Worse still, they can destabilise the emulsion and sometimes change the colour a lot. This is because of the problem they have with oxidation.
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Database (Cosing), the functions of Vitamin C are:
To view more information, visit the Cosing Database here.
Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis so is a essential active for age defying creams, lotions, gels and serums. The enhanced collagen production increase the firmness of the skin giving a lifting effect. It also stimulates the renewal of fibroblasts.
It protects the cells from free radical damage as it is an excellent antioxidant that is water soluble.
Excellent for brightening a dull skin tone and evening out the complexion. At higher levels, it can be used to lighten hyperpigmentation and age spots on the skin.
Ideal to use in products for around the eye area as it helps to diminish fine lines and wrinkles as well as brighten the area.
Great choice for using on sun damaged skin.
It will reduce the appearance of acne scars as well as help to combat acne without drying out the skin.
Helps to stop dyed hair from fading and protects the intensity of the original colour used. Add to shampoos and conditioners.
Use 0.2% to 2% as an antioxidant and for age defying products.
Use 3% to 5% as a skin lightening active.
Water soluble so cannot be used in oil only products. It is heat sensitive so needs to be added in Stage 3(below 40°C) and must be dissolved in something water based first.
Addition of the Vitamin C can change the pH of the finished product. The ideal pH for the Vitamin C is ph 6.5 to 7 however, it may be more relevant to change this if the preservative you are using has a defined pH of activity.
Works very well with Vitamin E which not only helps to keep the Vitamin C stable in the cream or lotion but also has an excellent synergistic effect on the skin.
Rich Eye Cream
Stage 1: (above 70°C)
9% Argan Oil
4% Arnica Oil
1% Pomegranate Seed Oil
Stage 2: (room temperature)
70% Boiling Rose Water
5% Eyebright Glycerol Extract
Stage 3: (below 40°C)
3.5% Vitamin C
2% Vitamin E
1% Preservative 12
0.5% Elemi Essential Oil
Heat Stage 1 (fat stage) in a stainless steel bowl on a double boiler until the temperature is above 75°C.
Add Stage 2 (water stage) ingredients into a stainless steel bowl in a double boiler until the temperature is above 75°C.
Pour Stage 1 (fat stage) into Stage 2 (water stage) and use a stick blender (high shear) to emulsify the two stages. This will happen in just a few seconds so keep checking. Ensure the temperature is above 75°C. When you lift the stick blender out of the mixture, the mix running off the blender head should look like a thin cream. If it looks granular or like it is separating, it needs more high shear blending.
When it has emulsified, take it out of the double boiler and use a spatula to stir it whilst it is cooling down. You can use a cold water bath to speed up the cooling. Do not continue to use the stick blender as this will destroy the liquid crystal structure that the emulsification has formed.
When it is under 40°C, add the Stage 3 (heat sensitive) ingredients. Combine thoroughly, jar and label.
Hand Cream to Lighten Age Spots and Stained Fingers
Stage 1: (above 75°C)
6% Jojoba Oil
3% Thistle Oil
2% Cetearyl Alcohol
2.5% VE Emulsifier
Stage 2: (above 75°C)
4% MF Emulsifier
6% Papaya Glycerol Extract
63% Boiling Spring Water
Stage 3: (below 40°C)
5% Vitamin C
2% Remodelling Intense
2% Vitamin E
1% Preservative 12
1% Essential Oils of your choice
Heat the Stage 1 (fat stage) materials in a stainless steel bowl on a bain marie (double boiler) to above 75°C.
Add the Stage 2 (water stage) ingredients to a larger bowl and put onto a bain marie. When the temperature is above 75°C, add Stage 1 to Stage 2.
Keep the temperature above 75°C and stir for 5 minutes.
Take the bowl off the heat and cool to below 40°C.
Mix the Stage 3 (cool stage) ingredients together and stir into the cream. Mix thoroughly. Jar and label.
For more information and guidance on making your own skin care products please see Aromantic's books and eBooks in our Publications section.
These notes are not meant to replace medical guidance and you should seek the advice of your doctor for your health matters. The formulae are given in good faith and are intended for educational purposes only. They have not been evaluated or tested in any way and Aromantic Ltd. makes no claim as to their effectiveness. It is up to the reader to ensure that any products they produce from these recipes are safe to use, and if relevant, compliant under current cosmetic regulations.
Traditional Aromatherapy Uses
Qualified aromatherapists have traditionally used oil sources of Vitamin C to work on their clients that would benefit using such oils as grapefruit oil and rosehip seed oil.
The importance of Vitamin C was know to sailors more than 250 years ago when they used limes to combat scurvy which is a disease directly connected with Vitamin C deficiency. The chemical name is ascorbic acid which means literally “acid against scurvy”. This was why the sailors were referred to as “limeys”. However, it was several hundred years later when Vitamin C was first isolated in 1928.