Monday, July 21, 2008

Topical Vitamin C, Vitamin E & Ferulic Acid: Antioxidants for Skin Protection

SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic acid
This is the product I will be testing.

Since I've already ventured into the strange world of homemade topicals, I thought I might as well begin testing existing products on the market. If they work, great, and if they don't, at least you'll save the money you might've otherwise spent on them.

I've chosen CE Ferulic acid from SkinCeuticals as my first target, as it seems to have some science behind it and at a price range of $80-$130 per 30 ml (or 1 fluid ounce), is not exactly the cheapest thing you can find. The following quote is from their website:
C E Ferulic® is a revolutionary antioxidant combination that delivers advanced protection against photoaging - neutralizing free radicals, helping build collagen, and providing unmatched antioxidant protection. More protection means more youthful looking skin and better defense against environmental aging.
The name of the product comes from the vitamins C and E, which it contains in the form of L-ascorbic acid and alpha-tocopherol. SkinCeuticals claims the ferulic acid doubles the benefits of these vitamins. This claim may have some merit, as the researches of this study concluded that adding ferulic acid to a topical solution of ascorbic acid and alpha-tocopherol improved the chemical stability of the vitamins and doubled their photoprotective effect. In an earlier study they concluded that vitamins C and E together were superior to using either one on its own.

Topical vitamin C is known to be beneficial to the skin and is often added to skin care products. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and can thus help reduce skin damage caused by free radicals. It is also essential for the synthesis of collagen. The first problem with some of the products is that vitamin C is relatively unstable and oxidizes easily. The oxidized form of vitamin C is unhelpful and may even increase the damage to your skin. The second problem is that a lot of products contain too little vitamin C to be effective.

Vitamin E, an inexpensive antioxidant, is found in a lot of products as well, but whether it is beneficial or not seems unclear. For example, this study suggests that not only is there no benefit from topical vitamin E to skin scars but that it may even be detrimental. Unfortunately, it doesn't say in the abstract which form of vitamin E they used. In another study, mice that received a topical application of alpha-tocopheryl acetate or alpha-tocopheryl succinate (which are more stable at room temperature than some other forms of vitamin E) actually had higher rates of cancer from photoexposure. On the other hand, the researches do mention that dl-alpha-tocopherol prevents skin cancer in mice. Thus, the form of vitamin E used is critical.

Ferulic acid is phenolic phytochemical and a known antioxidant. It is found on the leaves and seeds of many plants and in things like cereals, coffee, apple, orange and pineapple. Consumed orally, it helps to prevent damage caused by ultraviolet light and may be beneficial in the health of sperm and fertility. Topically, it has been shown to inhibit tumor growth in mouse skin.

I'm applying this stuff on my face and on the backs of my hands to see what happens.

For more information on skin care, see these posts:

Topical Vitamin C, Vitamin E & Ferulic Acid - Experiment Conclusion
1,000-8,000 mg of MSM Has No Effect on Hair & Nails - Experiment Conclusion
How to Get Natural Sun Protection by Eating the Right Foods
Biotin Supplements for Hair & Nails - Experiment Conclusion

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