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Since antioxidant serums have been scientifically proven to boost the power of sunscreen, it’s a good idea to apply one everyday before your sunscreen. But, if you’re the eco-conscious and all-natural modern woman, what are you to do? Enter Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum ($45.00, Sephora.com). With a high concentration of grape juice, soothing aloe, network antioxidants ubiquinone, vitamin C, and vitamin E, firming DMAE, cell turnover-inspiring retinyl palmitate, and hydrating sodium hyaluronate — plus the assurance of certified organic ingredients — what’s not to love?! For more on the ingredients, read on.
White Grape and Orange Juices
Not only do they taste delicious, but the two main ingredients in this serum are great for your skin, too. Orange juice is great, while white grape juice is a fair antioxidant, at least according to the American Chemical Society. In a 1996 study, the antioxidant activities of twelve common fruits were measured via ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) Score, the current accepted standard for measuring antioxidant activity. In the ranking, orange juice placed third, while white grape juice placed seventh; the following was the order:
- red grape
- kiwi fruit
- pink grapefruit
- white grape
- honeydew melon
Vitamin C as Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
- scavenging of free radicals (reacts with the superoxide anion or the hydroxyl radical);
- suppressing pigmentation of the skin (by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase);
- decomposing melanin;
- triggering collagen production and thereby increasing skin firmness;
- enhancing sunscreen protection
Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is a simply a water-soluble form of L-ascorbic acid. According to a 1997 study in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate has greater stability than L-ascorbic acid in solution. Unfortunately, the only drawback to magnesium ascorbyl phosphate that I can foresee is that the concentration of magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is often not revealed in products, while the concentration of L-ascorbic acid is reported as 10% in Cellex C and 15% in Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. However, it has been suggested in Skin Pharmacology that a given concentration of magnesium ascorbyl phosphate exhibits the same effects on skin fibroblasts as the same concentration of L-ascorbic acid. This is exciting, as the same study also found that twice the concentration of sodium ascorbyl phosphate was needed to exhibit the same effects as a given concentration of L-ascorbic acid.
My favorite combination: Vitamin C and Vitamin E
Oh, if you’re a fan of this blog, you’ve heard it all before: Vitamin C and E together are like macaroni and cheese for me, but a whole lot better for my skin. First and foremost, according to Dr. Leslie Baumann’s Cosmetic Dermatology textbook, vitamin C and vitamin E are network antioxidants that have been found to synergistically enhance the power of one another. (When one antioxidant is depleted, it can essentially “borrow” an electron from the other antioxidant to renew itself, and vice versa).
Vitamin C and vitamin E have also been shown in this 1996 study, amongst others, to enhance the photoprotective effects of sunscreen, as vitamin C has been reported to enhance UVA protection, whereas vitamin E is more effective against UVB radiation.
Lastly, vitamin C has also been found to decrease hyperpigmentation, although a study in the International Journal of Dermatology found that 4% hydroquinone was more effective in treating melasma than vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid. However, a separate study, also in the International Journal of Dermatology, found that combination therapy of 4% hydroquinone (not in Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum), vitamin C, vitamin E, and 10% glycolic acid was effective in treating signs of hyperpigmentation.
…plus another network antioxidant, Ubiquinone
Ubiquinone levels have been documented to decrease upon skin UV irradiation in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, so it is a beneficial to supplement the levels with this antioxidant serum. Ubiquinone, like vitamins C and E, is also another network antioxidant, meaning that it can “borrow” an electron from another antioxidant when its own electron is depleted by a reactive species, and can also “donate” an electron to another antioxidant in its time of stress. Very nice indeed!
According to a 1997 study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 0.6% retinyl palmitate is less effective in penetrating human skin than 0.025% retinol (these concentrations are similar to those found in many over-the-counter skincare formulations). However, even though retinyl palmitate is less potent than retinol, it has been shown to exhibit the collagen-stimulating, smoothing, and wrinkle-reducing properties of retinol over time, and has also been shown to be less irritating, which is probably the reason for its common use in skin care products.
I think I have only two concerns about the retinyl palmitate in Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum. One is pH level. With all of the acidic ingredients in the serum, its pH is likely to be somewhere between 4-5. However, the optimal pH of retinyl palmitate in formulations is between 5.5 and 6.0, as this is the ultimate range for esterification, according to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. My second concern is more minor: given the fact that retinyl palmitate makes the skin more photosensitive, dermatologists most often recommend its use at night. But, I would say that, since you are most likely using an antioxidant serum to boost the power of sunscreen anyway, the bit of retinyl palmitate in this product plus sunscreen should still leave you on your way to anti-aging success.
What about the “certified organic” label?
Again, “certified organic” has never been shown in clinical studies to be more effective. Still, the “certified organic” label means that the product is of the highest standard; that is, 95-100% of ingredients must meet USDA organic standards for food. More information about USDA Certified Organic labeling and products is available here.
Buy this! Don’t buy the Juice Beauty Green Apple Antioxidant Serum!
According to Sephora.com, the ingredients lists of Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum and Juice Beauty Green Apple Antioxidant Serum are (gasp!) identical. I copied and pasted them both below to demonstrate. Even if this is some sort of error, you get twice the amount of Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum for the same price as Juice Beauty Green Apple Antioxidant Serum. Furthermore, in the aforementioned study, apple did not have a particularly high ORAC score compared to eleven other common fruits, indicating that Juice Beauty Green Apple Antioxidant Serum is probably not worth twice as much. The choice, of course, is ultimately yours.
Bottom line: I loooooove it
Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum ($45.00, Sephora.com) is a new favorite. I love the high concentrations of antioxidants, hydrating and soothing ingredients, and the fact that it’s Certified Organic for the eco-savvy woman (or man, come to think of it!) A great find and a wonderful product! Product rating: 9.5/10 (High concentration of proven ingredients: 3/3. New technology or formulation: 3/3. Value for the money: 3/3. Sunscreen: 0.5/1, not sunscreen, but its ingredients are proven to boost the power of sunscreen when used in conjunction with it.)
Ingredients in Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum
Organic Juices Of Vitis Vinifera (White Grape) Juice, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Juice & Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Organic Essential Fatty Acids Of Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose), Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed & Borago Officinali (Borage) Seed, Organic Algae Extract, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), Thioctic Acid (Alpha-Lipoic Acid), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Dipeptide-2, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Tocopheryl Acetate & Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Sclerotium Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium Edta, Phospholipids, Hyaluronic Acid, Dimethylaminoethanol(DMAE), Potassium Sorbate, Amyris Balsamifera & Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) Pure Essential Oils.
Ingredients in Juice Beauty Green Apple Antioxidant Serum
Organic Juice Solution Of Vitis Vinifera (White Grape) Juice, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Juice & Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Organic Essential Fatty Acids Of Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose), Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed & Borago Officinali (Borage) Seed, Organic Algae Extract, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), Thioctic Acid (Alpha-Lipoic Acid), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Dipeptide-2, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Tocopheryl Acetate & Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Sclerotium Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium Edta, Phospholipids, Hyaluronic Acid, Dimethylaminoethanol(DMAE, Potassium Sorbate, Amyris Balsamifera & Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) Pure Essential Oils.