I think somebody should make a song about all of the different forms of vitamin C. Like a vitamin C jingle:
L-ascorbic acid is the first and stays in the skin at any rate,
Sodium ascorbyl phosphate and Magnesium ascorbyl palmitate are more stable than ascorbyl palmitate (AP), so AP is out-of-date,
Ascorbyl glucoside is vitamin C plus a sugar (baby),
Ascorbyl glucosamine has more lightening properties (ooo),
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate absorbs into skin the best,
Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate is the newest and the fastest (of the rest).
Well, I tried. (There’s a reason I write skincare blog posts and not, say, songs). Nonetheless, it is true — ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate is the newest form of vitamin C to hit the cosmeceutical market. A molecule derived from vitamin C and isopalmitic acid, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate has been shown to absorb into skin faster than any of the other forms of vitamin C tested (Clinics in Dermatology, 2008). Aside from that benefit, it appears to have similar collagen-rebuilding properties to other forms of vitamin C, as shown in its ability to increase UVA/UVB photoprotection and to aid in the healing of burns (Photochemistry and Photobiology, 2008; Burns, 2010; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2007).
However, as you know from my constant musings on the benefits of microencapsulation, offering slow release of ingredients into the skin, sometimes you don’t want for ingredients to be mega-dosed into the skin or quickly absorbed all at once. For this reason, it makes sense that ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate is associated with some irritation (contact dermatitis) in persons with sensitive skin (Contact Dermatitis, 2011).
Products with Ascorbyl TetraisopalmitateOle Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser is a new product that contains ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate. A lightweight, non-sticky gel, this cleanser promises to be a 3-in-1 emulsion that “effortlessly melts the most stubborn makeup and greatly dissolves everyday impurities, leaving the skin superbly hydrated.”
As far as benefits go, as I’ve said before on the blog, you need to apply a cleanser for at least a minute in order to ensure that all of the beneficial ingredients can be absorbed into the skin properly. I personally recommend using Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser when taking a bath, if you do not have sensitive skin. The heat and humidity of the bath helps key ingredients and moisture to lock into the skin, whereas the ingredients have been shown in studies to be brightening and tightening for the skin. If you have sensitive skin, the citrus extracts may be too much.
If you are looking for a form of vitamin C that is both stabilized and fast-acting, look no further: Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate has been shown to be absorbed into the skin more quickly than other forms of vitamin C. However, the downside to ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate may be that it is so fast-acting it may be irritating for sensitive skin. But if you’re looking for big-time action from your vitamin C and have resilient skin, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate may be just the ticket.
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