europa skin care : natural, organic & science-based skin care

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Vitamin C : What is the difference between L ascorbic acid and ascorbic acid?

In the rapidly expanding market of dietary supplements, it is possible to find vitamin C in many different forms with many claims regarding its efficacy or bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the degree to which a nutrient (or drug) becomes available to the target tissue after it has been administered.

Vitamin C also known as, ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, the antiscorbutic vitamin, L-xyloascorbic acid and L-threo-hex-2-uronic acidy-lactone, is a much talked about vitamin, with people claiming it as a cure-all for may diseases and problems - from cancer to the common cold.

Yet, this miracle vitamin cannot be manufactured by the body, and needs to be ingested.

The Bioavailability of Different Forms of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) : 
Natural vs. synthetic ascorbic acid
Natural and synthetic L-ascorbic acid are chemically identical, and there are no known differences in their biological activity. The possibility that the bioavailability of L-ascorbic acid from natural sources might differ from that of synthetic ascorbic acid was investigated in at least two human studies, and no clinically significant differences were observed.

  • A study of 12 males (six smokers and six nonsmokers) found the bioavailability of synthetic ascorbic acid (powder administered in water) to be slightly superior to that of orange juice, based on blood levels of ascorbic acid, and not different based on ascorbic acid in leukocytes (white blood cells). 
  • A study in 68 male nonsmokers found that ascorbic acid consumed in cooked broccoli, orange juice, orange slices, and as synthetic ascorbic acid tablets are equally bioavailable, as measured by plasma ascorbic acid levels.
Ester-C® contains mainly calcium ascorbate, but also contains small amounts of the vitamin C metabolites dehydroascorbate (oxidized ascorbic acid), calcium threonate, and trace levels of xylonate and lyxonate. In their literature, the manufacturers state that the metabolites, especially threonate, increase the bioavailability of the vitamin C in this product, and they indicate that they have performed a study in humans that demonstrates the increased bioavailability of vitamin C in Ester-C®. This study has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal. A small published study of vitamin C bioavailability in eight women and one man found no difference between Ester-C® and commercially available ascorbic acid tablets with respect to the absorption and urinary excretion of vitamin C. Ester-C® should not be confused with ascorbyl palmitate, which is also marketed as "vitamin C ester".

What is the difference between Ester-C and regular Vitamin C? 

  • Mostly the acidity. Regular vitamin C is very acidic, and can cause increases in your blood acidity levels.  Ester C is made so that it is non-acidic, and has more bio-flavanoids in it.  This is a fancy word for additional nutrients to allow your body to absorb it better.

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids

Bioflavonoids or flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds found in plants. Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, are often rich sources of flavonoids as well. There is little evidence that the bioflavonoids in most commercial preparations increase the bioavailability or efficacy of vitamin C.

The effect of bioflavonoids on the bioavailability of ascorbic acid has been examined in two published studies. A study of five men and three women found that a 500 mg supplement of synthetic ascorbic acid, given in a natural citrus extract containing bioflavonoids, proteins, and carbohydrates, was more slowly absorbed and 35% more bioavailable than synthetic ascorbic acid alone, wheen based on plasma levels of ascorbic acid over time and 24-hr urinary excretion of ascorbic acid. In that study, the ratio of bioflavonoids to ascorbic acid (weight per weight) was 4:1, which is much higher than most commercially available products. Another study in 7 seven omen and one man found no difference between the bioavailability of 500 mg of synthetic ascorbic acid and that of a commercially available vitamin C preparation with added bioflavonoids, where the ratio of bioflavonoids to ascorbic acid was 0.05:1.

Kidney Stones

Because oxalate is a metabolite of vitamin C, there is some concern that high vitamin C intake could increase the risk of oxalate kidney stones. Some but not all studies have reported that supplemental vitamin C increases urinary oxalate levels. Whether any increase in oxalate levels would translate to an elevation in risk for kidney stones has been examined in epidemiological studies. Two large prospective studies, one following 45,251 men for six years and the other following 85,557 women for 14 years, reported that consumption of ≥1,500 mg of vitamin C daily did not increase the risk of kidney stone formation compared to those consuming <250 mg daily. However, a more recent prospective study that followed 45,619 men for 14 years found that those who consumed ≥1,000 mg/day of vitamin C had a 41% higher risk of kidney stones compared to men consuming <90 mg of vitamin C daily—the current recommended dietary allowance. In this study, low intakes (90-249 mg/day) of vitamin C (primarily from the diet) were also associated with a significantly elevated risk. Supplemental vitamin C intake was only weakly associated with increased risk of kidney stones in this study. Despite conflicting results, it may be prudent for individuals predisposed to oxalate kidney stone formation to avoid high-dose vitamin C supplementation.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Biotin -- also known as Vitamin B7

Biotin is also known as vitamin B7 and it is a water soluble vitamin which helps in the metabolism process. Apart from support in metabolic activities, biotin is crucial for cell growth and also for the prevention of hair loss.

Hence, many dermatologists emphasize on having food products that have vitamin B7 that would help us get good amount of biotin inside our body which would eventually resolve our hair loss problem naturally. Women who are pregnant and lactating would also require biotin that would help their body by maintaining the cell growth inside the body.

Biotin and hair growth
People suffering from problems like alopecia and other hair loss problems need to have biotin in their diet and therefore they should opt for food products like liver, meat, egg yolks and green vegetables.

This would help them recover from biotin deficiency and promote hair growth without any medical help or using synthetic medicines. Hair loss does not sound like a deadly problem but it has a more sociological effect. People who suffer from bald spots on their head often lose the confidence they had in themselves and start shirking away from people.

Biotin rich foods
  • Nuts (peanuts, almonds, etc…)
  • Tuna
  • Swiss Chard
  • Egg
  • Pork
  • Salmon
This will not only help you to get back your hair but also help you with other problems like acne and brittle nail.

Biotin is also used in various products related to hair like shampoos, conditioners, hair gels and hair styling creams.

Biotin and diabetes
Individuals with type 2 diabetes should also look into taking a biotin supplement. Consuming biotin in combination with chromium picolinate, a mineral found in certain foods, may help improve blood sugar levels.” 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Vitamin C : the antioxidant powerhouse that truly benefits skin

Research has shown Vitamin C to be the most important vitamin for stimulating the growth of collagen, the protein that gives structure and strength to our skin. As we move through life there is a natural reduction of collagen, which causes skin to wrinkle. 

 But by stimulating the production of collagen with Vitamin C, this wrinkling can be ameliorated. What’s more, as an antioxidant, Vitamin C can help prevent the overgrowth of melanin in the skin that causes those dark spots which often increase with aging.

Almost 20 years ago, a Duke University scholar published a ground-breaking paper that showed how a form of vitamin C called L-ascorbic acid reduced UVB damage when applied to the backs of hairless pigs. This evidence suggested that photodamage or “sun spots” could be repaired with topical use of vitamin C—and that was big news for anyone concerned with signs of aging! That original paper preceded an impressive and conclusive body of research that has since proven the benefits, stability issues, and usage requirements for vitamin C. Further research (lots of research) continued to show vitamin C’s positive effect on skin, and a bonafide, legitimate skincare craze was born!

Mass market explosion leads to consumer confusion…

As widely used as vitamin C is in cosmetics now, it can get confusing because there are many forms, each with its own name formulated in varying amounts. Here’s what you need to know:
  • The forms of vitamin C that are proven most stable and effective are: ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.
  • Regardless of marketing hype – there is no one “best” form of topically-applied vitamin C.
  • A proven range for vitamin C efficacy is between 0.3% and 10%.
  • All antioxidants, including vitamin C, are vulnerable to deterioration in the presence of air and light. If a product containing antioxidants does not come in airtight, opaque packagingdon’t buy it!

So what can vitamin C really do?

Here’s what a well-formulated, stably-packaged product with vitamin C can do for your skin:
  • Protect skin cells and skin’s support structure from UV-related damage
  • Improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin
  • Strengthen skin’s barrier response
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Promote collagen production
  • Enhance effectiveness of peels and microdermabrasion
  • Lessen hyperpigmentation (at levels of 5% or greater)
  • Boost the efficacy of sunscreen actives

Now You C It! 

From its humble beginnings atop the backs of hairless pigs to the countless studies and research that followed, vitamin C has definitely been shown to be a powerful antioxidant. In her peer-reviewed article “Topical Vitamin C” Dr. Patricia Farris nicely sums up how conclusive research supports the positive effects of vitamin C, stating, “A significant body of scientific research supports the use of cosmeceuticals containing vitamin C. Cutaneous benefits include promoting collagen synthesis, photoprotection from ultraviolet A and B, lightening hyperpigmentation, and improvement of a variety of inflammatory dermatoses.” With the added bonus of carrying a low risk of sensitization (at levels below 10%), vitamin C is a proven, beneficial addition to your skin care regimen.

Vitamin C Ester
Many skincare products contain antioxidants, however, sometimes they can be irritants such as vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. What few people know is that there are two forms of vitamin C – water-soluble and fat-soluble – with distinctly different properties.

Water-soluble vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
This is the form of vitamin C found in standard vitamin supplements. Although I recommend taking this form of vitamin C as a nutritional supplement, ascorbic acid has some serious drawbacks when used as topical ingredient. It cannot protect cell membranes, nor can the skin maintain adequate levels when we experience oxidative stress, either from internal sources such as poor diet and stress, or from external sources such as sunlight.

Ascorbic acid can also create a powerful free radical known as a hydroxylradical, via a Fenton reaction with iron in the body. It is also irritating to skin and unstable when used in topical formulations.

Fat-soluble vitamin C ester
Unlike the ascorbic acid form, fat-soluble vitamin C ester realizes this essential nutrient’s full potential as an anti-aging agent. It displays greater antioxidant activity in our cells than ascorbic acid does, and performs this vital work at lower doses. In fact, compared with ascorbic acid, vitamin C ester delivers 8 times higher levels of vitamin C activity.

And because vitamin C ester can reside in our cells' fatty membranes, it continuously regenerates the vitamin E depleted by that fat-soluble antioxidant’s ongoing fight against free radicals.

Vitamin C ester also possesses superior ability to stimulate growth of the cells (fibroblasts) that help produce collagen and elastin, the strands of tissue that give the skin its strength and flexibility.

Last but not least, vitamin C ester is also more stable in topical solutions, maintaining its efficacy while it delivers its incomparable benefits. And it does not produce the negative Fenton reaction that occurs when products containing water-soluble ascorbic acid are applied to skin.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

MyChelle Dermaceuticals - Peptide + Anti-Wrinkle Serum - 1 oz.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals - Peptide + Anti-Wrinkle Serum - 1 oz.

A concentrated multi-peptide serum that boosts firmness and elasticity, and reduces the signs of aging.

  • Tightens
  • Smoothes
  • Improves texture

Peptide+ Anti-Wrinkle Serum is a concentrated multi-peptide formula that boosts firmness and elasticity, and reduces the signs of aging. Lipids and Hyaluronic Acid help to increase moisture retention for long-lasting hydration. Argan Plant Stem Cells and Crocus Chrysanthus help promote collagen production for a soft, smooth texture.

Made without GMO, Gluten, Parabens, Petroleum, Phthalates, Silicones, Sulfates, Ureas, Artificial Fragrances, and Artificial Colors. Vegan. Cruelty-free.

Friday, December 8, 2017

How to find your True Match (L'Oreal Paris)

L'Oreal Paris True Match Mineral Makeup is a skin-improving mineral makeup that covers flawlessly, leaving your skin soft and your skin tone even 100% preservative, talc and fragrance-free.

Working with your skin’s natural coloring is key to this look. You want to even out your complexion, conceal redness and create a natural radiance. Find your perfect shade of True Match Gentle Mineral Makeup and apply it only where you need coverage. The perfect match should practically disappear against your natural skin tone. Blend with a sponge or your fingertips.

 How to Find your True Match 

Available in several true-to-skin shades in warmsneutrals, and cools.

Step 1: Determine your skin tone. There are seven possible tones: fair, fair light, light, light medium, medium, medium deep and deep. To determine yours, focus on the area of your face near the jaw line and not the cheek because the latter tends to be a bit more pigmented and less reflective of your true tone.

Step 2: Find your undertone. The undertone is the hint of color under your skin, which makes your skin unique. If you receive the most compliments when you wear shades of brown, dark green, and orange, your undertone is warm. If you receive the most compliments when you wear pink, rose, or pastel shades, your undertone is cool. If you receive compliments across a variety of shades, your undertone is neutral.

  • Light Ivory     W1-2
  • Nude Beige     W3
  • Natural Beige   W4-5
  • Sun Beige     W6-7 
  • Soft Ivory       N1-2
  • Natural Buff    N3
  • Buff Beige     N4-5
  • Classic Tan      N6-7
  • Natural Ivory    C1-2
  • Creamy Natural    C3
  • Classic Beige    C4-5
  • Soft Sable    C6-7
The perfect combination together with your skin tone and undertone determines your True Match, making it simple to find the shade that’s right for you. Remember: your skin tone can change with the seasons and with age, so you may need to update your foundation from time to time to make sure the shade is true to you.

Tutorial on how to find your True Match