As some may or may not be aware, Vitamin C is an incredible natural molecule that has great benefits to skin health in the form of collagen biosynthesis and as an antioxidant. That's why you'll find it in many cosmetic serums including the Alón products. However, there are a few critical nuances that can really make a difference in the quality of a Vitamin C serum.

For starters, if you read the label of a Vitamin C serum, you'll notice that Vitamin C is rarely found. Instead, either the natural form, ascorbic acid, or a derivative such as ascorbate phosphate or ascorbyl palmitate are written on the label. And this is where things get interesting.

Ascorbic acid, the natural form of Vitamin C, is very unstable in solution (yet stable in powder form) and breaks down quickly into derivative forms such as ascorbyl palmitate. The problem is that the derivative forms of ascorbic acid have limited absorption whereas ascorbic acid is the most effective for topical administration. Even synthetic and stable derivatives such as ascorbate phosphate have limited permeability and function in the skin.

So in essence, many cosmetic brands are selling a Vitamin C derivative that is stable but ineffective as a topical agent. It's like filling a low water line reservoir with salt water - you've solved the low waterline issue but not the water shortage....

At Alón Labs, we have acknowledged that ascorbic acid is a powerful ingredient AND that it is unstable in solution. For that reason we have taken a novel approach to separate the activating liquid from the powder form of the solution, which includes ascorbic acid, and advise to use the formula within 30 days of mixing the two.

A Few Other Watch Outs...

The telltale sign of ascorbic acid breakdown is a yellowish color in the serum, which has no safety concerns, only reduction in effectiveness. We have purposefully maintained our solution without any color filler in order to ensure that you can see if/when this yellowish breakdown occurs. Be wary of Vitamin C serums that mask the discoloration with artificial coloring of their own!!

Reference:
1. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/skin/vitaminC/