C for yourself
Vitamin C happens to be one of my favourite skincare ingredients. If formulated well (and that’s a big if), it has the potential to deliver the killer combination of both instant AND long term benefits to the skin. And that’s not just marketing hype: the benefits have been scientifically proven. They include:
- instant radiance and clarity to the skin
- more even skin tone
- reduction in oxidative (free radical) and UV damage
- increased collagen synthesis
- increased skin elasticity and firmness
However (here comes the ‘big if’ I mentioned), there are vitamin C formulations out there that simply do not work. This is usually down to bad formulation, in one or both of the following ways:
- the vitamin C content is not protected from oxidising (i.e. degrading – which it is very prone to do) within the packaging or formula
- the percentage of vitamin C in the product is too low to produce results.
As I am sure you are aware, brands unfortunately do not always take product formulation as seriously as they should, instead relying more on the strength of marketing a feel-good factor and a product back-story. So when I buy a product that is making claims off the back of its vitamin C content, I look for a brand that takes product formulation seriously. A brand like REN, in fact.
So I was excited and intrigued to learn that REN were launching a new vitamin C product called Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial.
They say it is a transformative treatment that instantly revitalizes and visibly rejuvenates the skin in one minute, leaving it glowing with renewed health and radiance. So far, so me! It claims to use potent, water-activated vitamin C to neutralize ‘urban grey’ in a flash, leaving skin looking firmer, toned and smoothed, while reducing signs of fatigue, photo-ageing and skin imperfections. The gel formula is applied to the face and massaged in for a few seconds before adding water. The water then activates the gel to deliver an intense shot of fresh, active and potent vitamin C to the skin.
REN’s results suggest that, after 1 minute:
- Wrinkle depth reduced by 15%*
- Luminosity increased by 24%*
- 100%** of women said their skin was more luminous and felt smoother and firmer… transformed!
*Instrumental measurement on 30 women; ** Auto-evaluation on 30 women
OK, REN, you had me at “hello”.
Now for the science bit…
So given that formulation is key with vitamin C when topically applied to the skin, let’s take a closer look at REN’s formula.
(1) Is the vitamin C at sufficient concentration to produce results?
Ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C) appears second on the ingredients list. Big tick. This means that, as a component ingredient, it has one of the highest concentrations in the formula.
When I contact them, REN say ascorbic acid has been used at a 10% concentration. Another big tick. So we are in the ballpark of results territory when it comes to collagen synthesis.
(2) Has the vitamin C content been stabilised to prevent its deterioration?
The ascorbic acid has been stabilised in a water-free silica/glyceride matrix, to minimise any degradation of the vitamin C before use. Very big tick!
A second, more stable form of vitamin C, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, appears on the ingredients list too. It appears towards the end of the ingredients list, and when I enquire with REN, I am told it is only present in concentrations between 0.01-0.02%. However, this form of vitamin C is active at much lower concentrations, and may have the ability to penetrate the skin to deeper levels than ascorbic acid, so can only enhance results further. So it’s all looking good.
Aside from the vitamin C, REN have also included two other key ingredients in this product: boswellic acid and magnesium. The boswellic acid relaxes muscles and fights facial fatigue, which diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The magnesium, meanwhile, energises the skin and boosts radiance further.
All-in-all, this sounds to be a promising formula from a reputable brand that delivers. Couple this with the fact that REN claim it can transform your complexion in 60 seconds, and I am sold!
If you are as intrigued as me, and how can you not be, check back later to see my full review.
Posted by Jill
I am a skincare and beauty aficionado, and the founder of Nameless Grace. I aim to be your friendly guide through the minefield of marketing claims and the latest beauty trends.