C for yourself
Another source of vitamin C – tasty, but not the most effective delivery method!
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.
Firstly, Happy New Year to y’all!
So I thought I would start 2015 with a series of ‘Top 5’ pieces that look back at some of my favourite products of 2014. First up, we have ‘My Top 5 Skincare Launches’. Strangely for me, there was little debate when it came to finalising this list, because for once I had very clear favourites in this category.
Believe me, I trial a lot of skincare products, in the never-ending quest for those that truly deliver. In terms of anti-ageing, I do think the top priority for skincare should be sunscreen, closely followed by a topically-applied antioxidant. However, looking down at the list below as I was writing, it couldn’t be clearer that, for skincare at least, I am also drawn to products that achieve radiance and dewiness.
All of the products in this list pick the skin up in one or both of these ways. I believe that both attributes are the sign of good health and youthfulness, and if you have to fake it, fake it! Better still if you find a product that instantly achieves this effect, but also goes some way to allowing your skin to pick itself up and achieve that look naturally too. I think each of my picks below go some way to fulfilling this brief.
So without further ado, let’s get started on the skincare countdown… (drum roll, please!).
Having a background in scientific research, I often have to suspend disbelief when I hear the marketing claims being made as a new skincare product is launched. A cursory glance down the ingredients list is often enough for me to smile and walk away, wallet intact. There are certain brands out there who make the most ridiculous claims (I’ll say no more before I get myself into trouble!), consistently using active ingredients at well under the recommended dose, just so that they feature on the ingredients list (and can then be used to bolster the marketing hype).
I am with Sarah: active ingredients should always be used at their proven optimal level, and formulated with other ingredients that do not affect their ability to get results
Sarah Chapman, celebrity facialist, who combines high-tech wizardry with massage to award-winning effect, is most definitely not in this camp. She is quite clear that, during product development for her Skinesis skincare line, she needs to see research, research, research before choosing ingredients. This is to ascertain both expected results, and, most importantly, the levels at which individual ingredients should be used at in order to deliver those results. Based on the research, she then works out the optimum level at which to use those ingredients.
Indeed, Sarah Chapman is a woman after my own heart, using a winning combination of cutting-edge science and high-potency ingredients in an attempt to come up with innovative and effective skincare solutions. So, on the rare occasion that she launches a new product, I feel a trip to Space NK coming on!