Critique of a 30% vitamin C facial care regimen

  • A facial care regimen based on HUGE amounts of vitamin C (30%), retinol (0.5%), bakuchiol, CoQ10, vitamin E and herbal extract of ophiopogon japonica improved pigementation and overall facial condition in 12 weeks, as was found by a recently published study, but also increased skin dryness for 8 weeks
  • However, the use of 30% (!) vitamin C is quite pointless in order to improve pigmentation, as the same result can be achieved by 1-2% curcumin or resveratrol, which in addition have more potent anti-ageing effects than vitamin C. To be honest, I really fail to understand why such mega doses need to be used...
  • The use of multiple actives is commendable, however, and it is a nice departure from creams containing only a couple of actives. However, it would be nice if the formulators used the 28% of the excess vitamin C (2% is absolutely fine, more is not needed) to add other more advanced actives, for better synergy, better results and higher customer satisfaction.
  • Retinol contributed to the anti-ageing effect but also to skin dryness
  • Vitamin E, bakuchiol and CoQ10 also contributed to anti-ageing
  • Source: An Open Label Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy and Tolerance of a Retinol and Vitamin C Facial Regimen in Women With Mild-to-Moderate Hyperpigmentation and Photodamaged Facial Skin.
  • Abstract: A 12-week open-label, single-center clinical usage trial was conducted to determine the effectiveness of a dual product regimen consisting of a 0.5% retinol treatment and an anti-aging moisturizer with 30% vitamin C in women with mild to moderate hyperpigmented and photodamaged facial skin. Clinical grading of several efficacy parameters, tolerability evaluations, subject self-assessment questionnaires, and digital photography were completed at baseline and at weeks 4, 8, and 12. A total of 44 women completed the study. Effective ingredients incorporated into the 0.5% retinol treatment included encapsulated retinol for a retinol concentration of 0.5%, bakuchiol, and Ophiopogon japonicus root extract. The anti-aging moisturizer with 30% vitamin C contained 30% vitamin C in the form of tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD ascorbate), alpha-tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E) and ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10). The facial regimen produced a statistically significant decrease (improvement) in clinical grading scores for all parameters assessed at weeks 8 and 12 when compared with baseline scores. In addition, the majority of these parameters were improved at week 4. The test regimen was well-perceived by the subjects for various inquiries regarding facial skin condition, product efficacy, and product attributes. Several tolerability parameters were assessed with no statistically significant increase except for dryness. A statistically significant increase in clinical grading scores for dryness on the face occurred at weeks 4 and 8 when compared to baseline scores. The increase in dryness is expected when introducing a retinol product to a facial regimen and the dryness did not persist to the week 12 time point.

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