Sunday, February 24, 2013

Skincare Ingredients Week Day One - Murad Essential C Day Moisture

One of the most popular ingredients in skincare is Vitamin C and therefore this is where I decided to start off the Theme Week.  Vitamin C has been used by more brands than I can count and is used in products designed to reduce and prevent the signs of aging, along with products that help to protect the skin from free radical damage and improve the overall complexion.  This ingredient has potential benefits for all types of skin but can also irritate or be completely ineffective if not at the correct concentration and stabilization.  A bit of extra research is worth it before purchasing any type of product with this active ingredient.  When shopping for products with this active ingredient, I recommend shopping only from brands with a very reputable following and not trying to buy cheap skincare products.  Quality Vitamin C products will cost extra to ensure that the active ingredient is in the correct concentration and the correct level of stabilization.

A bit of background on Vitamin C itself will be first.  When I took Organic Chemistry in college, Vitamin C was considered too complex and large to be studied in the first two semesters of this topic.  Therefore I have really never done any formal study of this exact complex and this post is my first time going into the complex chemistry behind the Vitamin C molecule.  Vitamin C as contained in skincare products could also be listed under the name of L-ascorbic Acid, this is the only form that is effective for the face and if the "L" is not present in the complex, there will be no benefits to use of this product.  This is the main reason that it is worth the extra time and effort to check out the products before you make the purchase.  L-ascorbic Acid helps to stimulate collagen production and this is why is used very heavily in anti-aging products.  Collagen production is the major goal of most anti-aging products and finding an effective Vitamin C product is worth the search.  L-ascorbic Acid is also heavily used in products that promise anti-oxidant benefits, this complex also helps to fight free radical damage by binding to the particles before they attract themselves to the skin and begin do damage to the upper layers of the epidermis.  This complex will neutralize the charged free radicals and prevent the damage to the epidermis.  A good Vitamin C product is worth its weight in gold.

What the drawbacks to this ingredient?  No skincare ingredient (at least ones that work) are without some drawbacks/side effects.  L-ascorbic Acid can be irritating to sensitive skin types and sensitivity to this ingredient can come out if if you don't have "sensitive" skin.  At effective levels, this ingredient can cause redness, dryness, and overall irritation.  At very high levels, this ingredient is most effective when used under a doctor's care.  I have had a hard time in the past trying to find a product with the effective levels of Vitamin C that doesn't harm my skin more than help it.

The best line of Vitamin C products that I have used is the Essential C line of products from Dr. Murad's skincare line.  I have used several products from this line over the years and today we will look at the Day Cream that is offered with this line.  This line is also known as the Environmental Shield, "Daily exposure to sunlight, smog, pollution and stress is the number one cause of premature aging. Murad's Environmental Shield® product line will help to restore, renew, and protect your skin against sun damage, preventing and reversing environmental damage through the Science of Cellular Water™."

Essential-C Day Moisture is the SPF-enriched day cream from this line, using Vitamin C during the day will help to fight off the free radicals that attach to your skin all throughout the day.  This type of cream is especially valuable if you live or work in the city, smog throws off some of the worst free radicals and assaults your skin throughout the whole day.  "A powerful, antioxidant-rich sunscreen that shields and restores environmentally stressed skin.  Block UVA and UVB while preventing free-radical damage with this complexion-protecting essential. The advanced formula multitasks, improving the skin's barrier function to maintain optimal hydration."

This formula is best for normal to slightly dry skin and gave me the best results when used in the spring and summer months, I did not find it hydrating enough for winter skin issues.  A dime-sized drop was all that I needed to cover my whole face and the product absorbed in quickly and didn't leave a residue (I have found that some products with a higher SPF will leave a film on the skin).  This product is hydrating enough to keep my skin soft throughout the day and is smooth enough that I can still apply primer and all the needed face makeup over it.  This is the best Vitamin C cream for that I have found for skin that doesn't always like Vitamin C. 

The Murad collection of Vitamin C products is one of the few that I truly trust to be effective yet not cause more harm than good to sensitive skin.  If you really want to reap the benefits of this ingredient than I do recommend using this day cream and then matching night cream.  I am most interested in this ingredient to help protect my skin and I love how effective it is.

photo courtesy of Sephora

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