Vitamin C for your skin

Did you know, when you apply topical Vitamin C to your skin it can provide more than twenty times the amount of Vitamin C that is found normally in skin? We need to topically apply Vitamin C on a daily basis as the levels we need cutaneously can not be reached by ingestion and sun exposure depletes 2/3 of any stored Vitamin C.

So how does it work in the skin?

Chronic insults to the skin such as sun exposure, smoking, pollutants etc, will lead to cumulative damage and will result in premature ageing and put the skin at risk of many skin diseases.

All of these insults will also contribute to the generation of reactive oxygen species,Vitamin C, which is an anti oxidant will neutralise these free radicals which damage the skin.

Along with its antioxidant properties, Vitamin C influences the production of collagen by activating collagen gene regulation. This is great when considering ageing concerns such as lines and wrinkles.

There are so many Vitamin C products on the market today and consumers should be educated that not all preparations of topical Vitamin C are effective. Penetration of this vitamin in products must be considered and if an analogue is used, it must also convert to active Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) so it can be used within the cell. Cosmetic chemists have to formulate products and take these factors into consideration.

Skin Care professionals are able to prescribe products that will contain active Vitamin C and provide the skins with the benefits mentioned, whereas, more than likely when you purchase a product that is not prescribed by a professional, it will not contain the correct percentage of active or delivery science and therefore not provide your skin with the  benefits.

I recommend using a product containing Vitamin C every morning, because we expose our skin to so many factors that produce free radicals throughout the day. Sitting in front of a computer screen, some lighting, everyday pollutants and of course, UV exposure will all produce reactive oxygen species. Vitamin C also works synergistically with Vitamin E and together they provide a great network to maintain cellular health.

Do you use a skin care product containing Vitamin C? I would love to hear the benefits you have experienced from your products………..

Vitamin C in your skin care


Vitamin A in Skin Care

Retinoids are classified as compounds with the basic core structure of Vitamin A and play a very important role in many skin conditions including Ageing. When applied topically the oxidised metabolites of Vitamin A will convert to Retinoic Acid which has an influence on cell function by altering gene expression patterns and have shown to be highly effective when use to treat skin conditions such as; acne, sun damage and psoriasis. Retinoids or Vitamin A have a normalising effect with these altered skin conditions although may take a small amount of time to adjust with some negatives associated. Some of these are:

irritation, redness, itchy and sensitivity.

These side effects are usually transient and once the skin adjusts the benefits far out weigh the negatives.

I have used Retinoids to treat many aggressive skin conditions and it is the gold standard when treating an acne or photo damaged skin.

When you think of Ageing, think of Vitamin A, as this is the secret to maintaining your skins cell turnover. Normally we see cell turnover slow as we age, so using a topical product containing a retinoid ingredient will help reverse the effects of slow cell differentiation.

I would love to know if you have had great results when using a product containing Vitamin A. Drop a comment and let me know what products are your favourite….


Here comes summer!

Sand walking

With summer on our doorstep – sorry to my followers in the Northern hemisphere! I love getting my feet in the sand + getting my dose of Vitamin D (Don’t worry I also have some sunscreen on my face + a hat).

Did you know that 20 minutes of sand walking with bare feet can help negate the harmful effects of day to day exposure to radiation from modern day technology? Interesting…….. not sure if there is a study to prove that, however, it makes me feel good so I make sure I take my time to really enjoy the moment.

And if you are admiring my gel nail colour, it is my new summer fave!

I am loving my new Artiste Colour Gloss colour – Snapdragon

Artiste Colour Gloss Snapdragon

Vitamin B5/Panthenol in Skin Care

Previously, I have posted an article on Vitamin B3/Niacinamide so I thought I should write about the benefits of the ‘other’ Vitamin B used in cosmeceutical skin care products- Vitamin B5 or Panthenol.

Panthenol is used topically to treat wounds, bruises, pressure and dermal ulcers, burns and post operative incisions. It is widely used as a rash soother for babies suffering with nappy (diaper) rash.

Dexpanthenol is a precursor to pantothenic acid – Vitamin B5 and is a component of Co enzyme A which functions in the skins fatty acid biosynthesis. When we increase the skins lipid synthesis we see an improvement in barrier function, improving wound healing.

Vitamin B5 also has the ability to enhance fibroblast proliferation and the re -epithelialization of the epidermis, again assisting with the skins wound healing phase.

In addition, Panthenol acts as an effective moisturiser of the Stratum Corneum and improves the dryness, scaling, pruritus and erythema associated with inflamed skin conditions such as; atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and contact dermatitis and can assist with the side effects associated with the initial use of Retinoids in skin care.

Both Vitamin B3 & B5 can provide a variety of benefits to the skin when applied topically to the skin:

  • Improved barrier function
  • Moisturisation of the Stratum Corneum
  • Optimization of wound healing
  • Improved appearance to ageing skin

Have you used Vitamin B5 in your skin care range?


Skin Detox Juice

My morning Green Juice


It has taken many years of discovery, but my body does not like certain foods and this week has been a week where I have been so busy that I have not been as careful as I normally am when it comes to watching what I eat. Well, I have paid for it, as I woke this morning, my face was puffy and I felt ‘fluey’. This is always a good indicator of not being in sync with my body’s needs and as I suffer with Hashimotos (HypoThyroid), I must always listen to what my body is saying.

So I am back on to my normal healthy eating of lots and lots of greens and organic vegetables and I wanted to share a great juice I try to drink often and even though some may say it is probably psychological, I believe it works for me – I already feel so much better.

I try to use as many greens as possible, this morning it was Kale, Beet Leaves, Cucumber, Baby Spinach and an apple and big chunk of ginger. The best part was, most of the greens were home grown in my own garden, I’m sure they taste so much better because of this!

My dog even benefits from my juices, I use the pulp in her night time meal and mix it in so she doesn’t know the pulp is in there!

What are your favourite juices? It would be great to share some recipes…….


Juice pulp to mix into dogs dinner

Who wants a more youthful skin?


Secrets to a more youthful skin

As we age, we produce less energy for cell regeneration and DNA repair. Our supply of Antioxidants also declines and oxidation of our cell membranes allow us to lose more moisture, leaving our skin feeling dehydrated and possibly irritated.

We require a higher intake of Omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil on a daily basis and antioxidant supplementation both orally and topically to reduce oxidation. As we age our skin dehydrates faster due to the reduction of sodium pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (Sodium PCA), a NMF – Natural Moisturising Factor, found in the skin. From the age of approximately 50, this NMF will  halve in production.

Do you have sun/age spots? We see these pigmented lesions as we age due to the Melanocytes – cells that produce our skins Melanin/Pigment, clumping together. Some great ingredients to assist with the lightening of the skin and to minimise future pigmentation are; Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), which I have mentioned in previous posts and n-acetyl glucosamine. When these ingredients are used together they will assist with the production of Hyaluronic Acid, another NMF (Natural Moisturising Factor) to assist the with skins moisturising ability.

Some other important nutrients required for skin health are:

  • Co enzyme Q10 = Increased production of collagen by fibroblast
  • Vitamin E = cell membrane antioxidant
  • Vitamin A = cellular repair, optimised cell turnover, antioxidant
  • Vitamin C = Increased production of collagen by fibroblast
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid = decreased skin glycation

Peptides in Skin Care


So, what are Peptides? Simply, they are chains of amino acids that create proteins.

Why do we need Peptides? Skin is mainly made up of proteins and these proteins are either damaged by environmental factors and lifestyle or with chronological ageing.

Peptides in skin care products may mimic or imitate some of the skins biologic processes to stimulate repair or inhibit the acceleration of skin ageing.

Certain amino acid chains with specific lengths and sequences are known to stimulate human skin cell growth in vitro and it is good to know that many of these peptides have made the transition from research into practical application within professional skin care lines.

Signal peptides stimulate proteins within the dermis, therefore, our two specific target dermal proteins; Collagen & Elastin are stimulated giving our skin a more youthful appearance for longer. Another benefit of a signal peptide is that it can down regulate an enzyme that breaks down these dermal proteins as we age. Collagenase is a crucial enzyme when we consider wound healing, however, as we age and with the help of lifestyle and environmental factors, this enzyme can accelerate the breaking down of collagen leaving us with wrinkles and lines.

Carrier peptides stabilize and deliver metals such as copper for wound healing processes within the skin. An important antioxidant required to combat Free Radical damage within the skin, Superoxide dismutase requires copper as a cofactor while there is also an enzyme necessary for collagen and elastin production that also requires copper.

There are literally thousands of peptides (too many to list) available now and many have a specific place within our products to encourage a more youthful and healthier skin.

Do you use a product that contains peptides? I would love to hear what you think…….

A graph detailing the benefits of a trademarked skin peptide, Matrixyl & Matrixyl 3000 on skin wrinkles 


Wrinkles, Be Gone! – the new generation of skin care ingredients

I am often asked about skin care ingredients that truly work at a cellular level  (and beyond) and I must say we now have such great technology and knowledge  of new and exciting ingredients that also have the scientific studies to back up their efficacy. The skin care industry now has greater opportunities to prescribe result driven products to their clients and increase their business.

My intention is to showcase new ingredients that you can now find in many serious skin care product lines and available in most professional skin clinics worldwide whose clientele demand results with their skin care regime.

The first ingredient I would like to showcase is one that gave immediate results to 75% of the volunteers trialling the product that contained a very small percentage of the active ingredient.

This fabulous tropical botanical is known as; Acmella Oleracea plant’ and the active ingredient is a registered trademark known as; Gatuline Expression an ingredient obtained by environmentally friendly harvesting processes by French pharmaceutical company,Gattefosse.

The small plant produces a blossom, which contains the active ingredient and is found in a broad geographical footprint that covers the tropical zones of South America, Africa and Asia.

It is considered a safe plant-based alternative that provides rapid results when dealing with facial wrinkles.

Wrinkles, or “expression lines”, result from thousands of micro muscle contractions when we express emotions with our face. On going movement of these muscles leads to wrinkles and lines and usually the first concern when a client visits their skin care clinic. This particular ingredient contains an active component which blocks the muscle contractions when used in very small concentrations for a period up to 24 hours and therefore may work in an accumulative manor when used daily. The benefits are, a smoother more relaxed skin due to the myorelaxation function of this ingredient.

Another interesting fact about this ingredient is that it also contains medicinal properties as an anaesthetic agent and has historically been used as a natural taste enhancer.

This is an ingredient I am keen to try and if you do not want to travel down the Botox path, or you if you want to enhance the effects of your muscle relaxing injections, then this may be an ingredient for you to include in your daily skin care regime.

Have you tried skin care products containing this amazing ingredient? I would love for you to share your thoughts.