Why Not Vitamin C?« Back to Questions List

Posted by Beckman
Asked on September 18, 2023 4:51 am
Ask Dr. Beckman: Why NOT Vitamin C?

We all know that antioxidants, whether we take them orally or apply them topically,  are extremely beneficial for healthy, younger-looking skin.  But because you asked specifically about Vitamin C – we will start there. The positive:
  • Vitamin C is the only molecule capable of running the reaction to build new or repair old collagen.
  • It is also capable of “capturing” free radicals that are harmful to collagen.
  • Vitamin C is very readily available through a normal, healthy diet.
  • It is water soluble, so getting to the skin is very easy.
The negative:
  • Once it “captures” a free radical – it much be “re-charged” by another substance in order to “work.”
  • Vitamin C is very unstable with a very short shelf life.
  • It is acidic and can be an irritant to skin when applied topically.
  • The pool of available Vitamin C is lessened if it is not re-charged on a regular basis.
Based on these facts, you can see  Vitamin C in skin care is NOT the best option!  So what is? Well,  I chose OPC or Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin because:
  • Not only does it “re-charge” the spent Vitamin C – it is proven to be 20 times more effective at capturing free-radicals, WITHOUT losing it’s potency.
  • While Vitamin C is repairing and re-building collagen, OPC is working with Vitamin C by stabilizing the actual three-helical strand of collagen.
  • It has a long shelf life.
  • It is very stable.
  • It calms the skin rather than irritate it AND works with Vitamin C already present in your system.
  • The REAL deciding factor for me came after reading a medical study by a group of Finnish doctors.  They spread OPC from the French Maritime Pine Tree over cell cultures and then exposed it to lethal amounts of UV rays. (amount necessary to cause 100% cell death) What they found was shocking.  There was ZERO CELL DEATH IN THE CULTURED CELLS and no damage to cells five generations down the replication process!  To me – this was a no brainer!  And precisely why I chose to use this antioxidant over Vitamin C.
Hopefully you can see why OPC is superior to Vitamin C as an antioxidant in topical skincare and why I chose to use it as the active ingredient in Therderm’s OPC Reparative Gel.
Posted by Beckman
Answered On September 18, 2023 5:25 am