Ep 88 - The Rogue Pharmacist: Vitamin C – It Truly is your Skin’s Best Friend

sliced orange

Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) presents The Rogue Pharmacist with Benjamin Knight Fuchs. This podcast takes an enlightening approach to supporting licensed estheticians in their pursuit to achieve results-driven skin care treatments for their clients. You can always count on us to share professional skin care education, innovative techniques, and the latest in skin science.

Learn more about the real role of vitamin C in esthetics in this article brought to you by ASCP Skin Deep magazine.


About Benjamin Knight Fuchs, R.Ph.:

Benjamin Knight Fuchs is a registered pharmacist, nutritionist, and skin care chemist with 35 years of experience developing pharmacy-potent skin health products for estheticians, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons. Ben’s expert advice gives licensed estheticians the education and skin science to better support the skin care services performed in the treatment room while sharing insights to enhance clients’ at-home skin care routines.

Connect with Benjamin Knight Fuchs, R.Ph.:

Website: www.brightsideben.com

Phone: 844-236-6010

Facebook: www.facebook.com/The-Bright-Side-with-Pharmacist-Ben-Fuchs-101162801334696/


About Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP):

Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) is the nation’s largest association for skin care professionals and your ONLY all-inclusive source for professional liability insurance, education, community, and career support. For estheticians at every stage of the journey, ASCP is your essential partner. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to join and become an ASCP member.

Connect with ASCP:

Website: www.ascpskincare.com

Email: getconnected@ascpskincare.com

Phone: 800-789-0411

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ASCPskincare

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ascpskincare

0:00:04.1 Tracey Donnelly: Welcome everybody to ASCP and The Rogue Pharmacist, Benjamin Knight Fuchs. So, in each episode, we will explore how ingredients, chemicals and the environment can have a positive and negative effects on the skin. I'm Tracey Donnelly, Executive Director of ASCP, and joining me today and co-hosting is Maggie Staszcuk. Our very own education specialist. Hi, Maggie. 


0:00:29.0 Maggie Staszcuk: Hey, Tracey. 


0:00:30.1 TD: So, I have a question for you. How much do you love vitamin C? And tell me a little bit about it, like, do you take it orally? Are you putting it on topically, like, what's your deal?  


0:00:40.5 MS: I love vitamin C. I put it on topically, day, night, I drink it, I take my Emergen-C every day, it is my most favorite vitamin. 


0:00:49.9 TD: Wow. Okay, so you're passionate about vitamin C. 


0:00:52.8 MS: Very, yeah. 


0:00:53.8 TD: Well, with that being said, today we are gonna be talking all about vitamin C. It is truly your skin's best friend, and welcome Ben. I know you have a ton to say about it. 


0:01:04.3 Ben: Oh my gosh, I have loved vitamin C as a molecule since pharmacy school, and I've loved it in skin care for almost 30 years. I remember the first product I formulated with vitamin C, nobody really knew about vitamin C topically. But I had this intuition that because it was working internally that it would work topically, and sure enough it did. And I remember having to explain to people why it worked and it just... It kinda blew me away that people didn't make the connection between vitamin C and the importance of skin. You know, vitamin C... The name of vitamin C, the chemical name of vitamin C is what? Ascorbic acid, right? Ascorbic acid gets its name from A scorbic, right? It means without A, when you put A in front of a word it means without, scorbic, meaning scurvy. So, vitamin C is the anti-scurvy vitamin. And if you ask people about scurvy, most people, if they know history maybe they'll say, oh yeah, they used to have scurvy, and the story with Limeys, you've heard the story with Limeys. 


0:01:58.6 TD: Yep. 


0:01:58.7 Ben: There's sort of been some anecdotal historical kinds of things associated with vitamin C and with scurvy. But, people don't really know what scurvy is, because we don't really have issues with scurvy, because as it turns out you only need a really tiny little bit of this molecule, ascorbic acid to not have scurvy. Nonetheless, it's really important to understand what scurvy is from an anti-aging perspective. Scurvy is when the body basically deteriorates, people die from hemorrhaging to death when they have scurvy. It's a horrible, horrible health challenge, your bones get very weak, your gums start to bleed... 


0:02:28.0 TD: Oh, that's miserable. 


0:02:29.7 Ben: Your teeth fall out of your head. Your blood vessels explode and you hemorrhage to death. It's really a horrible, horrible, health issue, and luckily we don't have it any more. But, what we have is something that's very similar to scurvy, you know what it's called? Aging. In fact, the case could be made that aging is really slow, subclinical scurvy. When you look at all of the... Isn't that interesting?  


0:02:52.0 TD: Yeah. 


0:02:52.8 Ben: All of the symptoms that are associated with scurvy are really exaggerated symptoms that we come to accept as part of the aging process, osteoporosis and bruising and gum disease and fragility of the joints and the connective tissue. So, while full-blown scurvy doesn't occur anymore, a very solid case could be made that we are all suffering from scurvy as part or as exactly the same as the aging process, which underscores the incredible value of this molecule called ascorbic acid or vitamin C. It is the quintessential anti-aging vitamin. And in fact, many of the ways that we age, check this out, or many of the diseases that are associated with aging, and many of the ways we die, the number one cause of death in this country is heart disease. Number two cause of death in this country is cancer. And, that alone cause... Accounts for the bulk of the deaths that occur in terms of chronic long-term degenerative disease. Both of those issues, heart disease and cancer are in many ways connective tissue concerned, connected tissue deterioration issues. 


0:03:56.7 Ben: So, it could very well be that deficiencies in vitamin C are the leading cause of death and the leading cause of aging. Which tells you how unbelievably valuable this molecule called vitamin C is number one. And number two, how much good we could do just by like Maggie was saying, making sure you take your vitamin C. It's so cheap, it's ridiculously ubiquitous and available, yet, most people don't even get the pathetically low recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Vitamin C by the way, is only a vitamin for human beings and for a few other animals in the animal kingdom. Most animals make their own vitamin C, human beings have lost the ability to make vitamin C. But, squirrels and dogs and camels and cats and rodents, and all these animals make their own vitamin C, and they make their vitamin C in extra quantities when they're under duress, when they're under stress. So, not only is vitamin C the quintessential anti-aging molecule, it's the quintessential anti-stress molecule. You see how important this stuff is? Right?  


0:05:03.4 TD: Wow, yeah. I need to start loading up on it, 'cause I'm feeling very stressed. 


0:05:06.5 Ben: Loading up on on it, and bonus, as if that... Oh, I should add one more thing. It's the quintessential immune-boosting vitamin as well. Boost immune system and bonus as far as vitamin C goes, and the importance of vitamin C... Oh, by the way, you can't get vitamin C from foods, it's very difficult to get the vitamin C you need. 


0:05:23.3 TD: Wait, so, if you eat an orange, you're not really taking in... 


0:05:25.9 Ben: I shouldn't say that. You'll get some vitamin C. 


0:05:27.7 TD: Okay. 


0:05:27.9 Ben: An orange has about 30 milligrams of vitamin C, if it's fresh and you pick it right off the tree. By the time it's orange juice or by the time it's been sitting on the shelf, it's not really gonna have enough... Even a drop of vitamin C. 


0:05:40.8 TD: You're blowing my mind. 


0:05:42.0 Ben: Yeah. 


0:05:42.2 TD: I thought I'm drinking the orange juice, the grape fruit juice... 


0:05:44.3 Ben: No, and orange juice forget it, forget orange juice 'cause it's all homogenized vitamin C. 


0:05:47.4 TD: It's all sugar, yeah. 


0:05:48.2 Ben: Yeah, vitamin C is heated out. I was gonna tell you something here about... Oh, what's the most... What do you think... What food has the most vitamin C in it?  


0:05:54.8 MS: Oh, I don't know. 


0:05:55.8 TD: Spinach. 


0:05:56.3 Ben: No, spinach has some vitamin C in it. 


0:05:57.6 TD: Yes. 


0:05:57.8 Ben: But it's not the most. 


0:05:58.7 MS: I would guess citrus fruits. 


0:06:00.0 TD: Oh. 


0:06:00.4 Ben: It's not the most. 


0:06:00.7 TD: What do you think Maggie?  


0:06:00.8 MS: Citrus fruits would be my guess. 


0:06:01.2 Ben: Citrus fruits have some vitamin C, but not the most, chilli peppers. 


0:06:04.5 TD: Ooh. 


0:06:05.3 Ben: And papaya has got a good hit of vitamin C, but as far vitamin C goes, I was gonna tell you like a bonus benefit that you get from vitamin C. Vitamin C is critically important for the fascia, for people who are dealing with ruptures or hernias or slip discs. And we really don't give vitamin C the credit it deserves for helping us build the structure of the body. Like, you're women, and you know that as women get older they have to take a certain mineral for their bones because women get osteoporosis, right?  


0:06:38.1 TD: Right. 


0:06:39.2 Ben: So what is that mineral that everybody is taking that?  


0:06:40.0 TD: Calcium, calcium, calcium. 


0:06:41.3 Ben: Calcium, of course, calcium. Vitamin C is way more important for your bones than calcium is. Yes, the importance of vitamin C for the structure of the body, the connective tissue of the body. First let's talk a little bit about the connective tissue, is the part of the skin that deteriorates as we get our wrinkles and as we age the thinning look, the reason why your grandmother doesn't look... Her skin doesn't look as beautiful and as plump and as gorgeous as a two-year-old or three-year-old is because her connective tissue is starting to shrivel up and deteriorate, and vitamin C is the quintessential connective tissue building vitamin. It is the connective tissue building vitamin. You can't make... Or not even vitamin, substance. It's the connective tissue building substance. And the reason why the bones are so... It's so important for the bones is because the bones are connective tissue. 


0:07:29.8 MS: I've got a question for you Ben. You mentioned ascorbic acid being the main vitamin C, but there are many others that are found in skin care products, right?  


0:07:37.8 Ben: Write that down. Write that down. That's a key point. In fact, that is the most critical point for topical vitamin C. We're already probably half way into our talk here and we haven't even touched the skin, and that's how important vitamin C is. 


0:07:47.1 TD: Right. Yeah. 


0:07:49.2 Ben: So, what I want to tell you is, how for women vitamin C is very important for the connective tissue, for the bone, and the bone is mostly connective tissue. Also important for the blood vessels and for the heart, and we don't really appreciate how important connective tissue deterioration is as a cause of cholesterol deposits and heart disease. We blame the cholesterol and we blame the blockages in the heart, but those themselves are the end results of deterioration of connective tissue. So really quick, and I wanna get into about the skin, there's four types of stuff that make the body, it's called tissues, technically, stuff, right? The four kinds of stuff are the bulk of the body, then the coating of the body, and then the electrification of the body. The coating of the body is called epithelia, and that's the part that we tend to treat when we're talking about... When we treat the skin, we treat the covering, the epithelia. The body is wired with electricity, that's the nervous tissue, that's stuff number two, and then there's the bulk of the body. You ever go to the body's exhibit at the museum?  


0:08:46.6 TD: Oh yeah, I love that. Yes. 


0:08:48.1 Ben: Right? So you look at the body, at the body's exhibit and you can tell that's a body. You can't tell it's a man or a woman, or you can't tell the race or any of the features of the body, but you can tell it's a body because that's our flesh robot. That's the stuff that we are, and that's the connective tissue and the muscle tissue. And the bulk of the body is the connective tissue and everything we hate about aging, from the diseases like heart disease and cancer and autoimmunity, to the wrinkles and the fine lines, to the osteoporosis, to the hunched over appearance, all of this is a result of connective tissue deterioration. So building the connective tissue is the essence, the sine qua non of anti-aging, of being vital, of being strong as long as you live. And if building the connective tissue is the very essence of anti-aging, vitamin C is the very essence of building connective tissue. 


0:09:37.2 Ben: Now you asked about the skin, and as you know I'm sure and everybody listening knows, the skin is made up of three parts. The surface, the stratum corneum, the middle, some people will tell you the epidermis and the stratum corneum is the same thing, I distinguish them. Stratum corneum, epidermis and those two make up about 10% of the skin, but 90% of the skin is the dermis. The dermis is the connective tissue, and so, building the dermis is the key to keeping your skin anti-age, but also to supporting the health of the epithelia, the covering, the epidermis and the stratum corneum or epithelia. So, building the connective tissue in the body is the very essence of anti-aging and building the connective tissue I.e., the dermis in the skin is the very essence of skin anti-aging and the very essence of anti-aging in the body, and the very essence of skin anti-aging is vitamin C. 


0:10:27.4 Ben: No vitamin C, no connective tissue. End of story. You do not make connective tissue without vitamin C. We're all deficient unless we're supplementing with vitamin C. Why the heck wouldn't everybody start supplementing with vitamin C? And this gets to your point about the different forms of vitamin C, what's so great about vitamin C in the skin is not only is it important from the inside out, taking it orally and getting it into the blood stream and helping feed the cells from the inside out, but with vitamin C if, and Maggie's point... This is where Maggie's point comes in, [chuckle] if the vitamin C is in the correct form, it can traverse the stratum corneum and make it into... And the epidermis and make it into the dermis, where those... Where the holy grail of anti-aging is the fibroblasts, which are gonna make not just the collagen and the fibers, the protein fibers, but also the hyaluronic acid, what I call the goo. 


0:11:17.3 Ben: But Maggie raised a really, really important point is now... When I was formulating vitamin C people were like, "What? Vitamin C for your skin? That's ridiculous. Who'd ever do that?" But now everybody knows, in fact, it is the number one searched for term on the Internet for skin care is vitamin C. Everybody knows about vitamin C. I don't mean to offend anybody, but manufacturers of skin care products, sometimes they play a little loose and fast with things, and now they know that everybody knows about vitamin C, so you'll find vitamin C in a lot of products. But remember, the skin has a certain... Its design, the stratum corneum is designed to be a barrier, to protect. So not everything is gonna go through the skin, and we gotta get to the dermis. This is where being a pharmacist is so important, because pharmacists study how to get things through the skin, and getting things through the skin to the lower levels where the living cells are, whether they're the keratin sites and the basal layer of the epidermis or the fibroblasts in the dermis is critical. And because the skin is primarily a barrier to water... 


0:12:22.7 TD: Right. Yeah. 


0:12:23.3 Ben: Water-soluble ingredients don't get through the stratum corneum. And now there are companies who have water-soluble ways, little tricks that they'll do to try to get a little bit in and out. They don't work very well. The fact is is that your skin has been evolutionarily designed and selected for over the course of millions of years to be a barrier to anything that's water-soluble and ascorbic acid, as amazing as it is, is water soluble. But it's not only that, ascorbic acid is an antioxidant, right? We all know this, protects against oxidation, but there's a very fine line between antioxidant and pro-oxidant. And something that is an antioxidant by virtue of its ability to neutralize things, that's what antioxidants do, is very unstable and the better the antioxidant, the more unstable the molecule. 


0:13:10.9 Ben: And Vitamin C is a wonderful antioxidant, which means it's incredibly unstable. When it is in the presence of oxygen or when it's in the presence of water, especially, which is H2O, it breaks down quickly. In fact, if you take some ascorbic acid powder and put it in that glass of water, within 24 hours or maybe a little longer, maybe 48 hours, you'll start to see it start to change color. The water, it'll get very, very light yellow and over the course of the days and the weeks and the months it will get darker and darker and darker, eventually be black, it'll be solid black, that's called oxidation, and that's what happens when vitamin C contacts moisture or when it contacts oxygen. 


0:13:49.5 Ben: So, vitamin C does not penetrate through... Ascorbic acid I should say, water-soluble vitamin C doesn't penetrate through the stratum corneum very effectively, and it's extremely unstable to oxygen and to water. So what do you do? You need vitamin C. We said how vitamin C is such a wonderful molecule. Wouldn't it be great if we could figure out how to stabilize vitamin C and how to get it through the stratum corneum? Wouldn't that be something you'd want to use?  


0:14:12.7 TD: Yeah, I would definitely want to. Yeah. 


0:14:13.8 MS: Heck, yeah. 


0:14:14.2 TD: Yeah. 


0:14:14.4 Ben: Thus the importance of fat-soluble stable vitamin C. And it's unbelievably effective for healing the skin and for stimulating the production of collagen, so much so that you can actually put it on a cut or scrape and you can almost visibly, not exactly visibly, but certainly within 24 hours, see a noticeable difference in the healing process. So anybody who's dealing with any kinda broken skin, fat-soluble vitamin C is almost... It is to me the most important ingredient you could put on your skin to accelerate healing. 


0:14:44.7 TD: So after... So then after, let's say a deep microneedling treatment... 


0:14:49.1 Ben: Heck, yes. 


0:14:49.3 TD: Like that's your ideal... 


0:14:50.5 Ben: Heck, yes. Absolutely. 


0:14:51.5 MS: This is the ultimate question for you, Ben. If you are layering your products including a fat-soluble vitamin C, does that need to go on first? Because if you put on a serum... 


0:15:01.5 TD: Ooh, that's good. 


0:15:02.1 MS: That say is water-based and then put your fat-soluble Vitamin C, is that water-based serum gonna block it?  


0:15:07.3 TD: Ooh, good one. 


0:15:07.8 Ben: So there's a couple of questions there. [chuckle] A couple of interesting points there. First of all, as a guy who hears about layering all the time, I don't even understand what the heck that means. It's not like this stuff just stays in a layer on your skin, like a layer cake. It's all kinda globbed together, right, when you put it on. So, layering is not really a thing. But your point is very interesting, and that is true, you do wanna put fat-soluble material on your skin first, because you want it to penetrate, you don't want anything interfering with that penetration, and you also wanna massage and you wanna drive things in. I'm always... It always intrigues me when I see women put skin care products on they'll go like this, they'll pat their skin like this. No. You wanna massage your skin. 


0:15:48.1 TD: They tell us not to, Ben, because... 


0:15:49.9 Ben: It's crazy. 


0:15:50.3 TD: They're saying like, don't pull your skin, don't pull it. 


0:15:52.9 Ben: Pulling is exercising. 


0:15:53.9 TD: Right. 


0:15:54.5 Ben: And not only that... 


0:15:55.9 TD: I like it. 


0:15:56.2 Ben: But this stuff that we talked about this... Collagen is so amazing. Collagen is piezoelectric. Do you... Have you heard of that term, Piezo?  


0:16:02.5 TD: No. 


0:16:02.6 Ben: "Piezo" means pressure. Collagen is piezoelectric. Substances that are piezoelectric generate electrical charges when they're under pressure. And so, as you're pulling and as you're doing all this stuff, you're generating electrical charges, you're super charging your skin. You're stimulating the production of new connective tissue when you're massaging, and not only that, you're driving in the active material in your skin. So, this idea of patting... First of all it's not gonna... It doesn't make any sense, because you're not pushing... You're depriving yourself of an opportunity to push the active ingredients in the skin, into the deeper layers of the skin, but you're also depriving your skin of exercise. To not do that kinda rubbing and pressuring and piezoelectrical activity is akin to not going to workout. It's akin to not going to the gym. So, no patting. 


0:16:49.8 TD: I am sold. I'm gonna be rubbing. 


0:16:51.5 Ben: Your skin massage, and I haven't even talked about the supporting lymphatics, circulation and supporting blood circulation and oxygenation, all of it. So yes, massage your skin really well, it's good. Plus, massaging generates endorphins, it generates anti-stress hormones, so it's relaxing, especially around your eyes. When people are in distress, one of the first things they'll do is they'll rub their eyes, just intuitively they know. So, generating electrical charges in the tissue, in the body in general, is one of the most powerful things you could do. And by the way, speaking of electrical charges, vitamin C works electronically. It's an electronic vitamin, and that's why it has such wonderful benefits. It helps the body transfer electrons from one point to another, so it's a highly electrical substance from a quantum electrical perspective. Can you see why I'm like so blown away by this incredible, incredible molecule, ascorbic acid?  


0:17:46.3 TD: So... And quick question on that too, is it a pretty inexpensive ingredient then for skin care?  


0:17:53.7 Ben: Well, water-soluble vitamin C is really inexpensive. 


0:17:56.5 TD: Aah, okay. 


0:17:56.8 Ben: It's dirt cheap. 


0:17:58.3 TD: Okay. 


0:17:58.4 Ben: I mean, really cheap. In fact dirt might be more expensive. [chuckle] But it's good dirt. It's really, really cheap. I'm exaggerating, but it's really cheap. Fat-soluble Vitamin C is very expensive. There's not a lot of fat-soluble... Forms of fat-soluble vitamin C. The most common form of fat-soluble vitamin C is a liquid form THDA, which you probably have heard of, a lot of people have heard of it now, and that's really expensive. That, just to give you orders of magnitude, just to give you a sense, vitamin C will cost you... If you buy it industrially or whole... Like for manufacturing purposes, cost you maybe a dollar a kilogram, a fat-soluble vitamin C will cost you about $400 a kilogram. 


0:18:32.5 TD: That's a big difference. 


0:18:33.4 Ben: Right? A huge difference, right?  


0:18:34.4 TD: Yeah. 


0:18:34.5 Ben: That's why most companies don't wanna mess around with fat-soluble vitamin C. There's another form of fat-soluble vitamin C which I love, but you don't see it very much, but I work with it a lot, and that is called Ascorbyl Palmitate, and that one is super stable. It's so stable, in fact all fat-soluble vitamin C is stable, but Ascorbyl Palmitate is so stable, you can't even put it in a product. So, most products don't have it. I will say that I discovered the power of fat-soluble vitamin C by figuring out how to make Ascorbyl Palmitate workable in one of my most important products, which I'm sure you know what it is, it's been... I've had... That's really... That's how I discovered this is by being able to play with this Ascorbyl Palmitate molecule, and it is stupendously valuable for moisturizing, for skin healing, it's not as expensive as the liquid form, the THDA form, but if you could... We figured out how to work with it and you get incredible, incredible benefits for healing with it. 


0:19:30.7 TD: So one more question on that, you kind of... You sort of glossed over talking about how we get it to... Is there a specific carrier that is... 


0:19:40.0 Ben: Fat-soluble?  


0:19:40.7 TD: Yeah, fat-soluble. 


0:19:41.2 Ben: You don't need it. 


0:19:41.7 TD: You don't even need it at all?  


0:19:42.5 Ben: You don't even need a carrier with it, you put it on straight. 


0:19:44.1 TD: Wow. 


0:19:44.4 Ben: Yeah, you don't need a carrier... It's always nice to have carriers, I like esters, which I think we talked about. I like esters as carriers, and in fact, fat-soluble vitamin C is a esterified vitamin C. And that's why you don't really need to have an additional transdermal penetrant, because it's... The transdermal penetrant is built into the molecule with fat-soluble vitamin C, because it's already esterified. And by the way, Ester-C... Have you heard of Ester-C? Ester-C is not the same as C ester. 


0:20:10.0 TD: Oh. 


0:20:11.3 Ben: Isn't that interesting?  


0:20:12.2 TD: Yeah. 


0:20:12.5 Ben: Yeah, Ester-C is a brand name for vitamin C that's bonded to minerals, magnesium ascorbate, zinc ascorbate, potassium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate. They take these, not really minerals, but elements, and they stick them to the vitamin C molecule, and the company that did that created a product they call Ester-C, which is a brand name. 


0:20:33.4 TD: Right. 


0:20:34.0 Ben: C ester is a generic term, and that refers to an ester that's stuck to the ascorbic... A fat ester that's stuck to the ascorbic acid molecule, and that's the stuff that I'm referring to, that is the THDA or the Ascorbyl Palmitate. So, to answer your question, the ester component of the molecule facilitates the movement of the molecule, and it also protects the molecule as well, so it doesn't oxidize, it doesn't turn bad. There's a lot of products, by the way, and shockingly, I don't even know if I should say this, but I don't wanna offend anybody, but there's a lot of products that turn brown right in the bottle, and they're expensive products, and they turn brown right in the bottle. 


0:21:11.6 TD: I've seen them. I've tried them. 


0:21:12.6 Ben: It's really not right, you know? If it's brown, flush it down. 


0:21:15.1 TD: Oh, how about that?  


0:21:16.4 Ben: Ooh. [chuckle] Yeah, if it's starting to turn brown, it's literally oxidizing, and you know this, I'm sure, estheticians who are listening to this know this as well, apples rust, right? They turn brown. And so, the browning effect is the visible manifestation of oxidation, and it occurs across a wide spectrum of molecules. Your blood will turn dark when it's exposed to oxygen. A nail will turn dark or rust, we call it, when it's exposed to oxygen, in H2O, if you put a nail in water. And an apple or a banana will do the same thing. And isn't it interesting? How do you keep your apple from oxidizing? You squeeze lemon juice on it, right? Vitamin C has a protective effect. Remember I said, anti-oxidation and pro-oxidation kinda go together, and things that are good antioxidants, like vitamin C, are also pro-oxidants. And if you put a pro-oxidant on your skin, you're gonna accelerate your skin's oxidation. 


0:22:13.8 MS: So basically, you're saying if that vitamin C product is bad, you are aging yourself essentially?  


0:22:18.0 Ben: You are pro-aging. That's exactly right, and you don't wanna do that. You don't wanna be putting brown, anything brown, anything oxidized on your skin. So, you gotta be a little bit careful with the ascorbic acid molecule if you really want... And by the way, ascorbic acid doesn't penetrate, but you can get some surface effects with ascorbic acid, you'll get some exfoliation effects, you can get some skin brightening effects with ascorbic acid. So, ascorbic acid has some benefits to it, but it's just so darn expensive, it's so unstable and it's really not gonna make it into the dermis very effectively. Although, as I say, there are some tricks that sometimes manufacturers will do to try to improve the penetration. But go with fat... In my opinion, go with fat-soluble vitamin C, which is soothing, ascorbic acid is a little drying and irritating, fat-soluble vitamin C is moisturizing and soothing. 


0:23:05.4 TD: So, that was stimulating. [laughter] No, I loved it. Thank you so much, and I'm sure I could tell that we could just go on and on, and if you guys didn't get the message, be using and taking vitamin C. That wraps our show today, and as always, if you are not an ASCP member, join at ascpskincare.com/join, and if you liked this episode, subscribe today so you never miss one, okay? And details from what we discussed today will be in the show notes, and if you can't get enough of Ben Fuchs, The Rogue Pharmacist, you can listen to his syndicated radio program "The Bright Side," and you could check out him at his website, pharmacistben.com. Thanks everyone, and have a beautiful day. 


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