Recommended: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Combination Anti-Oxidant Treatment
In an earlier post I mentioned that my New Years resolutions have become a relished opportunity to make one specific "behavioral improvement", which results in greater mental, emotional or physical health. There is nothing vague about these resolutions (ie. lose weight, be more patient, get more exercise/sleep)....they are instead "yes/no", "today I did it or I didn't do it" resolutions. I have "kept" every single resolution made over the last dozen years because they are simple and yield great results.
In 2008, my commitment was to protect myself from additional sun damage and to address the existing damage, and I can't tell you what a difference I have seen in my skin over the last 18 months, especially on my face. I started using physical sunscreens and twice daily I also started to apply a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) topical treatments which specifically target sun damage. How easy is that? Nothing grueling or time consuming here....just five minutes of prevention and repair daily, and my only regrets are that I didn't pick this particular resolution earlier and that I didn't begin equal treatment of (and attention to) my decolletage at the same time. Live and learn.
For the past 17 months, I have tried quite a few different OTC products, and a fairly recent find is one of hands-down BEST products I have tried. It actually falls into both the sun damage "prevention" AND the sun damage"repair" categories. It is the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment.
Let's start with the ability to"repair". This powerhouse vitamin C-based (plus ferulic acid and 1% alpha tocopherol) product packs a punch and the smell strongly resembles sardine oil, but bottom line: it does what it promises to do! The product is not going to deliver results overnight, but it certainly delivers when used long term (60+ days minimum). I was already using a beloved niacin-based facial moisturizing product on my skin, so I applied the SkinCeutical CE product to clean skin on one side of my face and neck for 45 days, and followed with the niacin moisturizer on top. Just about the time my first bottle of the CE was empty, it became clear something quite positive was happening, so I started a new bottle of CE and have been using it underneath the niacin moisturizer on BOTH sides of my face and neck for yet another month. The side which has now been treated to the SkinCeutical C E Ferulic product for nearly 10 weeks is noticeably more smooth, moist, firm, and much more uniform in color. The "other" side is just now starting to enter into the improvement phase. I can't wait to see how far SkinCeuticals CE product will roll back the clock to atone for my years of sun worship. Make no mistake, at $138+ per 30 ml bottle this is not inexpensive, but a single bottle should last 6-8 weeks. As frugal as I am, I will be buying a third bottle because I can see that it REALLY works to repair existing damage*.
I also mentioned that this little gem also "protects". While it is busily repairing existing sun damage, it also protects cells from within against additional UV damage, once skin is titrated over a period of approximately three days. Half-life disappearance is approximately three days, so this isn't going to "wear off and wash off" along with your sun screen. Put simply, just in case I miss a spot when applying sunscreen, or if I apply sunscreen too thinly, or the sunscreen is rubbed off over time, I have a built-in safeguard which protects my face from further damage and the re-emergence of freckles and malasma. It also (according to SkinCeuticals) "delivers an unprecedented 8 times the skin's natural protection against photoaging - neutralizing free radicals, helping build collagen, and providing unmatched antioxidant protection". I believe it.
The SkinCeuticals product also contains 1% alpha-tocopherol (a form of topical Vitamin E) , and a study done by the UC Berkeleys Department of Molecular and Cell Biology found it "modulates the antioxidant network and diminishes UV-induced oxidative damage in murine skin". Translation: Alpha-tocopherol repaired existing sun damage and helped to prevent free radical damage in mice.
I mentioned earlier that it not inexpensive, but in my opinion, you get what you pay for when it comes to Vitamin C-derivative products. Claire did a fantastic 4-part series on the science behind Vitamin C in all forms, and her February 26th "Part 3: Vitamin C as L-ascorbic Acid is a must-read if you are considering a Vitamin C- based product. There are tons of products out there at all price points which contain L-Ascorbic Acid, so you really need to do your homework before you buy. I bought a cheap drugstore Vitamin C product and it was worse than useless. It burned and irritated my skin and that was likely because of the addition of cheap alcohol fillers. Be sure to read Claire's post, but suffice it to say that an effective vitamin C (L-Ascorbic acid is the scientific name) product must be precisely formulated at ph levels which are less than 3.5, or it simply sits ON the skin, and doesn't enter the skin cell which is where the healing and protection takes place. To be effective it also must contain a concentration of at least 10% (the SkinCeutical product contains 15%) of this relatively unstable antioxidant, and it also must be carefully packaged, stored, and "consumed" fairly quickly once the seal is broken. Because of degradation, bigger is NOT better, and don't expose even the best packaged Vitamin C product to light, heat, or leave the cap off for any more time than necessary. Thankfully, the SkinCeutical product contains ferulic acid which helps to keep it stable for a longer period of time. Note: You will find expiration dates only SkinCeutical products which contain ingredients regulated by the FDA (i.e.sunscreens, the Clarifying Cleanser, the Blemish Control Gel), but the CE ferulic product should easily remain at full strength for a full year if left unopened, and even longer if stored in a cool dark place like your refrigerator.
*My plan is to to buy a third bottle of the CE Ferulic anti-oxidant product and continue using it, but on June 1st I added an application of the SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF product (both sides of my face) to my bedtime routine. I can't wait to see what happens with this combination, and will keep you posted..... watch for that review late this summer.
What is it: ferulic acid
Reviewed and Rejected: Skinceuticals Phloretin CF
All you'll ever need to know about vitamin C
Make your own age spot cream with vit C and ferulic acid
Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid (Topical Vitamin C), Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Alpha Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate.