The Vitamin C that Boosts Niacinamide

Risen to fame for the multiple skin benefits, topical Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) has elevated to a “must-have” for skincare.  The buzz stems from the ability to improve the look of wrinkles, pores, skin tone, and dullness, along with potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Outlined in a previous post, it does not pair well with Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) or other highly acidic skincare ingredients.  Well, let me introduce the Vitamin C that loves Niacinamide -- Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THDA).

What is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THDA)?

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a highly stable, oil-soluble form of Vitamin C, widely used in skincare and personal care products.  Like Ascorbic Acid, the topical use of THDA helps to alleviate UV/environmental damage, brightens the skin, promotes a more even skin tone, and may even boost collagen production.  Unlike the reigning king of Vitamin C’s, THDA does not require an acidic environment (3.5 pH or lower), delivers milder exfoliation, is irritating to sensitive skin, and may offer skin benefits to those resistant to topical C (Ascorbic Acid).  Yes, it gets on famously with Niacinamide.

 According to one study, it is even more potent than Ascorbic Acid and other Vitamin C compounds.  The lipid solubility of THDA aids permeation and a higher rate of conversion to vitamin C within the dermis

Which is Better?

Different, not better.  Backed by clinical data and time-tested, topical Ascorbic Acid has an authentically transformative effect on the skin, but not without a few shortfalls. Once Ascorbic Acid meets water, it begins to degrade – oxidizing to that dreaded orangey-brown color.  Stabilized formulations slow the oxidation, but the potency continues to decline along with the skin benefits. Adequate permeation of topical Ascorbic Acid requires an acidic base, a pH ranging from 3-4, equivalent to vinegar.  Yes, vinegar. Even skin not typically prone to sensitivities can experience sensitivities.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THDA) is the kinder, gentler, more stable cousin to Ascorbic Acid – not quite as dramatic, but far more reliable.  Resistant to oxidation for up to 18 months, effective at ph levels more akin to human skin (pH 5.5-6.5), and delivers skin benefits at usage rates as low as .5%, THDA is a strong contender for anyone with sensitivities or resistant to Ascorbic Acid. The cause is undetermined and requires further research, but an estimated 20% of the population are resistant to topical ascorbic acid -- reap little to no skin benefits.

Do any Products include THDA?

Yes, but only following 4 months of quality and performance testing. Our c-boost treatment doubles as a skincare booster and face oil, with 10% THDA. I add a few drops to supercharge cure-all or on top of other treatments when my skin is feeling a bit dry.  In fact, it's my go-to primer prior to any makeup.  If you have yet to try it, why wait?  With free shipping and 30-day Money Back Guarantee, you have little to lose. As always, feel free to share your comments or questions. Cheers to better skin.

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    @Mary: Niacinamide first, as it is water soluble. These two ingredients are most effective when used together. For example, you can mix cure-all or rephyne with c-boost.

  • Mary on

    Which one goes first between Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate and niacinimide?

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