How Does the Liposomal Vitamin C Lighten the Skin?

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Liposomes

Before we answer the question: “How Does the Liposomal Vitamin C lighten the Skin?”, let us first answer a few questions, such as What is Liposomal Vitamin C?

vitamin CWhat is Liposomal Vitamin C?

Ascorbic Acid is a natural anti-oxidant with the formula C6H8O6. Its structure is shown here

Liposomes are similar to the lipid bilayer end of the body membranes. Liposome Liposomeshas got two poles

  1. Hydrophilic (phosphate) Pole
  2. Hydrophobic (Fatty Acid) pole

The structure of a typical liposome is shown below

Like a lipid bilayer, it also has got a hydrophilic head which is made up of a phosphate group. It is negatively charged attracts water towards itself. As we will discuss in detail the role of hydrophilic heads in absorption and distribution of Liposomal Vitamin C in the skin, and that why a Liposomal Vitamin C is more efficient than ordinary Ascorbic Acid in maintaining the integrity if the skin and giving it a charm.

The Hydrophobic tail is made up of two fatty acids which are without any charge and they suspend freely in an aqueous solution.

Both the phospholipid and fatty acid make up a structure such that the charged end lies to the interior of the center while and neutral ends lie to the outside.

Liposomal Delivery System of Vitamin C:

Liposomal Vitamin C is not a different compound than Vitamin C but rather Liposome is the delivery system of the same Vitamin C. The Liposomal Vitamin C is also called Encapsulated Vitamin as it is encircled by Liposome vesicles.

In the Liposomal Vitamin C, both liposome and Vitamin are mixed up such that the charged group of Vitamin C, which are hydroxyl OH groups and are negatively charged, lies at the center of liposome. Since we discussed that the charged phosphate groups of liposome lie towards the Centre of the sphere, thus the charged hydroxyl group of the Vitamin c (Ascorbic Acid) are attracted by the charged Phosphate groups of Liposome, such the Ascorbic acid lies at the center of the Sphere. Thus a stable compound is made called Liposomal Vitamin C or Encapsulated Vitamin C.

Why Liposomal Vitamin is more Efficient than Ordinary Vitamin C in skin care

Vitamin C maintain its integrity of the skin because of the following reason

  1. It is an anti-aging agent
  2. It is an anti-oxidant
  3. It inhibits melanin formation
  4. It plays role in collagen formation

There are six layers in the skin. In order to perform its function, vitamin C has to reach the 6th layer of the skin which is called corneocyte layer. Ascorbic Acid is highly unstable in topical forms and in small topical doses, sufficient amount of it cannot reach the 6th layer of the skin, thus desirable effects are not achieved.

Thus liposomal delivery system is necessary for Ascorbic for proper distribution in the skin.

How the Liposomal Delivery System Works

It should be kept in mind that liposome does not impart any contribution to the skin enlightening function of Liposomal Vitamin C rather it works only as a delivery system.

When the liposomal Vitamin C is applied in topical form to the skin, it distributes itself on the top layer of the skin such that it is fused to the bilayer of the lipid bilayer. After few minutes, the lipid bilayer of the skin is overloaded with the Liposome so that liposome bursts and distributes among the 6 layers of the skin. Thus along with liposome, vitamin C is also distributed in the skin and shows its effect.

In Random Control Trials conducted on Liposomal Vitamin C, it has been concluded very small doses of liposomal Vitamin C are requirement for skin care as compared to ordinary Vitamin.

As a general rule of drug sciences, whenever the dose a drug increases, the toxicity and side effects increases. Thus without liposomes, a large quantity of ordinary liposome will be required for skin care thus will pose the subject to the toxic effects of vitamin c. however with delivered to the skin through liposome delivery system, minimum possible doses will be sufficient to show therapeutic effects.

FDA hasn’t approved the liposomal Vitamin yet, but in trials it has showed magnificent result, and users have given very much positive reviews.

How Does the Liposomal Vitamin C lighten the Skin?

Liposomal Vitamin C recently emerged into the market as a skin whitening agents which attracted most of the drug manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies to produce it in topical form. RCT’s conducted recently on Liposomal Vitamin C showed positive results, and implicated that it is an effective agent to lighten the skin.

Here we will discuss briefly how vitamin C lightens the skin

  1. Pigments that impart color to skin:

Dermatologists have shown two important pigments that impart dark/white color to the skin of human. Pheomelanin is a skin pigment that imparts lighter color to the skin while a eumelanin pigment imparts dark color to the skin.

Naturally a balanced is there between the two pigments in normal condition. The excess of one pigment to the other is determined by the gene coding of an individual. Since, many African individual are of dark complexion, they certainly will have more eumelanin pigments. That’s because their enzyme responsible for its production are coded in large amount as compared to the enzymes responsible for Pheomelanin

  1. Role of Glutathione is Skin Pigmentation.

Glutathione is a protein tripeptide that is made up of 3 amino acids; namely glycine, glutamic acid and cysteine. It is present in leafy vegetables, fruits and other food items; however it is readily destroyed by heat. The role of glutathione is that it keeps balance between the eumelanin and Pheomelanin pigments in such way that an increase in quantity of glutathione increases the lightening pigments. Having said that, any drug or food substance that increases the blood level of glutathione will lighten the skin. Apart from keeping the balance between pigments, glutathione is a natural anti-oxidant and anti-aging agent

  1. Role of Liposomal Vitamin C in increasing Glutathione levels

Experiments have shown that Liposomal Vitamin C increase Glutathione level in erythrocytes and lymphocytes by an unknown mechanism. Recently conducted Double Blinded Trials showed that in almost all subjects, the blood glutathione level were increased after injection of 2000mg IV liposomal vitamin C.

  1. Role of Liposomal Vitamin C in Collagen Stabilization.

It is a well-established fact that liposomal vitamin C helps in cross linking of collagen type 4 fibers. Since collagen is present in skin and play a significant role in maintaining its integrity, thus theoretically vitamin C introduction into the body would make the collagen more stabilize and thus make the skin fair and lighter.

International Journal of cosmetic studies conducted a research work on the role of vitamin C in the cross linking of collagen fibers in the skin. The study was published was in June 1998. Let me quote a sentence from the research here

’’Vitamin C phosphate and vitamin C glucoside two compounds that can be considered as pro-vitamins for skin, and could thus advantageously substitute for Vitamin C in Vitamin C-based anti-ageing products, as they allow the development of stable, easy-to-use formulations’’

Dose of Liposomal Vitamin C:

The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) are: Infants 0 to 12 months, human milk content (older recommendations specified 30-35 mg); Children 1 to 3 years, 15 mg; Children 4 to 8 years, 25 mg; Children 9 to 13 years, 45 mg; Adolescents 14 to 18 years, 75 mg for boys and 65 mg for girls; Adults age 19 and greater, 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women; Pregnancy and Lactation: age 18 or younger, 115 mg; ages 19 to 50 years 120 mg. People who use tobacco should take an additional 35 mg per day.

Do not take more than the following amounts of vitamin C: 400 mg per day for children ages 1 to 3 years, 650 mg per day for children 4 to 8 years, 1200 mg per day for children 9 to 13 years, and 1800 mg per day for adolescents and pregnant and breast-feeding women 14 to 18 years, and 2000 mg per day for adults and pregnant and lactating women.

Side Effects of Liposomal Vitamin C

Liposomal Vitamin C is nontoxic when taken in normal therapeutic amounts. When liposomal Vitamin C is overdosed, there are mild toxicities related to stomach upset and diarrhea.

Liposomal Vitamin C for Pregnant women:

Liposomal Vitamin C is safe for pregnant women however daily dose should exceed 2000 mg.

References:
  1. Textbook of Medical Biochemistry; by MN Chattergee
  2. Textbook of biochemistry By Lipponcot
  3. Research Paper on Topic ‘’effects of vitamin C on collagen’’ link http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18505499

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