DR. VINCENT EXPLAINS

Each month we'll feature Dr. Vincent discussing fascinating subjects in the areas he specialises in, and he'll be answering some of your burning questions surrounding the changing and sometimes confusing world of organic chemistry, perfumery and essential oils.

STAY TUNED FOR HIS FIRST ARTICLE AND SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER TO KEEP UP TO DATE ON NEW DISCUSSIONS

Meet Dr. Vincent

Vincent was born in Annecy, an alpine city in the French Alps.

Early in his childhood, he enjoyed exploring the countryside wildlife and his curiosity for the inner workings of nature led him to study sciences.

 

At 18, he competed for the XXth Olympiads of Chemistry and was awarded the 3rd national prize. This reward allowed him to feed his growing passion for perfumery by buying lab equipment and distilling his own essential oils.

 

During his studies, Vincent successively earned a 1st degree in chemistry (2006), a M.Sc. in a Grande Ecole of Chemistry (2010) and a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry (2014).

His education specialised in cosmetic formulation and analytical science.

 

From 2010 to 2014, he regularly attended the ISIPCA conferences and became a member of the Osmotheque Society. During that period, he also acquired a collection of more than 250 raw materials and started to create his own scents.

 

In 2016, Vincent attended the Grasse Institute of Perfumery Summer School to perfect his skills on raw materials, olfaction, blending and evaluation. This is where he met Melanie Jane and since then they have developed a fruitful friendship based on a mutual passion for perfumery.

READ DR. VINCENT'S FIRST ARTICLE FOR MELANIE JANE BELOW

 

Vitamin C in cosmetics

A |

Vitamin C, also known as (L)-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin naturally occurring in fresh fruits and vegetables like orange, kiwi, red pepper and broccoli. It has different names such as (L)-threoascorbic acid, antiscorbutic factor but in reality this refers to the same molecule. The (L) letter refers to its 3D geometry but is often implicit. Its chemical formula is illustrated:

Q |

What is vitamin C ?

Its name comes from the latin “scorbutus” as it protects from scurvy. In the old days, pirates and long overseas sailors frequently suffered from scurvy because they could not eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Vitamin C is indeed an essential nutrient which cannot be synthesized by humans and is mainly supplied by food. Often associated with vitality and tonus, Vitamin C has important biological functions in the body such as the biosynthesis of collagen, required for tissue repair, or the activation of immune system. It is also a powerful anti-oxidant.

A |

From a chemistry point of view, Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant but what does it mean? It actually refers to its capacity to neutralize harmful oxidants present in our environment. The most abundant oxidant in the air is oxygen (20 %) responsible for iron rust or rancid butter. Ozone and free radicals are other powerful oxidants formed by air pollution (cars, fuel...).

 

It is now established that oxidation is a major cause of skin aging.

 

Not only does it alter the cell elasticity but it also affects the cellular division by damaging the DNA and the capacity of the skin to regenerate. Because it can block those mechanisms, Vitamin C has a beneficial effect on the skin.

 

The molecule itself is water-soluble and cannot penetrate the lipophilic layers found deeper in the skin. Therefore, this action in only superficial (epiderm) if it is used without carrier (liposome, microcapsule) for a topical application.

Q |

Is vitamin C good for my skin?

Added to a cream, the Vitamin C stays on the skin’s surface and offers a barrier against cell-damaging oxidative particles. It also regenerates the skin elasticity by stimulating the biosynthesis of collagen as well as new skin cells, restoring the skin’s natural glow.

 

Ideally, the cream should be used daily to maintain an efficient protection and stimulate the cells growth otherwise the benefits will be lost.

 

In addition, Vitamin C does not tackle severe aging signs such as deep wrinkles for which fillers are more suitable.

A |

Vitamin C is classified as an acid as its full chemical name is (L)-ascorbic acid.

 

Thus, it can be irritating for the skin if used improperly.

 

For example, a saturated aqueous solution at 176 mg per mL has a pH between 1 and 2.5 which is similar to vinegar!

Q |

Is it suitable for sensitive skin?

If you make your own cosmetics, be extra cautious about the proportion of Vitamin C for avoiding redness.

 

A recommended level for skin cosmetics is between 3 and 10 %.

 

If you have sensitive skin, always test your preparation on a small skin surface such as the back of your hand.

A |

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for humans as our organism needs a daily intake to function optimally. For that reason, it is very well tolerated by the body so the risk of allergy is non-existent. However, skin sensitization is still possible if the dosage is too high.

Q |

Can Vitamin C cause allergies?

Funny kitchen chemistry experiment

If you want to see how vitamin C preserves from oxygen, just do this easy experiment

 

  1. Cut an apple in half

  2. Poor some orange juice on one side and save the other one.

  3. Let the apple exposed to the air for a day.

  4. Compare the two sides of the apple. What do you conclude?

When you cut the apple, the enzymatic degradation breakdown will immediately start and lead to a brownish colour 

 

However, because this requires oxygen, it will not occur if you add orange juice, rich in Vitamin C, which preserves the apple from the oxidation.

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