Phloretin CF Gel
This serum-like gel is said to contain 10% vitamin C (ascorbic acid) an amount that’s impressive but also potentially irritating given that the acid form of vitamin C has a stronger potential for irritation than other forms such as ascorbyl glucoside or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. More troubling, though, is that if the vitamin C is truly present at 10%, that means there’s at least the same amount (or more) of alcohol—the kind that causes dryness, free-radical damage, and hurts healthy collagen production. That’s not good news for anyone’s skin and ends up being a burn considering what this product costs!
What about the phloretin ingredient? Phloretin is a white crystalline flavonoid that results from the decomposition or hydrolysis of phlorizin. Naturally, your next question is: What’s phlorizin? It’s a bitter substance extracted from the root bark of apple trees and from apples, so phloretin does have a natural origin (though what it takes to get phlorizin out of the apple tree to turn it into phloretin is hardly a natural process; you’re not going to use phloretin to flavor pie).
As for phloretin’s value for skin, in vitro and animal research has shown that it has antioxidant ability, can interrupt melanin synthesis to potentially reduce skin discolorations, inhibits the formation of MMP-1 (which breaks down collagen), and also serves as a penetration enhancer, which, as you’ll see below, is not a good thing in the case of this product (Sources: The FEBS Journal, August 2008, pages 3804–3814; Phytochemistry, April 2007, pages 1189–1199; Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, April 2006, pages 740–745; European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, March 2004, pages 307–312; and International Journal of Pharmaceutics, April 2003, pages 109–116).
Bottom line: Phloretin appears to be a good antioxidant but not in this product. Please keep in mind that despite the published research for phloretin and SkinCeuticals claims, it is not the best antioxidant. Rather, there are lots of brilliant antioxidants in skin-care products, but there isn’t a miracle or magic bullet out there.
Formulated with an optimized acid combination of 2% phloretin, 10% vitamin C, and 0.5% ferulic acid, this serum-in-a-gel protects skin from the range of reactive molecules known to cause DNA mutations and damage among the integral cell types. This trusted antioxidant trio also accelerates cell turnover and stimulates collagen synthesis to boost skins structure for a firmer, brighter complexion.
With a strong presence in the professional (meaning spa and aesthetics) skincare market, SkinCeuticals has a mostly well-deserved reputation for producing serious-minded, research-driven products, several of which are centered on L-ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C).
There are many good reasons to shop this line; it boasts a lineup up impressive vitamin C products, as well as some good retinol options and sunscreens. Even better is that the majority of its anti-aging products are packaged in containers that will protect their contents from light and air. Focusing on what Skinceuticals does best (which is serums, sunscreens, and specialty products) will be money well spent for visible results. The main drawbacks of this line are some products that contain fragrance ingredients, as well as potentially-drying alcohol, though they represent the minority of the brands offerings.
For more information about SkinCeuticals, call 1-800-771-9489 or visit www.skinceuticals.com.
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