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Attention-Vacation Time? I wish.

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone is doing great. Now, I have some bad and good news.

The bad news is that for the next roughly one month, I will be writing and completing my college applications to return back to school to pursue my goal of becoming a dermatologist. So that means I’ll be visiting teachers to ask for recommendation and writing my own personal statements for the SEVEN FIVE schools that I’m applying to. As many of you know, this process takes a lot of time, dedication, and the utmost concentration.

Therefore, until the beginning of January, I will not be posting any major post on this blog, with the exception of my mandatory Temptalia posts. I’ll also throw in some discussions and polls because those are super easy.

However, the good news it that I will still be accepting requests, suggestions, and of course replying to any and all of your comments as I’ve been doing so far. You guys still will receive 100% of my attention when it comes to those things!

Please do NOT hesitate to ask me anything! I may not be able to fulfill the request immediately, but I will do my very best.

I hope to still get a lot of comments to approve because I love the interaction. You guys are all so reasoned and delightfully intriguing!

I hope to hear from you guys soon!

About John

The Triple Helixian is an unbiased science and research-based site that attempts to clarify and elucidate questions about skin care, while aspiring to be the most thorough and complete source of information.


12 thoughts on “Attention-Vacation Time? I wish.

  1. Hi John,

    This is your fellow Paula’s Choice fan. I have an OT question for you, that may be a potential post idea (so it helps me, others, and hopefully you!). I have heard a lot about Vitamin C as a powerful antioxidant for skin, working to improve skin health and promote scar healing. I’ve read that Vitamin C is volatile and for it to be effective, the formulation needs to be both stable and packaged properly (e.g. air-tight, not exposed to light).

    I watched a YouTube tutorial in which someone took dry Vitamin C and made her own topical vitamin C treatment. I doubt the end-product’s stability. Is it possible to make a diy Vitamin C treatment? What would you do? Have you incorporated any diy treatments into your own skin care arsenal (not necessarily Vitamin C related)? You’re not a cosmetic chemist, but I’m interested in your opinion all the same. 🙂



    Posted by BooBooNinja | December 17, 2011, 11:47 am
    • Hi Ninja,

      This is a very good question and one that I’ve deliberated about many times.

      Now, topical vitamin C IS a powerful antioxidant and will improve skin health. However, there are many forms of vitamin C, and only a few (L-ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) have demonstrated the ability to reduce irregular hyperpigmentation. They have not be shown to actually lighten the skin for example, from NC 40 to NC 35. Also these forms of vitamin C can only alter discoloration-type scars, not physical ones like hypertrophic scars.

      You are also correct that vitamin C is very unstable. However, vitamin C is not volatile at all. Volatility refers to a substance’s tendency to evaporate and that of vitamin C is negligible. But regardless of terminology, vitamin C does need to be packaged properly and manufactured in a vacuum or at least oxygen-free atmosphere or environment.

      With DIY treatments, that’s impossible. Vitamin C when exposed to air, will quickly become doubly oxidized and form dehydro-L-ascorbic acid (DHAA), which contains an aromatic (lactone specifically) ring. If further oxidized, which will happen, the ring will open and the molecule will be rendered useless. All that happens within HOURS after exposure. So unless you want to prepare treatments every single day, DIY is not the way to go.

      Even if you are prepared to make treatments everyday, there are still many other obstacles to overcome. One, if the powder form being used is L-ascorbic acid, it has to be incorporated into a vehicle that has a low pH (< 3.5) in order to function and penetrate the skin. Furthermore, the concentration needs to be measured correctly so that it is at least 5%–the demonstrated bottom threshold for efficacy. Unfortunately this ratio cannot be achieved by simply mixing 5% vitamin C with 95% water or whatever vehicle calculated by mass or volume. It simply is not that easy. Another thing to be concerned about is when you mix the powder, how can you assure that it has been thoroughly mixed so that the particle size will actually penetrate the stratum corneum (SC) of the skin? The heaviest particle that can penetrate the SC has an atomic mass of around 5000 daltons, assuming that there are no special delivery systems and the form of vitamin-C used is water-soluble. You can't evaluate particle sizes with the naked eye when they are that small. That's not even half of the problems you would encounter. We would still have to discuss lipid-soluble forms of vitamin C, and how and if they will penentrate the SC, studies that show their varying degrees of efficacy… As you can see Ninja, the list goes on and on.

      It's safe to say that in virtually all cases, DIY treatments for vitamin C will NOT work. You've heard it before…. if something sounds too good to be true, it (probably) is.

      I hope that helped you and I may do a topic about this in the future. I'll add it to my list. And a cosmetic chemist… is not a title. It means nothing really. Anyone can take a few college chemistry courses or read some books to learn about this stuff. But that's a whole other issue.

      Have a good one and thanks for commenting!

      Posted by John | December 17, 2011, 7:30 pm
  2. Good luck with your college applications. I hope you get into your first choice. If you are 100% sure that you want to go to med school in the U.S. you should look into the 6-8 year medical programs.

    Posted by ramenlover | December 11, 2011, 5:14 pm
  3. Good luck with your applications! With your passion and drive, you are well on your way.

    Posted by BooBooNinja | December 10, 2011, 12:49 pm
  4. Good luck with your apps!!!! They are so time-consuming, so you better get into something you like. 🙂

    Posted by Michelle | December 2, 2011, 5:21 pm
  5. Good luck with your applications!

    Posted by Ashley Sarah | December 2, 2011, 11:19 am

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