What is Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Vitamin C and How to Use It

What is Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate and How to Use It

Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate is an oil-soluble, next-generation vitamin C that has superior dermal absorption, is stable in skin care formulations and can be less irritating to the skin than other forms of vitamin C. 

Why is Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Different?

Vitamin C has a long history of use in skin care preparations and oil-soluble ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate is becoming more widely used by formulators. Vitamin C is part of a group of antioxidants that protect the skin from oxidative stress, inflammation and the ageing process. 

A vitamin C derivative, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (ATIP) is the tetraester of ascorbic acid and isopalmitic acid. It is a clinically -proven oxygen stable, synthesized vitamin C ester that converts into free vitamin C in the skin.  Studies have shown that oil-soluble forms of vitamin C penetrate through the epidermis and dermis better than the water-soluble L-ascorbic acid, which is the most commonly used form of vitamin C in skin care (and also the cheapest). 

Many decades-old studies have shown the efficacy of vitamin C when targeting hyperpigmentation, collagen degradation and other signs of premature aging. One of the major drawbacks of ascorbic acid is that it cannot penetrate the lipid-rich outlayer of the skin barrier. It requires a low pH to penetrate the skin, but this cannot be tolerated by everyone.  A low pH in skin care products containing ascorbic acid can cause peeling, stinging, irritation and patchy dryness. These side effects can counteract the anti-inflammatory benefits of vitamin C. This can be a real drawback for people with sensitized skin or a compromised acid barrier.

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate is one of the derivatives that researchers developed to bypass some of the issues seen with ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid is extremely sensitive to heat and light and it oxidizes very quickly. Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate is more stable and has better penetration than ascorbic acid, so it can be formulated at a lower percentage and at a less skin-sensitizing pH, while producing similar results to ascorbic acid. 

Formulas containing esters ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate or tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate at concentrations of 20% or more are likely not more effective, that formulas containing a smaller percentage of either ester. In fact, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate is approved as a quasi-drug active in Japan at 3% concentration. It is also registered in Korea as a functional ingredient for skin brightening at 2% concentration. This means the ingredient has proven efficacy in a specific claim category which has been recognized and approved by the corresponding government agencies. 

Benefits of Vitamin C for the Skin

Vitamin C is crucial for skin health and for healthy skin aging and normal skin contains high levels of ascorbic acid when compared to other tissues in the body, suggesting a bioaccumulative effect. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is a cofactor required for the synthesis and maintenance of collagen and elastin. 

Studies have also shown that vitamin C is necessary for the formation of the skin barrier function and for stimulating blood flow. Vitamin C protects the skin from UV light and repeated unprotected exposure to UV light depletes ascorbic acid from the skin. 

Vitamin C inhibits the activation of the enzyme tyrosinase, which prevents the overproduction of melanin and helps to control and treat hyperpigmentation. The vitamin is key to healthy aging of the skin, especially where it is accelerated by external factors such as UV damage and air pollution.  

Shop our Botanical Vitamin C Face Oil which contains ATIP at 2% concentration.