Would you call yourself an expert on vitamin C? Plenty of people use this vitamin in attempts to smooth their skin texture, put the brakes on aging, or strengthen their immune systems. If you're one of those people, you need to be well-versed in a new form of vitamin C. Have you read about vitamin C and liposomes?
Liposomal vitamin C has left traditional supplements in the dust. By enclosing vitamins in small bubbles of fat, the body's ability to absorb them drastically increases. The result? Skin loaded with antioxidants and an immune system flush with vitamin C. If you're here to learn more, don't miss this new Supplement Guide article!
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Key Facts
- 3 Liposomal Vitamin C: Our Selection
- 4 Liposomal Vitamin C Buyer's Guide: What You Need to Know
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Summary
- Liposomal vitamin C offers all the benefits of traditional vitamin C, but with a higher degree of absorption.
- You'll find liposomal vitamin C in supplement form (taken orally) and in cosmetic serum or cream form (applied topically).
- When it comes time to buy a liposomal vitamin C product, pay attention to certain criteria: liposome composition, possible allergens, other ingredients included, and the presence (or absence) of animal products.
Liposomal Vitamin C: Our Selection
We've selected the best few liposomal vitamin C products on the market after closely examining their ingredients and weighing the opinions of hundreds of consumers. These outstanding products are sold at prices far lower than you could find offline. Take advantage of this exclusive opportunity!
Liposomal Vitamin C Buyer's Guide: What You Need to Know
Liposomal vitamin C preserves all the benefits of conventional vitamin C, but improves its absorption by combining it with tiny lipid (fat) particles. The only downside of this vitamin C upgrade is the price - often much higher than traditional supplements.
What Is Liposomal Vitamin C?
Liposomes let us wrap vitamin C in small "bubbles" of phospholipids. Phospholipid molecules, in their natural state, make up the membranes of our own cells (3). By covering vitamin C in these lipids, the body manages to absorb it easily. It can join with your cells like a new member of the family (4, 5).
As a result, the bioavailability of liposomal vitamin C is higher than conventional supplements. Bioavailability refers to the amount of product which reaches your bloodstream intact and ready to act (4). Plus, liposomes can also be your skincare routine's best friend. They delay the breakdown of ascorbic acid, allowing creams and serums to resist degradation (6).
What Makes Liposomal Vitamin C Special?
However, this vitamin has one big problem in its "natural" state. Once ingested, ascorbic acid needs to access the bloodstream using transporters found in the digestive tract. Unfortunately, those "access points" tend to become saturated (brought to full capacity) by high doses of vitamin C, like the doses supplements provide (7, 8, 9).
When you consume 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C or more, your body's ability to absorb the nutrient falls sharply. 50% of your supplement ends up immediately eliminated, with no chance to enter the body! Until very recently, the only way to resolve that vitamin C blockage was to inject ascorbic acid directly into veins. What a pain (literally)!
Liposomal vitamin C's degree of absorption is closer to ascorbic acid injections. When you ingest it, your blood's concentration of vitamin C is raised much more than with conventional supplements (4). Unfortunately, this new method does significantly raise the price of vitamin C.
|Liposomal Vitamin C Pros||Liposomal Vitamin C Cons|
|Improved absorption of oral supplements||Price significantly higher than non-liposomal products|
|Better penetration into the skin and more durable topical vitamin C||Bioavailability still inferior to vitamin C injections|
|Preserves the benefits of traditional vitamin C products (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and photoprotective effects)||Makes it easier to take excess doses of vitamin C (leading to possible side effects)|
What Are Liposomal Vitamin C's Effects?
- Taut, Blemish-Free Skin: Vitamin C counters the effects of free radicals - molecules which cause tissue oxidation, leading to the appearance of marks, wrinkles, and loose, saggy skin. As such, many vitamin C skincare products exist. Taken orally, liposomal vitamin C nurtures cells, helping them synthesize collagen. In serums, it exercises protective effects which complement your sunscreen (1).
- Strong Immune System: Keeping your vitamin C levels in normal range helps your body's defenses function properly. Plus, liposomal vitamin C could reduce post-illness recovery time and help burns and ulcers heal more quickly (10).
- Heart Health: Maintaining strong vitamin C levels helps keep your arteries healthy. It counters the oxidation of "bad" cholesterol, one of the main causes of atherosclerosis (a condition where cholesterol deposits form on the walls of blood vessels) (11).
- Healthy Metabolism: Liposomal vitamin C can help you keep your energy levels stable. It offers your body the ascorbic acid needed to activate your cells' metabolism and process fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Normal metabolic functioning can help you better manage your weight (2, 12).
What Types of Liposomal Vitamin C Products Exist?
Topical liposomal vitamin C: The liposomal vitamin C in beauty products is often sold in serum form. It should be applied after washing your face but before applying lotion, makeup, or sunscreen.
Is Liposomal Vitamin C Safe?
90 mg a day for men and 75 mg a day for women, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH) (2)
If your diet doesn't meet those recommendations, then liposomal vitamin C supplements could be a relatively safe option. However, avoid taking more than 2,000 mg a day of this nutrient. Excess consumption may cause kidney stones, indigestion, or increased risk of contracting serious diseases like breast cancer (2).
Liposomal vitamin C could interact with your usual medications. Ask your doctor before using these products if you're on regular medical treatment, have a chronic illness (especially kidney problems), or want to use these products for long periods of time. Children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers should also not use these products without medical approval (2).
Topical liposomal vitamin C (creams and serums) do not have the same precautions as oral supplements, but may cause skin irritation for sensitive skin types. It's always good advice to try an "allergy test" before using a new cosmetic. Apply a small amount to a part of your body which isn't usually exposed and visible, then wait 24-48 hours to see if you observe a reaction (14).
So you've decided to give a liposomal vitamin C product a try. Should you just choose any supplement or serum with "liposome" or "liposomal" on the package? Is there something more you need to consider before investing in a new purchase? This guide will explain consumers' criteria in detail.
Unfortunately, you may find confusing and inaccurate information about liposomal vitamin C. Some products use the term "liposomal" as a synonym for "contains fat" (after all, phospholipids are a type of fat). They simply mix the ascorbic acid with oils that don't improve absorption.
When purchasing, carefully examine the ingredients of your oral or topical vitamin C. A genuine liposomal product's labeling will include terms like "phospholipids", "phosphatidylcholine", or "lecithin" (preferably sunflower lecithin) (15). Don't get swindled!
Liposomal vitamin C products may contain lactose, gluten, soy, and traces of nuts or other allergens. This is especially true if they were manufactured in a lab which uses those ingredients. Choose a product which, at a minimum, lists its allergen content. Contact the vendor if you have any remaining questions.
Can liposomes be vegan-friendly? They sure can! By using sunflower lecithin instead of animal products, we can create vegan liposomal vitamin C. Remember to look for a vegan or cruelty-free quality seal to ensure no animals were harmed to create your serum or supplement.
The "purest" liposomal vitamin C products solely contain ascorbic acid, purified water, and the phospholipids required to create liposomes. However, you may find other ingredients in these products. If you're looking to wring the maximum potential out of vitamin C, you may prefer to avoid these extras.
However, you may want to take advantage of these added ingredients' potential benefits. If so, we've created a list of the most common "guests" in liposomal vitamin C products. We've classified them by their effects:
- Antioxidants: Vitamin A, vitamin E, beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, OPC
- Immune-Regulating: Zinc, selenium
- Anti-Inflammatory: Elderberry extract, olive extract
- Antioxidants: Retinol, vitamin E, Gingko biloba, rosehip oil, green tea extract
- Hydrating: Hyaluronic acid
- Calming or Anti-Inflammatory: Green tea extract, marigold extract
Liposomal vitamin C has sparked a genuine revolution in the nutritional supplement field and the beauty industry. This ingenious method encapsulates ascorbic acid in small "bubbles" which allow the body to absorb it better. Only vitamin injections, which are strictly for medical professionals, offer higher bioavailability than liposomal vitamin C does.
Try incorporating a liposomal vitamin C serum or cream into your skincare routine, or choose a new supplement to help you avoid ascorbic acid deficiency. Keep in mind, however, that nutritional supplements should be used carefully; they're not a substitute for a balanced diet. Now, let us know: what's your opinion of liposomal vitamin C? Would you give it a chance and try it?
If this guide helped you discover liposomal vitamin C, feel free to leave a comment and share this article.
(Featured image source: Malyshchyts: 34244129/ 123rf.com)
J.M. P, A.C. C, M.C.M. V. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients [Internet]. 2017 Aug 12 ;9(8):866.
Vitamin C – Health Professional Fact Sheet [Internet].
Phospholipid | Biochemistry | Britannica [Internet].
Davis JL, Paris HL, Beals JW, Binns SE, Giordano GR, Scalzo RL, et al. Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect against Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury. Nutr Metab Insights [Internet]. 2016 ;9:NMI.S39764.
Łukawski M, Dałek P, Borowik T, Foryś A, Langner M, Witkiewicz W, et al. New oral liposomal vitamin C formulation: properties and bioavailability. J Liposome Res [Internet]. 2019
Milara J, Serrano G, Almudever P, Serrano J-M, Torrens A, Expósito I, et al. Phosphatidylcholine liposomes as carriers to improve topical ascorbic acid treatment of skin disorders. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol [Internet]. 2015 Dec 17 ;8:591.
Padayatty S, Levine M. Vitamin C: the known and the unknown and Goldilocks. Oral Dis [Internet]. 2016 Sep ;22(6):463–93.
Lykkesfeldt J, Tveden-Nyborg P. The pharmacokinetics of vitamin C [Internet]. Vol. 11, Nutrients. MDPI AG; 2019 . p. 2412.
Rivas CI, Zúñiga FA, Salas-Burgos A, Mardones L, Ormazabal V, Vera JC. Vitamin C transporters [Internet]. Vol. 64, Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry. Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra; 2008 . p. 357–75.
Wintergerst ES, Maggini S, Hornig DH. Immune-enhancing role of Vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions [Internet]. Vol. 50, Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2006 . p. 85–94.
Moser M, Chun O. Vitamin C and Heart Health: A Review Based on Findings from Epidemiologic Studies. Int J Mol Sci [Internet]. 2016 Aug 12 ;17(8):1328.
Johnston CS. Strategies for Healthy Weight Loss: From Vitamin C to the Glycemic Response. J Am Coll Nutr [Internet]. 2005 ;24(3):158–65
Ingestas Dietéticas de Referencia (IDR) para la Población Española, 2010. Act Dietética . 2010 Oct;14(4):196–7.
Raison-Peyron N. Allergens in cosmetics [Internet]. Vol. 59, Revue Francaise d’Allergologie. 2019 . p. 214–5.
Mozafari MR. Nanocarrier Technologies [Internet]. Mozafari MR, editor. Vol. 9781402050, Nanocarrier Technologies: Frontiers of Nanotherapy. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2006. 1–225 p.