Tag: antioxidants

Anti-Aging Skincare Tips

Use More Sensitive Skin Cleanser
Over the years, skin tends to lose its natural oils. It becomes drier and more sensitive so tell me why you are still using that aggressive anti-acne wash you saw from TikTok? If you are over 30, pick something gentle for cleansing and avoid ingredients that could be drying! Try our Sorella Milk Cleanser for a more hydrating experience.

Pay Attention to Your Diet
This rule applies to any age, actually. Still, things get more serious as the years pass by. Avoid alcohol as it dehydrates your skin. Foods high in sugars can do even worse: they make you look older. Instead, choose more protein, eat products rich in vitamin C, and consume more fatty acids like oils and avocado. Read our blog on our top foods!

Don’t Forget About SPF
SPF should always be applied at any age! The younger the better and its never too late to start wearing it. If you were using alcohol-containing SPF creams, switch to more moisturizing sunscreen products that contain antioxidants. And keep in mind, that good sun protection should be SPF 30 and above. The Sorella Quench & Protect is hydrating and contains SPF 30 if thats not a perfect match show me a better one!

We all have dead cells on our faces! They are not replaced by new skin as quickly as you may think. To speed up this process, it’s necessary to exfoliate. Still, keep in mind that harsh methods are no good here. Focus on chemical quality exfoliants and use cosmetics with AHA/BHA.

The years make our skin dry out and living in California does not help…one day its pouring rain and the next day we are in a heat wave! This is when wrinkles step in. To ensure they appear as late as possible, you should fall in love with hydration. Avoid anything that can cause water-loss and choose moisturizers rich in hyaluronic acid as it is great at preventing water from evaporating. Call us for recommendations but check out what we have available and draw questions from there.

Get Facials
Getting monthly or bi-monthly facials help to get a deep clean and really treat concerns but your skincare professional cant do it alone! you should follow the tips above and follow the home care they have assigned for you to do! Book your next facial with Joanna Young Skin!

Pro-Oxidant? What is it?

Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants in skincare and is essential in any skincare routine. It is especially good when used in combination with sunscreens. Vitamin C can boost the sunscreen’s UV protection levels by neutralizing any free radicals caused by UV damage.

Vitamin C is need to produce collagen and is integral in helping proline and lysine to convert into hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine. It will help in transporting the fresh collagen molecule out of the fibroblast cell and into the extracellular matrix.

Vitamin C can act as an antioxidant as we mentioned earlier, but the blocking of free radicals may prevent the transfer of the melanin cells to the surface that cause hyperpigmentation.

Which types of vitamin C products will help your skin

Any good product (serum or cream) should give the vitamin C an environment that preserves its structure. Otherwise, an oxidized vitamin C will work against your skin! How? Oxidized ascorbic acid is a pro-oxidant.  Just as ascorbic acid can donate electrons to your skin, oxidized ascorbic acid will be hungry for its missing electrons.

Some people use ascorbic acid  as an acid, more precisely, as an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)  because an acid will work as an exfoliant to brighten. In this case, you need a concentrated and acidic ascorbic acid solution. And this exfoliant should not be neutralized. So if you are looking for an exfoliant, make sure there is no base (alkali) like (potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, because you would be cheated and instead of using a AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) you are using a salt solution! For this, you can use the Vitamin C serum from Sorella Apothecary. This is not the type of product that you should use if you have sensitive skin or if you are using retinoids, because retinoids promote skin renewal by themselves. And remember: exfoliation removes the skin barrier and makes it easier for the skin to be damaged by oxidants or by UV. If you exfoliate, don’t forget your sunscreen!

How Vitamin C works

Every human needs Vitamin C. Our body needs it and we can’t make it ourselves, that’s why it is a vitamin!  We need to ingest it as food. Why does the skin, in particular, need vitamin C? Because ascorbic acid is essential for the “finishing touches” on collagen. If collagen does not get those biochemical finishing touches, it can’t work.  Many organs in the body need vitamin C, this is why we make sure we get it in our food in oranges or any food that contains it.

Why use vitamin C topically? As we age, our skin may not get enough vitamin C even if we ingest it. I like to have some vitamin C in my skin care. However, please note that vitamins are required in very small amounts, and this is true for the role that ascorbic acid plays in collagen synthesis.

Vitamin C has another function, as antioxidant, so it does not hurt to use higher concentrations because, especially in a polluted city, we need more antioxidants on our skin.

Commonly Used Forms of Vitamin C

L-Ascorbic Acid

Structure: Pure vitamin C in the form in which your body receives it.

Function: Exfoliation + stimulation of Collagen, suppresses mutated hyperpigmented cells.

Solubility: Ascorbic acid is water-soluble, so is usually delivered in water-based serums.

Stability: Highly unstable and subjective to oxidative change + potency loss.

Ascorbyl Glucoside

Structure: Ascorbic acid with a glucose molecule attached onto the C2-OH group. This blocks a reactive part of the molecule and allows ascorbyl glucoside to be very stable.

Mechanism: The enzyme alpha-glucosidase breaks ascorbyl glucoside into glucose and ascorbic acid, where it can then work as ascorbic acid does.

Solubility: Water-soluble, usually delivered in water-based serums or creams. 

Penetration into skin: Able to penetrate skin.

Evidence level: Low-Medium.

Collagen: It has been found in vitro to stimulate synthesis, but to a lesser extent than ascorbic acid.

Warning! Oxidized (brownish) vitamin C will not work as an antioxidant BUT as a PRO-oxidant! Don’t put oxidized ascorbic acid on your skin.

Vitamin C as a Pro-Oxidant

Because ascorbic acid is such a great antioxidant, it can reduce free metal ions which it can find around the skin. Here, iron is reduced from its +3-oxidation state to its +2-oxidation state. Iron in its +2-oxidation state can react with hydrogen peroxide which is present in skin cells, producing highly reactive hydroxyl free radicals.

This is exactly the reactive molecules which we were trying to protect the skin from when we applied vitamin C as an antioxidant. In this way, unstabilized vitamin C can act as a prooxidant – it can cause the free radical damage which it initially sought to protect the skin from. Hence the importance of only using “stabilized” forms of Vitamin c.

Irritation Factor of C

Whether your ascorbic acid serum irritates your skin or not is very often down to its pH level. Your skin sits at a happy, slightly-acidic pH of 4.5-5.5. Applying anything on your skin which is significantly more acidic (much lower in pH), or significantly more alkaline (much higher in pH), will usually cause irritation and may impair the skin’s natural barrier and functions. 

Ascorbic acid is best delivered in a formula which is a pH of less than 3.5. This acidic pH, which is quite a bit lower than the skin’s natural pH, can often irritate more sensitive skins. This is trial and error and will affect different skins in different ways. 

While an ascorbic acid formula of less than pH 3.5 is the most powerful way to get vitamin C into the skin, for those who are struggling with irritation or the annoyance of stability issues, we turn to the next best thing; vitamin C derivatives in stabilized forms.

What to look for in a vitamin C skin care product?

Rather than talking about brands I would like to comment on which ingredients to look for.

For vitamin C as a vitamin, look for a serum or cream that contains a stable form of the vitamin, like Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THD Ascorbate). This way you don’t have to worry about stability. This vitamin C derivative is stable as has vitamin C (it will form ascorbic acid once it is in your skin). It will also work as antioxidant and you don’t have to worry about it working against you as a pro-oxidant. A cream or serum with ascorbic acid will start oxidizing as soon as it is mixed, unless you find a good chemist to make it.

Both highly stable and oil-soluble, THD Ascorbate rapidly absorbs into the skin for visible anti-aging benefits, including visual improvement in loss of firmness, the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and dark spots and dullness.

What Skincare Products Have THD?

Both of these Sorella Products have THD as the second ingredient in a 20% blend of vitamin A, C (BV-OSC) and E. Fight daily pollution and complexion-dulling irritants with a dose of antioxidants and vitamins that’s ideal for all skin types. This hydrating serum rejuvenates dry and tired skin while minimizing visible effects of stress and fatigue.

Shop yours today!


Fitzpatrick, R. E., & Rostan, E. F. (2002). Double-blind, half-face study comparing topical vitamin C and vehicle for rejuvenation of photodamage. Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]28(3), 231–236. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1524-4725.2002.01129.x

Telang P. S. (2013). Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian dermatology online journal4(2), 143–146. https://doi.org/10.4103/2229-5178.110593

Tone, Tone, Tone!

Does your skin really need a toner?

Most of us are well aware of the “cleansing, toning, moisturizing” formula. But is the second step really necessary? What is it for, anyway?

First of all, toner is designed to remove what’s left on your skin after cleansing, be it makeup leftovers, dirt, etc. Aside from that, toner has lots of other advantages and benefits, making it too important to exclude toning from your daily skincare routine. Let’s take a closer look at what they are. 

Balancing pH level
In other words, toner prepares your skin for absorbing moisturizing cream, serum or fluid. It helps the substance get inside those pores and do its job. If you skip toner, you probably have to wait a little time till your cream is fully absorbed.

Toners that contain exfoliating components (glycolic acids, etc) are great at helping your skin renew itself faster and wipe off the dead skin cells.

Some toners contribute to your skin’s elasticity and slow the aging process. If this is your case, choose toners with hyaluronic acid along with moisturizing and anti-aging creams.Refreshing When you feel that your skin is dirty or oily, just use toner to refresh it. If you are on the go on a hot day and your face needs immediate hydration, toner is there to help.

The bottom line?
It’s hard to say that toner works alone as an autonomous beauty product. It’s more like a supportive weapon. Using a toner won’t change your skin, far from it. What it will do is to strengthen the effect of the other beauty products you apply.

Shop today or book your next skincare consultation!

How to choose good foods this holiday season

With the holiday season upon us, I thought this would be a good reminder of the high sugar food and drink that are available for us to consume.  Here are some tips to choose the right foods that will benefit your skin. Whether you don’t have skin care concerns, or you see a dermatologist regularly, it is important to know how the things we eat, and drink affect our skin.  A healthy diet which includes antioxidant-rich foods along with proper hydration will provide you with clearer, heathier looking skin. Also treat yourself to a hydrating facial.



Antioxidants in foods, including vitamins A, C and E, and certain minerals, such as selenium boost immune function by quenching free radicals, highly-reactive compounds that are formed as byproducts of normal processes in the body or enter the body from the environment.


Vitamin C – The sun can be tough on your skin. Vitamin C can help protect you. It also helps undo sun damage to collagen and elastin, which firm up your skin. Get vitamin C from cranberries, red bell peppers, citrus fruits, broccoli, greens, brussels sprouts and Blueberries!


Vitamin E – Another antioxidant that may help save your skin from sun damage and inflammation is vitamin E. Get it from vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, asparagus, leafy greens and carrots.


Selenium – This mineral may help protect your skin from cells that gather free radicals.   You can get it from Brazil nuts, button mushrooms, shrimp, lamb, and fish like snapper, cod, halibut, tuna, and salmon. Cooked beef, light turkey, oysters, sardines, crab, and whole-wheat pasta also have selenium.


Water, Water, Water! 

Drinking water is one of the healthiest habits you can have for your skin and your entire body.  It keeps your skin moist and that makes fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable. It also helps your cells get rid of toxins. Dehydrated skin cannot properly rid itself of toxins and so it becomes irritated, inflamed, and congested.  This can cause itching, blackheads, redness, acne, and general blotchiness.  We’ve all heard that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day, but you may not need exactly that many as the water in fruits, veggies, juice, and milk counts toward your total, and will help with your hang over!


Or better yet why not get your antioxidants and hydrate at the same time?

Green tea may be the closest thing to a magic potion that you can find for your skin, maybe make a cup of tea on your way to a holiday event. It helps stop inflammation and helps slow DNA damage and can even help prevent the sun from burning your skin. You can find green tea in lots of cosmetics, but why not go straight to the source: Drink it! Go for the veggie plate at your next holiday party.