Everyone has heard of the incredible benefits of Vitamin C for the body and skin. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, a derivative of vitamin C, can harness all the powers of vitamin C for your skincare routine.
You might wonder what makes tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate unique and what it can do for your skin?
The benefits of tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate include protection from sun damage, reducing skin pigmentation, and increasing collagen and vitamin E production.
This fat-soluble derivative of L-ascorbic acid (pure Vitamin C) penetrates the skin to repair free radical damage and oxidative stress associated with aging.
This post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information.
Jump Ahead To:
The Benefits Of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD or THDC) is a newer skin-friendly derivative of L-ascorbate (also called L-ascorbic acid or ascorbic acid) and has many restorative effects on your skin.
Also known as ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is able to penetrate the skin, and studies show that it converts to pure vitamin C in the skin.
Whether in a serum, face cream, or sunscreen, here are the many benefits of tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate:
Antioxidant Protection From Sun Damage
As human skin ages, it loses the ability to protect itself against UV and environmental damage. Free radical damage increases while the skin’s natural defenses decrease, accelerating skin aging.
The combined effect of free radicals and reduced protection causes fine lines, wrinkles, and skin discoloration.
Unlike superficial topical protection such as sunscreen, THD is antioxidant-rich and penetrates the skin and stabilizes and deactivates the free radicals before damaging the delicate skin cells.
THD functions to counteract the free radical damage caused by UV light, visible light, and radiation that sunscreens cannot neutralize.
THD antioxidant activity of vitamin C functions by increasing transport proteins in keratinocytes in response to UV light rather than providing a barrier to the UV light itself.
Thus the tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate functions from within the skin to protect from damaging sun’s rays.
Promotes Collagen Production
Collagen makes up almost 75% of the structure of our skin and is the protein that is an important building block of our skin’s structure. Your body needs vitamin C to stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen mRNA.
In this clinical study, 60 women showed a significant increase in collagen synthesis after treating their faces with a vitamin C-based solution for 60 days.
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate’s fat-soluble formation allows it to penetrate the inner dermal layer, which gives nutritional support to the outer layers of the skin.
THD has the advantage over ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C), which is water-soluble and cannot effectively penetrate the deeper dermal layers.
This penetrative ability allows THD to stimulate collagen synthesis from within the skin.
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate not only reduces dark marks and skin discolorations but also brightens and evens your facial skin tone.
THD inhibits the activity of tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for controlling the production of melanin or skin pigment.
Tyrosinase activity is vital for skin functioning, and if the activity is uncontrolled, it results in increased melanin synthesis or the discoloration behind uneven skin tone.
As THD has a regulating effect on this enzyme, it not only prevents discoloration but has a lightening and “brightening” effect on existing melanin-based discoloration of the skin.
This is helpful for those with hyperpigmentation, dark spots, sun spots, and other discoloration.
In simple terms, decreased melanin production equals a brighter complexion.
Replenishes Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a vital antioxidant in our skin, protects our cell membranes against oxidative stress, and maintains our collagen levels beneath our skin.
However, vitamin E is highly susceptible to UV damage and depletes rapidly after UV exposure.
Vitamin C and its derivatives, such as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, help replenish our depleted vitamin E levels in our skin. Vitamin C reduces vitamin E radicals enhancing vitamin E regeneration within the membranes.
Improves Inflammatory Skin Conditions
Clinical studies have shown that vitamin C and its derivatives such as THD used in tandem with other clinical substances reduce several inflammation-based skin conditions.
THD’s high antioxidant action reduces the inflammation associated with various skin conditions.
Vitamin C and its derivatives, such as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, inhibit NFkB, an enzyme responsible for activating several inflammatory-inducing cytokines.
THD makes use of this inhibitory action effectively in treating skin conditions.
These conditions include:
- Allergic contact dermatitis
A 12-week clinical trial tested 44 female subjects treated with 30% vitamin C in the form of THD. They showed a significant decrease in signs of hyperpigmentation and photo-damaged skin.
This success is, as previously mentioned, due to vitamin C’s ability to inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme that converts tyrosine into melanin (pigment), the culprit behind hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
More Skin Friendly Than L-Ascorbic Acid
Products containing ascorbic acid have a lower pH of under 3.5 to ensure that the charged molecules of ascorbic acid penetrate the skin and remain stable.
Unfortunately, lowering the pH increases the chance that the product may irritate sensitive skin.
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is effective and stable at a neutral pH of 7, lessening the chance of reacting with sensitive skin types.
This fact makes the THD a more skin-friendly option for those seeking the benefits of L-ascorbic acid.
Can I Take Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate Orally?
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is a topical vitamin C derivative that should be applied directly to the skin and not taken orally.
Vitamin C and its derivatives are not effective at increasing skin vitamin C concentrations orally as there are transport mechanisms in the human gut that limit its active transport.
While taking an oral form of L-ascorbic (vitamin C) is beneficial to your overall health, not much of its concentration reaches the epidermal layer when orally ingested.
THD is an effective ingredient in topical skin care products and sunscreens, as well as anti-aging serums.
What is the Most Effective Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate Percentage to Use?
The most effective concentrations of tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate are between 8-20%.
Although vitamin C serums and creams have higher concentrations of L-ascorbic and its derivatives, such as THD, clinical studies have shown that the effect only increases with concentration up to 20%.
Clinical studies suggest that concentrations above 20% no longer exhibit proportional efficacy with concentration levels.
Users with sensitive skin should be aware that higher concentrations of Vitamin C in serums may have a drying or irritating effect on the skin.
Is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate Vegan?
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is a vegan ingredient and does not contain any animal products.
Since tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is combined with other ingredients in skincare products, be sure to check the ingredient label of your product to ensure other ingredients are vegan.
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate Products To Try
The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F
The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F contains a high 20% concentration of tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (another name for ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate) in an antioxidant-rich formula that provides hydration thanks to vitamin F (essential fatty acids), making it a great choice for dry skin types.
It has skin-brightening benefits for a more luminous, youthful-looking complexion.
Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Serum
Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Serum is a plant and vitamin-derived antioxidant serum that uses stabilized Vitamin C (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) and moisturizing Ceramide NP, vitamin E, ferulic acid, coenzyme q10, plus several other antioxidants to deliver even-toned, radiant, and hydrated skin.
Peter Thomas Roth Potent C Power Serum
Peter Thomas Roth Potent C Power Serum contains 20% THD Ascorbate (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate), 3% vitamin E and 2% ferulic acid.
The serum also contains plant extracts like ginger, turmeric, and ginseng to improve the look of wrinkles, fine lines, skin firmness, uneven skin tone, texture, and brightness while boosting hydration.
Final Thoughts on the Skin Benefits of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate offers terrific skin benefits and is a powerful tool in your anti-aging skincare routine.
The deep penetration into your dermal layers ensures that you have protection from within your skin to rejuvenate and repair skin damage.
It provides the three main benefits of vitamin C: antioxidant protection, brightening, and the stimulation of collagen production, all without the irritation that can come along with stronger concentrations of pure vitamin C or other anti-aging actives like retinol or glycolic acid.
Next time you are shopping for a vitamin C serum or cream, be sure to look out for this ingredient, as it is a stable and skin-friendly vitamin C derivative that effectively treats a number of skin-related conditions.
Read Next: Can You Use Niacinamide with Vitamin C?