I had said that I will try to go to a no-buy period concerning skincare products as my cupboards overflow of brand new unopened skincare stuff for me to try and use and I try to make a schedule but as a genuine skincare junkie it is impossible to stay awake from super cool launches. It was inevitable therefore, to run and search the new Fresh pressed system by Clinique as soon as it hit the Swiss stores.
I saw this new 7-day system from Caroline Hirons (who else?) and I thought that my week long trip to Paris in late March was the perfect opportunity to give it a go since is also in a perfect size to carry with me. The system contains vitamin C and combines a cleanser with a vitamin C booster to promise brighter, smoother, glowy skin from the first use already!
Vitamin C is one of the most important active ingredients in skincare. It is known for its anti-oxidant thus anti-aging properties. Vitamin C protects your body cells and promotes collagen synthesis. Oh yes collagen, a keyword for plumper, youthful skin! Vitamin C is also associated with brighter skin as it helps reducing hyperpigmentation. Lat but not least it is supposed to improve your skin's protection from UV exposure when used together with sunscreen. Sounds magical right? And it is recommended to start using it as early as possible, as soon as you start using any skincare, because who doesn't want, bright, youthful, even skin and protection from free radicals. But there is a catch...
So why don't all companies fill the market with products containing this amazing ingredient? Well the main reason is that active vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is very difficult to remain stable. It oxidizes as soon as it comes into contact with air and/or light and it becomes inactive or sometimes even irritating for your skin. In addition, a product needs to have a high concentration (at least 10%) of ascorbic acid in order to offer its beneficial effects to our skins. But be careful, a too high % of active vitamin C might also result to irritations especially in case of dry skin or sensitive skin. Last but not least it is important to pay attention to the pH level of the product as it influences the stability of vitamin C and its ability to penetrate the skin. Of course a low pH can also increase the chances for skin irritation if your skin is too sensitive.
So most products containing vitamin C in the market have been proved to be quite ineffective. They might have a too low concentration of active vitamin C or a too high pH. Most often they come in completely inappropriate packaging (transparent bottles, exposing the vitamin C to light) and even if they start as active they end up useless after few uses. For all these reasons, many brands try to find ways to stabilize ascorbic acid and delay its oxidazation or they use derivatives of vitamin C which are supposed to be more stable. So let's see how the new Fresh pressed system from Clinique deals with this issue.
The Fresh pressed system consists of 2 steps. Step 1 is a powder cleanser with ascorbic acid which comes in daily-dose sachets and it gets activated with water. This way Vitamin C is kept super fresh as you use it immediately after its activation. You pour the powder in your wet palms and lather it washing your face for about a minute. The 7 day kit comes with 7 sachets and it can be used daily and I have to admit the results are obvious since the first use. You can immediately see your skin looking brighter and smoother. I was extremely impressed. Are the results long-term? I would not believe that. Since it is a cleanser and you wash it away I think that you would need to keep using the product to keep this result. I love it. I think I will be getting this again at some point either as part of the set (35CHF) or you can also buy the cleanser separately with about a months supply (28 sachets) for 37CHF.
Step 2 of the system is a booster which contains 10% ascorbic acid. So vitamin C comes again in a powder form at the top, kept fresh and stable and as soon as you decide you want to use it you remove the protective foil, push the button on the top and release the powder into a soothing emulsion (bottom). Just shake it to mix it and activate it. You are not supposed to use this as a serum on its own but you mix a couple of drops with your moisturizer. It contains 8.5ml of product that would last you for about a week and they advise you to only keep it for a week and then throw it away, as it retains its full "power" for 7 days. Besides the kit you can also get the 4 vials of the booster for 99CHF to last you again for a month. Like this you have your vitamin C in a stable form until you are ready to use it. I find the idea great and innovative, you can see a result quickly already from week 1 and I think the kit is perfect for travelling. I am not sure if I will get the booster to use long term as I am currently using Drunk Elephant's C-firma day serum and I am in looooove but I think it is a great vitamin C product easy to find in all countries. But I think I will be getting the cleanser or the kit and have it on hand for fitting occasions e.g. when I want a super bright complexion.
I really hope you find this post helpful concerning your questions on vitamin C and products which contain it. I think Clinique's Fresh Pressed system is a great option to consider if you want to add vitamin C in your routine. And there is no reason to not want to add it in your routine, believe. Let me know if you have already been using any Vitamin C product and if you find the new innovation from Clinique interesting.