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Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

Also-called-like-this: Form of Vitamin C, THDA
What-it-does: antioxidant, skin brightening


Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a stable, oil-soluble form of skincare big shot Vitamin C. If you do not know, why Vitamin C is such a big deal in skincare, click here and read all about it. We are massive vitamin C fans and have written about it in excruciating detail.

So now, you know that Vitamin C is great and all, but it's really unstable and gives cosmetics companies many headaches. To solve this problem they came up with vitamin C derivatives, and one of them is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (let's call it THDA in short).

It's a really promising candidate (see below), but while reading all the goodness about it in a minute, do not forget that derivatives not only have to be absorbed into the skin but also have to be converted to pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid or AA) and the efficacy of the conversion is often unknown. In addition, vitamin C's three magic properties (antioxidant, collagen booster, skin brightener) are all properly proven in-vivo (on real people), but for the derivatives, it's mostly in-vitro studies or in the case of THDA, it's in-vitro and done by an ingredient supplier.

With this context in mind let's see what THDA might be able to do. First, it is stable (if pH < 5), easy to formulate, and a joy to work with for a cosmetic chemist.

Second, because it's oil-soluble, its skin penetration abilities seem to be great. So great in fact, that it surpasses the penetration of pure vitamin C threefold at the same concentration and it penetrates successfully into the deeper layers of the skin (that is usually important to do some anti-aging work). There is also in-vitro data showing that it converts to AA in the skin. 

Third, THDA seems to have all three magic abilities of pure vitamin C: it gives antioxidant protection from both UVB and UVA rays, it increases collagen synthesis (even more than AA) and it has a skin brightening effect by reducing melanogenesis by more than 80% in human melanoma cell cultures.

So this all sounds really great, but these are only in-vitro results at this point. We could find Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate mentioned only in one published in-vivo study that examined the anti-aging properties of a silicone formula containing 10% AA and 7% THDA. The authors theorized that the 10% AA is released slowly from the silicon delivery system and probably stays in the upper layer of the skin to give antioxidant benefits, while THDA penetrates more rapidly and deeply and gives some wrinkle-reducing benefits. The study was a small (10 patients), double-blind experiment, and the formula did show some measurable anti-aging results. However, it is hard to know how much pure vitamin C or THDA can be thanked.

Bottom line: a really promising, but not well-proven vitamin C derivative that can be worth a try especially if you like experimenting (but if you like the tried and true, pure vitamin C will be your best bet).

Show me some proof

  • Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Volume 11 (4) – Dec 1, 2012, Stability, transdermal penetration, and cutaneous effects of ascorbic acid and its derivatives
  • Dermatologic Surgery, Mar 1, 2002, Double‐Blind, Half‐Face Study Comparing Topical Vitamin C and Vehicle for Rejuvenation of Photodamage
  • Barnet Products Corp, Stable forms of Vitamin C, Technical Bulletin, 2001

Products with a known amount of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

Other products with Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

Dr Dermacare Be Vibrant - 25% Vitamin C & Kakadu Plum Fount Society Brightening Vitamin C Oil Glytone Age-Defying Vitamin C + E Serum Htderm Intensive Depigmentation Cream Lovinah Red-C Ampoule Mineral botanica Bada$$ Babe Sugar Lip Serum Naturallogic Resilien-C Antioxidant Booster Payot Complexo De Vitamina C Pelle Naturale Protect Antioxident Vitamin C Lip Balm Somme Institute Boost Warming Mask Truth Treatment Systems Regenerating 5% Retinol Gel Truth Treatment Systems Resurfacing 1% Retinol Light Truth treatments Regenerating 5% Retinol Gel Truth treatments Transdermal C Balm Truth treatments Transdermal C Serum little baby Topping Balm Plus Add Actives C20 Tetraforce Activator Alkira Brightening Facial Oil (Vitamin C + Facial Oil) Artistry Anti-Spot Amplifier Aspect Pigment Punch BIOSSANCE Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil Bamford Vitamin C Serum Be Minimalist Rosehip Oil + VC-IP 3% BeautyAct 20% Vita-C Brightening Serum BeautyRX Triple Vitamin C Serum Bio Beauty Lab Potent C. Power Serum Bloomeffects Royal Tulip Vitamin C Facial Oil Calli Essentials Oil-Free + Vitamin C Repair Serum ClarityRX C-results Vitamin C Serum Color Up Defy C+ Serum Covey Next Up Vitamin C Serum DR. LEWINN'S Reversaderm Cellular Regeneration Cream Dear Lucy Marine Antioxidant Serum Derma et al Advanced Hyperpigmentation Treatment Dermaquest Advanced C Infusion Serum Dermexcel Collagen Serum Dr. Brandt C Scription™ Vitamin C Brightening Serum Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Vitamin C Lactic Firm & Bright Eye Treatment DrGL Cleanser Lightening Epionce Melanolyte Tx Essano Advanced Brightening Vitamin C Essano Advanced Brightening Vitamin C Concentrated Serum FYI A.c.e Serum Garden of Wisdom C-Deep Vitamin C Serum Herbivore Nova Herbivore Super Nova 5% Vitamin C + Caffeine Brightening Eye Cream Hidraderm ciclos Serum Vitamina C Hidraderm Ciclos Hollywood By Dr. Rey Anti-Aging Facial Creme INSTYTUTUM Anti-Wrinkle Brightening C-Erum Image MD Clinical Skincare Restoring Power-C Serum