When I got my hands on Peach & Lily‘s latest skin-care secret, a powerful spot treatment, I wasn’t expecting the formula to be oil-based. I’ve had my fair share of slapping on pimple patches and dotting my face with brightly colored pastes right before bed, so I wasn’t prepared for a transparent formula (this is key, as you’ll soon find out) that sinks into my skin without a trace — besides a subtle glow in the areas it’s applied to.
I was lucky enough to be the first person to try Peach & Lily’s Transparen-C Pro Spot Treatment, which has been over three years in the making. If you’ve read any Allure skin-care product roundup, chances are you’ve probably come across a vitamin C mention. We are adamant admirers of the powerful, versatile ingredient that triggers the production of collagen and elastin, fights against environmental aggressors like UV exposure, and — perhaps, most evidently — inhibits melanin production to prevent hyperpigmentation from forming. “[Vitamin C] is a superior brightening agent that works to fade brown spots without altering normal skin pigmentation,” New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Howard Sobel previously told Allure.
But once you start getting into the nitty-gritty of vitamin C, things can get confusing, fast. The name, Transparen-C, is a nod to Peach & Lily’s mission of educating its community about the “why” factor behind the brand’s product development. Yoon tells Allure that it took the team years of research and testing — around 57 different formulas — to land on ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate.
For the uninitiated, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate is an oil-soluble form of vitamin C that is “more stable than traditional ascorbic acid in cosmetic formulations,” Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai in New York City, explains. Its chemical structure consists of four legs (hence the “tetra” in its name), which is why it doesn’t easily oxidize or change colors, according to cosmetic chemist Ginger King.
While the final product is intentionally packaged in an opaque, peachy bottle, Yoon says that the formula didn’t even oxidize in a clear bottle left by a window for an entire year. And in comparison to tetrahexyldexcyl ascorbate (THD ascorbate for short), “a close cousin” in the vitamin C family, Zeichner and King both agree that ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate penetrates faster and more deeply into the skin.