If you’re a fan of our AnnieMak Clean Skincare Restore Vitamin C Serum, you might have noticed that one of the ingredients is something called Skin Tightener ST2™. But what exactly is Skin Tightener ST2 and why has it earned a place in what we believe is the best natural vitamin C serum on the market? Read on to find out. 

Skin Tightener ST2: A Natural Wonder From the Sea 

When it comes to how your skin looks, there are certain substances that can work together synergistically to increase collagen production naturally – with no undesirable side effects. Two such substances are sea kelp and vitamin C

Skin Tightener ST2 is a kelp-based product made by European-based Croda Corp and is designed to boost collagen fast and effectively to contribute to vibrant, younger-looking skin.

Collagen: The Protein Behind Smooth, Youthful Skin

Before we “dive in” to the wonders of kelp and marine products in general for helping to naturally boost collagen production, let’s do a quick review of why collagen is so important for skin in the first place.  

Collagen is one of the most abundant protein substances in the body. It’s what makes up your bones, the structure of all of your internal organs, your muscles, and the cartilage in your joints. It’s also the primary component of skin, which is the most important detoxification organ besides the liver [1].  

In a nutshell, your skin is what keeps your physical body intact. Likewise, collagen is the literal “glue” that holds your skin together!  

But here’s the sad part that we likely all wish we could get around… 

Research has confirmed that collagen production decreases significantly as we age. In fact, it starts slowing down in our 20s! Individuals eating the standard American diet and living a normal modern lifestyle can expect their collagen levels to reduce by two percent every year after age 30, according to a 2006 study at the University of Michigan [2].  

This lack of collagen is the main reason why skin sags and wrinkles become more pronounced as we age. This is also why most studies rely on the analysis of collagen production to understand the aging process [3].  

Although we can’t do anything about the aging process as a whole, we can take steps to slow it down. One way is to use key substances that can up your collagen levels and help your skin look amazing no matter what your age. As mentioned above, one of these substances is kelp.

Skin Tightener ST2 is a Proven Collagen Booster 

Many experts agree that Skin Tightener ST2 works fast to build collagen stores in the skin and to improve signs of aging such as bags under the eyes and wrinkles. The basis for its success lies in the way it utilizes kelp in a unique and very effective way [4].  

Skin Tightener ST2 is specifically designed to rapidly tighten sagging skin using the power of marine substances. According to the manufacturer Croda Corp, Skin Tightener ST2™ is a: 

“(c)ombination of marine and botanical polymers” as well as “vegetable protein hydrolysate with polymannuronate from Giant Kelp [5].”  

These are likely some unfamiliar terms, so let’s break it down a little.  

  • Polymers are substances that have large molecular structures which are bonded together in a pattern.  
  • Protein hydrolysate refers to hydrolysis, or protein absorption in the body. Protein hydrolysates are often consumed by athletes, for example, to help with nutrient and amino acid absorption and to help increase muscle mass.  
  • Finally, a polymannuronate is a type of protein hydrolysate that comes with many health benefits. For example, a 2015 Chinese animal study discovered that consumption of polymannuronates may have “the potential to improve…immune status, antioxidant capacity, and performance [6].” 

How Does Kelp Help?

Photo showing what kelp looks like in the ocean

All of these benefits and more come as part of the unique way that Skin Tightener ST2 utilizes the properties of kelp. Dozens of studies have already demonstrated the vast benefits of kelp for many mechanisms in the body, including increasing collagen stores on all levels.  

Kelp is part of the brown algae family. It’s a very common type of seaweed that has been around for millions of years. You may have seen sea kelp growing in underwater ocean “forests” or have found it in the grocery aisle as an edible food or supplement.  

What you might not know is the amazing effect sea kelp can have on collagen production and on the skin in particular. Science has confirmed this link in recent years. 

A 2018 French study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that an unlabeled mostly kelp-based skin gel applied to human skin explants (removed skin tissue) helped to regulate dozens of proteins involved in cellular health, inflammatory mechanisms, gene expression, and the initial production of keratin in skin.  

Based on these positive results, the researchers determined that kelp may help to “prevent visible signs of aging [7].”  

Kelp has also been shown to help with dry skin and calm acne as well as skin rash breakouts. Because of its high iodine content, kelp contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties while at the same time being able to “lock in” moisture and increase hydration. 

Kelp and the Power of Vitamin C for Skin 

Vitamin C is an amazing substance for skin health in its own right because collagen needs vitamin C as a catalyzer for its production in the dermis layer [8].  

In fact, part of the reason kelp is such a boon for collagen production is because it contains high amounts of vitamin C. Other healing vitamins and minerals that are typically found in kelp include: 

  • vitamin A 
  • vitamin K 
  • vitamin E 
  • choline 
  • niacin
  • magnesium
  • selenium
  • potassium
  • zinc
  • manganese [9]

Kelp is also a significant source of iodine, containing 500 to 8,000 mcg typically per tablespoon [10].  

Research has proven that using a topical vitamin C face serum can not only help diminish wrinkles but can also provide you with extra protection from oxidative stress. The objective of a 2002 study sponsored by the Dermatology Associates of San Diego County was to find out if topically applied vitamin C could repair photodamaged skin.  

The researchers discovered that application resulted in “clinically visible and statistically significant improvement in wrinkling when used topically for 12 weeks” and deduced that the improvements were directly related to “new collagen formation [11].”

Kelp’s Antioxidants Also Protect You From Harmful UV Rays & Pollution

Aging skin happens in large part in response to outside stressors. Kelp is rich in antioxidants, so it can help protect the skin from harmful UV rays and air pollution.  

A 2017 study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that brown seaweed species are a considerable source of compounds that can protect against oxidative stress [12]. Other studies have indicated that kelp can be beneficial for: 

  • balancing gut flora 
  • brain health 
  • balancing hormones

All of these internal effects can also have indirect benefits for skin health. 

AnnieMak’s Quest for the Best Natural Vitamin C Serum

As you can see, there is a lot more to selecting a quality vitamin C serum than just buying any old vitamin C. Choosing a product that contains additional high-quality ingredients that are able to work together synergistically is absolutely essential.  

AnnieMak Clean Skincare Restore Vitamin C Serum not only contains organic vitamin C (in the form of super-absorbable ascorbyl phosphate) and Skin Tightener ST2, it also benefits from:

The combination of these super-powerful, naturally based substances makes AnnieMak Clean Skincare Restore Vitamin C Serum a product like no other for achieving amazingly vibrant, younger-looking skin!