This highly concentrated network complex combines a 30% concentration of highly-stable Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) in an "antioxidant network" of 10% Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Selenium and Zinc to support a strong fight against oxidation while enhancing barrier function, balancing visible discolouration, reviving skin tone, and supporting collagen production and repair mechanisms. While the initial tone-enhancing benefits of ELAN will be noticeable from the third day of once-daily use, benefits at-large are continuing and cumulative.
Vitamin C has been the celebrity ingredient in functional skincare for over a decade and with good reason: it's a powerful production trigger of multiple types of collagen, it support skin repair and immunity and it's an extraordinary fighter of oxidative radicals with water affinity (generally classified in marketing as an "antioxidant" but excludes lipid oxidation).
The best property of any powerful antioxidant is also its worst property—it oxidizes. Basically, antioxidants bind to free "radicals" of oxygen so that your cell don't. The problem is that they may bind to oxygen in the bottle before you even buy any product claiming to contain antioxidants. And since Vitamin C has a very strong ability to bind to free radicals of oxygen, as soon as it's dissolved in water, it starts to oxidize and change the colour of the solution (from clear to slight orange and later to dark orange). When this change happens, two things occur: 1) the collagen-boosting and repair affinity of Vitamin C becomes disabled and 2) far worse, the "antioxidant" formulation actually turns into a "pro-oxidant" formulation (NIOD refers to this phenomenon as "you pay to age faster").
Many clinical skincare brands have filed patents that claims to stabilize Vitamin C in water and many have fought amongst themselves on whether or not they have breached each other's patents. These patents and fights are simply meaningless because these respective formulations continue to show oxidation and change colour, while consumers believe that since there is a patent, this colour change might be OK. A patent grant does not verify that the function described actually works—a patent is not a validation of a discovery; it is simply an exclusivity to a position claim.
Very simply, if a Vitamin C formula turns colour, the Vitamin C is oxidized and the formula becomes potentially damaging to the skin. Very interestingly, despite the very fact that Vitamin C in pure form is very inexpensive and can be acquired for US$3 per kilogram, somehow these formulations of 5 to 20% unstable Vitamin C are sold at an average price exceeding US$100.
Other brands have gotten "around" the stability issue of Vitamin C by using "stabilized forms" of the substance. These forms take on names such as Ascorbyl Glucoside (usually used at 2%), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP, usually used between 1%-15%), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (similar to MAP) and Ascorbyl Palmitate (usually used at less than 0.2%). There are two problems with this approach: 1) These forms still need to be converted to L-Ascorbic Acid—the pure form of Vitamin C useful to the skin—and this conversion, if it it happens perfectly, represents as little as 2% of the actual material used—and 2) the maximum amounts of these materials that can be solubilized in a formula is between 0.5% and 15% depending on the material. These compounding problems suggest that a maximum of 0.3% of actual L-Ascorbic Acid would be available for use by the skin in a perfect formulation using these materials.
A few other brands have taken a different approach: they have suspended very fine particles of L-Ascrobic Acid in silicone bases that contain no water. As there is no water, these formulations are actually very stable and are far more creative than the other approaches above. However, one major problem remains: the L-Ascrobic Acid is still in powder form and must be separated from the thick silicone after application on the skin and then dissolved in the moisture of the skin to be used. Firstly, in perfect conditions, a maximum of about 33% of Vitamin C can actually be solubilized by weight in water. So assuming the skin is very well hydrated and assuming all of the Vitamin C actually separates from the silicone, then only 33% of a formula containing 20% (very high) Vitamin C would actually be useful to the skin: that is only about 6% usable Vitamin C—under perfect conditions.
NIOD's ELAN wins against all of the above battles. It uses a pure form of L-Ascorbic Acid in ethylated form—which costs nearly 100 times more than pure Vitamin C—that is extremely stable in all conditions including in presence of water—but NIOD doesn't simply rely on the stability achieved by mere ethylation: 1) ELAN has solubilized this compound in a specialized water-free ether through DECIEM's (the umbrella brand) own pending patent so that all of the Vitamin C can be utilized; 2) This novel solubilization avoids the use of any water which, regardless of the ethylation, prevents any oxidation of Vitamin C in the formula; and 3) The Vitamin C is supported by the addition of 10%+ of Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Selenium and Zinc, to form the novel concept of an antioxidant network (referred to as "Network Antioxidants" in studies) which allows for renewal and reuse of antioxidants in a cyclic life to allow them to remain active through multiple stages of binding to free molecules of oxygen. While these networked antioxidants are provided to achieve sustained activity of Vitamin C, their additional own benefits extend beyond this sustainment as each provides known improvements to skin function.
In addition to the benefits of Vitamin C at the extraordinary concentration of 30% in ELAN, it's important to note these specific benefits of the added support system:
Studies have shown that 2% concentrations of Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) enhance skin barrier function, elasticity, skin tone and pigment balancing functions. ELAN contains a truly maximum solubilized concentration of Vitamin B3 at 10%.
Selenium has been shown to increase skin elasticity, perceived quality and immunity. Multiple university-funded studies are examining the effects of selenium on preventing skin-related diseases. ELAN uses a fermentation-derived Selenium for immediate bioavailability.
Zinc—which is found in every single human cell—has been shown to increase visible skin healing, control visible inflammation and help boost skin immune function. ELAN uses a fermentation-derived Zinc for immediate bioavailability.
Apply ELAN to face at nighttime only, avoiding contact with eyes. If used as part of a NIOD regimen, apply after CAIS and MMHC but before Hydration Vaccine (HV). If used with other skincare, apply after serums but before heavier formulations. ELAN contains a novel pull-push ether for optimal penetration and, while it's oil-free, may feel slightly oily for about 1 minute after application. This feeling will disappear quickly as there is no oil in the formulation.
Note: If used with CAIS, please wait at least 20 seconds after application of CAIS before applying this serum as the acidic nature of ELAN will harm the CAIS peptides. Do not mix CAIS and ELAN directly. They must be applied separately within 20 seconds of application of CAIS.