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Benefits of Vitamin C for the skin

What does Vitamin C do for the skin and is Vitamin C an effective skincare ingredient?

Is the same Vitamin C used in every skincare products and can we even use Vitamin C on the face?

Surprisingly, there’s a good reason why Vitamin C is such a popular skincare ingredient used in many skincare products so let’s take a closer look to see what benefits Vitamin C has for the skin!

Four lemons diagonally lined up

What does Vitamin C actually do for the skin?

The benefits of Vitamin C for the skin have been carefully studied by scientists and the results show surprising connections between Vitamin C and the skin.

Scientific researcher found that:

Normal skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C.

Pullar, Carr & Vissers, 2017

Although Vitamin C has a crucial role in how our entire body functions, this vitamin is especially important for maintaining skin health.

Let’s take a look at some of the major functions that Vitamin C has a role in!


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Does Vitamin C help reduce wrinkles and fine lines?

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Vitamin C helps protect the skin against UV light.

According to their research, “Vitamin C limits the damage induced by UV exposure.”[2]

UV rays form highly reactive compounds known as free radicals, which reacts with cells and as a result, forms more free radicals.

This free radical forming chain continues until the free radical has been neutralized![3]

Vitamin C protects against UV damage by neutralizing free radicals, therefore stopping the chain reaction from continuing.

Simply put, Vitamin C reacts with free radicals to stop the chain reaction and prevent cells from being damaged.


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Vitamin C is a key ingredient in Collagen formation

It seems you can’t say collagen without mentioning wrinkles.

This is because collagen is what gives skin that elasticity and tightness.

As we age, our body produces less collagen, resulting in wrinkles and loose skin.

So, how is Vitamin C relevant?

Clinical studies have shown that the topical use of Vit. C increases collagen production in young as well as aged human skin.

Telang, 2013

More specifically, Vitamin C stimulates cells to start producing more collagen.[2]

Hand laying out slices of citrus fruit on marble table

Skin brightening effects of Vitamin C

You may have noticed that brightening creams commonly use Vitamin C as their active brightening agent.

This isn’t a marketing gimmick!

Vitamin C has been shown to “interrupt the key steps of melanogenesis.”[1]

In other words, Vitamin C helps blocks the formation of melanin, which is the dark pigments that forms in the skin due to UV light exposure!


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Benefits of applying Vitamin C to skin

Clearly, there are some real benefits of applying Vitamin C.

However, there’s a few things to keep in mind to get the most out of Vitamin C skincare products.

More Vitamin C is better right?

With all these benefits that Vitamin C has for the skin, choosing a skincare product seems easy.

Just find the product offering the highest percentage of Vitamin C.

Well, almost.

From a clinical point of view, it is important to note that the efficacy of the Vit. C serum is proportional to the concentration, but only up to 20%.

Telang, 2013

Keep this number in mind when selecting your next skincare product containing Vitamin C.

It just might help you keep the cost down!


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Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum blends several effective skincare ingredients that helps deep wrinkles.

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Vitamin C is sensitive.

Topical Vitamin C is a relatively unstable chemical compound and is very sensitive to water, air and light!

It is unstable and, on exposure to light, gets oxidized to Dehydro Ascorbic Acid (DHAA), which imparts a yellow color. The stability of Vit. C is controlled by maintaining a pH of less than 3.5. 

Telang, 2013

This scientific finding is useful for 2 reasons:

  1. You can use the color test to see if a skincare product containing Vitamin C is still good to use. If it was once white or clear and now it’s dark yellow, it might be time to toss that product.
  2. If you are creating a skincare routine that avoids acidic conditions, you might want to avoid products containing certain Vitamin C. (see next section)
The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% Serum UV Protective Packaging

This is the reason why most skincare products containing Vitamin C is packaged in dark colored bottles, like Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate!

Keep your product away from direct sunlight and the heat, as this will oxidize and spoil your product much faster.


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Different types of Vitamin C exists

Although skincare products might have VITAMIN C printed on the label, not all are quite the same!

In fact, there’s multiple forms of Vitamin C, with the most common being:

  • L-Ascorbic Acid (LAA)
  • Ascorbyl Glucoside
  • Magnesium Ascorbic Phosphate (MAP)
  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP)

When comparing the two most commonly used forms of Vitamin C in skincare products, we can see the following differences:

L-Ascorbic Acid

  • “Hydrophilic and unstable”[4]
  • Stabilized by keeping in an acidic (~pH 3.5) and water free environment[1][4]

Magnesium Ascorbic Phosphate

  • More stable than LAA[4]
  • Stable at neutral pH 6[4]

Benefits of Vitamin C for the skin final verdict?

In conclusion, Vitamin C has been shown to be a key ingredient in affecting the skin.

Until studies show otherwise, Vitamin C looks like it has a place in skincare.

Remember, keep your Skincare products containing Vitamin C away from heat & direct light to help the Vitamin C stay stable longer!


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  1. Telang, P. (2013). Vitamin C in dermatology.
  2. Pullar, J., Carr, A., Vissers, M. (2017). The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.
  3. D’Orazio, J., Jarrett, S., Amaro-Ortiz, A., Scott, T. (2013). UV Radiation and the Skin.
  4. Al-Niaimi, F., Chiang, N. (2017). Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications.