What does vitamin C do in skin care?
Water-soluble vitamin that is considered a potent antioxidant for skin. It has been shown to increase collagen production (including dermal collagen, which is significant for wrinkle reduction), reduce the appearance of skin discolorations, strengthen skin’s barrier response, enhance skin’s repair process, reduce inflammation, and help skin better withstand exposure to sunlight, whether protected by sunscreen or not.
Vitamin C is an excellent ingredient to include in your skin-care routine, particularly if signs of aging are a concern. Just keep in mind that no single ingredient is the be all, end all for skin care. Just like your body needs a healthy, balanced diet to function optimally, your skin needs a broad range of ingredients to help it look its best. Vitamin C comes in many forms, with ascorbic acid being the most common.
Important facts about vitamin C products:
- The forms of vitamin C that are proven most stable and effective are: ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.
- Regardless of marketing hype – there is no one "best" form of topically-applied vitamin C.
- A proven range for vitamin C effectiveness is generally between 0.3% and 10%.
Stable packaging for vitamin C
Note that vitamin C in any anti-aging product must be packaged to protect it from excess light and air exposure. Although ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid are the trickiest to keep stable, even stabilized forms of vitamin C won't remain as potent if they are not packaged to minimize excessive light and air exposure. That means avoid any vitamin C product packaged in a jar, unless what's inside the jar are individually-sealed, single-use capsules.
Sources for the information above: International Journal of Toxicology, volume 24, supplement 2, 2005, pages 51-111; Experimental Dermatology, September 2005, pages 684-691, and June 2003, pages 237-244; Dermatologic Surgery, July 2005, pages 814-817; Nutrition Reviews, March 2005, pages 81-90; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, November-December 2004, pages 298-303; BMC Dermatology, September 2004, page 13; International Journal of Dermatology, August 2004, pages 604-607; and Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, volume 5, issue 2m, March-April 2003, pages m145-m149.