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Vitamin C is one of the most well-researched and beneficial vitamins you can apply topically. Ongoing use has been shown to improve the look of multiple signs of aging, brighten an uneven skin tone, as well as provide skin-restoring and soothing benefits.
Vitamin C comes in many forms, with ascorbic acid being the most well-researched for its efficacy.
Other forms of vitamin C you will see included in skincare products include magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, L-ascorbic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate, ascorbyl glucosamine, and ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate. In any form, vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection, shielding skin from damaging environmental stressors.
Note: All antioxidants, including vitamin C, are vulnerable to destabilizing when exposed to air and light. That means if you want to reap the reward of your antioxidant-enriched treatments, only choose those that are packaged in opaque tubes, air-restrictive bottles, or pumps that help keep their ingredients stable.
References for this information:
Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, September 2015, pages 463-470
Journal of the America Academy of Dermatology, November 2012, pages 1,103-1,024
Skin Research and Technology, August 2008, pages 376-380
Dermatologic Surgery, July 2005, pages 814-817
See ascorbic acid
About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!