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Keys to Unlocking the Benefits of Vitamin C

By: Lawrence Samuels, MD
Posted: November 29, 2012, from the December 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
unlocking the benefits of vitamin C in skin care

page 4 of 5

Naturally protective

The body protects itself naturally from reactive oxygen species by using antioxidants to neutralize them before they cause damage to the skin cells and their components. L-ascorbic acid is one of the most abundant antioxidants in the skin. Once in the skin, studies show L-ascorbic acid stimulates collagen synthesis, provides sun protection and protects the skin by reducing free radicals that otherwise would destroy skin cells and their components.

Researchers have concluded that oral administration of L-ascorbic acid cannot generate adequate tissue levels in the epidermis for these antioxidant effects. However, to prevent photodamage to collagen and elastin and to stimulate collagen synthesis, L-ascorbic acid must penetrate the epidermis.

With regular use of an appropriate vitamin C product, you and your clients can expect to see a decrease in skin discoloration, an improved skin tone, and a decrease in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, along with help in preventing their formation.


  1. RE Fitzpatrick, Double-Blind, Half-Face Study Comparing Topical Vitamin C and Vehicle for Rejuvenation of Photodamage,American Society for Dermatologic Surgery 28 231–236 (March 2002)
  2. DA Guzman-Sanchez, et al., Topical Uses of Vitamin C, Skin and Aging 53–58 (March 2006)
  3. ZD Draelos, Vitamins and Healthy Skin, Cosmetic Dermatology, 22 8 400–403 (August 2009)
  4. J Keri, et al, What You Should Know About the Chemistry of Vitamin C, Skin and Aging, 79–80 (May 1999)
  5. NV Perricone, Topical Vitamin C Ester (Ascorbyl Palmitate), J Geriatric Dermatology 5 4 162–170 (May/June 1997)
  6. SR Pinnell, Topical L-Ascorbic Acid: Pecutaneous Absorption Studies, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery 21 137–142 (Feb 2001)

The Skin Care Ingredient Handbook is so much more than an ingredient dictionary. You will learn about cellular functions and skin aging; skin care trends for ethnic skin, scalp and hair products, BB creams, suncreens; active versus functional ingredients, natural, organic, and synthetic ingredients; OTC drugs; INCI names, antioxidants and DNA and how to read labels. Did we mention the newest ingredients are listed?

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