May 3, 2021

Importance of Vitamin C in Skin Care Products

Why Vitamin C Is the Most Studied Ingredient in Skincare

In skin, Vitamin C is the most common antioxidant. However, humans do not have the enzyme required to product Vitamin C, which is why it is a Vitamin that must be obtained from external sources.

The biologic effects are carried out by L ascorbic acid (active form of Vitamin C). Vitamin C is the most studied ingredient in skincare, 2nd to only retinoids.  Studies have shown that it helps in the prevention of photodamage from UVA & UVB radiation. It also serves as a co-factor for enzymes in collagen production, thus aiding in overall stimulation of collagen production.

Finally, Vitamin C is a great lightening ingredient, it blocks tyrosinase which is a key enzyme in melanin production.

The Challenges of Manufacturing L Ascorbic Acid

Since Vitamin C is highly unstable, it easily oxidizes in light, heat, pH change or by the presence of other ions. This instability has led to various Vitamin C derivatives that have proven to be more stable while having higher retention levels of efficacy. Still, formulation has continued to be a challenge.

The Vitamin C Derivatives


  • L-ascorbic acid (pH: 3.5 or lower): Active form of Vitamin C and the most studied form of Vitamin C.
  • Sodium & Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (pH:7): Studies on its efficacy have been mixed. A few studies demonstrate issues with percutaneous absorption while other studies have shown benefits. Since these are charged molecules, formulation at neutral pH to help with skin penetration is the key.
  • Ascorbyl Glucoside (AA-2G) (pH: 6.4): AA-2G is only 50% as potent, when compared to AA as an antioxidant. However, it has comparable collagen stimulating and tyrosinase inhibiting properties.
  • 3-0-ethyl Ascorbic Acid (30AA) (pH: 5.46): Mostly used in Asian skincare for brightening products. Like AA-2G it is less effective when compared to AA. It is a promising antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibitor, however studies are limited on its impact on neocollagenesis.
  • Ascorbyl Palmitate (pH: neutral): Lipophilic ester form of AA. The stability is like AA due to its chemical structure which makes it one of the least stable Vitamin C Derivatives. It is considered to have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits.
  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (pH: 5.5 -6.5): Lipid soluble and stable form of pro Vitamin C with enzymatic conversion to AA in skin. It has shown better skin penetration. Due to tis lipophilic nature, it can penetrate dermis while AA cannot. Studies suggest that may be potentially more potent than AA and overall, less irritating.
  • Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate (pH: 5.5 -6.5): ATIP is another lipid soluble form of Vitamin C with a slightly different chemical structure. It has a great stability with longer shelf-life of 6-12 months.

The Conclusion & What We Suggest:

When it comes to personal use, Dr. Jaspreet suggests sticking with products that are backed with clinic research. Dr. Jaspreet can also recommend products that work best for your concern and your specific skin type. You may connect with us at +91-8826141232.



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