A Basic Primer on Vitamin C: Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C is popular due to its ability to aid with fading hyperpigmentation and reduce fine lines by supporting skin’s natural ability to produce collagen. It exists in many forms, with varying levels of stability. Out of all of them, ascorbic acid (commonly listed as L-ascorbic acid) has the most research behind it, in regard to topical usage. Stability is needed for efficacy, so formulation is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, ascorbic acid is unstable in water-based products.

The main role vitamin C serums have in your skincare routine is for antioxidant purposes. Antioxidants fight off free radicals – unstable molecules that are not paired with an electron. They cause destruction to the cells and tissue that our skin is comprised of. When left unchecked, the damage can potentially lead to skin cancer. Taking precautions is necessary. When applied in the AM, antioxidants work synergistically with your sunscreen to protect you from environmental and free radical damage.


Lab Muffin Beauty Science: Ultimate Vitamin C Skincare Guide, Part 1: Ascorbic Acid – One of the most informative and comprehensive posts on ascorbic acid, EVER. Also gave me the confidence to finally publish this post.

US National Library of Medicine: Vitamin C in Dermatology

Cellular Skin Rx: Putting L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) in a water or cream base degrades the L-ascorbic acid

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