Vitamin C as an active ingredient in skincare

Posted by Elisa Ansar on

Vitamin C as an active ingredient in skincare

Vitamin C, known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in certain foods. In the body, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant by helping to protect cells against free radical damage. While many plants and animals synthesize vitamin C in their bodies, humans need to acquire the nutrient from external sources.


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How does vitamin C work in skincare?

In cosmetics, you can find vitamin C in its purest form: ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid. However, thanks to their stability and compatibility, you can also find vitamin C derivatives combined with other products on the market.

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant; it helps protect and counteract the damage caused by free radicals in the environment. Free radicals are molecules in the atmosphere linked to tissue cell damage, especially in aging processes.

This vitamin also has a mild effect against hyperpigmentation. Skin pigmentation is the product of melanin synthesis, and tyrosinase is the enzyme required for that process. Vitamin C and its derivatives inhibit tyrosinase activity and melanin content in the tissue.

It is also essential for collagen production in the skin, working as an anti-aging and hydrating ingredient.

Usage of vitamin C is beneficial for any skin type, especially after 25 years of age when some expression lines tend to appear. You can include vitamin C in your day or night care, following the instructions of the specific product you get. However, due to its antioxidant and sun protection qualities, we recommend including it in your daycare. However, vitamin C products do not substitute a proper spf.

Vitamin C works well with moisturizing serums, sunscreens, hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid, and vitamin E. However, it is essential to remember that vitamin C derivatives are more likely to be compatible with other products.

We recommend not to combine ascorbic acid with benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and other acids that may irritate. Especially in sensitive skin, it’s essential to keep care simple with ingredients at concentrations that don’t saturate the skin.

Types of vitamin C that you can find

You can find vitamin C on the market in different presentations and even combined with other substances.

Ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid is vitamin C's purest and most concentrated form. However, it is also the most unstable form. When a chemical substance is unstable, it can be damaged, decompose or change state very quickly.

Vitamin C derivatives are the most common forms of vitamin C you can find. Derivatives are more stable vitamin C formulations that may combine better with other ingredients. For example, two standard topical formulations of vitamin C include ascorbyl-6-palmitate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. Unlike L-ascorbic acid (hydrophilic and unstable), these esterified forms of vitamin C are stable at neutral pH.

Benefits of vitamin C for Skin

  • Antioxidant: since it reduces the damage caused by solar radiation, slowing down the formation of free radicals that cause the aging process.
  • Anti-aging: due to its ability to promote the synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid
  • Helps lighten blemishes: Being an inhibitor of tyrosinase (an enzyme involved in melanin formation), vitamin C reduces pigmentation and evens skin tone. 
  • Corrects wrinkles and expression lines: vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen, which is responsible for giving structure, firmness, and elasticity to the skin. When we improve this production, we act to reduce wrinkles and expression lines, signs that appear with aging.
  • Vitamin C has no side effects; on the contrary, it can bring significant benefits to our skin; adding it to our daily care routine, we can get healthier and more luminous skin. However, most sensitive skins may feel irritated; in these cases, the idea is to use vitamin C with a concentration of 10% and moisturizers with soothing active ingredients. 

    How to include vitamin C in your routines

    Since you can find vitamin C in different formulations depending on the product, its application may vary.

    Avoid contact with eyes, eyelids, nasal mucosa, mouth, and open wounds. Do not mix pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) with retinoids or other acids, as the combination could irritate the skin. In addition, you should avoid leaving pure vitamin C exposed to air and light because it can oxidize and would no longer be applicable. Products with pure vitamin C should preferably come in opaque sealed containers. Store them in a dark place and, if possible, in the refrigerator.

    Many organic ingredients contain vitamin C and other nutrients. For example, our Glory Balm contains organic wild rose oil, a component rich in vitamin C and E. This organic oil can strengthen the skin barrier, stimulate skin regeneration, and tolerate you very well in your skin. Also, It can stimulate the production of collagen through its components.

    You can include this light balm in your daycare routine to protect your skin from makeup and sun damage.

    At Craft and Care, we believe in gentle care with organic products whose effectiveness supports scientific evidence. We wish you much well-being and success in your care.

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