Vitamin C in Skin Care Products: What You Need to Know

Vitamin C is a very common and popular ingredient in skin care products- but do you know how it works and how to select the best Vitamin C skin care products?

How it works

Vitamin C, when applied topically, has two primary benefits to the skin: the first is that it works to increase and strengthen the synthesis of collagen. The second is that it’s a powerful antioxidant that reduces skin damage caused by free radicals. The combined effect of Vitamin C on the skin is the reduction in skin wrinkles and improved skin texture. When using high quality Vitamin C skincare products, the results can de dramatic.

What to Look For

It is critical to be able to distinguish the Vitamin C-based products that work from the synthetic fluff. Especially with this type of skin care product, all are not created equal. Here is what to look for:

1) Oxidation. When oxidized, Vitamin C loses it’s skin benefits and actually can contribute to the formation of free radicals. Many Vitamin C skin care products become oxidized during the manufacturing process by being exposed to air for long periods of time before being packed and sealed. When using Vitamin C products, it’s also critical that you limit it’s exposure to air when applying the product to your skin (this means opening and closing the container as quickly as possible). You can also help retain the quality of the product by putting it in the refrigerator.

To avoid purchasing products that are already oxidized, you should look for high quality manufactures and for your product to be white of off white in color, not dark yellow. In general, the more yellow the product, the more it has been oxidized. Vasseur takes special care while we make our products to avoid exposing the active ingredients to air- we will also be switching to all airless containers in Fall 2011 to prevent oxidation while applying the product.

2) Concentration. Vitamin C products have very little effect on the skin if they are not in a concentration of 10% or higher. When in doubt, ask the company the percentage of active Vitamin C in the product that you are considering. Vasseur products containing Vitamin C have a concentration of 15%.

3) Type of Vitamin C. Look at the ingredient list and ensure that your Vitamin C products are made with Ascorbyl palmate rather than L absorbic acid. L absorbic acid is a cheaper alternative with a higher PH (more acidic) and oxidizes much faster. Ascorbyl palmate, by contrast, is faster to penetrate the skin, has a lower PH and is more stable. Based on empirical observation, we have seen that about 75% of Vitamin C skin care products on the market contain L absorbic acid.

Vasseur Skincare’s concentrated Vitamin C product is called Ester C and is made with high potency Ascorbyl palmate. You can learn more about it here:

111 thoughts on “Vitamin C in Skin Care Products: What You Need to Know”

  1. There is no proof that taking vitamin C supplements or consuming huge amounts of vitamin C will have any impact on your skin. Once you have an sufficient supply of vitamin C to make collagen, having a huge oversupply is not likely to lead to more collagen production. But it surely will lead to lots more vitamin C in your urine…it’s simply eliminated by your kidneys.

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