The Benefits of Vitamin C for Skin Care

Vitamin C is an important nutrient for several processes in the body. It can help maintain healthy skin, which is why many skincare products contain vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for overall body health, but it can also play a important role in protecting and improving the appearance of the skin. There are no scientific studies testing the effectiveness of vitamin C for skin care, but many products now contain this ingredient.

What is Vitamin C?

The technical name for vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is naturally present in certain foods. However, many supplements and skin products contain this vitamin artificially. It performs many functions in the bodyTrusted Source, including:

– synthesize collagen and metabolize proteins
– contribute to antioxidant activity
– promote healing of the skin
– support the immune system
– improve the absorption of iron from plant sources

The body cannot naturally make vitamin C.

What are the benefits of vitamin C for the skin?

The most important functions of vitamin C for the skin are:

– promote the synthesis of collagen, which is essential for connective tissues such as the skin
– limit the harmful effects of free radicals, which protect the skin from damage caused by the sun and aging.

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Although research and clinical trials are still in their infancy, the potential benefits of vitamin C include:

– provide additional protection against sun damage in combination with sunscreen
– reduce redness
– improve the appearance of wrinkles
– reduce dark spots
– reduce acne

Where is vitamin C found?

Vitamin C is naturally present in fruits and vegetables. Food manufacturers sometimes add vitamin C to other products, such as cereals. It is available as a standalone vitamin, in multivitamins and other combination food supplements.

The following foods are rich in vitamin C:

– citrus fruits and citrus juices
– red and green peppers, such as skillets
– The kiwi
– broccoli
– strawberries
– Brussels sprouts
Vitamin C is also found in many skincare products, including serums, lotions, and creams.

Topical vitamin C and consumable vitamin C

The differences between topical vitamin C and edible vitamin C are in how the body absorbs them. Consumable vitamin C passes through the digestive system, which absorbs 70 to 90 percent of it from 30 to 180 milligrams (mg) per day. But when consumption increases to 1 gram (g) per day, absorption falls below 50%. Consuming vitamin C through a balanced diet is essential for good health.

The body can also absorb vitamin C through the skin, in smaller amounts. Vitamin C can cross the epidermis to reach the lower layers of the skin. The best absorption rate is obtained with a 20% vitamin C solution. Although studies are limited, when using vitamin C for skin care and protection, it may be more effective to apply it directly to the skin.

Health Risks of Vitamin C

In general, vitamin C is very safe. When a person starts using vitamin C for skin care, they may notice some redness or tingling on their skin. However, these side effects should go away on their own. Early studies of vitamin C on the skin showed that solutions of 0.6-10% vitamin C did not produce adverse effects.

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Who should not use vitamin C for skin care?

Children are generally recommended not to use vitamin C for skin care. People with sensitive skin should be careful when using vitamin C skincare products. If they want to try such a product, they should do so carefully. If they want to try such a product, they should first test a small amount on their arm before applying it to their face. They should only use it every other day at most.

Frequently Asked Questions About Topical Use of Vitamin C

How does vitamin C help the skin?

Using vitamin C for skin care can boost collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars. It can also improve the appearance of photodegraded skin.

Can I use vitamin C every day?

Vitamin C for skin care is generally safe for daily use. Adverse reactions are usually minor and rare and include yellowing of the skin, dryness and tingling. Moisturizers can usually treat these issues.

Is vitamin C good for acne scars?

Due to its anti-inflammatory and collagen-building properties, topical application of vitamin C products may help improve the appearance of acne scars.


Vitamin C occurs naturally in some foods, while manufacturers artificially add it to supplements and skin care products. Skin care products containing vitamin C can protect skin from sun damage, reduce inflammation, and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


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