Ascorbic Acid – Vitamin C

A vitamin is an organic compound and a vital nutrient that an organism requires in limited amounts. An organic chemical compound (or related set of compounds) is called a vitamin when the organism cannot synthesize the compound in sufficient quantities, and it must be obtained through the diet; thus, the term vitamin is conditional upon the circumstances and the particular organism.

Ascorbic acid (one form of vitamin C) is a vitamin for humans, but not for most other animal organisms.

Several human vitamins have benefits for the skin (e.g. Vitamin E / Tocopherol, Pro-vitamine B5 / Panthenol, Vitamin C / Ascorbic Acid).

Vitamin C is reknown in cosmetology and dermatology for the many benefits it provides to the skin : it is an important antioxidant that protects the skin by scavenging and destroying free radicals and reactive oxygen-derived species. It could improve the morphogenesis of dermal epidermal junction, and is also known for its skin lightening properties. As an UV photoprotection agent, it also has a synergistic effect when used in conjunction with vitamin E, a lipophilic vitamin. Vitamin C is also used topically because of its ability to reduce wrinkles by promoting collagen synthesis and its skin-depigmenting activity.

Ascorbic Acid / Vitamin C

From a formulation point of view, the use of ascorbic acid in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products is however limited due to its low stability. Under aerobic conditions it is reversibly oxidized to l-dehydro ascorbic acid, which can be irreversibly degraded to oxalic acid [13]. To solve this problem of stability, derivatives of vitamin C, some esters such as sodium ascorbyl phosphate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, have been synthesized having an action similar to ascorbic acid but with improved chemical stability. However, these derivatives of ascorbic acid are more expensive than pure vitamin C.

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