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The Wonder Vitamin: Vitamin C's Role in Skin Care

July 28, 2020

The Wonder Vitamin: Vitamin C's Role in Skin Care

You probably already know that vitamin C is essential for the proper overall functioning of the body, but the role of vitamin C in skin care is also pretty important. Vitamin C is now one of the most popular ingredients in skin care products, and it’s for a good reason. This wonder vitamin offers a lot of benefits, from purifying your skin to keeping it looking young.


A lot of beauty enthusiasts swear by the power of vitamin C, but what exactly is the role of vitamin C in skin care? 

Essentially, vitamin C is an effective ingredient that helps boost the skin’s vitality and health. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and this means that it can inhibit the activity of free radicals (unstable molecules that weaken the cell and lead to premature skin aging) and minimize their negative effects.

According to one study, vitamin C also promotes collagen formation and provides photoprotection. There are a number of other functions that amplify the role of vitamin C in skin care, such as fighting off lines and wrinkles, brightening the complexion, and getting rid of dark spots.


The role of vitamin c in skin care is one that is hard to substitute and there are several benefits that prove just how powerful this ingredient is.

  • Anti-aging benefits. As mentioned earlier, one important role of vitamin C in skin care is that it boosts collagen. Collagen is very important in maintaining a youthful appearance since this structural protein firms up the skin.

    Young people have an abundance of collagen. However, as a person ages, they lose it. This collagen loss leads to the appearance of wrinkles, lines, crow’s feet, and loose skin. Vitamin C "taps" on skin cells and stimulates them to produce more collagen. The results of this study even show that topical vitamin c is an effective rejuvenation therapy.

    • Wound healing. The role of vitamin C in skin care also extends to wound healing. Vitamin C helps heal wounds by controlling inflammatory response as well as encouraging tissue growth. Vitamin C can help heal your sunburns and cuts much quicker since the antioxidants present in vitamin c will enhance your skin’s healing responses. 

    The antioxidants in vitamin C may also minimize free radical damage that inhibits the repair and growth of your cells. Vitamin C will help reduce the redness and alleviate some pain caused by the burns. As for wounds, vitamin C will enable scabs to form much faster. Once the scabs have formed, healing underneath can work quicker and there will be fewer chances of developing long-term scars.

    • Brightens and lightens skin. The role of vitamin C in skin care, especially in brightening and lightening the skin, is notable. Aside from fighting off free radicals, vitamin C also decreases melanin production. Melanin is the pigment that leads to skin discoloration. More melanin production results in darker skin. This melanin can have a negative effect on the skin due to free radical activity, as well as excessive exposure to the sun.

    Now, all skin colors are beautiful, but if you wish to lighten dark spots on your skin and even your complexion, then you should know that vitamin C can help you with that too. The role of vitamin C in skin care extends to skin exfoliation, which helps bring a lighter skin tone to the surface.

    The exfoliation that vitamin C brings about is different from physical (also known as manual or mechanical) exfoliation conducted using face scrubs, washcloths, facial brushes, etc. Vitamin C is an agent of chemical exfoliation, in which exfoliation is facilitated not by scrubbing, but by initiating cell turnover. Vitamin C helps loosen and slough dead skin cells off, resulting in brighter complexion.

    • Provides photoprotection. Protection from the sun and UV radiations are also encompassed by the role of vitamin C in skin care. Vitamin C can serve as a shield against photodamage, including redness, burns, pigmentations, and discolorations. It acts as an effective protection from both UVA and UVB rays. However, you should not use topical vitamin C as a substitute for your sunblock. Your vitamin c skin care product is best used together with your sunscreen in order for you to experience maximum benefits.

    • Corrects hyperpigmentation and redness. Because the role of vitamin C in skin care covers wound healing, collagen production, and exfoliation, the vitamin is also considered helpful in correcting hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial if you are suffering from rosacea. Vitamin C has an anti-pigmentary effect that can even out your skin as well prevent damage and further discoloration.

    • Reduces dark under-eye circles. Reducing the appearance of dark under-eye circles is also part of the role of vitamin C in skin care. An eye cream that has vitamin C will work wonders for you if you are already fed up with having to conceal under-eye circles. With vitamin C, you will get to enjoy a more vibrant and youthful appearance.


    The role of vitamin C in skin care when it comes to acne is something that deserves more attention. If you are someone who suffers from acne, then you have probably been searching for and trying out different products that promise to treat your skin condition. Well, vitamin C just might be one of the holy grail skin care products that you are looking for.

    Acne can be caused by free radicals, which as mentioned earlier, can be combated by vitamin C. Free radicals can result from sunlight or air pollution, and may increase inflammation in the skin. Dead skin cells, bacteria, and dirt will be trapped inside the pore because of this inflammation and will result in the formation of a pimple. Vitamin C, being an antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals and that helps prevent acne formation.

    • Lightens and removes acne scars. Vitamin C can help treat not only active acne but also acne scars. If you are struggling with acne scars right now, you would know that these skin imperfections are stubborn, and they just won’t go away. Acne scars can bring about low self-esteem and self-consciousness, but the good news is that vitamin C in skin care can address this concern.
    • Increases collagen production.Vitamin C can get rid of these scars, or at least minimize their appearance. The reason for this is that vitamin C helps boost the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that can keep the skin looking healthy and plump, and it will help fill up those acne scars. 

    On top of these, you must know that using vitamin C alone will not make you completely acne-free. When it comes to treating acne, vitamin C is best used in conjunction with other active ingredients such as BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) and vitamin A.


    While vitamin C is a wonderful skin care ingredient, it can still have varying effects, depending on the skin type.


    One myth about oily skin is that it does not need to be moisturized. This belief is not only untrue; it can also be counterproductive. Drying out naturally oily skin will only force your skin to produce more oils to compensate for the dryness. It is better to moisturize the oily skin instead! Vitamin C can help moisturize skin and balance sebum production, it can even tighten pores. 


    People with normal skin will benefit from vitamin C, and so will those who have dry skin. In fact, vitamin C is essential if you suffer from dry skin. This study shows that topical vitamin C can decrease roughness on the skin. Some people, even when they use creams and moisturizers, still experience dry and flaky skin. If you are one of them, you should try using vitamin C skin care products to enjoy enhanced moisture and improved hydration.


    Vitamin C in skin care products comes in various forms. The role of vitamin C in skin care is pretty much the same across these different forms. However, each form has its own pros and cons that you would want to know about. Here are some of them.

    • L-Ascorbic Acid. This is one of the most common forms of vitamin C in skin care and supplements. It is vitamin C in its pure form, and it is soluble in water. It is powerful and able to stimulate collagen production and fade pigmentations. The downside to this form is that is very unstable. It becomes ineffective once it’s exposed to light, heat, and air.

    • Ascorbic Acid Polypeptide. This is a vitamin C derivative, and it is water-soluble. What’s great about it is that it is stable, and it converts to Vitamin C immediately once it comes in contact with skin. Although it’s just a derivative, it performs the role of vitamin C in skin care just as well. However, it could be irritating to those with extremely sensitive skin.

    • Ascorbyl Palmitate. Ascorbyl palmitate is L-ascorbic acid combined with palmitic acid. It also improves collagen production and combats free radicals. However, this form is only effective at high concentrations, and most skin care products that make use of this form simply do not contain enough of it.

    • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate. This form is also a derivative of vitamin C, and it is soluble in water too. It fulfills the role of vitamin C in skin care, but it is more stable than the pure form. Moreover, it can do its job even at a lower concentration. Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate degrades just like the other forms when exposed to light, but at a slower rate.


    Vitamin C is indeed a powerful skin care ingredient. However, if you really want to make the most of the role of vitamin C in skin care, you will need to know how to use it more effectively. First, decide on which vitamin C products you will get. There are vitamin C cleansers, toners, moisturizers, masks, and others. But the most popular ones are serums, and they are the most potent too.


    If you do decide to use a vitamin C serum, make sure first that your skin is clean before you apply it. It will even be better if your skin was a bit damp. However, if you are going to use a toner after cleansing, wait for the toner to dry first before you put on your serum. If you got a vitamin C moisturizer too, you can apply that after you have applied the serum.

    It is also important that you purchase effective vitamin c skin care products. The first thing that you should check is the product’s vitamin C concentration. The role of vitamin C in skin care will only be fulfilled if there is actually adequate vitamin C content. The higher the vitamin C concentration, the more effective the product is. Don’t go for a product that does not have vitamin C as a prominent part of its ingredient list.

    Vitamin C is more effective when used in conjunction with other ingredients such as ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. Ferulic acid is an antioxidant that helps stabilize vitamin C and helps fight free radicals. Meanwhile, hyaluronic acid works by binding moisture to the skin. It helps eliminate signs of aging and keeps the skin supple. Lastly, vitamin E works with vitamin C in stimulating collagen production and providing you with healthy, youthful skin.

    Look for complimentary ingredients when you buy your vitamin C skin care product; they will make the role of vitamin C in skin care much more powerful and beneficial.