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Vitamin C has been included in skin care products for many years. Its one of those ingredients that has considerable research and clinical studies to support the positive effects on skin.  

What you may not realize is that Vitamin C is available in several different forms and that not all are equal. The way in which it’s stored and its concentration within a given formulation can also affect how well it works when applied.  

Benefits Of Vitamin C

As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help prevent the spread of free radical damage. However, it’s important to realize that there are many antioxidants. Even though cosmetic manufacturers often imply in their advertising that vitamin C is the best for inhibiting free radicals, that’s not necessarily the case. Rather, we know that it’s one of many powerful antioxidants. We also know that the vitamin can help to eliminate dark spots, brighten skin, offer protection from the sun’s damaging UV rays, increase skin hydration as well as stimulate the production of new collagen fibers.

Types Of Vitamin C

As noted above, Vitamin C is available in several forms and some forms work better than others. Different forms include L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C ester, ascorbyl palmitate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.  

L-ascorbic acid is effective but highly sensitive to degradation upon exposure to light and oxygen. It must be stabilized as found in forms such as sodium ascorbyl phosphate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. When it’s stored properly and applied in concentrations ranging from 3 to 10%, it does benefit skin.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, or MAP, can also contribute to the production of collagen. With a high enough concentration, it can be used as a lightening agent on the skin and tends to have more stability than L-ascorbic acid. Topical vitamin C ester can deliver powerful antioxidant properties and helps build collagen fibers. And research has shown that both ascorbyl palmitate and ascorbyl glucoside can also benefit the skin. However, ascorbyl palmitate is thought to be less effective for collagen synthesis.

Topical Formulations

Because there are several types of vitamin C, and their efficacy is based upon the concentration used, how they‘re stored, and the stability of each, they‘re easy to confuse. All of them can deliver benefits to your skin. Following are 3 stable and effective topical solutions that can deliver benefits to your skin care routine:

UltimaSkin Potent 12% C Serum - With a 12% L-ascorbic acid concentration, this serum provides protection from UV rays and free radicals while encouraging collagen synthesis.

Credentials Face Firming Complex - This formulation contains vitamin C ester to encourage the production of collagen fibers, reducing wrinkles and fine lines in the process.

Lustra AF Cream 4% Hydroquinone - This topical solution can be used to help eliminate skin discoloration, providing uniformity in tone. It includes Magnesium 1-Ascorbyl Phosphate NF to help repair sun-damaged skin.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at PharmacyMix.com 

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