best-vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid-serum-dermatocare-research

Best vitamin C (ascorbic acid) serum : Dermatologist review

Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin

Last updated: 27/04/17

"Doctor, what are benefits of applying Vitamin C serum on the face? Which is the best Vitamin C serum?"

Instead of believing advertisements,  I did research across the various studies and journals to find answers to above questions. In this article, I will  provide scientifically proven answers to the following:

  • Vitamin C is part of our diet, is it really important to apply it on our skin?
  • What are the proven benefits of applying Vitamin C on the skin?
  • Which form of Vitamin C is best for the skin?
  • Which is the best Vitamin C serum in India, US, UK, and Canada?

No wonders my research revealed incredible anti-aging and skin lightening potential of Vitamin C serum. However, I must warn you that many popular brands of Vitamin C serum that do NOT contain the most potent form of Vitamin C. Therefore, I have compared the composition of common brands of Vitamin C serum available in India, US, UK and Canada for your benefit at the end of this article. So, read further to know the best Vitamin C serum!


 

Vitamin C is part of our diet, is it really important to apply it on our skin?

While plants can synthesise Vitamin C, humans are dependent on the diet for Vitamin C. Interestingly, according to one study (11), the availability of Vitamin C in the skin is often inadequate despite the adequate oral intake of Vitamin C rich food. Therefore, topical Vitamin C serum should be used for skin rejuvenation.

KEY TAKEAWAY: You can apply Vitamin C serum on your skin, even if you eat Vitamin C rich food.

 

Are there studies to prove the benefit of Vitamin C on the skin?

Yes, there are many double-blind controlled trials that show the benefits of Vitamin C on skin. I have cited few of them below:

  • In a study done on ten patients, where Vitamin C (in form of 10% ascorbic acid and 7% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) in gel base was applied to one-half of the face and only bland gel base was applied on the other half of face for 12 weeks. At the end of 12 weeks, there are was both visible and microscopic improvement in wrinkles, dark spots and hydration on the treated side of face (1).
  • In another 3 month study using Cellex-C serum,  there was a significant improvement in fine wrinkling, tactile roughness, coarse rhytids, skin laxity/tone, sallowness/yellowing, and overall features(2). 
  • In still another study 23.8% L-ascorbic acid showed a significant reduction in dyspigmentation, surface roughness, and fine lines on the treated side(3).
  • In yet another study,  tetra-isopalmitoyl ascorbic acid (VC-IP) 3 cream or pro-vitamin C showed significant improvement in pigmentation in 3 weeks(4)
  • This study showed that ascorbic acid is better than sodium ascorbyl-2-phosphate in reducing pigmentation and wrinkling of skin(5).
  • There are many more studies that validate the role of Vitamin C alone in reducing skin ageing primarily fine wrinkles, rough skin, laxity and dark spots. (6) (7), (8), (9)

KEY TAKEAWAYS: Numerous studies prove that Vitamin C serum reduces fine wrinkles, rough skin, pigmentation, laxity, sallowness and improves overall texture and feel of your skin in an average of 3 months duration.

 

Which form of Vitamin C is best for skin?

  • Most studies show that L-Ascorbic acid is the most potent form of Vitamin C. However, L-Ascorbic degrades very fast in contact with air or UV light visible as yellow discoloration of serum. Therefore, to ensure the effectiveness of Ascorbic acid, it should be packed in air-tight pump packing or capsules at the ph of 3.5.
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl phosphate is the second best stable form of vitamin C.
  • The combination of 15% L-ascorbic, 1% Vitamin E and 0.5% ferulic acid increase efficacy of vitamin C by 8 fold.
  • At least, one study points out that the changes are evident only after 4 weeks of application(6).
  • Oral intake of Vitamin C also delays wrinkles.(10)
  • UV light reduces the level of Vitamin C in skin, therefore, Vitamin C should be applied after sun exposure rather than before sun exposure.

KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

  • The most potent Vitamin C serum is the one that has the combination of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Ferulic acid.

  • Next on the rank, is Vitamin C serum that has the Ascorbic acid alone.

  • Third on the list is Vitamin C serum with Magnesium Ascorbyl phosphate. Although this form is not as potent as above two, it is the best form of Vitamin C for those who have sensitive skin.

  • Most other forms of Vitamin C might not give the results mentioned in above section.

Which is the best Vitamin C serum in India, US, UK, and Canada?

No.1: Vitamin C serum with Ascorbic acid, Vitamin E and Ferulic acid

This combination is highly recommended for those who want to fight ageing skin, especially photo-aged skin with dark spots, roughness, laxity. The unique thing about this combination is its ability to act in both water soluble and lipid soluble compartment of skin cells. While Vitamin C acts in water compartment, Vitamin E acts in the lipid compartment of the skin cell. However, this serum is very potent and might irritate sensitive skin. I have compared the brands of Vitamin C serum that have this combination in the table given below:

Brands

Specification of Vitamin C

Other Ingredients

Packing

Check price

Skin Ceuticals

L-Ascorbic acid 15 %

1 % vitamin E, 0.5 % ferulic acid

Tinted bottle with dropper

Amazon.com

Amazon.in

Amazon.co.uk

Cosmetic skin solutions

 

L-Ascorbic acid 15%

1 % vitamin E, 0.5 % ferulic acid

Tinted bottle with dropper

Amazon.com

Amazon.in

Amazon.co.uk

Timeless

L-Ascorbic acid 20%

Has Vitamin E and Ferulic acid, but concentration not mentioned.

Tinted bottle with dropper

Amazon.com

Amazon.in

Amzon.co.uk

 

 

No.2: Vitamin C serum with stable L-ascorbic acid

Second on our list are serums that contain the most potent form of Vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid. L-ascorbic degrades very fast in contact with air or UV light and might turn yellow from transparent. Therefore, to ensure effectiveness it should be packed in air-tight pump packing or capsules at pH of 3.5. L-Ascorbic acid serums might irritate sensitive skin, therefore cautious use is recommended. I have compared the common brands of Vitamin C serum that contain L-ascorbic acid in the table given below:

Brands Specification of Vitamin C Other Ingredients Packing Check price on

Lumene

Ascorbic acid

Percentage: Not mentioned

Cloudberry,

Lingonberry, tomato lipids,

In capsule form

Amazon.com

Amazon.in

Amazon.co.uk

Cipla VC 15

L-Ascorbic acid, Ascorbyl Glucoside

15 %

Not mentioned

Tinted bottle with dropper

Amazon.in

Auriga-Flavo-C forte

Ascorbic acid 15 %

Gigko biloba, Vitis vinifera, ferulic acid,

Tinted bottle with dropper

Amazon.in

Amazon.co.uk

Brooklyn Botanical

10% L-Ascorbic Acid

3% Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate

0.9% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

 

Orange oil, Sandalwood oil, Soybean oil

Tinted bottle with dropper

Amazon.com

Amazon.in

Maxyouth

20% Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, Ascorbyl glucoside, ascorbic acid

Hyaluronic Acid, Rose Hip,Pomegranate,Vitamin A +C + D + E + B6 + K

 

Tinted air-tight pump bottle

Amazon.com

Amazon.in

 

No. 3: Vitamin C serum with Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate

Vitamin C serum with Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate can help in delaying skin ageing, protect your skin from UV damage and reduce dark spots. However, they might not as effective as above two in reducing wrinkle and pigmentations. These serums are the best buy for those who have sensitive skin prone to rosacea or allergy. However, we would still recommend you to do a patch test before using this serum for the first time on sensitive skin. We have compared the brands of Vitamin C serum with Ascorbyl phosphate in the table given below:

Brand

Specification of Vitamin C

Other active ingredeints

Packing

Check price on

Yeouth

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Percentage: Not mentioned

Hyaluronic acid, Myristoyl Tripeptide-31,

Non-tinted glass dropper bottle

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.in

Hamilton healthcare

25% Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate

 Aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, marine collagen,

Airtight pump bottle

Amazon.com

Amazon.in

OzNatural

20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Astaxanthin, Hyaluronic Acid, green tea, vitamin E, Rosehip

Tinted bottle with dropper

Amazon.com

Amazon.in

Amazon.co.uk

Amara Organic

20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate 

Aloe vera, Vitamin E, MSM, Hyaluronic acid, Gotu Kola Extract

Tinted bottle with dropper

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.in

Sérumtologié

22%Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Aloe vera, Vitamin E, MSM, Hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid

Tinted bottle with dropper

Amazon.com

Aamzon.co.uk

Artnatural

20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Aloe vera, Vitamin E, MSM, Hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid

Tinted bottle with dropper

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.in

Uskin

Not mentioned

Hyaluronic acid, MSM,

Non-tinted glass bottle

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

We hope that this article will help you take an informed decision on buying a costly skincare product like Vitamin C serum. Lastly, I would emphasise the fact that even the best of anti-wrinkle creams cannot erase deep wrinkles or sagging skin, you still have to opt for procedures like Botox, LASERS, fillers etc, to get rid of them. On the other hand, these procedures can only hide but not retard the signs of ageing, thus, anti-aging skincare products have a role that cannot be ignored.


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