One of the few well researched potent anti-aging ingredients. When it is able to penetrate the skin in an active state, it is effective against fine lines and wrinkles, helps improve skin elasticity and reduce hyperpigmentation. It acts as a powerful anti-oxidant and stimulates collagen production. The main issue with ascorbic acid is that it is highly unstable, in other words, it is losing its effectivenss quickly when exposed to air and light (if a serum or cream containing ascorbic acid has an orange color, it is a likely that the ingredient has oxidized and is no longer active). In addition, it is water-soluble, meaning that it has difficulty pentrating the skin. It is also quite irritating, and can cause stinging. When used in low concentrations, helps stabilize the product formulation

Scientific paper review

Anti-aging and brightening effects of a topical treatment containing vitamin C, vitamin E, and raspberry leaf cell culture extract: A split-face, randomized controlled trial
n Participants Interventions Punchline
50 Female volunteers aged 30-65 years; Women showing the presence of facial wrinkles, skin sagging, skin dryness, or uneven skin color were included in the study. topical treatment containing vitamin C, vitamin E, and raspberry leaf cell culture extract Skin was found to be significantly lighter in color and higher in elas-ticity on the treated side, compared to the untreated side, after 8 weeks of product use (Figure 1A,B), whereas skin radiance im-proved significantly after both 4 and 8 weeks of use. No significant changes in skin moisture level (P > .9999) or TEWL.
Skin protective effects of an antipollution, antioxidant serum containing Deschampsia antar tica extract, ferulic acid and vitamin C: a controlled single-blind, prospective trial in women living in urbanized, high air pollution area
n Participants Interventions Punchline
20 20 women (mean age 42 years).Main inclusion criteria were: women aged from 35 to 45 years, with a phototype (Fitzpatrick): I-III, residents in a homogeneous urban area, compelled to spend at least 2 hrs a day outdoors, with at least three dark spots on the face without any other facial skin diseases The subjects were instructed to apply the tested product (Endocare-C Edafence serum; Cantabria Labs, Madrid, Spain) at home under the normal conditions of use, for 28 consecutive days, on the entire face. The product was applied on the face twice daily (in the morning and in the evening). In particular, specific instructions were given to each subject for the correct application of the tested product: 1) do not wash the face after the application of the serum; 2) do not apply any other skincare products and 3) do not use any make-up products during the study period. The serum contained deschampsia antartica aqueous extract, ferulic acid, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and standardized Crypthomphalus aspersa sectretion (10%) In comparison with baseline, the product induced a significant improvement of skin hydration (−19% of TEWL), a significant improvement of dark spots (+7%) and a significant improvement of SQOOH/SQ ratio (−16%). The product was evaluated very well by >90% of the treated subjects regarding cosmetic acceptability.
Topical ascorbic acid on photoaged skin. Clinical, topographical and ultrastructural evaluation: double-blind study vs. placebo
n Participants Interventions Punchline
20 Healthy female volunteers presenting with photoaged skin on their low-neck The left or right half of the upper chest and the corresponding forearm were randomly assigned to once a day application of a fingertip unit of either 5% vitamin C (ascorbic acid) cream or excipient alone. Each patient received a randomized pair of identical-appearing tubes, color coded and labeled right or left. . Clinical assessments included evaluation at the beginning and after 3 and 6 months of daily treatment A highly significant increase in the density of skin microrelief and a decrease of the deep furrows were demonstrated. Ultrastructural evidence of the elastic tissue repair was also obtained and well corroborated the favorable results of the clinical and skin surface examinations. Topical application of 5% vitamin C cream was an effective and welltolerated treatment. It led to a clinically apparent improvement of the photodamaged skin and induced modifications of skin relief and ultrastructure, suggesting a positive influence of topical vitamin C on parameters characteristic for sun-induced skin ageing.
Bateman purpura (dermatoporosis): a localized scurvy treated by topical vitamin C – double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial
n Participants Interventions Punchline
22 A total of twenty -two patients were recruited for this study. Patients were eligible if they were at least 60 years, with Bateman purpura located on forearm or leg and they agreed not use any other skin care product on the treated areas (forearm or leg) throughout the study. None of the patients suffered from gut disease, and they received all the same equivalent vitamin C levels in food. Subjects were asked to refrain from applying any skin care products (milk, cream, self -tanning ...) or any drug on the test areas (forearm or leg) throughout the study. 12 -week topical application of an active cream containing 5% of vitamin C (L -ascorbic acid) versus a neutral cream in a population of patients with Bateman purpura. The active preparation was a solution of 5% L -ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in glycerol at pH 6.0 emulsified in a silicone base and prepared under an atmosphere of nitrogen, commercially available (Active C, La Roche Posay, France). Twice-daily application of 5% topical vitamin C led to a clinically apparent improvement of the skin symptoms and allows beneficial effects on skin elasticity and thickness. Bateman purpura, a classical sign of photoaging whose origin has not clearly been recognized could be improved by vitamin C applied on to the skin.
The Effects of Topical Vitamin C Solution on Burn Wounds Granulation: A Randomized Clinical Trial
n Participants Interventions Punchline
30 Patients with second-degree burns in two or more body parts or a limb who had been admitted to the burn ward at Vasee hospital in Sabzevar, Iran were asked to participate in the study The intervention region received vitamin C solution (5 ml vials containing 500 mg of ascorbic acid; pH of 6), while the control regions did not receive vitamin C. Both parts of each patient’s body received sulfadiazine ointments Comparing the mean granulation scores across the different days showed that there was no significant difference between the two groups on the first and third days, but significant differences were observed on seventh and fourteen days. In the intervention region, the mean granulation scores on days 7 and 14 were 3.07 and 1.83, respectively. In the control region, the corresponding scores were 3.90 and 2.67, respectively, on days 7 and 14
Clinical efficacy and safety of 20% glycolic peel, 15% lactic peel, and topical 20% vitamin C in constitutional type of periorbital melanosis: a comparative study
n Participants Interventions Punchline
90 90 patients of 18 years and above with constitutional periorbital melanosis. 60 were females and 30 were males. The first group of patients (GA peel group) underwent 3-weekly 20% GA peel, second group of patients (Lactic peel group) underwent 3- weekly 15% lactic peel, and third group of patients (topical vitamin C) applied 20% topical vitamin C daily at nighttime. The total duration of therapy was 12 weeks. Skin lightening was observed in most of the patients in all the three groups. However, improvement in POM of more than 50% was observed in 73.34% of patients on GA peel, in 56.67% of patients on lactic peel, and in 26.67% of patients on topical vitamin C application.
Clinical, biometric and structural evaluation of the long-term effects of a topical treatment with ascorbic acid and madecassoside in photoaged human skin
n Participants Interventions Punchline
20 20 healthy postmenopausal female volunteers (45–60 years old; mean ± SD = 51.1 ± 4.3 years) with actinically aged facial, neck and forearm skin. The control cream (Toleriane; La Roche-Posay Laboratoire Pharmaceutique, Asnie`res, France) contained no specific active compounds except for 6% glycerine. The tested cream contained 5% stabilized vitamin C and 0.1% madecassoside (Redermic; La Roche-Posay Laboratoire Pharmaceutique). A fingertip unit of the tested cream was applied twice daily for 6 months to the face, as well as the assigned half of the neck and upper chest, and one of the arms of each volunteer whereas the other half of the neck and the other arm received the control cream Biometric assessments indicated a significant increase (versus the baseline value) of skin hydration (corneometer; from 55 ± 9 to 74 ± 8, P < 0.0001) and a significant reduction in the ‘crow’s feet’ volume (fringe analysis; from 1.8 ± 1.1 mm3 to 1.5 ± 1.0 mm3 , P < 0.002) as early as after 3 months of treatment with vitamin C⁄ madecassoside. After 6 months of daily applications, a significant increase in cutaneous elasticity was observed (Ur⁄ Ue cutometer values; from 0.68 ± 0.11 to 0.83 ± 0.15, P < 0.0001). Significant differences were observed in the global score before and after treatment, starting as early as 3 months after the application of the vitamin C⁄ madecassoside cream. After 6 months of treatment, the global score decreased in all the treated volunteers, with an improvement of at least 23.5% (mean = 29.5%; with a reduction in the global score from 32.7 ± 2.6 to 23.1 ± 3.0, mean ± SD).

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