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Vitamin C and Skin Health

published by: Alexander J. Michels, Ph.D. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University

The antioxidant properties of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and its role in collagen synthesis make vitamin C a vital molecule for skin health. Dietary and topical ascorbic acid have beneficial effects on skin cells, and some studies have shown that vitamin C may help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photodamage.  This article discusses the potential roles of vitamin C in the skin and summarizes the current knowledge about vitamin C in skin health.

Vitamin C is an essential part of skin health both as a small molecular weight antioxidant and as a critical factor for collagen synthesis. Vitamin C contributes to photoprotection, decreases photodamage, and is needed for adequate wound healing. Oral supplementation with vitamin C may help prevent UV-induced damage, especially in combination with supplemental vitamin E. Dietary vitamin C may also provide photoprotection, but the extent of the protective effects will require additional research. Topical application of vitamin C appears to be an effective route for delivering ascorbic acid to the skin because ascorbic acid appears to be taken up readily at an acidic pH. Despite inconsistencies in vitamin C preparations and study design, the data suggest that vitamin C is most effective in protecting against damage induced by UV light and also has utility in the treatment of photodamage and/or skin wrinkling. Although vitamin C appears to benefit dry skin and may support wound healing, further research is needed to determine the effect of vitamin C on both. Lastly, the greatest effects of vitamin C supplementation are seen when it is combined with other micronutrients, such as vitamin E and zinc.

read full article: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C