What Is L-Ascorbic Acid


L-ascorbic acid is the purest form of vitamin C, which is one of the most important water-soluble vitamins. The “L” in front of ascorbic is a reference to its specific 3D structure and how the molecule itself rotates to light. L-Ascorbic Acid comes from natural sources such as oranges and is often found in topical skincare products in concentrations ranging from 5 to 15 percent.

How It Works

L-ascorbic acid products penetrate the skin tissue and act on collagen producing pathways, boosting its production. This, in turn, increases firmness in the skin. It is a powerful active that aids in photoprotection and treats photodamage (aka photoaging) caused by harmful UV rays. Since l-ascorbic acid plays a major role in anti-aging treatments, improving skin firmness, and overall repair and brightening, it also serves to rejuvenate the skin. Inflammatory conditions and hyperpigmentation both greatly benefit  from l-ascorbic skin care products as well. This ingredient is universal for all skin types including oily, dry, and combination skin.

Benefits Of Phytic Acid

L-ascorbic acid has been shown to have a hydrating effect on skin. It decreases transepidermal water loss (TEWL), allowing skin to better retain moisture, keeping it plump and preventing it from becoming too oily or dry. This vitamin also helps in fading pigmentation and smoothing the skin’s surface to reduce dullness, which gives skin a youthful glow.

Its application has been shown to impede melanin production, the pigment responsible for skin color. Vitamin C inhibits melanin synthesis by downregulating the activity of an enzyme known as tyrosinase. That’s why it is widely used in dermatology for depigmentation of hyperpigmented spots on the skin.

L-ascorbic acid has another amazing ability: it can act as an anti-inflammatory agent through its antioxidant capacity. This means it soothes skin and reduces puffiness at the same time. The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C can also help minimize redness, which in turn creates a more even complexion. The combined reduction of dark spots, redness, and irritation makes for an even, smooth skin tone.

Vitamin C is also well known for boosting collagen production through the process of collagen synthesis. In fact, collagen synthesis can’t happen without vitamin C.  This is because l-ascorbic acid is the essential cofactor for the two enzymes required for collagen synthesis:

  • prolyl hydroxylase, which stabilizes the collagen molecule;

  • lysyl hydroxylase, which provides structural strength.

At last, l-ascorbic acid helps to protect against sun damage. Excessive exposure to oxidative stress via pollutants or UV irradiation is associated with depleted vitamin C levels in the skin. Sun damage is caused by molecules called free radicals. These are atoms with a missing electron. Free radicals search for other atoms from which they can “steal” an electron — and this can lead to significant damage to the skin. Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants and protects healthy skin cells by “giving” these free radicals an electron, rendering them harmless.

Fun Fact

As if it didn’t already boast enough superpowers, vitamin C has been proven beneficial in helping repair wounds. This is thought to be as a result of its ability to increase the movement and number of fibroblasts in our skin — the connective tissue cells that are key to the healing process.

Food Sources

Vitamin C is relatively abundant and can be found in most fruits and vegetables. Food high in vitamin C include:

  • Kiwi 
  • Papaya 
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruits, etc.) 
  • Sweet peppers 
  • Parsley 
  • Broccoli 
  • Potatoes 
  • Bananas 
  • Carrots 

Several types of meat also contain small amounts of Vitamin C, most notably liver and oysters, and it can be found in different types of milk, including human breast milk.

Our Skincare Top Picks

Aox ferulic

A concentrated anti-aging treatment that prevents and works against oxidative cell damage. It protects fibroblasts, improves collagen fibre synthesis, and acts as a biological shield against oxidation produced by UVB, UVA, IR, and VISIBLE LIGHT (HEV). AOX ferulic protects the natural antioxidant system and barrier function of the skin, preventing photo and chrono-aging and boosting luminosity.

Active Ingredients: 15% L-ascrobic acid, 1.5% Protech-cell complex, 0.5% Ferulic Acid

Tri Vita C30

Industry-leading concentrations of vitamin C for optimal dermo-revitalization, free radical protection, and skin restoration. Tri Vita C30 prevents the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and uneven skin tone, resulting in a rested, glowy complexion. An innovative combination of 3 forms of vitamin C to reach several depths of the skin and release antioxidant benefits over time.

Active Ingredients: 15% L-Ascorbic acid, 14.5% Ascorbyl silanol, 0.5% Ascrobyl ester, Vitamin E ester, Ferulic acid ester



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