We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission Here’s our process.
Medical News Today only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
- Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
Vitamin C is an important nutrient for several processes in the body. It can help keep skin healthy, and many skin care products contain vitamin C as a result.
- Best for smoothing fine lines: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
- Best eye treatment: BeautyStat Universal C Protector
- Best for vegans: Bliss Bright Idea Vitamin C + Tri-Peptide Collagen Protecting & Brightening Serum
Vitamin C is important for the health of the whole body, but it can also play an important role in protecting and improving the appearance of the skin. Scientific studies testing the effectiveness of vitamin C for skin care are lacking, but many products now include this ingredient.
This article discusses what vitamin C is, how it can benefit the skin, and what products a person might consider.
The technical name for vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid. Vitamin C occurs naturally in some foods. However, many supplements and skin products contain the vitamin artificially. It performs
- synthesizing collagen and metabolizing protein
- contributing toward antioxidant activity
- supporting skin healing
- supporting the immune system
- improving the absorption of iron from plant sources
The body cannot make vitamin C naturally.
- supporting the synthesis of collagen, which is essential for connective tissue such as skin
- limiting the damaging effects of free radicals, which protect the skin from sun damage and aging
Although research and clinical trials are in their early stages, the potential benefits of vitamin C include:
The following foods are rich in vitamin C:
- citrus fruits and juices
- red and green peppers, such as bell peppers
- kiwi fruit
- brussels sprouts
Vitamin C is also present in many skin care products, including serums, lotions, and creams.
Differences between topical and consumable vitamin C occur because of how the body absorbs them.
Consumable vitamin C passes through the digestive system, which absorbs
The body can also absorb vitamin C through the skin in smaller amounts. Vitamin C can pass through the epidermis to the lower layers of the skin. The best absorption rate occurs with a 20% vitamin C solution.
Although studies are limited, when using vitamin C for skin care and protection, it may be more effective to apply it directly to the skin.
Below are some of the best products using vitamin C for skin care.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best for smoothing lines: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
This product contains 15% vitamin C, 1% vitamin E, and 0.5% ferulic acid.
The company claims that this serum protects the skin from free radicals, improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and brightens and firms the skin.
Price: $166 for 30 milliliters (ml).
Best eye treatment: BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector
This eye treatment contains 5% vitamin C to firm and smooth lines and hyaluronic acid for hydration.
The company claims that the product calms and revitalizes the skin, and it is good for reducing eye puffiness and the appearance of dark circles.
Price: $65 for 15 ml, plus shipping. The company calculates shipping during checkout.
This product is vegan and cruelty-free. However, it does contain a fragrance.
The company claims that it contains clinical-grade vitamin C to plump and brighten the skin while reducing the appearance of dark spots.
Price: $27 for approximately 30 ml.
In general, vitamin C is
When a person first starts using vitamin C for skin care, they may notice some redness or stinging of their skin. However, these side effects should go away on their own.
Early studies of vitamin C on the skin found that solutions of 0.6—10% vitamin C did not produce adverse events.
The general recommendation is that children should not use vitamin C for skin care.
People with sensitive skin should be cautious about using products with vitamin C for skin care. If they want to try such a product, they should first test a small amount of it on their arm before applying it to their face. They should only use it every other day at most.
Below are some common questions about vitamin C.
How does vitamin C help skin?
Using vitamin C for skin care can boost collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars. It can also improve the appearance of photodamaged skin.
Can I use vitamin C every day?
Vitamin C for skin care is generally
Is vitamin C good for acne scars?
Due to its
Vitamin C occurs naturally in some foods, while manufacturers artificially add it in supplements and skin care products.
Skin care products containing vitamin C may protect the skin from sun damage, reduce inflammation, and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.