Ascorbic acid, popularly known as Vitamin C, is a water soluble vitamin that is vital for maintaining good health and proper body function. It is an important physiological antioxidant that works to prevent and neutralize free radical damage. This potent antioxidant can be used topically to prevent and reverse skin damage associated with photo-aging of the skin. When applied directly to the skin, vitamin C can make dark spots less noticeable without causing any damage to the underlying skin cells.
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Vitamin C as a Depigmenting Agent
The color of your skin is determined by a pigment called melanin, which is produced by the melanocytes, cells that are present in the skin. Melanocytes absorb the amino acid tyrosine and convert it into melanin using an enzyme called tyroinase. Melanin is deposited on the surface of the skin to protect the skin from the damaging effect of sunlight.
If you’re looking for an over-the-counter product to reduce dark spots and skin discoloration, you can try a Vitamin C-based topical formulation as it has the capability to decrease melanin accumulation in the skin. Vitamin C helps eliminate dark spots in the following ways:
- When applied topically, vitamin C penetrates deep into the skin, neutralizes harmful free radicals, and interferes with the over-production of melanin. This way, Vitamin C suppresses pigmentation of the skin and helps even skin tone.
- Vitamin C exfoliates your skin and helps get rid of dead skin cells, revealing brighter, glowing skin underneath.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce acne formation on your skin.
- Studies have shown that, when applied after sun exposure, topical Vitamin C repairs UV-induced skin damage and lessens the severity of sunburns.
Topical Formulations of Vitamin C
You can prepare Vitamin C topical products at home at very low cost; however, you will have to make sure that you prepare it correctly to ensure the proper concentration, which might result in skin irritation if exceeded.
If you do not want to experiment, you can choose from the wide range of Vitamin C rich topical products that are available on the market.
Up to 20%, the efficacy of the Vitamin C is proportional to the concentration. Higher concentration can lead to skin irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.
When your skin is exposed to sunlight, the Vitamin C levels in your skin drop. It is recommended that you apply Vitamin C to your skin after exposure to sunlight.
You will see the skin lightening effect of Vitamin C only if you apply a topical product regularly for a longer period of time. Vitamin C is often combined with other antioxidant compounds, such as Vitamin E to increase its the stability and photo-protective effect.
If you are trying to get rid of age spots and brighten skin tone, a good idea would be to treat your skin using Vitamin C topical formulations. Vitamin C will also increase the amount of collagen naturally produced by your skin, making the skin younger-looking, less wrinkled, and healthier.
This light and moisturizing serum is made with stabilized Vitamin C combined with Niacinamide, Matrixyl, and Renovage to fade sun spots, even out skin tone, and provide anti-aging benefits. It is formulated for skin that shows increased pigmentation, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. The product is free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, and other harsh chemicals. It absorbs quickly into the skin and has a subtle, fresh citrus scent that doesn’t linger.
Vitamin C protects the skin from free radicals and sun damage. Niacinamide works to prevent future pigmentation from developing. Peptide Matrixyl increases the skin’s production of collagen and improves the skin’s elasticity. Renovage reduces pigmentation, provides hydration, and supports healthy looking skin.
Unlike many similar products that contain chemicals that can cause unwanted side effects, Kakadu Plum Skin Lightening Whitening Cream (Store: Amazon) is formulated with natural ingredients. The cream has a pH at 5.5, which is the same as the pH value of human skin. This product claims to effectively lighten dark spots, reduce skin discoloration, and diminish wrinkles and other signs of skin aging. Its main ingredient, the Kakadu plum, contains up to 50 times more Vitamin C than an orange. Aborigines in Australia have been using kakadu plums for thousands of years for medical and cosmetic purposes.
Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Overnight Leave-On Peel (Store: Amazon) is a gentle, leave-on peel with Vitamin C and Glycolic Alpha Hydroxyl Acid (AHA) is an overnight leave-on treatment that’s supposed to provide mild exfoliation while you sleep. This light-weight and clear gel sticks to your face, but doesn’t feel like a facial mask or affect your sleep. It refreshes the skin, helps even skin tone, and reduces the appearance of dark spots.
Vichy ProEven Daily Dark Spot Corrector Vitamin C Serum (Store: Amazon) combines exfoliating ingredients with brightening agents. This daily moisturizer protects skin from free radical damage and promotes more even skin tone. It helps correct the appearance of dark spots and combats skin discolorations including signs of UV exposure and acne scarring.
Medical Disclaimer: Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only. The information provided is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.