What Does L-Ascorbic Acid Do For Skin?

L-ascorbic acid

Have you been seeing vitamin c as an ingredient and staple in pretty much every skincare routine?  Do you ever wonder why this is so? Did you also have the same thought as I had before - What does Vitamin C do for skin and do I really need it? 

The short answer is yes - but there are different types of vitamin c and we'll focus on the kind that has had the most studies done on it which is called L-Ascorbic Acid or ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C is not just there to strengthen our immune system, It also helps us in many other ways and this includes our skin.  We'll dive into what Vitamin C ( L-ascorbic acid )  does for our skin and what skin benefits it provides.


L-ascorbic acid is known to be a powerhouse ingredient that’s synthetically derived or naturally found in fruits and vegetables. L-ascorbic acid is also known as a pure form of Vitamin C.  This acid is often found in topical skincare products and usually found in a concentration between 3- 20%. A higher concentration of L-ascorbic acid can be irritating to the skin, and the low pH in some vitamin c serums may also cause some irritation.  

L-ascorbic acid is an effective antioxidant which helps in brightening skin tone and reduces appearance of signs of aging by promoting collagen production in skin and protecting it from damage. It can usually be found in fruits and vegetables such as oranges, broccoli, leafy greens, grapefruit and peppers. They are also known to be a great source of dietary Vitamin C.


Products containing L-ascorbic acid aid in collagen synthesis.  Collagen is the foundation of our skin, so the increased collagen can improve skin firmness and may help with preventing acne scars.

Vitamin C also inhibits excess melanin production to protect against dark marks or hyperpigmentation.  Vitamin C can also reverse some skin damage and prevent skin damage and works best when used with sunscreen. 

This acid also prevents an enzyme called tyrosinase or tyrosine from being converted to melanin , and this enzyme is responsible for blocking hyperpigmentation.

Here are numerous skin benefits of L-ascorbic acid:

  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Protects collagen and increases its production
  • Aids wound healing
  • Helps protect against sun damage
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Brightens skin complexion
  • Acts as an armor against pollution 

Vitamin C is known to be one of the most research proven ingredients you can apply to your skin with few side effects. It is a water-soluble antioxidant and a natural component of healthy skin. L-ascorbic acid is the most biologically active form of vitamin c which makes it the most beneficial and easily absorbed.


Vitamin C may be a potent antioxidant or ingredient that helps with brightening dark spots, smoothing fine lines and driving out free radicals from environment, pollution and even UV damage. However, not all Vitamin C products are equal as some may cause irritation to the skin for other people.

Here are some tips provided by experts on using Vitamin C serums or any Vitamin C products (L-ascorbic acid, most especially):

  • Use Vitamin C serums in the morning with sunscreen
  • Use the right concentration of Vitamin C for your skin type - higher may do more harm if your skin is sensitive. 
  • Be cautious of combining Vitamin C with other high irritating ingredients
  • Store your Vitamin C products away from heat and light. 
  • If the formulation is combined with Vitamin E or Ferulic Acid, it can increase effectiveness of the Vitamin C.
  • Pay attention to your Vitamin C product’s color (turns orange if oxidized) When oxidized, it loses efficacy.

l-ascorbic acid for the skin


We are often guilty of joining the bandwagon or going with the flow when it comes to purchasing Vitamin C Serums without checking product labels and ingredients list twice.

What do we usually look for when choosing Vitamin C Serums? You would know it is the best Vitamin C Serum for you if it:

  • Has PH level of 3 to 5
  • Is clear 
  • Is free of fragrance
  • Is contained in dark packaging or has airless delivery

But of course, buying or choosing a Vitamin C serum does not just stop with looking for these ingredients. You would have to do a patch test first as well to see if it would work well for your skin or not or if the overall formulation is suitable for your skin type. 

Because of all the multiple benefits L ascorbic acid has in skincare, A vitamin c serum is pretty essential in your skincare routine if you're dealing with acne scars or hyperpigmentation with the properties to improve all those factors along with providing skin protection. 

If you're the type of person who is sensitive to this form of Vitamin C in any amount, it's best to avoid any products containing this ingredient.

Banish Products With L Ascorbic Acid

The Banish Oil contains L-Ascorbic acid with vitamin E and ferulic acid to help keep it stable.

References: Vitamin C in Dermatology: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/

Topical Activity of Ascorbic Acid: From in vitro Optimization to in vivo Efficacy https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/78824


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