Common Forms of Vitamin C in Skin Care

wolfandmoroko Common Forms of Vtamin C in Skin Care

The benefits of Vitamin C in skin care are well documented.  It boosts sun protection, increases collagen production and brightens the skin.

Vitamin C is also notoriously unstable, easily oxidizing and being rendered ineffective. This has led to the development of various forms of Vitamin C in skin care some of which include the following.

Common Forms of Vitamin C

 Ascorbic Acid/L-Ascorbic Acid (LAA)

This is the naturally occurring form of Vitamin C. In order for the skin to reap the benefits of Vitamin C, it has to first be converted to ascorbic acid to penetrate the skin. L-Ascorbic Acid is the best Vitamin C cosmetic ingredient.

L-Ascorbic Acid is highly unstable and quickly oxidizes when exposed to air, light or heat.

It is most effective at a pH slightly lower than 3.5 and concentrations of 10%-20%. It is very pH-dependent and affected by skin pH, or pH of other products layered with them. If the pH is much lower or higher than 3.5, absorption of the ingredient will lessen and the pH itself can irritate the skin independently of the Ascorbic Acid. It’s not suitable for acne-prone or sensitive skin.

Ascorbyl Glucoside

Ascorbyl Glucoside is a fat soluble form of Vitamin C composed with glucose, a monosaccharide sugar. It is considered more stable than other forms of Vitamin C which may mean it delivers the effects of ascorbic acid to the skin for longer.

Ascorbyl Palmitate

Ascorbyl Palmitate is a non acidic form of Vitamin C composed with palmitic acid – a fatty acid. Palmitic acid is a common saturated fatty acid found in fats and waxes including olive oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil and body lipids. This fatty acid may make this version of Vitamin C more moisturizing.

Ascorbyl Palmitate is the most commonly used oil soluble derivative of L-ascorbic acid. More stable than Ascorbic Acid, it is less irritating and good for sensitive and acne prone skin.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a water soluble form of ascorbic acid that is more stable than Ascorbyl Palmitate. It is non-irritating and not pH dependent making it good for normal and sensitive skin. However since it’s water soluble it can degrade faster than fat soluble forms of Vitamin C.

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

A water soluble form of Ascorbic Acid that behaves similarly to Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate.

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate/ Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

A fat soluble form of Vitamin C that is very stable and non irritating.


The image above has the OST C20 Vitamin C serum. This is not a sponsored post. 

Kindly note that I can’t guarantee that all of the make-up and skincare products I recommend will suit you. Everyone’s skin is different and it’s possible to be allergic to anything. Wherever possible, patch test your products before purchasing.

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3 thoughts on “Common Forms of Vitamin C in Skin Care

  1. Pingback: Five of the Best Brightening Ingredients in Skin Care | Wolf & Moroko

  2. Pingback: How Cosmetic Ingredients Penetrate the Skin | Wolf & Moroko

  3. Pingback: Great Serums that are Proudly #MadeInAfrica |

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