December 18, 2019

Table Of Content
Sources Of Vitamin C
Forms Of Vitamin C
The Impact Of Vitamin C On The Skin
Can Vitamin C Burn Your Skin?


Vitamin C is an ascorbic acid with the chemical formula C6H8O6 found in fruits and raw vegetables. The acid has the molecular mass of 176.12 g/mol and a boiling point of 553 °C which is equivalent to 1,027 °F. It is a crucial nutrient for health that comes from natural foods and raw vegetables.

Before going further, let us look into the brief history of vitamin C and how it became the most familiar nutrient in the world. There is no doubt that more than half of the world’s population is aware of the significance of this nutrient and most people recognise citrus fruits as the best source of vitamin C.

A long time ago, the British navy used citrus fruits to cure scurvy. The nutrient was consumed directly from fruits because they were not aware of the chemical composition of vitamin C; the nutrient remained undiscovered for nearly two centuries. If we are to name some of the most important scientific findings in history, then the vitamin C nutrition experiment is one of them. It is the first modern, and scientific disease treatment assessment method applied when the British navy force used foods with vitamin C nutrients to cure and prevent scurvy amongst sailors.

Sources Of Vitamin C

Despite popular belief, there are many sources of vitamin C nutrient apart from citrus fruits. Note that there are two primary sources of vitamin C which are fruits and raw vegetables. Fruits include papaya, pineapple, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes and tomatoes. On the other hand, fresh vegetables rich in vitamin C include cabbages, spinach, green peas, sweet potatoes and garlic.



Forms Of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is not always consumed in raw form; instead, it comes in many other forms. These forms are natural and synthetic. As previously mentioned, the nutrient is derived from natural foods (fruits and vegetables). However, these vitamins come in synthetic forms too which include;

  1. Topical vitamin which includes concentrated serums applied on the skin for antioxidants benefits. It is essential in making anti-ageing formulas.
  2. Ascorbic acid is available in both synthetic and natural form. It may be in the form of capsules, liquids, chewable tablets or powders.
  • Buffered vitamin C
  1. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids

The Impact Of Vitamin C On The Skin

Vitamin C plays a significant role in health maintenance. One of them is skin tissue repair and maintenance. It does so as follows;

  1. Prevent damage done by excess free radicles.

Vitamin C is used as an antioxidant for skin treatment purposes. An antioxidant is a substance that inhibits oxidation hence reducing the production of excess free radicles that are very reactive. These antioxidants come in-form of molecules that help regulate chemical reactions in our body. Having lots of free radicals in the wrong place at the wrong time can impact our cells and tissue, resulting in damage. The role of Vitamin C and other antioxidants in our skin is to prevent the damage.

  1. It promotes collagen production.

Vitamin C is essential for collagen production. Collagen is a protein with a significant role in maintaining body structure. Collagen helps repair and maintain the skin and bones. If collagen levels go down, the skin loses its firmness, and the bones lose strength.

To prove this point is easy. Take an example of a person suffering from scurvy – a vitamin C deficiency condition. Usually, these people have weak teeth, gums and bones. A proper intake of the right dosage of vitamin C helps to eradicate this problem.

Can Vitamin C Burn Your Skin?

A lot of approved skincare products can still have side effects. This includes those with acid. The side effects experienced can be stinging, tingling and even burning sensation on the skin. For products acidic in nature, tingling may not be a hazardous effect as long as it does not persist, which is contrary to skin burning. When you feel like your skin is burning or even notice a change of skin texture to a darker, rough complexion than your usual skin tone, acidic serums in your skincare regime might explain why.

While vitamin C serums continue to receive praises for its miraculous benefits on the skin, such as making the skin brighter and clearer, there are circumstances where they can burn the skin and cause irritation. For that to happen, excessive oxidation must have taken place. Two conditions responsible for this phenomenon are;

  1. Oxidation Of Vitamin C Has In The Bottle

The best way to know if vitamin C serum has oxidised in the bottle is by observing its colour change. If the vitamin C serum stored in the container has turned brown or dark brown and the rubber dropper has started to dissolve, it indicates that oxidation has taken place. When vitamin C comes into contact with heat, air and light, it starts to oxidise and eventually becomes ineffective. The colour change usually begins to take place two months after opening the bottle. 

When vitamin C oxidises, it is reduced into erythrulose, which happens to be an ingredient found in skin tanners. When your skin tans, it becomes darker. This ingredient can also weaken the skin and cause ageing. What happens is that erythrulose reacts with dihydroxyacetone . The reaction is commonly known as the Maillard reaction and eventually cause burning of the skin.

  1. Oxidation Of Vitamin C On The Skin Surface

Oxidation does not always take place in the containing bottle. It can happen on the skin surface too therefore if you can't use the colour change indicator to detect the occurrence of oxidation in the bottle chances are that you'll experience the change of skin colour later on. One may ask, how can that happen? It is quite simple. The vitamin supplements and serums used for the skin undergo different preparations. The differences in preparations can cause skin burning when vitamin C reacts with oxygen in the normal environment. Once that happens, the skin colour will change to orange, especially if the serum was worn overnight.


How Can You Prevent Skin Burning Caused By Vitamin C?

There are several do’s and don’ts' that one can follow to prevent skin burning caused by vitamin C which are;

  • Be aware of the fact that, L-ascorbic acid is volatile, yet, the best form of the vitamin C available. Therefore always choose L-ascorbic acid serums with ferulic acid and vitamin E, which will help neutralise its unpredictable nature.
  • Do not use L-ascorbic acid serum three months after opening it. Make sure it is used within that time.
  • Store it in the refrigerator and always keep it away from heat and light.
  • Have an alternative; possibly use vitamin C derivatives to supplement vitamin C serum. The derivatives are an excellent alternative to L-ascorbic acid as they have more stability and resistance to oxidation. Some of these derivatives are magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl glucoside, ethyl ascorbic acid and ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate,
  • Look for the right botanicals Vitamin C booster because they are more stable.
  • Use herbivore orchid facial oil to inhibit the combination of Vitamin C and oxygen in the air.
  • Wear slip silk sleep mask to protect the skin from free radicals and sunlight which supports oxidation of Vitamin C on your skin. 
  • Exfoliate your skin regularly.

How Much Vitamin C Should One Take?

Excessive use of anything is harmful. That being the case Vitamin C is no different. It has dangerous side effects if taken in large amounts, particularly for supplements and facial serums. Typically, you cannot experience side effects by eating a lot of foods rich in vitamin C. For any side effects caused by too much intake of vitamin C, be sure to consult a doctor immediately.

As for serums, it is recommended to apply vitamin C twice a day because it protects the skin against free radicles and sunlight damage during the daytime, and at night, it helps to heal the skin from oxidative damage caused by UV sunlight.

Is It Safe For Vitamin C And Bioflavonoid To Combine?

Vitamin C and bioflavonoids can combine and help with the immune system as well as perform antioxidant activities. Vitamin C has a significant role in the immune system too. It helps to support white blood cell functioning and antibody responses. As an antioxidant Vitamin C regulates reactive oxygen properties and protects cells and tissues from the effects of oxidation.


We live in a world where it is inevitable for our skins to be exposed to harmful agents such as intense heat that can make the skin weak and shrunk by damaging the essential components needed by it. These components are such as collagen, which helps to maintain and repair the skin structure. For that reason alone, we are advised to use vitamin C as much as we can to keep vibrant and healthy-looking skin and avoid untimely ageing.

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