Background: Cosmeceuticals containing antioxidants are among the most popular antiaging remedies. Topically applied antioxidants exert their benefits by offering protection from damaging free radicals produced when skin is exposed to ultraviolet light or allowed to age naturally. Vitamin C is a naturally occurring potent water-soluble antioxidant. Accordingly, it has been incorporated into a variety of cosmeceuticals designed to protect and rejuvenate photoaged skin.
Objective: This article reviews the scientific data and clinical studies supporting the use of topically applied vitamin C for treating photoaged skin. Other innovative uses for vitamin C cosmeceuticals are also discussed.
Conclusion: A significant body of scientific research supports the use of cosmeceuticals containing vitamin C. Cutaneous benefits include promoting collagen synthesis, photoprotection from ultraviolet A and B, lightening hyperpigmentation, and improvement of a variety of inflammatory dermatoses. Because of the diverse biologic effects of this compound, topical vitamin C has become a useful part of the dermatologist's armamentarium.