Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) has been shown to protect against sunburn, delay the onset of skin tumors, and reduce ultraviolet-B radiation-induced skin wrinkling [24-27]. Ascorbic acid displays potent antioxidant properties and is the primary water soluble non-enzymatic biologic antioxidant in human tissues [28-31]. Vitamin C is necessary for the normal formation and maintenance of collagen and is a cofactor for several hydroxylating enzymes [32-34]. The topical application of vitamin C has been suggested in order to maximize its antioxidant properties and stimulate collagen production, as oral administration is believed incapable of generating adequate tissue ascorbic acid levels for these tissue effects [25]. The efficacy of various topical vitamin C preparations have been extensively evaluated and have been found to improve photodamage and stimulate new collagen formation [35]. Ascorbyl palmitate, a fat-

soluble synthetic ester of vitamin C has also been shown to reduce redness associated with sunburn 50% sooner than areas on the same patient that were left untreated [36]. Vitamin C formulations are typically non-irritating when applied topically and have also been shown to improve hyperpigmentation [37].

tional benefits including humectant and moisturizing properties. They have been shown to improve photodamage when combined with re-tinyl acetate and retinoic acid [41]. Polyhydroxy acids are also well tolerated when treating photodamage in dark skin.

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