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Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient with a broad spectrum of action that includes both enzymatic and antioxidant functions. Its role in skin health is well documented, and its mechanisms of action include collagen synthesis, neutralizing free radicals, protecting against UV radiation, and regulating inflammatory processes and melanogenesis.

1. collagen synthesis

Collagen is the basic structural protein of the skin, responsible for its strength, elasticity and integrity. Vitamin C plays a key role as a cofactor of proline and lysine hydroxylating enzymes, which is essential for stabilizing collagen structure. The process of hydroxylation increases the stability of the collagen triple helix, which is crucial for the proper function and appearance of the skin. In addition, vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen mRNA, leading to increased synthesis of this protein by skin fibroblasts.

2. antioxidant properties

Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants in the skin, which helps neutralize free radicals and reactive oxygen species (RFTs) formed by exposure to UV radiation and environmental pollutants. RFTs can cause cellular damage, leading to premature skin aging. Vitamin C, acting in combination with other antioxidants such as vitamin E, effectively reduces oxidative stress, protecting skin cells from damage.

3. protection from UV radiation

UV radiation is the main external factor causing photoaging of the skin. Vitamin C, through its antioxidant properties, helps protect the skin from harmful UVB and UVA rays. Studies have shown that the use of vitamin C in combination with vitamin E increases skin protection against UV damage, reducing erythema and cellular damage.

4. regulation of inflammatory processes

Vitamin C also has anti-inflammatory effects. It reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1α and IL-6, which helps relieve skin inflammation caused by UV radiation and other stressors. In addition, vitamin C helps regenerate the oxidized form of vitamin E, further enhancing its anti-inflammatory and protective properties.

5. melanogenesis and skin lightening

Vitamin C affects the process of melanogenesis by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase, a key enzyme in melanin synthesis. As a result, it can reduce skin hyperpigmentation, which is particularly useful in treating conditions such as melasma and age spots. Vitamin C and its derivatives, such as ascorbyl magnesium phosphate, effectively reduce melanin synthesis both in melanocyte cultures and in vivo.

6. promote wound healing

Vitamin C plays an important role in the wound healing process. It increases fibroblast proliferation and migration, which is essential for effective wound healing. In addition, it stimulates collagen synthesis, which accelerates the regeneration of skin tissue and minimizes the formation of scars.

7. modulation of gene expression

Vitamin C affects the expression of genes related to antioxidant enzymes that are involved in DNA repair and protection against oxidative stress. It can also modulate the expression of genes involved in keratinocyte differentiation, which improves skin barrier function and overall skin health.


Vitamin C plays a multifaceted role in skin health. Its ability to support collagen synthesis, neutralize free radicals, protect against UV radiation, regulate inflammatory processes and melanogenesis makes it an essential ingredient in skin care. Further research into optimal formulations and delivery systems for vitamin C could bring even greater benefits to the fields of dermatology and cosmetology.

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