At the Laboratory of Connective Tissues Biology at the University of Liege in Belgium, researchers discovered that the topical application of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) could improve the skin’s appearance. Science shows that vitamin C plays a role in the production of healthy collagen, a main protein building block in connective tissue.
In a study on postmenopausal women, researchers applied a vitamin C cream on one part and a placebo on another part of each woman’s upper arm. The test results showed that skin is improved with topical vitamin C cream. It also showed that the vitamin C cream had the most beneficial effect on women with the lowest intake of vitamin C.
Similarly, at a Dermatology clinic in San Diego, vitamin C cream applied topically in a double-blind study resulted in clinically visible and statistically significant improvements in wrinkling. The associates at the clinic attribute the vitamin C cream’s effectiveness to its ability to stimulate new collagen formation. Ten patients each applied a vitamin C cream to half the face for 12 weeks. A placebo gel was applied to the other half. A clinical evaluation of wrinkling, pigmentation, inflammation and hydration was done prior to the study as well as at the four-, eight- and 12-week points. The results showed that the vitamin C cream decreased sun-damaged skin, especially in the cheek and mouth region. Skin samples also showed increased collagen and hydration, and decreased inflammation throughout the portion of the face treated with vitamin C cream.
Sources: Dermatol Surg 2002 Mar;28(3):231-6; J Invest Dermatol 2001;116(6):853-9