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Ascorbic Acid (L) (Vitamin C)



SKU 94

Quantity Price
10+ Items $4.95

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is derived from glucose. Primates like humans cannot synthesize it (we lack a needed enzyme), so we have to ingest it from a source that contains it, such as citrus fruit.


The vitamin C we ingest through our diet and oral supplements may not reach our skin in quantities high enough to have a significant impact. Ascorbic acid (and derivatives that our body can use) protect us from free radicals like those formed during exposure of our skin to UVA and UVB radiation. Ascorbic acid is also necessary to synthesize collagen.


Ascorbic acid is a safe active that will bring multiple benefits to your skin, preventing future damage but also working to repair the effects of aging and sun on your skin.

Ascorbic Acid is best used after a shower or bath because skin permeability increases. Or, you can use the Ascorbic Acid crystals while in the shower or bath as an exfoliating scrub. Use a sponge or your fingertips to massage some of the crystals directly into the skin on the face and/or body to exfoliate. Rinse thoroughly.

You could also make a simple vitamin C solution. Add ¼ cup of water (55mL) to half a teaspoon of active (1.7 g) and mix until well dissolved (it takes a few seconds) to create a 3% solution. Apply a small amount of the solution to cotton wool and smooth over skin daily. Leave on or, if it stings, rinse skin thoroughly. Afterwards, apply a cream containing lipophilic antioxidants, like our Antioxidant Day Cream.

For a vitamin C serum with ascorbic acid, try our ready-made Vitamin C Serums. Or, for help mixing up your own ascorbic acid serum, check out our forum for plenty of DIY vitamin C serum recipes.

We recommend using the more stable Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphage (MAP) for creams or products that contains peptides and proteins.


L-ascorbic acid.

Ascorbic acid (and derivatives that our body can use) protects us from free radicals like those formed during exposure of our skin to UVA and UVB radiation. Ascorbic acid is also necessary to synthesize collagen, where it is required to hydroxylate the amino acid proline after synthesis of the protein. Scurvy is a syndrome of vitamin C deficiency and is related to defective collagen synthesis. Ascorbic acid is known to inhibit synthesis of melanin. This is probably because melanin is made by our skin in response to stress, and ascorbic acid is in the first line of defense, preventing the damage before melanin synthesis can be initiated. Ascorbic acid and its derivatives promote wound healing, control inflammation, and reduce erythema.

Question: What about L and D ascorbic acid?
Answer: Some molecules exist in mirror forms (D and L). These molecules have at least one asymmetric carbon atom, i.e. a carbon atom that has each of its four bonds occupied by four different atoms or groups of atoms. Ascorbic acid is one such molecule. L-ascorbic acid means that the compound's stereochemistry is related to that of the levorotatory enantiomer of glyceraldehyde.
Please see -
Regarding chirality of ascorbic acid and skin care, there are two questions
1)         Does it matter whether a chemical is D or L? Yes, it does, because the special distribution of atoms is part of the structure of the chemical and will determine some of its properties.
2)         Does it matter whether you are using the L- stereoisomer or a racemic mix of ascorbic acid on your skin? No, although the ascorbic acid we use and sell at Skin Actives is pure L-.

When no enzymes are involved, either isomer will do. You need a minute amount of L-ascorbic acid, a cofactor for enzymes involved in the hydroxylation of pro-collagen amino acid residues. A racemic mix of ascorbic acid will have more than enough L-isomer  to do the job. Our ascorbic acid is the L-stereoisomer, very fresh (reduced) and in very fine crystals so that it can do a better job.

Customer Reviews**

  • Author: Lisa
    This is my favorite active. I use it as a toner mixed with some distilled water every other day. Makes my skin look super healthy, clear and tight. There was a visible difference after using for about two weeks, now I cannot do without it.
  • Author: Susan
    I took a skin care class in which the instructor advised, Only 2 things actually work for wrinkles: Retin-A and Vitamin C. She added, Vitamin C cream is expensive. So I started an Internet search for Vitamin C, ended up here and purchased the Ascorbic Acid powder. I mix a little with water and splash it on my face after washing and WOW, I cannot believe the effects! My 55-year-old skin looks better than it EVER has and I do not need any moisturizer! Unbelievable! I recommended it to my neice who complained even the lightest moisturizer caused her to break out. She is just as impressed as I am. It just seems to make my skin "new!" I'm so thrilled!
  • Author: Kimberly
    This has got to be one of my favorite skin care discoveries of all times. I tell everyone about it. At first, I made a toner, then I found that after bathing if I just gently rubbed a small amount of crystals from head to toe on my wet skin (I usually splash a little water on my face afterwards) it was absolutely the best exfoliating product I have ever used. Wow, great exfoliating and a dose vitamin C as well. My skin, at 49, is smoother and softer than it has been in decades. It also seems to be slowly tightening some age spots. Afterward, I put on light layer of rose hip oil and I am good to go. What could be easier or more natural!
  • Author: AIA
    On Kimberly's advice I started using this in the shower for a bit of exfoliating. I am amazed at how soft my skin gets. Use a little as it can sting, though. Great product.
  • Author: Bee
    I've used this both as a scrub (rubbing an itty bitty scoop of crystals over my damp face) and as a toner as described in the instructions. Using it as a scrub softens and smooths my skin scrumptiously... this is my skin, really??? I'm not sure what results I'm getting with using it as a toner because my whole Skin Actives regime is working wonderfully for my skin! Highly recommended!
  • Author: kim
    everybody says vit c ascorbic is like gold for the skin. I so wanted this vit C to be the miracle skin smoother it is for so many of you but honestly doesn't really do all that much to my skin. I still use it b/c I don't believe it hurts and i like having an antioxidant in my skin. But I here of all the amazing stories and I"m like, gee, why can't I be one of those people. I am still looking for my holy grail active. This still remains in my arsenal though. kudo to skin active for carrying so many great individual product ingredients for the sensitive skin people such as myself.
  • Author: Pia Francesca
    A very important ingredient- I use this as a scrub like Kimberly suggested and wow! Skin is bright, light and super scrubbed. Ready for comforting hydration. Wait a bit if you are using an active to hydrate after this C scrub. Sensitive skin types should avoid using it as a scrub. It really is that hardcore. Acne skin types will love it, heals and diminishes breakouts. Skin actives Ascorbic acid is the best Raw C I have ever used on the market. It melts quicker then other raw Ascorbic Acids. Making a tincture of this fresh each day and using it as a treatment serum/toner is easy- mix about 1 teaspoon with 1/8 cup of purified water and apply with cotton swab. Apply like a toner. Easy. It's skin tightening effects last two hours. Then you just glow. I have been using the toner technique all over my body before I sunbathe to protect my skin along with sunblock. For those days I make big batches and apply it with a clean face cloth. Used before applying body lotions creates firm healthy skin. The toner technique is just like Celex C
  • Author: Jill
    I love this powder. I use it as a toner at high concentration once or twice a week and it acts as a light peel for me. 5 stars!
  • Author: Tola
    Fantastic product. I am of African heritage. My elbows were dark from the elbow along the bone from the elbow to the middle of my forearm. I have used this product highly in a very small amount of my daily cream for two months. The results have been slow. But WOW!! it has worked as there is much improved there is just a little way to go until the dark area is totally toned to the rest of the area. Amazing I cannot recommend enough. Very Well Done SkinActives. I am really impressed.


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