Ester C Vitamin for Effectively Treating Sun Damage

Do you live in one of the 13 worst skin cities, as dubbed by Many of the cities that made the list had a large number of tanning salons per capita or in Phoenix, Arizona’s case, plenty of sunlight.

While the best advice preventing sun damage is applying sunscreen, such as the non-chemical sunscreen in No Foundation Foundation from Dr. Perricone Cosmetics, one of the most effective treatments for sun damage is vitamin C ester.

Read on to learn why vitamin C ester helps and which Perricone products contain it.

Ester C: The Vitamin for You?

Topical vitamin C ester, an antioxidant, can help increase the skin’s production of collagen. This means ester C is a vitamin that can help thicken the skin. This is important because collagen essentially holds your skin in place.

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But vitamin C ester has another benefit. It helps heal inflammation. Vitamin C (ester or L-ascorbic acid) hinders the production of arachidonic acid, a chemical which causes inflammation. It hinders this chemical by converting arachidonic acid from a pro-inflammatory chemical into a group of less harmful substances. Ester C is better for topical application than L-ascorbic acid, the natural form of vitamin C, because L-ascorbic acid is only water-soluble. This means vitamin C can only go inside of a cell and cannot treat or prevent damage outside of a cell. Plus, L-ascorbic acid is an acid after all, which means it is very acidic, making it irritating to the skin.

So Dr. Perricone recommends ascorbyl palmitate, or vitamin C ester, a non-irritating compound which is both water- and fat-soluble. Dr. Perricone tested vitamin C ester, trying to heal sunburns. In The Wrinkle Cure, he explains:

    Using an artificial ultraviolet light source, I produced small sunburns on the forearms of men and women. I then had them apply one of two creams. One cream contained vitamin C ester; the other did not. The subjects reapplied the creams every four hours.

    Within a day or two, the burns treated with the vitamin C ester were almost completely healed. The burns treated with the “dummy” cream stayed red for several days longer. These findings strongly suggested that vitamin C ester was successfully battling the free radicals that create the pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid.

As his experiment shows, vitamin C ester is helpful in treating inflammation such as that caused by UV exposure.

Your Best Bet?

Remember, antioxidant therapy via vitamin C ester can help repair skin-damaging effects of the sun, it can’t completely eliminate the damage of a lifetime of unprotected UV exposure. This means you must apply sunscreen of at least an SPF 15 every single day. Whether you apply sunscreen after you apply moisturizer and before you put on makeup, or you have a moisturizer that includes a high concentration of SPF, it is important to add this step to your daily regimen.

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7 Comments • Please comment below


  1. Dr. Perricone,

    I have melasma on my cheeks and on the bridge of my nose. For the last year or so since this happened I have had several hydroquinone (6 to 8%) products and the result is redness of the spotted areas and in some cases the pigment darkens. I am very disappointed and to be honest frustrated. I read your book several years ago. I respect and value your opinion.I would appreciate any help you could assist me with.
    I am a 56 year old female.
    Thank You,
    God bless

  2. i would love to test these products

  3. I would love to see if Ester C works for me! My skin is terribly sensitive and I am afraid to try new things. I want to find something that works and stick with it!

  4. I have heard so many good things about ester-c.
    Would love to try it for redness.

  5. Owh boy. My hands have been itching to get hold of vitamin C products to treat my dull and lifeless skin. I hope vitamin C can help. how could i get hold of a sample?

  6. I agree vitamin C really helps our skin become beautiful. Seen it on T.V.

  7. I would love to be a tester for your beauty products!