Vitamin C and derivatives

The human body cannot synthesize vitamin C, so we need to take vitamin C and apply vitamin C on the skin to ensure good health and white skin.

As one of the antioxidants with the highest content in the epidermis and dermis, vitamin C is also very rich in functions. Simply put, it includes promoting collagen regeneration, anti-inflammatory, inhibiting melanin production, anti-oxidation, etc., if you want white to glow or Forever youthfulness, Navitas C should be indispensable.

Of course, good things are never perfect. There are many disadvantages of pure vitamin C, including skin feeling, irritation, absorption, stability, etc. It is actually not easy to use vitamin C for products of major brands, so for so many years In the coming days, many brothers and sisters of Vitamin C were born, which is the so-called derivative of Vitamin C.

These derivatives have various structures and have their own advantages, but they are indeed dazzling and difficult to distinguish. Today, I will take a good look at popular science and give everyone a little bit of attention to this huge family.

Before starting to elaborate on vitamin C derivatives, everyone should understand a few points:

  1. In terms of efficacy, derivatives are generally not as good as pure vitamin C. The key to derivatives is stability, ease of use, and sufficient gentleness to the skin;
  2. Although derivatives can be divided into one, two, three, and four generations according to the time sequence of the invention, it is not easy to say who is strong and who is weak, and it also depends on the concentration and the design of the formula;
  3. Whether it can be transformed into vitamin C in the skin can affect the efficacy of the derivative, but it is not absolute. The key depends on the results of clinical trials.

The first generation of vitamin C derivatives

The first generation of Vitamin C was quite popular in the past, but it is not used much now. They include vitamin C sodium phosphate (SAP), magnesium phosphate (MAP), vitamin C glycoside (AA2G), and vitamin C palmitate (AAPAL).

The reason why they were invented back then was mainly due to stability considerations, so some complex groups were attached to the molecules of Vitamin C, which looked cumbersome, but at least they could be conveniently added to the formula, and they were not so easy to change color. And after hanging these large groups, the transdermal absorption will be better.

In addition, in terms of mildness, these vitamin C derivatives are also good.

For example, vitamin C glycosides are always a little old, but they are often seen in many whitening products for sensitive skin, such as Avene’s whitening line or several Clinique whitening products.

There are also phosphate salts such as SAP or MAP. Although there is not much data on anti-oxidation and anti-aging, in the past two years, it has been found that their anti-acne and anti-inflammatory functions are good. About 5% can stabilize the oily skin. I said before. Both Cosmedica products have added more than 15% of SAP.

There are also shortcomings, otherwise, it will not be surpassed by subsequent generations of dimension C. One is that their transdermal absorption and conversion rate are really mediocre, and the effect is not as good as pure vitamin C. It is not a “strong medicine”. If you want to take effect as soon as possible, it is meaningless to use them.

Another problem, the stability is not as good as expected, especially at high concentrations, such as vitamin C glycosides, SAP, MAP, etc., which will still change color.

The second generation of vitamin C derivatives

Dou Zhuan Xing Yi, the second generation of vitamin C derivatives finally emerged.

Including VC-IP (Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate) and Ethyl Vitamin C, which have been very popular in the past two years, the former is oil-soluble and the latter is water-soluble, both of which are relatively good.

VC-IP is more interesting. In European and American companies like Estée Lauder, an ingredient with a similar name (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) is used. In fact, their structure is basically the same (slightly different), just because of the raw materials. When registering, I chose a different name.

This oil-soluble vitamin C derivative is currently the most expensive vitamin C, which is probably dozens of times more than pure vitamin C and more expensive than most peptides.

Expensive naturally makes sense.

On the one hand, VC-IP can be quickly absorbed by the skin, depending on its oil-soluble characteristics, it can penetrate the sebum and enter the epidermis and dermis, while the traditional vitamin C is slower. On the other hand, its effect is not bad. Although the molecular weight is large, some indicators will exceed pure vitamin C in terms of anti-oxidation, inhibition of melanin, and promotion of collagen production.

Of course, stability is also the advantage of VC-IP. After a few months of high temperature, it is completely fine. It is much stronger than Vitamin C. In terms of products, the latest Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Capsules or Dr.Ci: 377 Whitening Essence all contain VC-IP.

Let’s talk about ethyl vitamin C.

Ethyl Vitamin C is also a recruit that has emerged in the past two years. Due to its small molecular weight (closest to pure Vitamin C), its stable properties, and good effects, it is still favored by many people. I also mentioned it in several articles before. Pass this ingredient.

For example, in terms of anti-oxidation, some indicators are very close to pure vitamin C, and the whitening effect is not bad. There are also many products that use it, such as The Ordinary, Kiehl’s, Garnier, and so on.

Whether it is VC-IP or ethyl vitamin C, they also have a common advantage-high efficiency.

From the supplier’s recommended concentration, both derivatives only need about 3% to achieve good results, and the traditional vitamin C concentration of more than 10% is not required, leaving a lot of space for formula design.

The third generation of vitamin C derivatives

The third-generation vitamin C derivatives are relatively rare, with few applications, and difficult to find literature. They are rising stars, but the specific effects may need to be further verified.

Including APPS (Trisodium Ascorbyl Palmitate Phosphate), AAP (Aminopropanol Ascorbyl Phosphate), or ASCORBIC SILANE C (Ascorbyl Methyl Silanol Pectate) and other ingredients.

Like APPS, it is supported by two or three articles, which is already a very rare derivative. This ingredient comes from Japan and is commonly called it-Vitamin C derivative, which is actually a derivative. It is better modified in terms of skin permeability and stability. It is both hydrophilic and lipophilic.

In the limited literature, it can be found that APPS’s advantage lies in its better skin permeability. Compared with its previous generation SAP and AA2G, the skin permeability is many times higher, while the antioxidant performance is still maintained. More promising ingredients. There are not many applications of products, such as Dr.Ci: VC100 lotion and 377 essence, they all put some.

As for AAP (ascorbyl aminopropanol phosphate) or ASCORBIC SILANE C (ascorbyl methyl silanol pectinate), the literature is basically impossible to find. It is too new and can only be seen by relying on some information from the supplier. A little clue.

For example, AAP has better stability and almost no degradation at room temperature for four or five months. Only 10% of pure vitamin C remains, and only about 70% of AA2G.

The advantage is so obvious, no wonder the entire Estee Lauder line (including the Mystery of Aquamarine) has added this ingredient, and Dermalogica’s Vitamin C baby bottle also has its traces. Another very mouth-watering name ASCORBIC SILANE C, which combines vitamin C and silanol, is a patent of the French company Aitamei.

Silicon element was originally helpful for skin repair. After adding vitamin C, not only the effect is enhanced, but the skin feel can also have the texture of silicone oil, which is very distinctive. It inhibits melanin and strengthens cell vitality and other effects.

In terms of products, including Dermalogica, SVR, DHC, etc., some elements that are innovative are added to it, and they do not play a major role.

The fourth generation of vitamin C derivatives

The fourth-generation vitamin C derivatives are even rarer. I personally feel that we need to maintain a wait-and-see attitude, and they are all concepts from Japan.

For example, in the Tunemakers stock solution, what is the fourth-generation vitamin C derivative has been introduced. Then I followed the vines and found that this series is from a supplier in Japan. They have made six very special vitamin C derivatives, modified with glycerol and alkyl groups, and their functions are also divided into traditional vitamin C derivatives. There are many differences in C derivatives.

Some vitamin C can act as an emulsifier, and some vitamin C can stimulate the regeneration of ceramide. It seems to subvert the previous imagination. The brain hole is a bit big, but there is no specific effect. It is hard to say. Anyway, there is no literature. Yes, no supplier data can be found…

When I was watching Mibel’s freeze-dried facial masks, I also found a vitamin C peptide ingredient. It is said that vitamin C and peptides are grafted together. It has both the function of peptides and the antioxidant properties of vitamin C.

It sounds very good, very novel, but also very rare, only seen in AHC eye cream, but anyway, it can be classified into the fourth generation of vitamin C derivatives.

In the end, I counted down. It is estimated that there are no less than 20 kinds of brothers and sisters of dimension C. It can be seen that the major raw material suppliers and brands attach importance to dimension C: always change the way to take dimension C. Add it to the recipe, after all, ginger is still old and spicy.

For ordinary consumers, how should they choose products containing vitamin C (and its derivatives), I have summarized a few points for everyone:

  1. If you are tolerant to the skin and have no requirements for skin feel, you can choose pure vitamin C essence and use it up as soon as possible to avoid oxidation;
  2. If you want to pursue mildness and effectiveness, VC-IP and ethyl vitamin C now seem to be the best two ingredients, and the content of 2-3% is effective. You can choose VC-IP (oil-soluble) for dry skin. , You can choose ethyl vitamin C (water soluble) for oil skin;
  3. The traditional vitamin C derivatives, such as AA2G, SAP, etc., of course are not bad, the concentration should be as high as possible, otherwise the effect will be very slow;
  4. Very novel dimension C, you can try, but mainly wait and see.


Boyera, N., Galey, I., & Bernard, BA (1998). Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross- linking by normal human fibroblasts. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 20(3), 151– 158.
Sheraz, MA, Ahmed, S., Ahmad, I., Shaikh, RH, Vaid, FHM, & Iqbal, K. (2011). Formulation and stability of ascorbic acid in topical preparations. Systematic Reviews in Pharmacy, 2(2) , 86–90.
Sheraz, M. A., Khan, M. F., Ahmed, S., Kazi, S. H., & Ahmad, I. (2015). Stability and Stabilization of Ascorbic Acid. Household and Personal Care Today, 10(3), 22–25.
Farris, P. K. (2005). Topical vitamin C: a useful agent for treating photoaging and other dermatologic conditions. Dermatologic Surgery: Official Publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et Al.], 31(7 Pt 2), 814–818.