What is the Physiological Difference between Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid) and D-Ascorbic Acid?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and a powerful one at that. It can neutralize free radicals which may cause cell damage, mutation, or even lead to cancer. However, there are two types of vitamin C – L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) and D-Ascorbyl- grape extract (D-Ascorbic Acid). Both of them are known as Vitamin C but they have different structures and functions. While both vitamins help in the production of collagen, relieve stress, and maintain the integrity of skin; they have dissimilar properties. Let’s take a look at what makes these two vitamins unique:


  • D-isoascorbic acid is usually used as a food additive to preserve the freshness and color of meat, and has a little biological activity.
  • L-ascorbic acid is left-right-rotating ascorbic acid, the most biologically active and most easily absorbed vitamin C. Due to its high production cost, most vitamin C supplements on the market are not used.


The chemical formula of vitamin C is C6H8O6, and this molecule has four structures, namely, left-right-ascorbic acid is called left-ascorbic acid (L-ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid). Ascorbic acid (L-isoascorbic acid or L-erythorbic acid, or L-araboascorbic acid), dextro-ascorbic acid is called dextro-ascorbic acid (D-ascorbic acid, D-ascorbic acid), and dex-lev-ascorbic acid is often called D-isoascorbic acid.


Among them, L-ascorbic acid (ie, left-ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid) has the most biological activity, while D-isoascorbic acid (ie, dextro-ascorbic acid) is slightly biologically active, about the same as that of left-form vitamin C. About 2.5-5% (set the biological activity of left-form vitamin C as 1), but both L-isoascorbic acid (ie, left-form ascorbic acid) and D-ascorbic acid (ie, right-form ascorbic acid) have no biological activity.


In the cosmetics market, if you buy D-ascorbic acid products, please pull the weeds decisively. Although its antioxidant activity is better than L-ascorbic acid and its price is lower, its biological activity is very low and it is not easily absorbed by the human body.


In the global vitamin C market, there are mainly two kinds of synthetic vitamin C products, namely, L-ascorbic acid and D-isoascorbic acid.


What is L-Ascorbic Acid?

L-Ascorbic Acid is a type of Vitamin C that is water-soluble. It is found in abundance in citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. L-Ascorbic Acid is naturally produced by the human body and is also found in vegetables, fruits, and grains. Due to its water-soluble nature, it gets easily absorbed in the bloodstream and goes to work to detoxify and repair the tissues. Some of the benefits of L-Ascorbic Acid include an increased collagen production and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. As compared to D-Ascorbic Acid, L-Ascorbic Acid stays in the blood stream for long and is also easily broken down and excreted from the body.

What is D-Ascorbic Acid?

D-Ascorbic Acid is a synthetic form of Vitamin C. It is oil-soluble and is found in many anti-aging creams. Due to its oil-soluble nature, it is absorbed by the upper layers of the skin and does not pass through to the lower layers. This makes it an effective form of Vitamin C used in many skin products. Some of the benefits of D-Ascorbic Acid are an increased skin elasticity, reduced wrinkles, and an improved collagen production. As compared to L-Ascorbic Acid, D-Ascorbic Acid is not easily broken down. It is also known to stay in the skin for a longer duration.

What’s the difference between L-Ascorbic and D-Ascorbic Acid?

There are many differences between these two vitamins. Let’s take a look at some of them. Vitamin E. Vitamin C is also known as a vitamin E. Vitamin E helps in the repair of skin damage, lowers the risk of cancer, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Storage. As compared to D-Ascorbic Acid, L-Ascorbic Acid stays for a longer duration in products such as creams and serums. It is soluble in water, oil, and alcohol and is therefore used in various cosmetic products. Solubility. Since L-Ascorbic Acid is soluble in water, it can be easily broken down. On the other hand, D-Ascorbic Acid is soluble in fats, oils, alcohol, and not in water. This is why it takes more effort to break down D-Ascorbic Acid.

Why is there a need to differentiate between L and D Ascorbic Acid?

Since both vitamins have different properties, it is important to understand their differences. If you are using a vitamin C serum, then the type of the serum you use matters. It is also important to know the difference between the two types of C serums to know what works best for your skin. If you are using a serum that is rich in D-Ascorbic Acid, then you might be getting its side effects. These side effects can be irritation, redness, or itching. On the other hand, if you are using a serum that is rich in L-Ascorbic Acid, then you can enjoy its benefits. The difference between the two types of C serums can help you make an informed decision. You can also go to a doctor or a dermatologist who can advise you accordingly.

Final Words

Is it important to differentiate between L and D Ascorbic Acid? Yes! Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that can reduce the risk of many diseases including cancer. We all know that we can get Vitamin C from foods like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. But did you know that these fruits also contain a form of Vitamin C that is different from the Vitamin C that is found in supplements and is used in skincare products? Yes! The Vitamin C found in fruits is L-Ascorbic Acid, while the Vitamin C found in supplements and skin care products are D-Ascorbic Acid. And although both types of Vitamin C are effective antioxidants, they do have different properties. These differences can affect how the Vitamin C is absorbed into your skin, as well as how long it stays in your skin and how it affects your skin’s health.