Obagi Vitamin C Serums

Ingredient Spotlight: What Is L-Ascorbic Acid?

Category Icon filed under Skin | 2 Min Read

Blueberries, oranges and, acai berries have gained popularity in our constant effort to seek out the answers for achieving optimal health. Known for their powerful free-radical fighting abilities, antioxidants have most likely already found their way into your morning smoothie or breakfast bowl. But there’s another area we love antioxidants for – and that’s your skin.

When it comes to antioxidants, there’s a bounty to choose from. And while we love them all, Vitamin C has a strong reputation for delivering brighter, more radiant-looking skin. Which is why, at Obagi, we recommend the powerhouse ingredient– specifically in the form of L-Ascorbic acid – as a part of your skin care routine. Here’s why.


How do antioxidants benefit your skin?

When applied topically, antioxidants can be helpful in fighting free radicals and helps to improve the appearance of your skin. In fact, with daily use of Vitamin C, it can also helps to minimize the look of fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone that are caused by UV damage. It also aids in restoring skin’s antioxidant defenses, helping skin appear younger longer.

Obagi Professional C Serum
Obagi Professional C Serum

What is L-Ascorbic Acid?

Today, we know L-Ascorbic acid as the most potent and effective form of Vitamin C. But the function and popularity L-ascorbic acid has evolved over the centuries.

First used in the 1930s, L-Ascorbic Acid was originally a treatment for scurvy1; ascorbic literally means against scurvy.” At that time, it was ingested to treat and prevent the disease, but later research showed that ascorbic acid could be helpful in cosmeceuticals as well.

However, in order to be most beneficial to the skin, it must be in the L-ascorbic form, which, while effective, is equally difficult to stabilize. Unfortunately, once it is degraded, L-ascorbic acid can no longer carry out its beauty benefits and its effectiveness in fighting free-radical damage.

The good news: Obagi’s fan favorite Professional-C® Serums provide L-ascorbic acid in a bioavailable form for optimal skin absorption and results. With three different strength levels to choose from, Obagi has a Professional-C Serum for every skin type: dry, sensitive, normal, or oily.


What percentage of Vitamin C should I use?

The Obagi Professional-C® collection features four levels of L-Ascorbic Acid: 10%, 15% and 20% in the Professional-C Serums, as well as and an unparalleled level of 30% L-Ascorbic Acid in the Professional-C Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask. Choose your formula according to your skin type:

10% for dry or sensitive skin, 15% for normal and combination skin, and 20% for oily skin. Reach for the mask as a weekly treatment, adjusting the amount of times used based on your skin’s sensitivity.

Each formula will work to defend against oxidative stress, in turn brightening the skin, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improving overall complexion appearance.

Explore our Professional-C Serums and discover the antioxidant benefits for yourself.



1: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/szentgyorgyi.html