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Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid, the pure form of vitamin C) is a natural antioxidant . Most animals make vitamin C but humans have lost this ability 1.
Therefore, humans typically get vitamin C from diet and/or vitamin supplements. In the skin, vitamin C is the predominant antioxidant, where the majority of the vitamin C is concentrated in the epidermis rather than in the dermis. Since the epidermis composes the outermost 10% of the skin and acts as the initial barrier to oxidant assault, it makes sense that it contains the highest levels of antioxidants of the skin (such as Vitamin C and E) 2.
When topically applied, vitamin C has been shown to display antioxidant and photo-protective properties 3.