H. Yang, MD, N. Monteiro-Riviere, PhD, H.V. DeBuys, MD, L.C. Walker, Y. Wang, MD, and M. Levine, MD have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters. S.R. Pinnell, MD is a consultant for Skinceuticals (Dallas, TX). M. Omar, PhD is president of PhytoCeuticals (Elmwood Park, NJ).
Topical L-Ascorbic Acid: Percutaneous Absorption Studies
Article first published online: 7 JUL 2008
Volume 27, Issue 2, pages 137–142, February 2001
How to Cite
Pinnell, S. R., Yang, H., Omar, M., Riviere, N. M., DeBuys, H. V., Walker, L. C., Wang, Y. and Levine, M. (2001), Topical L-Ascorbic Acid: Percutaneous Absorption Studies. Dermatologic Surgery, 27: 137–142. doi: 10.1046/j.1524-4725.2001.00264.x
- Issue published online: 7 JUL 2008
- Article first published online: 7 JUL 2008
Background. Reactive oxygen species generated by ultraviolet light result in photocarcinogenic and photoaging changes in the skin. Antioxidants protect skin from these insults.
Objective. This study defines formulation characteristics for delivering L-ascorbic acid into the skin to supplement the skin's natural antioxidant reservoir.
Methods. L-ascorbic acid or its derivatives were applied to pig skin. Skin levels of L-ascorbic acid were measured to determine percutaneous delivery.
Results. L-ascorbic acid must be formulated at pH levels less than 3.5 to enter the skin. Maximal concentration for optimal percutaneous absorption was 20%. Tissue levels were saturated after three daily applications; the half-life of tissue disappearance was about 4 days. Derivatives of ascorbic acid including magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl-6-palmitate, and dehydroascorbic acid did not increase skin levels of L-ascorbic acid.
Conclusions. Delivery of topical L-ascorbic acid into the skin is critically dependent on formulation characteristics.