Vitamin C And Aging – Aging? Well, it’s not me, I’m still young. But the fact is aging can come to everyone at any time because aging does not always depend on how old you are, but there are several conditions that can cause premature aging.

This time, we want to talk about skin aging. Most people don’t recognize the signs of aging until their 30s or 40s and some people never bother with aging their skin before someone says “ah, why do you look older this time? You are younger than me”. When you know you are 29 but everyone tells you that your face looks older than your age, than the time when you started taking care of your skin and changing your daily routine for your skin.


What is Skin Aging?

Kirkwood and Austad (2000) said, aging is usually defined as a progressive loss of function accompanied by decreased fertility and increased mortality advancing age. So, the theory says it is a loss of function and progressive aging can affect all systems in our body. But, what about aging skin? Should I worry about skin aging? I’m only in my 30’s.
Even though we are young, research says that we can also experience skin aging. This Study says “premature skin aging”. What is that???? Premature? So skin aging will come to you like no one would predict right?

Premature skin aging caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet irradiation from sunlight. Long-term sun exposure contains more UVB ultraviolet and UVA. UVA irradiation activates ROS (are free radicals, an unstable type of molecule that contains oxygen and which readily reacts with other molecules in cells. Constructed from oxygen species reactions in cells can cause damage to DNA, RNA, and proteins and can lead to cell death) signals from activating the ROS system cause DNA damage.

Skin Aging and Its Characteristics

Skin aging is a complex biological process consisting of two components, intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic aging is also called true aging which is an inevitable change that is caused by the passage of time alone and is manifested mainly by physiological changes with subtle consequences but undoubtedly essential for healthy and healthy skin and is largely genetically determined. Extrinsic aging is caused by environmental exposure, especially to UV rays, and the more commonly called shooting. The intrinsic rate of skin aging in any individual can be affected dramatically by personal and environmental factors, particularly the amount of exposure to ultraviolet rays.

Photodamage, which significantly speeds up visible aging of the skin, also greatly increases the risk of skin cancer. Intrinsic aging is an inevitable physiological process that results in thin, dry skin, fine wrinkles and gradual dermal atrophy, while extrinsic aging is provided by external environmental factors such as air pollution, smoking, poor nutrition, loss of elasticity, and the appearance of aging skin.

Vitamin C and Aging Skin

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is the most abundant antioxidant in human skin, forming part of a group of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant complexes that coexist to protect the skin from reactive oxygen species (ROS). Vitamin C is water-soluble, functions in the chest compartment of cells. When the skin is exposed to UV rays, ROS such as superoxide ions, peroxide and singlet oxygen are generated. Vitamin C protects the skin from oxidative stress by sequentially donating electrons to neutralize free radicals. The oxidized forms of vitamin C are relatively non-reactive. Furthermore, they can be converted back to Vitamin C by the enzyme dehydro acid acid reductase in the presence of glutathione. Exposure to UV rays can reduce the availability of Vitamin C in the skin.

Antioxidants are required to neutralize the ROS formed due to UV exposure. It is important to note that Vit C is equally effective against UVB (290-320 nm) and UVA (320-400 nm) . Repeated small doses of UVA penetrate 30-40 times deeper into the dermis as it fights UVB, which mostly affects the epidermis. UVA mutates and destroys collagen, skin elastin, proteoglycans (proteoglycans support hydration of normal skin extracellular matrix, providing resilience, viscoelasticity, and a soft environment conducive to cellular function and development ) and other skin cellular structures. Thus, UVA causes UVB skin to cause sunburn, ROS, epidermal mutations (mutations that occur in the outer layer of the skin) and skin cancer. Sunscreen when applied properly prevents UV-induced erythema (is a type of skin rash caused by injured or inflamed blood capillaries) and other serious skin problems. However, sunscreen only blocks 55% of the free radicals generated by UV exposure. Photoageing (premature aging) can be prevented by preventing UV-induced erythmias, sunburn cell formation and inducing collagen repair. To optimize UV ​​protection, it is important to use sunscreens in combination with topical antioxidants. Vit.C does not absorb UV rays but provides a UV protective effect by neutralizing free radicals, while this effect is not seen with sunscreens. Under laboratory conditions, it has been shown that application of topical Vit 10% .C showed a statistical reduction of UVB-induced erythema by 52% and sunburn cell formation by 40-60% .

Vitamin C also directly activates the transcription of collagen synthesis and stabilizes procollagen mRNA, thereby regulating collagen synthesis. Clinical studies have shown that topical use of Vit.C increases collagen production in young as well as aging human skin. Some studies also suggest Vitamin C as a depigmenting agent, but vitamin C is often combined with other depigmenting agents such as soy and liquor for better depigmenting effects. Vitamin C interacts with copper ions at the tyrosinase-active site and inhibits the action of the tyrosinase enzyme, thereby reducing melanin formation.

How Can You Find Vitamin C ?

Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit, amla, tomatoes, sprouted grains and green leafy vegetables. For lemons, lemons contain 77mg of vitamin C per 100 grams, with one medium lemon providing 92% of the DV. For adults, the recommended daily amount of vitamin C is 65 to 90 milligrams (mg) daily and the upper limit is 2,000 mg daily. Be careful, too much dietary vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, taking vitamin C supplements can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach cramps, headaches and insomnia.13 You can also get vitamin C injections into your veins. But keep in mind, however, that you have to go to your doctor to do this.


  1. Thomas B. L. Kirkwood, Steven N. Austad. Why do we age. NATURE. 2000. VOL 408. DOI: 10.1038/35041682 · Source: PubMed
  2. Uraiwan Panich, Gunya Sittihumcharee, Natwarath Rathviboon, Siwanon Jirawatnotai. Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Skin Aging: The Role of DNA Damage and Oxidative Stress in Epidermal Stem Cell Damage Mediated Skin Aging. Hindawi Publishing Corporation Stem Cells International Volume 2016, Article ID 7370642, 14 pages
  3. Assaf H., Adly M.A., Hussein M.R. (2010) Aging and Intrinsic Aging: Pathogenesis and Manifestations. In: Farage M.A., Miller K.W., Maibach H.I. (eds) Textbook of Aging Skin. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
  4. Shoubing Zhang, Enkui Duan. Fighting against Skin Aging: The Way from Bench to Bedside. SAGE. Cell Transplantation 2018, Vol. 27(5) 729–738 ª The Author(s) 2018 Reprints and permission: DOI: 10.1177/0963689717725755
  5. Wikipedia. Vitamin C. Access : March 6 2021
  6. Pumori Saokar Telang. Vitamin C in Dermatology. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr-Jun; 4(2): 143–146. doi: 10.4103/2229-5178.110593
  7. Traikovich SS. Use of Topical Ascorbic acid and its effects on Photo damaged skin topography. Arch Otorhinol Head Neck Surg. 1999;125:1091–8
  8. Matsuda S, Shibayama H, Hisama M, Ohtsuki M, Iwaki M. Inhibitory effects of novel ascorbic derivative VCP-IS-2Na on melanogenesis. Chem Pharm Bull. 2008;56:292–7.
  9. Margaret Mary Smith, James Melrose. Proteoglycans in Normal and Healing Skin. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2015 Mar 1; 4(3): 152–173. doi: 10.1089/wound.2013.0464
  10. Farris PK. Cosmetical Vitamins: Vitamin C. In: Draelos ZD, Dover JS, Alam M, editors. Cosmeceuticals. Procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology. 2nd ed. New York: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. pp. 51–6.
  11. Burke KE. Interaction of Vit C and E as better Cosmeseuticals. Dermatol Ther. 2007;20:314
  12. Draelos ZD. Skin lightening preparations and the hydroquinone controversy. Dermatol Ther. 2007;20:308
  13. Katherine Zeratsky, RD, LD. Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?. Acces :

vitamin c and aging vitamin c and aging vitamin c and aging



Sunrays Makes Skin Problems – I remember back when I was a little. My skin is so soft, no worries with sunburn, acnes problem, dry skin etc. But later on, I knew that I must be more concerned about how sunrays makes skin problems with my skin. When everyone wanted to get tanned, another wanted to get much brighter. Truly I tell you, all those things maybe can impact our skin condition and can cause many problems later.

This time, I want to share with you about how sun rays can effectively cause skin damage in short or long period of time. Sunrays makes skin problems that can cause sunburn, also aging! Ladies, ageing makes us more worries than before. Skin ageing and dehydration causes by several things. The environment, the UV light, from the medication that you take, any medical conditions (ex: cancer, hypothyroidism ).


Figure 1. Skin Anatomy (source: WebMd © 2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. )

Skin represents our barrier against the environment and it consists in 3 layers: Hypodermis (deepest layer) which consisted by adipose tissue, vessels, and nerves. Dermis (middle layer) consisted by connective tissue, there are collagen and elastin fibers, blood vessels, oil glands, hair follicles, sweat glands. The third is Epidermis (the outer layer) consisted by keratinocytes. Keratinocytes are the primary type of cell in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. IN humans, they constitute 90% of epidermal skin cells.1 Keratinocytes, localized in the stratum corneum (stratum corneum is the outermost layer of keratinocytes which continuously shed and replaced). Stratum corneum provides skin hydration and in particular, lipids play a significant role against evaporation holding water. Sweat and oil glands products, skin natural moisturizing factors, participate to moisture content maintenance, acting as endogenous humectants.2


Our skin normally get exposed to the sun exclusively to wavelengths <294 nm, while solar ultraviolet radiation, which contains both UVA (320-499 nm) and UVB (290-320 nm), might cause injuries to the skin. UVA penetrates deeper than UVB into the skin layer and mediates damage to both the epidermis and dermis.3 Numerous reports have shown that UV radiation, including UVA and UVB, significantly disturbs the human skin cells production which skin will overproduction of reactive oxygen species/ROS (are free radicals, type of unstable molecule that contains oxygen and that easily reacts with other molecules in a cell. A build up of a reaction oxygen species in cells may cause damage to DNA, RNA, and proteins and may cause cell death), which impair antioxidant system such as thioredoxin and glutathione-glutathione peroxidase. Glutathione peroxidase is an intracellular antioxidant enzyme to protect skin from harmful effects of the external exposure. Thioredoxins are proteins in human body that act as antioxidants by facilitating the reduction of other proteins by biosynthesia in cell and help to controls expression of numerous inflammatory genes. In addition, thioredoxin has general intracellular antioxidant activity and when upregulated or overexpressed, protects against oxidative stress4 (is a phenomenon caused by an imbalance between production and accumulation of oxygen reactive species (ROS) in cells and tissues and the ability of a biological system to detoxify these reactive products).

Even sunrays makes skin problems, but human still needs the benefit of the sun rays, we still need to know which time is best sun light to our health. Because some studies says that suns’s rays may shrink fat cells below our skin, so it’s very important to know which the perfect time. Morning light estimated at 8 am and noon above 4pm it’s the safest time, which the ultraviolet concentration wasn’t high as 10 am to 4 pm. Vitamin D can actively be produced by the time we exposed to sunlight, sun exposure is by far the best way to boost our vitamin D levels.

But, what happen if we get overexposure from sunlight? What skin problem that we get?

Sun exposure can cause skin aging, and right sun’s ultraviolet light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching5. UV also causes the immunologically important epidermal Langerhan’s cells(cells location at the skin barrier and role as immune sentinels) to be inactivated and lost. Further effects of UV exposure include thickening of the epidermis and an increased production of melanin, a pigment produced by melanocytes that is responsible for tanning of the skin and some natural protection against future exposure. Environmental damage to the skin is associated with several neoplastic conditions commonly seen in the elderly, including actinic keratosis , Bowen’s disease , squamous cell carcinoma , and basal cell carcinoma.6 Risk of skin cancer is heavily influenced by UV exposure and by skin pigmentation.

Figure 2. Influence of pigmentation on skin cancer risk. Fair-skinned individuals with low levels of melanin(skin pigment) in the epidermis display a UV sensitive phenotype, tending to burn rather than tan, after UV exposure. Recent data suggest that mutations that contribute to fair complexion and tanning impairment, specifically signaling defects in the melanocortin 1 receptor/MC1R (is a protein that works like receptor in our skin, that regulates skin pigmentation, UV responses, and melanoma risk) may also be associated with less efficient DNA repair in melanocytes(cells that produces melanin/pigment). MC1R-defective individuals not only suffer higher realized doses of UV radiation because their skin is less able to block UV photons, but they may also accumulate more mutations from UV exposure because of defective DNA repair.

One of the most obvious acute effects of UV include erythema (sunburn), pigmentation (tanning), suppression of acquired immunity, and enhancement of innate immunity, all mostly caused by UVB.8 UVB induces a cascade of cytokines, vasoactive and neuroactive mediators in the skin that together result in an inflammatory response and causes “sunburn”.7


We are all familiar with sunscreen, right? So, its not just myth that our skin really needed protection to get blocked ultra violet from sun rays that can harmful to our skin and causes skin problems. Sunscreens were originally developed to minimize sunburn, but the action spectrum which shows more effective in UVB then UVA. Sun protection factor as we know as SPF mainly specific to protect against the UVB. And all we think that the higher SPF is, the higher protection we got from against UVA and UV, but that’s not true. SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays and SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays.9

Since SPF only applies to UVB rays, it’s imperative to choose a sunscreen that says “broad spectrum” on the label, as this indicates the product helps protect the skin from UVA rays as well.9 The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, then reapplying every two hours and immediately after swimming or sweating. No sunscreen is waterproof, only water-resistant.9 We must also have to considered about the skin cancer, because sunscreen alone is not enough. We still have to do extra protection such as shade and covering our skin with cloth, wide-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses.


  1. Wikipedia. Keratinocytes. Access 2 March 2021
  2. American Skin Association. Dry Skin. , Access 2 March 2021
  3. Pei-Wen Wang, Yu-Chiang Hung, Tung-Yi Lin, Jia-You Fang, Pei-Ming Yang, Mu-Hong Chen, Tai-Long Pan. Comparison of the Biological Impact of UVA and UVB upon the Skin with Functional Proteomics and Immunohistochemistry. MDPI. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Dec; 8(12): 569. Published online 2019 Nov 20. doi: 10.3390/antiox8120569.
  4. Elias S. J. Arner, Arne Holmgren. Physiological Functions of Thioredoxin and Thioredoxin Reductase. European Journal of Biochemistry. First published: 25 December 2001. . Access: March 3 2021.
  5. Cosmetic Procedure: Sun Exposure and Skin Cancer. .Access: March 4 2021
  6. Chronic and Acute Effects of Sun Exposure on the Skin. Mary Ann E. Zagaria, PharmD, MS, CGP
    Senior Care Consultant Pharmacist and
    President of MZ Associates, Inc., Staten Island, New York. US Pharm. 2007;32(4):20-26.)
  7. John D’Orazio, Stuart Jarret, Alexandra Amaro-Ortiz, Timothy Scott. UV Radiation and the Skin. International Journal of Molecular Science. Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Jun; 14(6): 12222–12248. Published online 2013 Jun 7. doi: 10.3390/ijms140612222
  8. Antony R. Young. Acute effects of UVR on Human Eyes and Skin. Prog Biophys Mol Biol 2006 Sep;92(1):80-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2006.02.005. Epub 2006 Feb 28
  9. Sunscreen 101: How to Get the Most out of Your Sun Protection Products. access: March 5 2021