Ascorbic acid USP (vitamin C) is a water-soluble vitamin. It occurs as a white or light yellow crystal or powder, but once it is exposed to light it gradually darkens in color. Ascorbic acid USP has an acidic taste. In a dry state, ascorbic acid USP is stable. However, in aqueous solutions ascorbic acid becomes very unstable and begins to oxidize immediately. This oxidation gradually fabricates a color change as well as a reduction in activity. Once these changes have occurred, the chemical becomes dehydroascorbic acid.
In humans, a deficiency of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) can cause scurvy. In humans, ascorbic acid is needed for collagen formulation and tissue repair. The chemical name, ascorbic acid, is derived from the Latin name of scurvy, scorbutus. The symptoms of ascorbic acid deficiency include depression and exhaustion, followed by the formation of spots on the skin, soft gums, and bleeding from the mucous membranes. However, if ascorbic acid is administered into the body, the symptoms of scurvy are reversed.
In the cosmetics industry, ascorbic acid is well known for its skin protection benefits as well as its anti-aging effects. It is a powerful antioxidant and skin whitening active ingredient. Ascorbic acid is best stabilized in an anhydrous lipid or silicone base.
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