Vitamins in Skincare

Vitamins in Skincare

With summer fast approaching, the sun’s rays can have a detrimental impact on your skin. It’s important to have a protective skincare regimen in place so you can avoid potential skin damage. In conjunction with your sunscreen routine, products containing vitamin C and vitamin E can be highly effective in reducing harm to your skin.

What are Vitamin C and Vitamin E?

Vitamin C is one of the most naturally occurring antioxidants in nature and can be found in various nutritional sources.2 These sources include citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, papaya, and broccoli.2 Vitamin C also was used traditionally to protect against scurvy. Sailors often brought vitamin C rich foods like lemons on their long journeys as a way to avoid contracting this disease.2

Vitamin E is another naturally occurring antioxidant that is fat-soluble and essential for maintaining healthy skin. Foods that contain Vitamin E include almond, raw seeds, and many types of greens. Topical application of this type of vitamin can also supply the skin with specific forms of vitamin E are not found in your diet.1

How do they Interact?

When combined, Vitamins C and E can improve the appearance of uneven skin tone, brighten a dull complexion, and strengthen skin’s defenses against environmental factors. These antioxidants work well together because vitamin C works optimally on the surface level, whereas vitamin E is oil-soluble so it goes deeper into the epidermis (Keen & Hassan 2016). Research has shown that the combination of these two ingredients in skincare provides appreciable levels of photoprotection to the skin, helping to defend it from skin cancer and signs of aging (Lin at al 2003).  

What are the different kinds of Vitamin C and Vitamin E in skincare?

The most common type of Vitamin C when it comes to skincare is Ascorbic Acid. This type of vitamin C has a quick absorption rate and has the highest potency when applied topically.3 L-ascorbic acid can be found in all Riversol moisturizers and the Eye Repair Treatment. Another kind of vitamin C is Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate. This type of active vitamin C is patented, extremely stable and gentle. It heals the skin in similar ways to l-acsorbic acid and performs the functions of inflammation reduction in the skin, collagen synthesis, and moisturizing the skin2.

Tocopherols are the primary forms of vitamin E found in the body, and the most abundant.1 Another type of vitamin E is Tocotrienols, which are less common in the body.1

There has been evidence that topically applied vitamin E plays a key role in protecting body cells and tissues from damage caused by natural body processes and stresses from the environment. It has also been noted that vitamin E decreases the development of wrinkles due to its strong moisturizing effects. Topical application is particularly important because only a small trace of vitamin E is present in the epidermis and dermis.

Another form of vitamin E, Disodium Lauriminodipropionate Tocopheryl Phosphates, is highly stable and bioavailable. Like Tocopherol, this type of vitamin E protects the skin from environmental stresses and has been shown to help decrease wrinkles in the skin.  

What are the benefits of using Vitamin C on your skin?

Vitamin C has multiple positive benefits on your skin. Dermatologists are gravitating towards using vitamin C in their recommendations and for good reason. Here are some examples of how vitamin C helps improve your skin.   

Collagen Activation

Clinical studies have shown that using vitamin C topically increases collagen production in both young and aging skin.2  Vitamin C also functions as a depigmenting agent. There has been ongoing research conducted on improving the delivery of vitamin C into the skin as a means to stimulate collagen production and scavenge free radicals.

Anti-inflammatory action

 Vitamin C helps encourage anti-inflammatory action when it is applied to the skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties include the ability to heal wounds and prevention of post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation.2  Vitamin C is known for its excellent safety profile and is becoming increasingly popular for its use in photo ageing, hyper pigmentation, tissue inflammation, and promotion of tissue healing.2  

Other Benefits

Vitamin C has a variety of other benefits that can help protect your skin. Even though vitamin C cannot protect skin like an SPF can, it can minimize the damage caused by sun exposure.2  It performs this function by neutralizing free radicals created in the skin after sun damage.

 Other benefits include evening out skin tone, increasing hydration, minimizing the impact of pollution on your skin, and giving skin a healthy, younger glow.3 It also reduces red and brown spots because of its powerful ability to assist in healing the skin.3  In addition, vitamin C is a convenient source to use because it can be used alongside other skin treatments such as sunscreens, tretinoin, other antioxidants and alfa hydroxy acids such as glycol acid.2  

Benefits of using Vitamin E on your skin

Vitamin E serves an important function in preserving the skin. Here are some of the top reasons to choose vitamin E in your skincare routine.

Minimizes Sun Damage

Along with vitamin C, adding vitamin E to your skin will protect it against UV damage.1 Together, these antioxidants have been proven to show a decrease in sunburned cells, DNA damage, and skin pigmentation after UV exposure.1 Applying vitamin E topically also increases photo protection of the skin.1 

Anti-inflammatory effects

Vitamin E is known as an anti-inflammatory agent in the skin.1 It has the ability to reduce skin swelling, skin thickness, and various types of inflammation in the skin.1 There have also been many reports that have shown that Vitamin E has been successful in treating inflammatory skin conditions, either alone or alongside vitamin C or vitamin D.1

 Both vitamin C and E are commonly used either together or separate in skincare treatments to heal the skin in multiple ways. These powerful antioxidants are a natural source and continue to be added to products due to their effectiveness. 

Dr. Rivers' skin care has helped thousands of customers to find a brighter, even-toned complexion. You can get a 15-day sample kit here, completely free. It includes a selection of his cleanser, serum, and moisturizer, enough to be sure it's right for you.


  1. Michels, A.J. (2012). Vitamin E and Skin Health. Retrieved from
  2. Telang, P.S. (2013). Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian Dermatol Online 4(2), 143-46. Retrieved from
  3. Keen, M.A. Hassan, I. (2016) Indian Dermatol Online J. 2016 Jul-Aug; 7(4): 311–315. Retrieved from
  4. Lin et al (2003) UV Photoprotection by Combination Topical Antioixidants Vitamin C and Vitamin E Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 48 (6) 866-874. Retrieved from:
  5. What are Vitamin C’s Benefits For Skin? (n.d.). Into the Gloss. Retrieved from
  1. What are Vitamin C and Vitamin E?
  2. What are the different kinds of Vitamin C and Vitamin E in skincare?
  3. What are the benefits of using Vitamin C on your skin?
  4. What are the benefits of using Vitamin E on your skin?