Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Aheli Sen (Fashion & Beauty Expert)  on 29th Dec 2020

Ethyl Ascorbic Acid – The Most Stable and Effective Vitamin C Derivative?

The Most Stable and Effective Vitamin C Derivative?

Bright skin; everyone is obsessed with it. Especially Asians; they desire a brighter, younger-looking skin.

And which ingredient exactly do people look forward to giving them just the skin they are looking for?

Well, Vitamin C, of course. It brightens dull skin, acts as an excellent antioxidant, gets rid of dark spots caused by sun or pollution, takes care of sun-damaged skin, and boosts collagen production to assure younger-looking skin.

However, more frequently than not, we end up using products that promise to have vitamin c but are pretty useless. Why do you ask? Well, because vitamin c is highly unstable and loses its effect real soon upon contact with light or air. I mean, there is a reason that anything that contains vitamin c, especially serums with it, comes in dark, tight packaging to avoid light ruining the product.

It is also recommended to use vitamin c serums over face washes, masks, and creams. Why? Again, loss of potency. Serums have the smallest molecules and get absorbed by the skin the fastest, as compared to any other product with larger molecules and thus take longer to plunge deeper layers of the skin that makes the vitamin c in the product, well, redundant.

So there has got to be something that makes vitamin c more potent and stable, right?

Well, yes, that is where we bring our star stable element of vitamin c, ethyl ascorbic acid, into the picture. 

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So what exactly is Ethyl Ascorbic Acid? 

Ethyl ascorbic acid is a very potent form of skin brightening superstar, vitamin c. It is the most stable form/type of vitamin c.

Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, or EAC in short, is an "etherified derivative of ascorbic acid," which consists of vitamin C and is of an ethyl group bound to the third carbon place. This element makes vitamin c stable and, thus, soluble not only in water but also in oil.

Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is also known as 3-O-Ethyl-L-ascorbic Acid. It is a molecule formed by modifying Ascorbic Acid or, as we know it better, vitamin C. So why is the modification done? Well, to make the compound more stable, of course. It improves the molecules' stability and their transportation power in the skin to be absorbed faster and better.

Once absorbed into the skin's deeper layers, the drug loses its modification, and the vitamin c gets absorbed into the skin. Hence, a serum containing Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is more likely to impart the benefits of vitamin c. It has also been found to be more potent in helping restore skin's natural form after the effects of skin darkening from UV rays.

3-O-Ethyl-L-ascorbic Acid also imparts additional benefits to the skin and the body apart from the regulars imparted by vitamin c. It stimulates the growth of nerve cells; that is, it minimizes the effect of chemotherapy damage. It has the potential to release vitamin c in a slow, sustained format that assures that one is not exposed to the toxic effects of taking vitamin c. However, choosing the correct product can be tricky. Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate works the same way as ethyl ascorbic acid as an antioxidant and has anti-aging properties; this creates confusion. It is thus best to consult your derm before purchase. 

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3-O-Ethyl-L-ascorbic Acid Vs. Vitamin C(l-ascorbic) – The difference? 

The two chemicals may be different, but they deliver the same benefits to the consumer. Vitamin C is an excellent compound for one's skincare. Cosmetic case studies tell that Vitamin C makes a potent collagen booster, skin brightening agent, and an excellent antioxidant. However, the normal form of the compound vitamin c is highly unstable and loses potency in no time. Thus, the cosmetic market players have been at it continuously to make efficient vitamin C derivatives stable and have pure vitamin C characteristics.

In the method, ethyl ascorbic acid, a derivative of vitamin c or ascorbic acid, was developed, mainly made of vitamin C and ethyl group in the third carbon position. The ethyl group makes vitamin C soluble in both oil and as well as in water, and this makes it more stable to offer continuous vitamin C benefits. If one talks about 3-o-ethyl Ascorbic Acid vs. l-ascorbic, the two provide similar results to the user. Due to the ethyl group attached, this form of vitamin C derivative makes it more potent or stable than l-Ascorbic Acid or vitamin C. When you take the 3- 0-ethyl ascorbic Acid, you will surely have real results, especially if you want to improve your skin brightness.

One can also include vitamin C foods in their diet to continue reaping the benefits. However, as mentioned earlier, one might not get the wanted results when one takes natural vitamin C since it is not stable enough to deliver stable results. That is why it is advisable to accompany your diet with topical vitamin C use for the skin. One can always get guidance to use the same from cosmetic experts or nutritionists for better results. 

Benefits that Ethyl Ascorbic Acid imparts to the skin:

1. Brightness –

ethyl ascorbic acid boosts collagen formation that helps the skin have a better cell turnover. This means the skin appears plumper and seems to glow as skin cells regenerate better. This is why it is referred to as a brightening agent.

2. Fading hyperpigmentation –

ethyl ascorbic acid helps the skin fade away dark spots or hyperpigmentation from aging and the sun. It reduces the melanin levels in the skin that is directly responsible for the pigmentation on the skin. It stops the activity of tyrosinase that, in turn, reduces the availability of melanin, which ultimately results in less pigmentation on the skin. This is how ethyl ascorbic acid gets rid of hyperpigmentation.

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3. Antioxidant –

ethyl ascorbic acid acts as an antioxidant. It helps the skin fight radicals that build up toxin levels in the body. Toxins can damage body functions and the functioning of the skin, making it prone to premature aging, spots, etc. To get rid of toxins from the skin, one can use both oral and topical agents. Drinking lemon juice, veggies, oranges, etc., helps flush toxins from the inside. Application of skincare that has vitamin c or ethyl ascorbic acid also helps the skin on the face free itself from such harmful radicals. 

4. Reduction of inflammation –

ethyl ascorbic acid has the potency to reduce inflammation. This helps the skin solve its redness that makes the skin look uneven and dark. This redness sometimes even turns blue and looks like the skin is bruised due to broken capillaries under the skin. Ethyl Ascorbic Acid solves this problem by strengthening blood vessels under the skin of the face. This, in turn, heals the broken capillaries and helps the skin achieve a more even-toned, glowing skin. 

5. Anti-Aging properties –

ethyl ascorbic acid imparts anti-aging properties to the skin. It gets rid of the toxins to prevent premature aging. It also boosts collagen production. Now how does it do just that? Ethyl Ascorbic Acid increases the production of amino acids in the skin, helping the skin boost its collagen production. While the skin can produce the required levels when young, it loses its capacity and has to be fed from the outside. The cell turnover is increased, which means newer, younger-looking skin with added bounce and plumpness.

Ethyl Ascorbic Acid has, to date, shown no adverse or bad effects on the skin. It can have allergic reactions from people with sensitive skin types, but other than that, no side effects have ever been spotted from the same user. As usual, though, do a patch test on the skin before advancing with products that have the Acid in them. Also, check the concentrations as it is advised to start with a product with very little concentration and work the way up. 

Leaving you with a useful tip!  

Always use products that come in an air-tight, tinted glass jar when it comes to using ethyl ascorbic acid as it is highly unstable, and it coming in contact with air or sunlight would make it lose its potency to work on the skin.