Vitamin C is the most common antioxidant found in the skin. It's also found in vegetables and citrus fruits. Like vitamin E, vitamin C is considered important in repairing free radicals and preventing them from becoming cancerous or accelerating the aging process.
Since vitamin C is most prevalent in the skin, the skin is the organ that suffers most from environmental stressors. Smoking, sun exposure, and pollution rob the nutrient from our bodies, says Burke.
"Even minimal UV exposure can decrease the vitamin C levels in the skin by 30 percent, while exposure from the ozone of city pollution can decrease the level by 55 percent," said Burke in a release.
Creating a skin cream that carries a useful dose of vitamin C is difficult because it reacts immediately when exposed to oxygen. Several clinical trials examining more stable, effective formulations are currently under way.