Protective Effects of Topical Vitamin C Compound Mixtures Against Ozone-Induced Damage in Human Skin


A 2017 article from the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (vol 137, p.1373) determining whether topically applied vitamin C compounds could reverse the decrease in the skin’s natural antioxidant network caused by ozone exposure. The authors found that applying a vitamin C compound created a protective effect against ozone.

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Cutaneous tissues are directly exposed to environmental pollutants including ozone, the most dominant oxidant present in photochemical smog. In recent years, several studies have demonstrated the noxious effect that ozone can have on skin using in vitro (2D and 3D) and animal models.

Evidence from those studies have suggested the propensity of ozone to oxidize the outermost layer of the skin (SC), decrease the endogenous antioxidants levels, and generate a cascade of bioactive molecules (derived from lipid peroxidation), which damage the deeper layers of the skin.

Ozone exposure increased epidermis levels of 4HNE and F2 isoprostans confirming the ozone interaction with skin lipids. After ozone exposure, there was a clear and significant increase in NFkB activation that paralleled an increased level of COX-2 and MMP9. A dramatic decrease in both collagen I and collagen III were also observed. Pre-treatment with the vitamin C compound mixtures were able to prevent the aforementioned ozone induced skin damage.

Overall, the study was able to demonstrate a protective effect of the tested vitamin C compound mixtures from ozone induced oxidative and proinflammatory responses in human skin.

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