Vitamin C — L-ascorbic acid, a well-known anti-oxidant that clearly shines when paired with Vitamin E. Vitamin C is one of the relatively few topical agents whose effectiveness against wrinkles and fine lines is backed by a fair amount of reliable scientific evidence. Unfortunately, vitamin C is relatively unstable. Vitamin C is stabilized and potentiated by the addition of vitamin E and ferulic acid. This is how it works: “As vitamin E reacts with a free radical, it, in turn, is damaged by the free radical it is fighting. Vitamin C comes in to repair the free-radical damage in vitamin E, allowing E to continue with its free-radical scavenging duties.” Past research has indicated that high concentrations of topically applied vitamin C are photoprotective, and apparently the vitamin preparation used in these studies resisted soap and water, washing, or rubbing for three days.
The synergy between vitamins C and E can yield good protection from UVB damage (burning rays). Vitamin C appears to be significantly better than E at protecting against UVA damage (Aging rays). The combination of vitamins C, E, and sunscreen offers greater protection than the sum of the protection offered by any of the three ingredients acting alone.