Glyceryl Ascorbate



Glyceryl Ascorbate at a glance

  • Made by binding ascorbic acid with hydrating glycerine
  • Helps visibly fade discolouration by inhibiting transfer of excess melanin
  • Excellent skin penetration and easier to formulate with than ascorbic acid
  • Not considered as potent an antioxidant as pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
  • Most effective in a pH between 3–5 and more stable than ascorbic acid

Glyceryl Ascorbate description

Glyceryl ascorbate is a water-soluble form of vitamin C made by binding ascorbic acid with the humectant glycerine. This compound is considered more stable and offers formulary flexibility because it isn’t beholden to the same narrow pH range for efficacy compared to pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid). This form shares many of the same benefits as regular vitamin C, including being an antioxidant, improving skin tone, helping to fade hyperpigmentation and post-breakout marks, and supporting skin’s firmness. A derivative of glyceryl ascorbate known as 3-O-Laurylglyceryl ascorbate (VC-3LG) has been shown to improve ceramide synthesis in skin which in turn helps strengthen skin’s surface against moisture loss. VC-3LG is also a formidable antioxidant and can help improve skin’s natural antioxidant defenses. Interestingly, although glyceryl ascorbate and its derivatives are very good antioxidants, they’re considered less potent than ascorbic acid, which is less stable in the presence of light and air. This is likely due to the molecular changes necessary to create vitamin C derivatives. There’s a trade-off between greater stability and reduced antioxidant potential. Concentration range of glyceryl ascorbate in skin care is between 1-10%; however, there are no studies showing which percentages are needed for results on discolourations, wrinkles, or skin tone improvement. Instead, some studies imply that the concentrations for such benefits are comparable to pure vitamin C.

Glyceryl Ascorbate references

  • ACS Omega, October 2020, pages 25,467-25,475
  • JMIR Research Protocols, August 2019, ePublication
  • Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2018, pages 1,209-1,215
  • International Journal of Molecular Sciences, April 2018, pages 1-22
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, February 2017, pages 49-55
  • Journal of Dermatological Science, June 2016, pages 189-196
  • Folia Pharmacologica Japonica, March 2008, pages 160-165

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated