Vitamin C and Red Light Therapy: Can They Work Together?

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Vitamin C and Red Light Therapy: Can They Work Together?
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant with healing benefits for your skin and your entire body. Pair it with the restorative powers of red light therapy and the results increase exponentially!

What Can Vitamin C Do For You?

When applied topically, your absorption of Vitamin C is 20 times greater than that of an oral supplement, meaning that topical Vitamin C products are tremendously effective in skincare. However, these benefits are only being realized by your skin. For this reason, oral Vitamin C supplements are still valuable so that the rest of your body can also experience the advantages.

Vitamin C provides a multitude of physical benefits:

Anti-Aging and Skin Brightening

Because of its antioxidant properties which prevent the degeneration (oxidation) of cells, Vitamin C promotes collagen production, reverses the effects of sun and other skin damage, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can even elevate the effectiveness of sunscreen. With increased collagen, your skin is smoother, brighter, more radiant, and younger-looking.

Also due to its antioxidant qualities, Vitamin C works against free radicals within your body. Free radicals are unstable molecules seeking healthy molecules with which to bond. Your body creates free radicals as a natural means of fighting bacteria, viruses, and infections; however, when loose free radicals bond too abundantly, large groups of unstable molecules are created. The damage of free radicals manifests itself as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of aging.

One study [1] of Vitamin C and its ability to protect skin from sun damage concluded that Vitamin C “...provided significant and meaningful photoprotection for skin by all methods of evaluation...”, “...its mechanism of action is different from sunscreens and would be expected to supplement the sun protection provided by sunscreens...”, and “ is particularly effective for reducing thymine dimer mutations known to be associated with skin cancer.”

Another study [2] of the anti-aging properties of Vitamin C determined that “Skin color, elasticity, and radiance were significantly improved. The smoothness, scaliness, and wrinkles also revealed significant improvement. “

Overall Bodily Health

Studies have shown that Vitamin C can help to:
  • Reduce High Blood Pressure [3]
  • Strengthen Your Natural Defenses [4]
  • Shorten Wound-Healing Time [5]
  • Treat Cancer by Attacking Cancer Cells and Stunting Their Reproduction [6]
  • Mitigate the Effects of Chemotherapy and Other Cancer Treatments [7]
  • Treat Heart Disease [8]

Red Light Therapy in Conjunction With Vitamin C

Red light therapy triggers biological change at the cellular level to increase collagen production and elevate your body’s natural healing capacity. Coupled with the additional collagen stimulation and free radical suppression activated by Vitamin C, your body is receiving signals to heal and restore itself from multiple directions. Red light therapy and topical Vitamin C complement each other perfectly as a recipe for anti-aging, rejuvenating, and healing.

What Should You Look For in a Topical Vitamin C Product?

Typically, liquid serums (as opposed to creams or lotions with a thicker consistency) are more efficiently absorbed by your skin.

Potency is also a variable. The higher the potency level of a product, the greater its aptitude for skin penetration. A serum with a 20 percent potency level is about the highest available and will provide the strongest results.

Packaging is another factor to consider. Because Vitamin C can degrade when exposed to air, light, and heat, products packaged in air-tight, dark glass containers will have a longer shelf life and retain their maximum potency the longest.

When Should You Use Topical Vitamin C Products With Red Light Therapy?

No matter what type of red light device you are using (a light panel, mask, wand, or any other device), you should not apply any type of topical treatment, Vitamin C or otherwise, immediately prior to red light therapy.

Red light therapy is most effective on clean, bare skin. Lotions, creams, serums, and makeup can create a barrier between your skin and the red light source. Certain products even contain light-reflective ingredients that will deter optimal light absorption.

Prior to red light therapy, wash with a gentle cleanser that is free of dyes, perfumes, or other drying agents. Gently pat your skin dry and do not apply any creams, moisturizers, or serums. Fresh, clean skin is the best receptor of red light therapy.

After treatment, you can apply a gentle moisturizer if you feel the need. After your skin breathes for a bit post-therapy, apply your topical Vitamin C to activate maximum rejuvenating effects!


[1] A topical antioxidant solution containing vitamins C and E stabilized by ferulic acid provides protection for human skin against damage caused by ultraviolet irradiation

[2] Anti-aging effects of a topical treatment containing vitamin C, vitamin E, and raspberry leaf extract

[3] Vitamin C lowers blood pressure and alters vascular responsiveness in salt-induced hypertension

[4] Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress before and after Vitamin C Supplementation in: International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism Volume 7 Issue 1 (1997)(

[5] Treatment with supplementary arginine, vitamin C and zinc in patients with pressure ulcers: a randomized controlled trial

[6] Targeting cancer vulnerabilities with high-dose vitamin C

[7] Intravenous vitamin C in the supportive care of cancer patients: a review and rational approach

[8] Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts
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