How taking extra Vitamin C lightens skin

In healthy adults, Vitamin C raises glutathione levels in the red blood cells and lymphocytes

Glutathione helps determine the balance of light and dark pigments (pheomelanin and eumelanin) in our skin. L-cysteine and the TYRP1 enzyme also play a part in this balance

Taking high doses of Vitamin C (1,000 – 3,000 mgs) can help to lighten skin over time

Since you’re reading this page, you’ve probably already asked yourself: can taking Vitamin C really lighten your skin?

The short answer is: Yes, it can.

But how exactly does Vitamin C help lighten our skin?

The answer to that question is a bit longer, but reading on will be worth it in the end (I promise!). If you don’t have the time to read about just how taking high doses of Vitamin C can lighten your skin, just bookmark this page to read later.

What is Vitamin C?

Before I go on to explain what Vitamin C has to do with our skin color, I think it’s important to know just what Vitamin C is first.

Vitamin C (also called Ascorbic Acid) is a water-soluble vitamin, and is needed by our bodies to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. We get Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges. It is also readily available in pill or liquid supplements.

Although it is a vitamin, Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. This means it can neutralize free radicals which would otherwise damage our skin and other organs. And since it is soluble in water, Vitamin C works both inside and outside of our cells to combat this free radical damage.

vitamincorangesVitamin C and our skin

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and collagen is the building blocks. Our skin benefits greatly from Vitamin C because of its unique collagen-forming properties.

Scientists have found that collagen protein requires Vitamin C for the molecules to achieve the best configuration possible. Vitamin C prevents collagen from becoming weak and susceptible to damage (a process is called hydroxylation). Vitamin C also increases the level of the procollagen messenger RNA. It is also needed to “export” the procollagen molecules out of our cells and into the extracellular spaces. In other words, Vitamin C is crucial in ensuring the structural integrity of our collagen.

Vitamin C also helps to heal any wounds we might have. Studies have shown that when Vitamin C was given to burn victims in high doses, it reduces the transfer of blood and waste products into the tissues (capillary permeability). This could be partly due to Vitamin C’s scavenging effect on free radicals (its antioxidant properties).

In another study, when Vitamin C (2,000 mg) and natural Vitamin E (1,000 IU) were given to 20 men and women, their resistance to sunburn increased by 20% after just 8 days.  They had lower levels of inflammation and skin damage compared to the placebo group, which became more sensitive to sunburn.

Vitamin C is one antioxidant that boosts two more – glutathione and Vitamin E

Have you ever heard of that saying, one thing leads to another? This is especially true with Vitamin C.

This is because taking Vitamin C doesn’t just increase the Vitamin C levels in our blood, it also increases two more very important antioxidants – glutathione (a major antioxidant) and Vitamin E (a fat-soluble antioxidant).

Higher Vitamin C levels boosts glutathione and Vitamin E

Glutathione Vitamin E
Glutathione is our bodies’ most prevalent antioxidant Vitamin E is probably the most important fat-soluble antioxidant
It plays an important role in detoxing our bodies It protects our cells from oxidation by reacting with fatty radicals
Glutathione is a tripeptide and made up of 3 amino acids:

Glycine, glutamic acid and cysteine

Vitamin E is a group of compounds made up of tocopherols and tocotrienols.

Tocopherols act as antioxidants.

Glutathione converts into glutathione peroxidase, an important enzyme which prevents oxidative damage Our liver actually forms the Vitamin E in our blood, but it needs food sources with Vitamin E to do so.
Our bodies make its own glutathione supply.

Taking glutathione pills and supplements does not raise the glutathione levels in blood.

Good food sources of Vitamin E include wheat germ oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, hazelnuts, and peanut butter.

Vitamin C boosts glutathione levels in the blood

Vitamin C and glutathione have a unique relationship. Vitamin C reduces glutathione back to the active form. In its active form, glutathione will regenerate vitamin C from its oxidized state.

Compounds that have Vitamin E activity (tocopherols) also rely on Vitamin C to regenerate back to its active form.

Why is the link between Vitamin C and glutathione levels important in skin lightening?

It’s important because scientists have found out that the way our skin balances between its lighter pigments (pheomelanin) and darker pigments (eumelanin) depends on glutathione, L-cysteine and the TYRP1 enzyme.

Since Vitamin C has been scientifically proven to boost gluthathione levels in the blood, we can say that Vitamin C helps to lighten skin color.

1) Glutathione

Glutathione is found in almost all raw fruits and vegetables. Cooking destroys most glutathione, but that doesn’t really matter. Because although glutathione is found in many fruits, vegetables, and meats, our stomachs and intestines ability to absorb glutathione is very poor.

Speaking of which, please do not be fooled by “gluthathione skin whitening pills”. Glutathione pills and supplements cannot raise the glutathione levels in your blood. They will only serve to make you poorer.

To raise the glutathione levels in our blood, it is better to eat foods that is high in glutamine instead, such as lean meats, eggs, wheat germ, whey protein and whole grains. These will stimulate the liver so you can produce more glutathione naturally. Glutamine is one of the known precursors of gluthathione production. High doses of Vitamin C will also boost our natural glutathione levels, so supplementation with Vitamin C is important if you want to lighten your skin. Glutathione and Vitamin C show a strong, functional interdependence in vivo.

Note: You can be deficient in glutathione if you take Tylenol (acetaminophen) regularly or in large amounts. Doctors treat emergency cases of acetaminophen toxicity with high doses of N-aceytlycysteine (NAC), which raises glutathione levels in the blood.

2) L-cysteine

L-cysteine is an amino acid found in most high-protein foods including yogurt and whey protein. Good vegetarian sources comes are onions, garlic and broccoli. The L-cysteine derived from N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) helps to boost our liver’s production of glutathione. L-cysteine also helps synthesize proteins, taurine, coenzyme A, and inorganic sulfate.

3) The TYRP1 enzyme (or Tyrosinase-related protein 1)

Sounds scary, I know! But all you really need to know is that this is the genetic part of the whole skin lightening discussion. Our  TYRP1 gene provides instructions for making the TYRP1 enzyme. The functions of this enzyme are still unclear but it is involved in the production of melanin. It’s likely that this is where our genes come into play in determining the color of our skin.

Mutations in the TYRP1 gene has been linked with oculocutaneous albinism.

Individually, none of these factors decides our skin color. All three play a part.

Enemies of Vitamin C: pollution, smoking, alcohol, diabetes

If you smoke and drink, chances are your Vitamin C levels are lower than people who don’t. And while we’re at it, do you live in a polluted area? That’ll do it too.

Studies have shown that drinking large quantities of alcohol will lower the amount of Vitamin C in your blood plasma and make you excrete vitamin C through urination. Smoking and general pollution will also lower the level of Vitamin C in the blood. Having diabetes will also reduce your body’s Vitamin C levels.

What does all this mean? Should I take Vitamin C to lighten my skin?

Yes, yes, and yes! If want to lighten your skin by internal means using supplements, detoxing or changing your diet, Vitamin C supplements are essential.


You should take a high dose of 1,000 – 3,000 mg of Vitamin C daily either through supplements or fruits. A mixture of the two is best. Spread out your intake of Vitamin C throughout the day for maximum effectiveness.

References and Further Reading

Extracts of clinical studies on Vitamin C’s relationship with gluthathione levels

CS Johnston, CG Meyer and JC Srilakshmi Department of Family Resources and Human Development, Arizona State University, Tempe 85287.

We examined the effect of supplemental ascorbic acid on red blood cell glutathione. Subjects consumed self-selected vitamin C-restricted diets, and, under double-blind conditions, ingested placebo daily for week 1 (baseline), 500 mg L-ascorbate/d for weeks 2-3, 2000 mg L- ascorbate/d for weeks 4-5, and placebo daily for week 6 (withdraw). Mean red blood cell glutathione rose nearly 50% (P < 0.05) after the 500-mg period compared with baseline. However, the increases in plasma vitamin C and red blood cell glutathione were not correlated (r = 0.22). At the 2000-mg dosage, mean red blood cell glutathione was not significantly different from the value obtained at the 500-mg dosage.

Objective: The objective was to determine the ability of vitamin C supplements to modulate the concentration of glutathione inhuman lymphocytes.

Results: At baseline, the mean (±SD) concentration of plasma ascorbate was 19.5 ± 7.2 µmol/L, 22.5 µmol/Lbelow the median of normal distribution. The ascorbate concentration in plasma was linearly associated with that in lymphocytes (r= 0.53, P < 0.001). On supplementation with vitamin C, lymphocyte ascorbate increased by 51% (from 16.7 ± 4.9 to 25.3 ±6.9 nmol/mg protein; P < 0.001) and was accompanied by an increase of lymphocyte glutathione by 18% (from 22.5 ±4.5 to 26.6 ± 6.5 nmol/mg protein; P < 0.001). After placebo, the ascorbate and glutathione concentrations fell to near baseline concentrations (17.1 ± 5.4 and 23.5 ±6.4 nmol/mg protein, respectively). No significant interaction was observed for sex and smoking status. Finally, the changes in lymphocyte ascorbate after supplementation were strongly associated with changes in lymphocyte glutathione (r = 0.71,P < 0.001). The association suggests that every 1-mol change in ascorbate is accompanied by a change of 0.5 mol in glutathione.

Conclusion: Vitamin C supplements increase glutathione in human lymphocytes

Vitamin C Is an Essential Antioxidant That Enhances Survival of Oxidatively Stressed Human Vascular Endothelial Cells in the Presence of a Vast Molar Excess of Glutathione. From the Departamento de Fisiopatología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160C, Concepción, Chile, the §Departamento de Bioquímica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 297, Santiago, Chile, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York 14263, the ||Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Casilla 653, Concepción, Chile, and the **Instituto de Bioquímica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile.

Extract: Human endothelial cells acquire and maintain elevated intra cellular concentrations of AA through a combination of overlapping mechanisms that directly impact their interaction with blood cells and their resistance against oxidative stress.Our present data provide definitive evidence for functional cooperation between vitamin C and glutathione in providing endothelial cells with strong antioxidant defenses. Maximal antioxidant protection was observed only when both antioxidants were simultaneously present, indicating that both antioxidants are needed for cell survival against oxidative stress. Most importantly, AA concentrations in the micro molar range were fully effective in increasing antioxidant protection in the presence of a 10-fold glutathione excess.This is an important finding because any analysis about the role of vitamin C in antioxidant defense should consider the evidence that the content of glutathione of most human cells and tissues exceeds, sometimes by more than one order of magnitude the respective concentrations of vitamin C.

Conclusion: Vitamin C is required for survival of endothelial cells containing elevated glutathione concentrations

Extract of a study linking pheomelanin and eumelanin to L-cysteine, glutathione, and tyrosinase-related protein-1

Cysteine deprivation promotes eumelanogenesis in human melanoma cells

Melanocytic cells can produce two types of pigment, pheomelanin or eumelanin. We used two types of human melanoma cell lines to explore the regulation of pigmentation by biochemical and enzymatic studies. These two cell lines were previously designated as either pheomelanotic or of mixed type when cultured in a medium rich in cysteine. We analyzed the effects of L-cysteine depletion on melanin synthesis and the involvement of the tyrosinase-related proteins in the production of both eumelanin and pheomelanin.

Cultures were exposed to L-cysteine concentrations ranging from 206 to 2.06 microM, and the following parameters were measured: tyrosine hydroxylase activity, intracellular L-cysteine and glutathione concentrations, eumelanin and pheomelanin formation, and tyrosinase-related protein-1 and -2 mRNA levels. Extracellular L-cysteine depletion significantly increased tyrosine hydroxylase activity and promoted both eumelanogenesis and visible pigmentation in both lines. In contrast, pheomelanogenesis was increased only in the pheomelanotic cell line. Whereas eumelanogenesis was apparent upon L-cysteine depletion, tyrosinase-related protein-1 expression was not induced in the pheomelanotic cells, and tyrosinase-related protein-2 expression remained unchanged.

Thus, tyrosinase-related protein-1 mRNA expression seems to be concomitant with eumelanogenesis when the L-cysteine concentration is high, but does not appear essential for eumelanogenesis at low L-cysteine concentrations. The mechanisms governing pheomelanin to eumelanin balance are dependent on L-cysteine, glutathione, and tyrosinase-related protein-1 expression, but none of these factors alone appears to be dominant in directing the synthesis of a particular type of melanin.

Conclusion: The mechanisms governing pheomelanin to eumelanin balance are dependent on L-cysteine, glutathione, and tyrosinase-related protein-1 expression, but none of these factors alone appears to be dominant in directing the synthesis of a particular type of melanin.

Effect of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and L-cystein applied in vivo on brownish guinea pigs

The effect of simultaneous administration of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), L-cystein (Cys) and vitamin E (tocopherol) on the melanogenesis in vivo and in vitro was studied. Forty-eight brownish guinea pigs were divided into 4 groups as follows: VC group, VC+Cys group, VC+Cys+VE group and control group. They were given these vitamins by oral administration every day. UV-B exposure (0.384 J/cm2) on their depleted back skin was done at the day 8, 10, 12, 15 17 and 19. After UV-B irradiation, vitamins were administrated further 3 weeks. The luminosity score was measured using a Color Reader CR-11 (Minolta, Co) and the numbers of DOPA-positive melanocytes of their back skin were counted. B16 melanoma cells were incubated with VC, N-acetyl cystein (NAC) and VE. After 4 days of incubation, cells were harvested. The melanin contents and the tyrosinase activities in cells were measured.

The luminosity score in the VC+VE+Cys group was higher than those in the other groups. The numbers of DOPA-positive melanocytes of guinea pigs treated with VC, VE and Cys were significantly decreased compared with those in VC group. In B16 melanoma cells, simultaneous treatment of VC, VE and NAC was the most effective to decrease the melanin contents and to inhibit tyrosinase activity.

Conclusion: Vitamin C, Vitamin E and L-cystein given to guinea pigs lead to lighter skin (i.e. greater luminosity).

Glutathione taken orally has negligible effects on the body

Witschi A, Reddy S, Stofer B, Lauterburg BH.Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Bern, Switzerland.

When the plasma glutathione concentration is low, such as in patients with HIV infection, alcoholics, and patients with cirrhosis, increasing the availability of circulating glutathione by oral administration might be of therapeutic benefit. To assess the feasibility of supplementing oral glutathione we have determined the systemic availability of glutathione in 7 healthy volunteers. The basal concentrations of glutathione, cysteine, and glutamate in plasma were 6.2, 8.3, and 54 mumol.l-1 respectively.

During the 270 min after the administration of glutathione in a dose of 0.15 the concentrations of glutathione, cysteine, and glutamate in plasma did not increase significantly, suggesting that the systemic availability of glutathione is negligible in man. Because of hydrolysis of glutathione by intestinal and hepatic gamma-glutamyltransferase, dietary glutathione is not a major determinant of circulating glutathione, and it is not possible to increase circulating glutathione to a clinically beneficial extent by the oral administration of a single dose of 3 g of glutathione.

Conclusion: It is not possible to increase the body’s glutathione levels by taking it orally.

Vitamin C and Vitamin E’s protective effects against sunburns

UV radiation causes acute adverse effects like sunburn, photosensitivity reactions, or immunologic suppression, as well as long-term sequelae like photoaging or malignant skin tumors. UV radiation induces tissues to produce reactive oxygen species, eicosanoids and cytokines. Inhibition of these mediators might reduce skin damage. Antioxidants such as ascorbic acid and d-alpha-tocopherol have been found to be photoprotective in some in vitro studies and animal experiments.

OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to assess the protective effect of systemic vitamins C and E against sunburn in human beings.

METHODS: In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, each of 10 subjects took daily either 2 gm of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) combined with 1000 IU of d-alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) or placebo. The sunburn reaction before and after 8 days of treatment was assessed by determination of the threshold UV dose for eliciting sunburn (minimal erythema dose [MED]) and by measuring the cutaneous blood flow of skin irradiated with incremental UV doses against that of nonirradiated skin.

RESULTS: The median MED of those taking vitamins increased from 80 to 96.5 mJ/cm2 (p < 0.01), whereas it declined from 80 to 68.5 mJ/cm2 in the placebo group. Cutaneous blood flow changed significantly (p < 0.05) for most irradiation doses with decreases in those given vitamins and increases in the placebo group.

Conclusion: Combined vitamins C and E reduce sunburn reactions.

218 Replies to “How taking extra Vitamin C lightens skin”

  1. You’re article on the ‘scam’ of oral Gluthatione is essential reading. The internet market now appears to be flooded with skin whitening pills in the form of gluthathione. My understanding is that there these pills do not raise gluthathione levels in the body and so CANNOT deliver on their promise to whiten the skin.
    However, and this is important, there is an oral product that does raise these levels. Somebody correct me if I am wrong-but my undrstanding is that MAXGXL is a gluthatione accelerator. It is a patent pending product that contains glutamine, NAC, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Vitamin C. Originally developed by a Dr to raise ‘G’ levls in cancer and HIV patients it is sold in the US. Again, it doesnt contain Gluthatione, but claims ( there appears to be a whole body of reserach around these claims) to raise the bodies own gluthatione levels

    I’m guessing that for anyone wishing to naturally lighten their skin, this product taken with 1000-2000mg of vitamin C would ‘possibly’ be ideal.

    Comments, corrections and reactions are very welcomed

    1. yes it can
      i am indian also, and yes it can
      amla can, i have tested it on myself and it not only helps to glow the skin, but helps growth of hair and makes hair darker and thicker as well.
      also try having a tablespoon of turmeric with water before you go to sleep, this is good for the skin and also prevents cancer 🙂
      feel free to ask me, if you have any further questions pease

  2. Hi, i read your article taking extra vitamin c light the skin ,can you suggest these type of fruit like indian gooseberry,mausambi,orange & lemon light the skin ?

  3. i am from an asian country where people wants to get white. in my country glutahtione is the master of all whitening products and thanks to your article i realized i wont buy those promises of achieving whiter skin. instead i spend my money on buying vit c products and foods. thanks!

    1. Well if you read my responses you can achieve lighter skin without waiting for a long time.
      Glutathione pills are tricky and that they take about a year or so to work if you’re not doing it right. See glutathione needs a double dose of vitamin C or more and if you have thyroid problems or other immune diseases then glutathione will not work or atleast with the whitening effect. Vitamin C is quite good in lightening your skin but you have to take atleast 1000mg a day or more. Eating foods with vitamin C won’t work because they only contain a small percentage of it.
      I’d say keep doing what youre doing but make sure you take mg of vitamin C and drink lots and lots of water since you are in the equator like me. Don’t stop drinkin water thats all I can say

      1. I was looking into taking vitamin c supplements to brighten my skin which has about 10 shades on different parts of my body and get rid of some scars. However, i don’t know a good brand that i can purchase at a store. Any help? and do you take one tablet once a day or more? Thanks!

    2. buying whitening tablets and pills MAY casue side effects, i rather you stay away from them and try fruits and other foods to help lighten your skin.
      we Asians are crazy about white skin haha

  4. I had a dark skin and i was really frustrated about how to make my skin lighteri tried glutAthione but it doesnt work for me so i stopped and now i got a light skin and i really love it, soft, flawless light skin since i was taking 3000mg of vitamin C a day. i love your article really works for me.

    1. How long did it take for your skin to become lighter? I have dark skin and have been taking GSH and a lot of vitamin C for almost 6 months. I have seen no change at all so far.

    2. How long were you taking 3000mg of vitamin c before you saw noticeable changes in your skin’s fairness? thanks 🙂

  5. Hi, thanks for the article. I have been taking 1000mg Vitamin C for the past week, haven’t seen any changes yet but I will continue. I take it in the form of dissolvable tablets. Does this matter? Or is it best to use it as a pill form? Thanks

  6. To the people that have been using this for a long period of time and have seen results. Where did you see results first e.g. face? And were there areas that took a longer than the rest of the body to lighten?

    1. @Michelle: As far as I can tell, the effect is simultaneous on all body parts, so the darker parts of your body will obviously take longer time to get lighter. But, I’d say the areas that took longer to get lighter are the scars. Even for me, up til now, I am not even sure if it actually makes any difference on the scars.

      1. Hi Sha. Thanks for the feedback. May I ask how long have you been using vitamin C? Do you use any other products/vitamins with it? And how long until you noticed results? Sorry to be a pain, thank you!

  7. Thanks for the article, this really helps me a lot. I live in a hot and humid country and I have a light skin tone (asian) but it’s hard to preserve my actual skin tone living in a hot country like this (I don’t like wearing suncreen). So, I decided to give this a try about 10 months ago. Have been taking 1000mg of vitamin C (Blackmores) ever since but not consistently. My skin becomes lighter within 1-2 weeks and I could tell that it makes a difference on my skin tone as I’ve noticed that when I stop taking it for few weeks, my skin tone will not look as radiant as when I take it (it still looks light but not as luminous).

    Planning to increase the dosage to 2000mg just to see how light it can get in the near future. Oh yeh, I took this with 100mg of grape seed extract as well, not sure if it is contributing anything but I’ve read that it supposedly protect the skin from the damaging effect of UV rays. Anyone can comment on this?

  8. Hi! I’ve been taking Glutathione Pills 500mg/day with 1000mg Vit’C per day! I’ve been taking it for almost 3weeks now! My skin color is lighter now! and my eye color is also lighter! from Dark Brown to a bit lighter brown!! Yhey!!! I love it! It adds more confidence in me!!! ^^, Thanks for the article I’ll try to take more than 1000mg Vit.C from now on!!!

    1. @ April.. is it L-Glutathione pills you been taking ? and what do you think of I-Glutathione (Injections) .. I hear that they are easily absorbed by your body.. !!

  9. hi, i take glutathione capsules and i even inject glutathione. i got whiter skin, how do you explain this article that the said suppliments doesn’t make the skin light?

    1. I guess it’s because you also took intravenous glutathione? And maybe IV ones are effective than the ones taken orally? Just guessing 🙂 Did you take them simultaneously? What brand and how many milligrams of oral glutathione did you take? How long was it before you noticed you had lighter skin? hehehe… because i still want to try oral glutathione… 🙂 Thanks

  10. Hi! Sarah! I bought them from Mercury Drug Pharmacy! Metathione… It works very Good! Now my eyes Is like Golden Eye color… it’s lighter than ever! =] and I feel healthy no stress

    1. It takes about a month for skin cells to turnover (a bit shorter if you exfoliate), so that’s the minimum you’ll need to wait before you can see a change.

  11. Okay, I’ll see how I get on. I’m taking 1000mg hopefully that will be enough. Thanks for the advise about natural ways to lighten skin.

    1. It’s quite unlikely as any excess will be passed out through the urine (Vit C is water-soluble). As long as you drink enough water, it shouldn’t give any side effects.

  12. hi there i am taking Quercetin with vitamin c pills since 4 dayswill it help lighten my skin? reply me please

  13. This is an interesting article. I’ve been considering glutathione injections, but can’t do it right now as they’re so expensive. I’ll definately pick up some vitamin c pills and see how it goes. It’s good to see that there are skin whitening options which aren’t so expensive.

  14. Will i get hyperacidic because of this? i mean, vitamin c is acid right? Or was that a dumb question? Thank you! I can’t wait to try this. Imma start tomorrow. Yey!

  15. Hi Guys,

    I’ve done a huge amount of research in to Glutathione and skin lightening creams, pills soaps.. you name it.

    One HUGE advice is: AVOID Glutathione and Skin lightening pills. There is no evidence to support that taking Glutathione orally will increase levels of Glutathione. Injections may work but they are expensive.

    I have been using Vitamin C 1000mg per day alone for 2 months now and I have seen no difference, (it just brightens the skin, not lighten the colour). Vitamin C is not enough to lighten the skin effectively. It is more effective taken with Vitamin E and Alpha lipoic acid. Alpha Lipoic recycles the Vitamin C & E helping to keep your Glutathione levels raised.

    You can take supplements such as Alpha lipoic acid (a powerful anti-oxidant, has anti-aging properties) and is PROVEN to increase levels of Glutathione in cells.
    Vitamin B3 also helps with skin lightening by inhibiting melanin production.
    (Note: I take a Vitamin B-Complex to avoid flushing. I have taken Niacin (Vit B3) at 100mg in the past and I had a hot flushes, which is a side effect. Vitamin B3 can cause damage to the liver at high doses so I take only take max. 50mg per day)

    This is my daily plan:

    1 x 500mg of Vit C
    1 x 100mg Alpha Lipoic Acid
    1 x Vitamin E 400 i.u
    1 x 50mg Vitamin B complex

    I repeat this three times a day. It’s said taking these on an empty stomach may help the supplements to absorb better. This may cause some discomfort and it’s really up to the individual.

    !!IMPORANT: You cannot expect results straight away, you may have to wait 2-3 months and/or longer depending on your orginal skin tone These supplements inhibit the production of melanin internally which you won’t see until you skin has shed a couple times (skin sheds on average every 6-8 weeks!!

    I use a sun cream SPF 50 every day and avoid staying in the sun for long. For my body, I use an exfoliating soap and use a body cream containing AHA to hasten the skin cell turnover. I use liquorice extract soap on my face as it inhibits melanin and protects the skin from harmful UV rays (only a small amount, so I still use sun cream)

    Water is very important, it flushes all the toxins out of your body and overtime makes your skin glow. Drink at least 2 litres a day. I work out about three times of week and eat a balanced diet.

    I already have comments about how great my skin on my face looks. I have irregular pigmented areas on my body; so for now I will continue my routine religiously and let you know how it goes…

    I hope this helps!

  16. I’ve been taking 3000mg vitamin c a day and I’m really pleased with the results. I don’t take any other supplements with it and my skin is considerably lighter than it was. My only worry is whether it’s safe, in the long term, to keep taking 3000mg vitamin c a day. I was just wondering whether anyone knows, for sure, that it’s okay and whether there are any side effects of it. I have been looking online but each website seems to have a different view of how much it is safe to take and what could happen. Thanks.

    1. may i ask how long you’ve beent taking 3000 mg a day? vitamin C is water soluble and so you should be fine. the worst i’ve heard with vitamin c megadoses is diarrhea. i’ve been taking 2000 mg for a week and this week i’ve increased to 3000 mg.

    2. sam- once you reached your desired goal you dont need to take 3000 mg every day you can maintain these results by taaking 500 mg vitamin C or 250 mg vitamin C every day or every second or third day

    1. thank you for replying! a lot of people have been asking how long everyone has been taking vitamin C and you’re one of the only ones that actually replied ahaha.

  17. That’s ok 🙂 Are you taking anything else with it? It’s worked alone for me but going by some of the comments I’m not sure whether it does for everyone.

    1. i’m not. i’ve heard that pynogenol and NAC supplements can help as well though. i hope it’ll work for me by itself. i’m actually not really that dark to begin with, but i’m hoping it’ll help even me out along with some exfoliation and once i’m all one color again, i can be a little bit more relaxed with how my skin is dealt with.

  18. I’ve never heard of those before. It didn’t really work like that for me, my hands and face are darker than the rest of my body but then I was quite dark to begin with. I’m thinking of making the cream for my face.

    1. i belong to a skin care forum where all sorts of these things are discussed. pycnogenol (i misspelled it in the first post!) is supposedly another antioxidant that can help lighten skin…not as cost effective as vitamin C though. NAC, or n-acetylcysteine raises glutathione levels in the cells. it’s essentially the same idea of taking glutathione pills, but it can actually be absorbed and used whereas glutathione pills just kind of go through you. i like the glowy appearance that i’ve gotten from taking the vitamin C. i’m kind of a dull golden yellow/brownish and i really want to get at least to a pale yellow (think stereotypical chinese skin).

  19. I’m Indian, but not really dark. I’ve gotten to a stage now where my body looks literally white but my face, hands and feet are quite a bit darker. Haven’t got a clue what to do about it and it’s quite obvious too

    1. have you heard of lactic acid peels? they work really well for those kinds of areas. also go to it’s a skin care forum kind of thing and they even have a whole thread on skin lightening. there you’ll find out what lactic acid peels are, how to do them, etc.

  20. Hi, Please be careful with NAC. It is said to be toxic in high doses… Also it is imperative to take as much Vit C as NAC to make sure it doesn’t form kidney stoners. You will need to consult your doctor before taking if you have a history of liver, kidney or diabetes problems.

    Vitamin C is water soluble meaning any excess will simply be excreted. It is the fat soluble vitamins that you should be more wary about; because it is fat soluble it huge doses of it can put stress on the liver.

    So just be careful!

  21. I’ve never heard of them but I’ll definitely have a look. Will most probably make a vitamin c cream or serum as I’ll know exactly what’s gone into it.

    1. just keep in mind that vitamin C creams and serums tend to oxidize very quickly so only make a small batch at a time!

    1. i do use them. i use them once a week. they do work. the skin on your face, hands, and feet are probably exposed to the sun more which means they’re probably more sun damaged than the skin on your body. the lactic acid will exfoliate off the damaged skin layer by layer. i’ve probably lightened by 2 shades on my face just with the lactic acid peels alone. i’ve only done 1 series of 6 peels and i’m on a 2 week break right now from them, but i will start up again next week. you’ll also need a good sunblock to protect the skin from more sun damage.

  22. Sounds good. Well, I’ve registered with that forum and I’m just gonna have a read and maybe give it a try. Hope it solves my problem.

  23. I’ve been aware of skin lightening for a little while now (i see a lot of celebs lightening their skin), so i just perceived it was some kind of overly expensive procedure or something that takes a lot of time and money, so i didnt really look into it until this: Its summer now, and after i took my shower this morning, i looked in the mirror and couldnt help but notice I’ve gotten pretty DARK! lol So i decided to do some research on how much it would cost to have my skin lightened, and i came upon here and my jaw dropped. I have so much Vit. C in my cabinets its not even funny, I literally jumped out of my computer chair and ran to take 1000 mg. I havent noticed any skin lightening yet as its a little too soon lol, but i did a TON of research today and learned that there are a lot of cheap, natural skin lighters! (if only i had known this sooner…) So i hopped in my car, drove to the drug emporium and picked up the following, will take them as follows:

    1000mg Vit. C timed released w/ rose hips 3x daily
    500mg B3 or Niacinamide (NOT NIACIN!!!!) 2x daily
    600 N-A-C 2x daily
    200 mg Alpha Lipoic Acid 2x daily

    I also bought some green tea which i will take daily and some aloe vera juice
    Ill keep you guys posted on my results. Feel free to ask any questions or leave me comments or suggestions! 😀

  24. i have been taking 3000mg(1000mg x 3 times) of vit c for 10 days and which resulted in urinary tract infection
    so i had to stop, i want to know did anybody else had this side effect, i really want to lighten my skin with vit c but i dont know what to do can anybody suggest me the right dosage.

  25. sona, did you drink enough water with it? its important to keep your body well hydrated because vitamin c is water soluble.

  26. Hey guys, so I’ve been doing my regimen religiously for a while and I’ve noticed lightening! my skin glows a little more and has gotten lighter too. Even my dad noticed. One day he picked me up and when i got in the car he was like “you look lighter, are you bleaching?” 😀
    But, my regimen is a little tedious. At first it was ok cuz it was new and i was all excited but its kind of a lot and its getting old, especially when your in a hurry :(. So, I’ve been doing some research on another vitamin called pycnogenol. Its supposed to be really good for lightening. I just bought some today. I’m excited for it to start lightening my skin :). Google “pycnogenol skin lightening” and read all the good benefits. Its good for a lot of things.
    So now, im gonna try a new regimen:
    300mg pycnogenol daily (for the first week then ill go down to 150)
    3000mg vitamin C daily
    1200mg NAC
    Im still gonna drink the green tea cuz i like it, i think it makes me glow and keeps my skin youthful but no more aloe vera juice cuz its DISGUSTING ugh! lol Anyways, I’ll probably post again in a few weeks. Happy lightening!

    1. Hi Erin,
      I am very pleased than you noticed a result. I’m so excited to start this TREATMENT. My skin really needs this. I’m curious about how you’re doing. Please let me know.
      I have couple of questions:
      How long it took you to see the progress?
      Did you try lactic acid peels?
      Did you moisturize you skin in addition? I admit, I’m a sloth.

  27. hello,
    i am using vitamin c is a water soluble vit c.will it help to lighten my skin? how long will it take? i am taking it two times a day.each is 1000mg! so will it help? in my country thait is mauritius,glutathione pills are not in sale thats y am using vit c alone! plz reply thank u!

    1. Zohra, depending on how light you want to get, Vitamin C alone wont lighten you much, it will mainly brighten you. You should take more than just 2000mg a day if thats all your using. Try 3000mg and make sure you are drinking tons of water. Good Luck 🙂

      1. thank u so much.uh.. can you tell me if the vitamin c that am using is it good? that is Upsa-C?i would like to whiten my skin very quickly! how long will it take? can you plzzzzzz tell me! and yea i am not able to drink a lot of water right now because i am fasting.plz help me to whiten my skin within 1 month! thank u soo much Erin!

  28. I’ve never heard of that kind of vitamin C sorry. I dont know what your goal is so i cant really tell you that :/. Try buying vitamin e oil at 70,000iu for scars. If you want to lighten your skin a lot in one month, like i said before, just vitamin C isnt gonna take you very far. You’d have to be doing more than just that. Try this:

    -Shower with Likas Papaya soap morning and night
    -Drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea with lemon juice daily
    -Try avoiding the sun as best you can and wear sunblock even if your only going to be in the sun for a second
    -Use a skin lightening lotion or moisturize with cocoa butter
    -You should take NAC and pycnogenol along with the vitamin C
    -Exfoliate once a week by taking a sea salt bath and scrubbing with a microfiber cloth

  29. Well, idk.It depends on your dosage, and how dark you are. You will see some brightening pretty soon like in the first 3 days, then if you keep up with it (depending on your dosage and how much sun exposure your getting) you will notice a very subtle lightening in about a week or two. According to what I’ve read. But you can’t expect to lighten rapidly just taking oral supplements, hun. It just doesn’t work like that.

    1. hey erin,

      I had a quesiton for you, I was wondering if you specifically saw lightening due to the supplements and how many days/weeks/months was it until you noticed a difference?

      Also, I was wondering if besides the likas soap there was any specific whitening/brightening lotion?

      finally, i was wondering if you had to switch makeup shades due to your lightened skin or if it was not that drastic?

      1. sorry for the late reply :), it was about a week or two before i noticed slight lightening. but, I noticed my skin started to glow/yellow a bit within a few days.

        No, I didn’t use any lotions for lightening. I moisturized with cocoa butter lotion for dark spots.

        I don’t wear makeup, so i dont know.

        Remember, WHATEVER you choose to do to lighten your skin, if you don’t believe it will work, it wont. so KNOW it is working, and see yourself at your desired complexion RIGHT NOW, and the results will rush toward you, if not happen immediately, depending on how deep you believe, and how happy you feel about it. Happy lightening 🙂

  30. Hi guys … i scrub my face with lemon juice at least 3 times a day and my skin seems to be getting lighter. i got the lemon juice from actual lemons, just squeezed the juice out in to a vile and use a face scrubber to scrub my face with the lemon juice and i rinse it off at least 3 minets later. im half white and half Italiano so im not sure if its just because im half white but it seems to be working for me and it also reduces my acne

  31. hey erin,

    I had a quesiton for you, I was wondering if you specifically saw lightening due to the supplements and how many days/weeks/months was it until you noticed a difference?

    Also, I was wondering if besides the likas soap there was any specific whitening/brightening lotion?

    finally, i was wondering if you had to switch makeup shades due to your lightened skin or if it was not that drastic?

  32. Hi there guys, supplements work.. but very slowly, I have just started taking MSM (reported to have skin lightening properties) check out skincaretalk dot com. There is loads of info on there about skin lightening and other skin conditions. Its helped me loads, check it out 🙂 Good luck

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