3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid

A derivative of vitamin C. Its stability in skincare formulations is better than ascorbic acid’s, although clinical studies are yet to indicate whether it has the same collagen-boosting benefits.
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3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid


3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid (3O-EAA) is a derivative of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It was created as a more stable analog of vitamin C (you can read more about it here) and it seems to have been successful.

A study made on pig skin showed that 3O-EAA was able to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, depending on the type of solvent. This means that the formulation of the cream/serum base is extremely important for proper absorption. The fact that 3O-EAA is slightly more oil-soluble than regular vitamin C helps too.

3O-EAA has been proven to be an antioxidant ingredient in test tubes, although solid clinical studies for this ingredient are lacking. It has been patented as an anti-pigment ingredient but there has been no data on its collagen-boosting properties so far.

It appears to be a good prospective vitamin C derivative, but we definitely need more information.


Iliopoulos, F., Sil, B. C., Moore, D. J., Lucas, R. A., & Lane, M. E. (2019). 3-O-ethyl-l-ascorbic acid: Characterisation and investigation of single solvent systems for delivery to the skin. International journal of pharmaceutics: X, 1, 100025.
Nihro Y, Miyataka H, Sudo T et al. 3-O-Alkylascorbic acids as free-radical quenchers: synthesis and inhibitory effect on lipid peroxidation. J Med Chem 1991; 34: 2152–7.
Liao, W. C., Huang, Y. T., Lu, L. P., & Huang, W. Y. (2018). Antioxidant Ability and Stability Studies of 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, a Cosmetic Tyrosinase Inhibitor. Journal of cosmetic science, 69(4), 233–243.
Shimizu, R., Yagi, M., & Kikuchi, A. (2019). Suppression of riboflavin-sensitized singlet oxygen generation by l-ascorbic acid, 3-O-ethyl-l-ascorbic acid and Trolox. Journal of photochemistry and photobiology. B, Biology, 191, 116–122.