Photostability and Interaction of Ascorbic Acid in Cream Formulations


The kinetics of photolysis of ascorbic acid in cream formulations on UV irradiation has been studied using a specific spectrophotometric method with a reproducibility of ±5%. The apparent first-order rate constants (k obs) for the photolysis of ascorbic acid in creams have been determined. The photoproducts formed in the cream formulations include dehydroascorbic acid and 2,3-diketogulonic acid. The photolysis of ascorbic acid appears to be affected by the concentration of active ingredient, pH, and viscosity of the medium and formulation characteristics. The study indicates that the ionized state and redox potentials of ascorbic acid are important factors in the photostability of the vitamin in cream formulations. The viscosity of the humectant present in the creams appears to influence the photostability of ascorbic acid. The results show that the physical stability of the creams is an important factor in the stabilization of the vitamin. In the cream formulations stored in the dark, ascorbic acid undergoes aerobic oxidation and the degradation is affected by similar factors as indicated in the photolysis reactions. The rate of oxidative degradation in the dark is about seventy times slower than that observed in the presence of light.

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Correspondence to Muhammad Ali Sheraz.

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Ahmad, I., Sheraz, M.A., Ahmed, S. et al. Photostability and Interaction of Ascorbic Acid in Cream Formulations. AAPS PharmSciTech 12, 917 (2011).

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  • ascorbic acid
  • cream formulations
  • kinetics
  • photostability
  • spectrophotometric method