Vitamin C has long been considered the "miracle vitamin" thought to cure everything from the common cold to far more daunting ailments. Now it's enjoying yet another turn in the spotlight, this time in your shower. Here's the reason for the trend, and why it may (or may not) work for you.

The Benefits of Vitamin C in the Shower

You may have noticed a proliferation of beauty products that contain vitamin C to promote healthy skin and hair. Showerheads are the latest to join the trend. Companies manufacturing these showerheads claim Vitamin C neutralizes the chlorine in water to improve conditions, such as:

  • Dandruff
  • Eczema
  • Dry skin
  • Frizzy hair
  • Eye irritation

How Vitamin C Showerheads Work

Manufacturers of vitamin C-infused showerhead filters claim they eliminate the harmful effects of chlorine on the skin by neutralizing the chlorine in your water. Chlorine is a chemical that's added to all public water sources in the US at safe doses to disinfect water as it travels through pipelines. At high doses, the chemical is toxic, but for the majority of people, the amount they come in contact with in their water supply is considered completely safe.

The showerheads range in price from $35 to over $100. They attach to, or replace, existing water filters as either complete filtering showerheads or screw-on attachments. They're usually sold with refillable cartridges that should last between one and three months depending on the frequency and length of showers.

Do Vitamin C Showerheads Work?

While it's true that vitamin C reacts with chlorine by neutralizing or consuming the chemical—a fact that's verified by The U.S. Department of Agriculture—there's only anecdotal evidence in support of the bath product having a similar effect.

Some celebrities and high-end hotels are outfitting their bathrooms with these showerheads and claiming that the filters do indeed work. Furthermore, news articles report anecdotal stories from people who claim the filters left them with smoother and less dry skin, softer and more manageable hair, and even relief from chronic skin conditions. Other people claimed they experienced no effect at all.

There are also skeptics. Neal Langerman, an officer for the American Chemical Society's Division of Chemical Health and Safety, told Bloomberg Businessweek that the filters are not as purposeful as they may seem because chlorine and chloramines don't cross the skin barrier and neither does vitamin C. He also didn't think that the filters would allow the vitamin C enough time to neutralize chlorine before the water in your shower reached your hair or skin.

Bottom line: There appears to be no harmful effects from using vitamin C showerhead filters, so experimenting in your own shower might be your best bet for determining its effectiveness. However, if you're experiencing irritation, itching, rashes or other skin outbreaks, a trip to your doctor is your best course of action.

Liesa Harte, M.D, reviewed this article.


Brenda Land, Sanitary Engineer, Project Leader. "Using Vitamin C To Neutralize Chlorine in Water Systems."

Caroline Winter. "Vitamin C-Infused Showers: Do They Work?" Bloomberg Businessweek. December 02, 2013.