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Does Vitamin C Help Acne? Things You Should Know 2023
Does vitamin C help acne? This is one of the most frequently asked skin health questions.
Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in some foods. It may also be consumed as a dietary supplement. It cannot be made naturally by the human body, and as a result, increasing dietary consumption is required to maintain healthy levels.
Vitamin C aids in the synthesis of collagen, the manufacture of the energy-enhancing amino acid L-carnitine, and a variety of neurotransmitters. It also aids in protein metabolism.
The vitamin is a popular skin remedy because of its role in collagen formation, which aids connective tissue functions such as wound healing and skin aging.
Vitamin C is found in many foods, but vitamin C supplements are one of the quickest ways to raise your vitamin levels.
A deficiency in vitamin C can result in scurvy, a condition characterized by fatigue, weakened connective tissue, and fragile capillaries.
Is Vitamin C Good For Acne?
Yes. Acne-related inflammation, redness, and damage are reduced by vitamin C. Some of its proven skin benefits are as follows:
- Increasing collagen production.
- Balancing skin tone.
- Preventing UV damage.
- Accelerating wound healing.
- Enhancing skin hydration.
- Enhancing skin elasticity.
- Inflammation control.
Does Vitamin C Help Acne?
Numerous skin health issues have been shown to benefit from vitamin C treatment. But does vitamin C help acne scars?
Yes. Vitamin C has many skin-friendly actions, such as its antioxidant activity which allows it to fight inflammation, thus reducing acne-related swelling, discoloration, and damage.
If your skin heals from acne, it may develop recessed and raised scars. The topical application of vitamin C is effective for acne scarring and can significantly reduce associated redness and swelling.
Vitamin C for acne promotes collagen synthesis, which speeds up skin healing and helps to eliminate scars.
Vitamin C can reduce hyperpigmentation and the dark spots around acne-infested areas. It does this by inhibiting the action of an enzyme called tyrosinase.
What Is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition whereby hair follicles become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and other environmental contaminants. The hair follicles can then turn into tender bumps, blackheads, or whiteheads that may become red and quite painful.
Although hormonal changes in adolescence most commonly cause acne, it can also be caused by poor skincare habits, genetics, and skin bacteria.
Some people have asked does vitamin C causes acne. The answer is no — vitamin C aids in acne eradication. Even while receiving treatment, acne scars can persist and heal very slowly. Scars can be painful, most commonly affecting the forehead, face, shoulders, chest, or upper back.
Despite being benign, acne scars can cause emotional distress. Most complications can be avoided if the condition is treated early enough with vitamin C.
Other treatments for acne-prone skin include prescription-based antibiotics and over-the-counter creams or cleansers.
Other Benefits Of Vitamin C For Your Skin
To reap the full benefits of vitamin C for the skin, use a product designed specifically for skin care. Here are some proven benefits of vitamin C for the skin:
It Facilitates Collagen Production
Collagen levels in the body naturally decline over time, degrading the appearance of your healthy skin by causing wrinkles and fine lines.
Vitamin C is essential to collagen synthesis and aids in its production. It is a cofactor for the enzymes prolyl hydroxylase and lysyl hydroxylase, which help stabilize collagen molecules and provide structural strength.
Balances Skin Color
Although dark spots do not pose a serious health risk, they can make you appear older and unhealthy. Vitamin C can help you achieve even skin tone by inhibiting melanin synthesis, which regulates skin pigmentation.
As previously mentioned, vitamin C decreases the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin production, which may cause a lightening of skin tone.
Prevents UV Damage
UV skin damage can result in roughness, redness, and tanning.
Studies have discovered a correlation between increased exposure to UV rays, environmental pollutants, and vitamin C deficiency, suggesting that supplementation can mitigate this effect.
Antioxidant-rich vitamin C protects your skin from oxidative stress and UV damage.
However, vitamin C alone may not be sufficient to protect your skin. Combining vitamins C and E may provide better results, such as lowering UV-induced inflammation.
Vitamin C also regulates cell regeneration, assisting the skin in the repair of damaged cells.
Accelerates Wound Healing
Vitamin C speeds up wound healing by enhancing collagen-making. In addition, vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, improves wound healing through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Improves Skin Hydration
Based on several studies, those with healthy skin have been found to have higher levels of vitamin C. This may be because vitamin C reduces transepidermal water loss, allowing the skin to retain moisture and balance oiliness.
According to one study, combining vitamin C, ferulic acid, and aqueous Deschampsia Antarctica extract significantly enhances skin hydration. Research also indicates that ascorbic acid is the best form of vitamin C for hydration.
Improves Skin Elasticity
Sagging skin can be caused by aging, oxidative stress, or rapid weight loss. Collagen improves skin elasticity, tightening and firming it.
Vitamin C’s high antioxidant content can help fight skin sagging caused by oxidative stress. It can also replenish collagen levels, which naturally decline with age, preventing age-related skin sagging.
The ability of vitamin C to optimize collagen synthesis may also help reduce wrinkles. Additionally, it may reduce fine lines around your eyes and improve pigmentation, making you look healthier and younger.
Your appearance can be damaged by inflammation, resulting in skin redness, irritation, and rashes. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of vitamin C help to prevent skin irritation and lessen puffiness.
How To Use Vitamin C For Skin?
Oranges, broccoli, potatoes, peppers, blackcurrants, and Brussels sprouts contain vitamin C. However, dietary intake may not always supply enough vitamin C for ideal skin health.
Topical vitamin C ensures that it gets through your skin quickly and in large enough amounts to have an immediate impact.
You can find various topical products made with vitamin C for the skin, from sunscreens to vitamin C serums, creams, moisturizers, and lotions. The majority of vitamin C-rich skin care products are designed for rapid absorption.
Most vitamin C serum manufacturers advise using it once or twice daily. Suppose your only goal in taking vitamin C is to have healthy skin. In that case, the topical application can help prevent some adverse effects of consuming too much oral vitamin C.
Before applying the vitamin C serum, wash your hands to remove contaminants. Using vitamin C serums correctly involves cleansing, toning, serum application, and moisturizing.
Side Effects & Safety
Vitamin C is suitable for all skin types and offers a long-term solution for skin care. However, topical concentrations greater than 20% may cause mild irritation.
Most skincare ingredients, such as retinol and alpha hydroxy acids, do not react with the vitamin. However, you must conduct a skin sensitivity test before entirely using vitamin C to identify any unfavorable effects.
A skin sensitivity test involves applying a small amount of vitamin C to different areas of your skin, lightly rubbing it in, and then waiting 15 to 20 minutes to see if your skin reacts to it.
Other side effects may occur when using magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and L-ascorbic acid products, which can irritate sensitive skin types.
Studies show that even at high doses, vitamin C has a low level of toxicity and may not have any unfavorable side effects. However, the osmotic effect of reaching the gastrointestinal tract unabsorbed may cause diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.
Its ability to promote iron absorption is positive for most healthy people. However, when taken in chronic doses, it can cause tissue damage in people with hereditary hemochromatosis.
The Bottom Line
Does vitamin C help acne? Vitamin C is a natural and safe treatment for various skin problems, including acne, wrinkles, and puffiness. It contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that combat the underlying causes of such skin complications without having serious consequences.
In healthy people, however, chronic doses of vitamin C can cause minor side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps. The risk is higher for those who have hereditary hemochromatosis because it can cause tissue damage.
Nonetheless, researchers maintain that, even in high doses, vitamin C is generally safe for most people with acne-prone skin.
Topical vitamin C may produce more satisfying results than oral ingestion and reduces the risk of some side effects. Skin care-specific vitamin C products have improved absorption rates and can deliver quick results.
+ 7 sources
Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here
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- Milani, M., Bita Hashtroody, Piacentini, M. and Celleno, L. (2019). Skin protective effects of an antipollution, antioxidant serum containing Deschampsia antartica extract, ferulic acid and vitamin C: a controlled single-blind, prospective trial in women living in urbanized, high air pollution area. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, [online] Volume 12, pp.393–399. doi:https://doi.org/10.2147/ccid.s204905.
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- Ellulu, M.S., Asmah Rahmat, Ismail Patimah, Huzwah Khaza’ai and Abed, Y. (2015). Effect of vitamin C on inflammation and metabolic markers in hypertensive and/or diabetic obese adults: a randomized controlled trial. Drug Design Development and Therapy, [online] 9, pp.3405–12. doi:https://doi.org/10.2147/dddt.s83144.