Vitamin C for Acne: Benefits and Uses

Zits vulgaris, also identified simply as acne breakouts, is a prevalent pores and skin situation that may cause pimples and oily pores and skin. In North The united states, up to 50% of adolescents and 15–30% of grownups practical experience signs (1).

Many folks use topical lotions, medicines, foods, and supplements to enable relieve zits. In point, vitamin C is commonly added to quite a few pores and skin care solutions that purport to take care of it.

Continue to, you may possibly surprise whether vitamin C is powerful for this intent.

This article describes no matter whether the topical application of vitamin C treats zits.

Officially known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a h2o-soluble vitamin that is important for several factors of wellness, which includes your pores and skin. Your body does not generate it, so you must receive it via your diet regime (2).

This vitamin is also a potent antioxidant that helps neutralize free of charge radicals, which are unstable compounds that can injury your body’s cells about time when amounts grow to be also superior in the physique (3, 4).

Your skin is impacted by cost-free radicals owing to its exposure to equally your interior and exterior environments. Between other elements, diet program, pressure, cigarette smoking, ultraviolet (UV) rays, and pollution all have an impact on pores and skin health and fitness (3, 4, 5).

Your skin’s epidermis — the leading layer of skin which is seen to the human eye — contains significant amounts of vitamin C. This nutrient performs a key position in protecting, therapeutic, and producing new skin (6).

As acne is a remarkably inflammatory situation that can be exacerbated by environmental stressors, vitamin C may well engage in a part in dealing with it.


Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that functions as a strong antioxidant to defend your skin and other cells from no cost radical destruction.

Acne is an inflammatory skin affliction brought about by blocked pores. It prospects to redness, inflammation, and occasionally pustules, which are infected bumps that incorporate pus (7).

In addition to breakouts, pimples leaves lots of folks with write-up-inflammatory scars and skin problems. Even so, research signifies that vitamin C may perhaps treat many of these circumstances.

Retain in head that even though a large consumption of meals abundant in vitamin C may possibly aid other areas of skin overall health, no analysis ties nutritional vitamin C to diminished acne levels. However, confined exploration indicates that the topical software of vitamin C may be valuable.

May possibly lower zits-similar irritation

Age, genetics, and hormones are threat factors for pimples. Also, specified strains of the typical skin bacterium Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) may result in this problem (7, 8).

Provided that vitamin C is anti-inflammatory, it might aid minimize redness and inflammation related to zits when used topically. Therefore, it may well boost the visual appearance of acne lesions (9).

In a 12-week study in 50 folks, 61% of participants who applied a lotion made up of 5% sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) — skilled significant advancements in pimples lesions, in contrast with a management group (10).

In a smaller, 8-7 days review in 30 folks, people who used 5% SAP experienced a 48.8% reduction in zits lesions. What’s far more, those who utilised a combination of SAP and 2% retinol — a vitamin A derivative — had a 63.1% reduction (9).

Nevertheless these effects are promising, greater large-excellent reports are desired.

May well boost the appearance of acne breakouts scars

Soon after an pimples breakout, your skin needs time to mend. With out proper therapeutic, acne scars might establish.

Acne scars are typically connected to extreme, cystic pimples, but they can consequence from delicate cases as perfectly. Also, prolonged pimples, genetics, and actual physical manipulation like choosing or squeezing can maximize the likelihood of scarring (11).

The 3 principal sorts of acne scars are atrophic, hypertrophic, and keloidal.

Atrophic scars lead to a loss of skin tissue and collagen and seem as modest indentions in the skin. Equally hypertrophic and keloidal scars end result from collagen overproduction and look as thick, lifted scar tissue (11).

Vitamin C treats pimples scars by growing the synthesis of collagen, a protein liable for your skin’s framework and vital for rebuilding nutritious skin. As a end result, this vitamin may perhaps accelerate the therapeutic of pimples wounds (6, 12, 13).

A 4-7 days study in 30 people today famous average improvements in acne scars immediately after working with microneedling — which includes rolling tiny needles in excess of the pores and skin to endorse therapeutic and raise collagen generation — alongside a 15% vitamin C topical cream the moment for every week (14).

Yet, it’s mysterious if microneedling, vitamin C, or a mixture of both was dependable for these benefits (14).

Furthermore, vitamin C and microneedling are unsuitable for hypertrophic and keloidal scars, as these varieties final result from collagen overproduction (15).

When no investigation backlinks nutritional vitamin C to diminished zits scarring, it raises your body’s all-natural collagen manufacturing and is even now useful for total skin wellness (16, 17).

Could cut down hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is the formation of darkened spots on your skin as a consequence of acne, UV rays, or other accidents — nevertheless it must be famous that this problem is harmless.

Applying vitamin C to your pores and skin could reduce hyperpigmentation by interfering with an enzyme referred to as tyrosinase, which is dependable for the creation of melanin, a all-natural pores and skin pigment (12, 13, 18).

Moreover, vitamin C functions as a brightening agent and can minimize the look of darkened spots without shifting the pure shade of your pores and skin (12, 13, 18).

Some human scientific studies that incorporate topical vitamin C with iontophoresis — an electrical gradient utilized to the skin — found important reductions in hyperpigmentation (19, 20).

Though this approach is promising, iontophoresis boosts vitamin C absorption into your pores and skin, meaning that topical application of vitamin C alone might not yield the exact same outcomes (21).

In addition, most related scientific studies use vitamin C in mix with other anti-hyperpigmentation elements like alpha-hydroxy acids, making it hard to determine the precise effects of the vitamin. In general, far more study is needed (21).


Topical vitamin C may support cut down zits scars, as very well as zits-relevant inflammation and hyperpigmentation. Even now, most investigate suggests that combining it with other solutions yields the most effective final results.

Though numerous food items and health supplements consist of vitamin C, maintain in thoughts that pores and skin treatment items formulated with this vitamin are a lot more probable to assist acne-linked ailments.

No present studies tie nutritional vitamin C to decreased pimples or scarring.

Foods and nutritional supplements

Lots of fruits and greens are wealthy in vitamin C, such as bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, and citrus fruits (22).

What’s more, vitamin C supplements are commonly accessible.

As this sort of, most folks in created international locations meet up with their vitamin C desires as a result of eating plan and supplementation (22).

As vitamin C is h2o-soluble, your system discards any surplus by means of your urine. Before taking a health supplement, you might want to consult with a health care expert (22).

Pores and skin care items

Vitamin C is utilized in numerous pores and skin treatment products and solutions, these kinds of as serums, moisturizers, and lotions.

Nevertheless L-ascorbic acid is the most strong type of this vitamin, it is also the the very least stable and goes rancid really speedily in skin care merchandise. Topical vitamin C serum boosters are popular, also, but they also have a limited shelf existence (23, 24).

Therefore, far more steady vitamin C derivatives are commonly used for topical products and solutions. Even so, few human studies look at how these derivatives influence acne. Plus, it’s not recognised no matter if these components present benefits equivalent to those people of L-ascorbic acid (23, 24).

Continue to keep in mind that lots of vitamin C serums are produced with other anti-oxidants like vitamin E to boost balance and give additional added benefits (13).

For ideal success, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and discard any expired or discolored merchandise.

If you are currently using any topical or oral pimples medications, seek advice from your skin doctor or health care skilled in advance of introducing any vitamin C skin care solutions to your program.


Whilst vitamin C is broadly readily available in foods and nutritional supplements, scientific proof only supports the use of topical items for reducing acne breakouts indicators.

Acne breakouts is one of the world’s most frequent skin problems.

Vitamin C, a highly effective antioxidant, is known for combating absolutely free radical injury to pores and skin cells and could aid handle acne.

Topical vitamin C products and solutions may increase hyperpigmentation and minimize zits-induced inflammation, but more study is essential.

Even though no exploration associates nutritional vitamin C with minimized pimples, it is however significant to get more than enough in your diet to aid collagen synthesis, wound therapeutic, and in general health and fitness.

If you’re intrigued in utilizing vitamin C for zits, communicate to a dermatologist or healthcare experienced in advance of introducing it to your skin care regimen.

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