Vitamin C for Acne
Vitamin C is available in facial moisturizers and serums.

There are multiple etiologies of acne, such as:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Poor eating habits
  • Stress

Comedones seen in acne are blocked pores of sebum resulting from inflamed sebaceous glands. Excess sebum production, accumulation of keratin in the sebaceous glands, or bacteria trapped in hair follicles cause skin lesions (blackheads and whiteheads) in cases of acne vulgaris.

Vitamin C is one of the most well-researched skincare ingredients. When you’re young, levels of this powerful antioxidant in the skin are abundant, but they naturally deplete as you age. Vitamin C skin care products such as serums and moisturizers can help supplement, leading to skin that feels firmer and has a brighter, more even complexion.

What causes acne?

  • Acne is caused by blocked pores resulting from inflamed sebaceous glands, excess sebum production, an accumulation of keratin in the sebaceous glands, or bacteria trapped in hair follicles.
  • Various underlying factors such as hormonal imbalance, a weakened immune system, and allergies may also cause acne.
  • It is usually seen in teenagers because of hormonal changes that increase sebum production.

How does vitamin C work in decreasing acne?

  • Vitamin C use may help curb bacterial overgrowth in the skin that worsens acne.
  • Just incorporating vitamin C into the diet will not guarantee any effect on your skin, so a topical product is a good option.
  • Vitamin C serum works for all skin types, especially oily skin; in fact, vitamin C serum for oily skin is a fantastic way of dealing with a lot of problems that your skin type may be giving you due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • It has mild bleaching property that helps minimize the pigmentation spots because of acne.
  • Moreover, vitamin C is known to play an important part in normal keratinization, which is disrupted in people with acne problems.
  • Collagen decreases with age, leading to loss of skin elasticity.
  • Vitamin C increases collagen synthesis, which will treat acne.
  • Redness in pimples is caused by inflammation. 
  • Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin C can help reduce redness caused by acne breakouts.

What are the other cosmetic benefits of vitamin C?

  • Vitamin C keeps the skin moisturized and lightens the skin complexion. This lightning is caused by decreasing melanin pigmentation and free radical scavenging.
  • Vitamin C serum works for oily skin because it hydrates the skin without making it greasy, thus keeping the pores open and giving it a pimple-free, bright look.
  • It improves the healing and lightening of scars caused by acne.
  • There are other uses of vitamin C serum such as treating sunburns by repairing the damaged cells.
  • In doing so, it will protect from sun damage and free radicals that cause skin cancer.
  • Moreover, it prevents dark circles under the eyes after a night or two of bad sleep, which is seeing a network of blood vessels just under the skin.
  • Foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges and berries, offer many health benefits. 
  • Although you can get plenty of vitamin C by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, dietary vitamin C generally won’t provide enough for you to see a noticeable improvement in your skin.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

What the benefits of vitamin C on your skin?

Reduces undereye circles

When you notice dark circles under your eyes after a night or two of bad sleep, you’re seeing a network of blood vessels just under the skin. Vitamin C helps inhibit the production of tyrosinase, an enzyme that aids in the production of melanin, preventing hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties make skin more elastic and resilient, helping conceal the blood vessels underneath.

Collagen production

Vitamin C is essential for producing collagen in the body. Collagen is the building block of skin, hair, muscles, and tendons, and it is what keeps our skin looking youthful and smooth. As we age, collagen production slows down, which may lead to sagging skin.

When applied topically, vitamin C accelerates the production of both collagen and elastin, which help keep the skin plump and firm. Topical vitamin C can help prevent premature aging of the skin, restoring a youthful, smooth appearance to the skin.


It is a common condition characterized by the development of darker spots on the skin—most often caused by overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and environmental stresses. Although harmless, hyperpigmentation can make you appear older.

One study reported that vitamin C’s antioxidant properties play an important role in combating unwanted dark spots and preventing signs of aging caused by sun damage.

Vitamin C doesn’t affect normal skin coloration—it won’t fade away normal dark skin pigmentation, only the abnormal melanin deposits caused by sun damage. 

Hydrates skin

Without sufficient moisture, the epidermis (top layer of skin) starts to dry out, which leads to itchy, scaly skin, and premature aging. Hydration is vital to keeping your skin healthy and youthful. 

Fortunately, vitamin C is clinically proven to help skin retain water, keeping it plump and smooth and preventing it from becoming too oily or dry. Researchers found that individuals who were given a supplement containing vitamin C showed significant and sustainable improvements in skin hydration, elasticity, and plumpness.

Reduces redness

Blotchy, uneven, and red skin can result from several factors, including inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, sun exposure, hormones, and medical conditions.

Topical application

  • Topical vitamin C is absorbed directly into the topmost layers of the skin, allowing it to get to work immediately on smoothing the skin, reducing fine lines and dark spots, and protecting against free radicals.
  • Vitamin C is available in facial moisturizers and serums. Serums are more concentrated than moisturizers and more easily absorbed into the skin, which is why more skin care specialists recommend serums.

How to use vitamin C

  • Vitamin C needs to be applied topically one to two times a day—morning and night. Application of vitamin C should be followed by moisturizer and sunscreen (30 SPF) during the day.
  • Avoid using vitamin C serum with retinol creams or other skin serums.

What are the side effects of vitamin C?

  • Vitamin C is generally safe when consumed in foods or applied topically. However, people with sensitive skin or allergies may experience a yellowish discoloration of the skin.
  • Some people may experience irritation such as stinging, itching, and dryness after using topical vitamin C.
  • This can be treated by layering a moisturizer over the vitamin C serum when you use it, in addition to moisturizing daily.
  • If you have sensitive skin, you can start with a lower concentration of vitamin C to observe how your skin reacts.


  • It is important to test vitamin C on your skin before making it a part of your regular skincare routine.
  • Start by applying vitamin C every other day or every few days, and then work your way up in frequency to avoid potential redness and irritation.
  • Some may experience flaring up of acne when serum is used.


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Medically Reviewed on 9/1/2022
Image Source: iStock image,It%20may%20help%20reduce%20hyperpigmentation. Vitamin c acne benefits.