Acne vulgaris, also understood just as acne, is a common skin problem that may trigger pimples and oily skin. In The United States and Canada, up to 50% of adolescents and 15 — 30% of grownups experience signs. Many people utilize topical creams, medications, foods, and supplements to assist alleviate acne. In fact, vitamin C is regularly contributed to many skin care products that purport to treat it. Still, you may question whether vitamin C is effective for this purpose.
This short article explains whether the topical application of vitamin C treats acne.
Vitamin C and Skin Care
Officially called ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that’s vital for numerous aspects of health, including your skin. Your body does not produce it, so you should acquire it through your diet.
This vitamin is likewise a potent antioxidant that assists neutralize complimentary radicals, which are unsteady substances that can damage your body’s cells gradually when levels become too expensive in the body.
Your skin is affected by complimentary radicals due to its direct exposure to both your internal and external environments. To name a few aspects, diet, stress, smoking, ultraviolet (UV) rays, and pollution all affect skin health.
Your skin’s epidermis — the leading layer of skin that shows up to the human eye — includes high levels of vitamin C. This nutrient plays a key function in securing, recovery, and producing new skin.
As acne is an extremely inflammatory condition that can be exacerbated by ecological stress factors, vitamin C may contribute in treating it.
How does Vitamin C Affect Acne?
Acne is an inflammatory skin problem caused by blocked pores. It causes soreness, swelling, and sometimes pustules, which are inflamed bumps which contain pus.
In addition to breakouts, acne leaves many individuals with post-inflammatory scars and skin damage. However, research suggests that vitamin C may treat numerous of these conditions.
Keep in mind that while a high intake of foods abundant in vitamin C might assist other elements of skin health, no research ties dietary vitamin C to lowered acne levels. Nonetheless, limited research recommends that the topical application of vitamin C may be useful.
May Reduce Acne-related Inflammation
Age, genes, and hormones are threat elements for acne. Moreover, specific strains of the typical skin germs Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) might activate this condition.
Given that vitamin C is anti-inflammatory, it may help in reducing soreness and swelling related to acne when used topically. Hence, it might enhance the appearance of acne sores.
In a 12-week study in 50 individuals, 61% of individuals who utilized a cream containing 5% salt ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) — experienced substantial improvements in acne sores, compared to a control group.
In a smaller, 8-week study in 30 individuals, those who used 5% SAP had a 48.8% reduction in acne sores. What’s more, those who used a combination of SAP and 2% retinol — a vitamin A derivative — had a 63.1% decrease.
Though these outcomes are promising, larger high-quality studies are needed.
May Improve the Appearance of Acne Scars
After an acne breakout, your skin requires time to recover. Without correct recovery, acne scars may establish.
Acne scars are normally related to severe, cystic acne, however they can arise from mild cases also. Additionally, prolonged acne, genetics, and physical control like selecting or squeezing can increase the possibility of scarring.
The 3 main types of acne scars are atrophic, hypertrophic, and keloidal.
Atrophic scars cause a loss of skin tissue and collagen and look like small indentions in the skin. Both hypertrophic and keloidal scars result from collagen overproduction and look like thick, raised scar tissue.
Vitamin C treats acne scars by increasing the synthesis of collagen, a protein responsible for your skin’s structure and important for rebuilding healthy skin. As a result, this vitamin might accelerate the recovery of acne wounds.
A 4-week study in 30 individuals noted moderate enhancements in acne scars after utilizing microneedling — which includes rolling small needles over the skin to promote healing and boost collagen production — along with a 15% vitamin C topical cream once each week.
Yet, it’s unknown if microneedling, vitamin C, or a mix of both was accountable for these results.
Additionally, vitamin C and microneedling disagree for hypertrophic and keloidal scars, as these types result from collagen overproduction.
While no research links dietary vitamin C to lowered acne scarring, it increases your body’s natural collagen production and is still helpful for total skin health.
May Reduce Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is the development of dark spots on your skin as a result of acne, UV rays, or other injuries– though it needs to be noted that this condition is safe.
Using vitamin C to your skin may minimize hyperpigmentation by interfering with an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is responsible for the production of melanin, a natural skin pigment.
Additionally, vitamin C acts as a lightening up representative and can decrease the look of darkened spots without altering the natural color of your skin.
Some human research studies that combine topical vitamin C with iontophoresis — an electrical gradient applied to the skin — discovered substantial decreases in hyperpigmentation.
Though this method is promising, iontophoresis increases vitamin C absorption into your skin, suggesting that topical application of vitamin C alone might not yield the very same outcomes.
Furthermore, most related research studies use vitamin C in mix with other anti-hyperpigmentation ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids, making it tough to figure out the specific results of the vitamin. Overall, more research is required.
Sources and Formulations
Though various foods and supplements contain vitamin C, keep in mind that skin care products formulated with this vitamin are more likely to help acne-related conditions.
No present studies connect dietary vitamin C to reduced acne or scarring.
Food and Supplements
Many fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, such as bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, and citrus fruits.
Moreover, vitamin C supplements are extensively available.
As such, the majority of people in industrialized countries meet their vitamin C requires through diet and supplements.
As vitamin C is water-soluble, your body disposes of any excess through your urine. Prior to taking a supplement, you may want to consult a healthcare specialist.
Skin Care Products
Vitamin C is utilized in many skin care products, such as serums, moisturizers, and creams.
Though L-ascorbic acid is the most potent kind of this vitamin, it’s likewise the least stable and goes rancid really quickly in skin care products. Topical vitamin C serum boosters are popular, too, but they likewise have a short shelf life.
Therefore, more stable vitamin C derivatives are commonly utilized for topical items. However, few human studies examine how these derivatives affect acne. Plus, it’s not known whether these components supply outcomes similar to those of L-ascorbic acid.
Keep in mind that many vitamin C serums are made with other antioxidants like vitamin E to increase stability and provide additional benefits.
For finest outcomes, follow the producer’s instructions and discard any expired or stained items.
If you’re presently utilizing any topical or oral acne medications, consult your dermatologist or healthcare professional before including any vitamin C skin care items to your routine.
The Bottom Line
Acne is one of the world’s most common skin disorders.
Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is understood for combating free extreme damage to skin cells and might help treat acne.
Topical vitamin C items may enhance hyperpigmentation and reduce acne-induced inflammation, however even more research is needed.
While no research associates dietary vitamin C with reduced acne, it’s still essential to get enough in your diet to support collagen synthesis, injury recovery, and total health.
If you’re interested in using vitamin C for acne, speak to a dermatologist or healthcare expert prior to including it to your skin care routine.