Acne vulgaris, or just acne, is a common skin problem resulting in pimples and oily skin. Symptoms are experienced by up to 50% of adolescents and 15-30% of adults in North America.
Acne is commonly treated with topical creams, medicines, diets, and supplements. Indeed, vitamin C is commonly added to many skincare products that claim to treat it.
You may be wondering if vitamin C is beneficial for this purpose.
This article discusses whether topical vitamin C treatment for acne is effective.
The Discussion Between Skincare and vitamin C
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin important for numerous bodily functions, including the skin. Because the body does not produce it, it must be ingested.
This vitamin is also a powerful antioxidant that aids in neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage your body’s cells over time if levels grow too high.
Free radicals impact your skin because of their exposure to your internal and exterior environments. Diet, stress, smoking, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and pollution are just a few variables that might impair skin health.
The epidermis (the top layer of skin visible to the naked eye) of your skin contains a lot of vitamin C. This vitamin is vital for the protection of the skin, the healing of the skin, and the regeneration of the skin.
Acne is a highly inflammatory illness that environmental stressors can aggravate. Thus vitamin C may help treat it.
What effect does vitamin C have on acne?
Acne is a skin ailment that is characterized by clogged pores. It causes redness, swelling, and, in some instances, bumps, which are inflamed lumps containing pus.
Acne causes many people to develop post-inflammatory scars and skin damage in addition to outbreaks. However, evidence suggests that vitamin C may help treat these illnesses.
Keep in mind that while high consumption of vitamin C-rich foods may benefit other areas of skin health, no research has linked dietary vitamin C to lower acne levels. Nonetheless, limited data suggests that using vitamin C topically may be beneficial.
Acne-related inflammation may be reduced
Acne is influenced by age, genetics, and hormones. Furthermore, specific strains of the common skin bacterium Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) may be responsible for this disorder.
Because vitamin C is anti-inflammatory, when applied topically, it may help reduce redness and swelling associated with acne. As a result, it may help to enhance the appearance of acne lesions).
In a 12-week study of 50 adults, 61 percent of those who used a lotion containing 5% sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) saw substantial reductions in acne lesions compared to a control group.
In a smaller, 8-week study of 30 persons, those who used 5% SAP had 48.8 percent fewer acne lesions. Furthermore, individuals who utilized a combination of SAP and 2% retinol â€“ a vitamin A derivative â€” experienced a 63.1 percent reduction.
Although these findings are encouraging, more significant, high-quality investigations are required.
Acne scars may improve in appearance
Your skin needs time to repair after an acne eruption. Acne scars may form if sufficient healing is not provided.
Acne scars are typically associated with severe cystic acne, but they can also occur in mild cases. Furthermore, chronic acne, genetics, and physical manipulation such as plucking or squeezing can raise the risk of scarring.
Acne scars are classified into atrophic, hypertrophic, and keloidal.
Atrophic scars are tiny indentions in the skin caused by losing skin tissue and collagen. Both hypertrophic and keloidal scars are caused by excessive collagen production and manifest as thick, elevated scar tissue.
Vitamin C cures acne scars by stimulating collagen synthesis, a protein responsible for the structure of your skin and essential for the rebuilding of healthy skin. As a result, this vitamin may hasten acne wound healing.
A 4-week study of 30 persons saw moderate improvements in acne scars after utilizing microneedling rolling tiny needles over the skin to stimulate healing and collagen synthesis in conjunction with a 15% vitamin C topical cream once per week.
Hyperpigmentation may be reduced
Hyperpigmentation is the production of darkish spots on your skin due to acne, UV rays, or other traumas though this condition is completely safe.
By interfering with an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is responsible for synthesizing melanin, a natural skin color, vitamin C can help minimize hyperpigmentation.
Furthermore, vitamin C is a brightening agent that helps lessen the appearance of darker spots without affecting your skin’s natural colour.
Some human trials revealed significant decreases in hyperpigmentation when topical vitamin C was combined with iontophoresis (an electrical gradient applied to the skin).
Though this procedure is promising, iontophoresis enhances vitamin C absorption into your skin, so topical vitamin C treatment may not produce the same benefits.
Furthermore, most linked research combines vitamin C with other anti-hyperpigmentation substances such as alpha-hydroxy acids, making it difficult to evaluate its unique benefits. More research is required in general.
Sources and formulations for vitamin c and acne
Though vitamin C is found in many meals and supplements, skincare solutions created with this vitamin are more likely to help acne-related disorders.
There are no current studies that link dietary vitamin C to less acne or scarring.
Supplements and food
Several fruits and vegetables, such as bell peppers and strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, and citrus fruits, are high in vitamin C.
Vitamin C supplements are also commonly accessible.
As a result, most people in affluent countries satisfy their vitamin C requirements through diet and supplementation.
Because vitamin C is water-soluble, any excess is excreted in the urine. You need to consult a professional in healthcare before beginning to take any supplements.
Vitamin C is found in various skin care products, including serums, moisturizers, and creams.
Though L-ascorbic acid is the most effective version of this vitamin, it is also the least stable and soon goes rancid in skincare products. Topical vitamin C serum boosters are also popular, but they have a limited shelf life.
As a result, more stable vitamin C compounds are frequently used in topical products. However, little human research has investigated how these compounds influence acne. Furthermore, whether these substances produce equivalent outcomes to L-ascorbic acid is unknown.
Many vitamin C serums contain other antioxidants, such as vitamin E, to boost stability and provide extra advantages.
Follow the manufacturer’s directions and discard any expired or discolored items for the best results.
Before incorporating any vitamin C skincare products into your routine, visit your dermatologist or healthcare expert if you already use any topical or oral acne medicines.
Acne is one of the most frequent skin problems around the globe.
Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, is recognized for combating free radical damage to skin cells and may aid in treating acne.
Topical vitamin C solutions may help with hyperpigmentation and acne-induced inflammation, but more research is needed.
While no research has linked dietary vitamin C to acne reduction, it is still crucial to consume enough to support collagen formation, wound healing, and overall health.
Before incorporating vitamin C into your skincare program, consult with a dermatologist or healthcare expert.