Vitamin C breakouts, what’s going on?

Vitamin C is an amazing ingredient. It offers a range of skincare benefits. Unfortunately, when you start to use a new product there is always a risk that your skin won’t react as you would like it to. Sometimes adding new skincare products can break you out, this break out may be acne or it can be purging. If you want to know if using vitamin C is making you break out the read on

You don’t have to have oily skin or skin that’s prone to breakouts for you to break out when using new skincare products. You can have a normal skin type with no regular blemishes but if your skincare products are meant to break you out then they will.

What is vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that is able to help regenerate the skin. It is one of the many essential vitamins that our body can’t produce and when used on the skin or ingested it offers great health benefits.  Many skincare brands love using vitamin C. It’s an ingredient that really works to improve the health of our skin on many fronts.

What does vitamin C do for your skin?

Fights free radicals: Because it is an antioxidant vitamin C has the ability to fight off dangerous free radicals which can damage your skin.

Brightening: If you have dull skin you’re in luck! Vitamin C is great at helping to brighten up and add glow to your skin. The effects of using this ingredient are more youthful-looking and healthy-looking skin.

Reduced acne scars: The brightening effects also improve the appearance of your acne scars. The vitamin C gives you a clearer and even skin tone.

Promotes collagen production: Collagen production starts to reduce by the time you reach the age of 25 and continues to decrease over time. Vitamin C helps to boost this collagen production improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Smoothing: If you have rough skin you can use vitamin C to achieve a smoother skin texture over time

The ingredient is also great at improving fine lines and improving the appearance of melasma and age spots

Will vitamin C give me breakouts?

Vitamin C in itself is unlikely to give you breakouts or acne. In fact, vitamin C can help clear your acne to some extent. It is anti-inflammatory and this helps to heal and minimise your acne helping it heal faster.

If you take the vitamin in supplements the vitamin will minimize redness on your skin as well. It can also help to lighten acne scars.

If you do develop acne after starting your vitamin C product for the first time then it is either because you are purging or there is an ingredient in the product that is comedogenic and making you break out.

Vitamin C breakouts? what’s going on?

Vitamin C is unlikely to give you breakouts but using any new skincare product can cause purging. Purging happens when you use a skincare product for the first time and you develop an initial break out. The skin starts to turn over more quickly once you use a product and this can cause your acne to come to the surface sooner.

What happens during this time is that your dead skin cells start to shed rapidly, more rapidly than normal. Any excess dead skin cells in your pores or trapped serum resurface faster and show up as blemishes.

These blemishes on your skin may have been developing for weeks and months before they show up on the surface of your skin and when you use a new product they come up quicker.

What cases break outs?

When your skin starts to break out it’s because the skin does not agree with your new products. If you’re using a vitamin C treatment and there’s something in the formula that is comedogenic or your skin does not agree with a certain ingredient then you can develop breakouts. Breakouts can also be caused by you having an allergic reaction to the skin products or developing irritation because of an ingredient

Is my skin breaking out or purging?

Breakouts may initially look like purging but they aren’t the same. Because both show up as pimples you may not know if it’s a breakout or purging. There a few key indicators that will let you know if its purging or a breakout:

Location: Purging makes you develop pimples where you usually develop them. If you usually develop pimples on your cheeks then you will purge on your cheeks. If you’re breaking out then the breakouts will happen all over your face

Size: If your new acne is the same size are your regular acne then there is a good chance that you’re purging. If the pimples are bigger and angrier then you are breaking out

Time: The purging stage lasts around 2 to 8 weeks max. After this, your skin will be clear and pimple free. If the pimples stay on your skin for longer than this then you’re breaking out and should stop using the product.

How To Choose And Use Vitamin C Serums

Vitamin C serums are not created equal. There are a few signs that will help you figure out if this is a good vitamin serum. Here are a few things you need to think about when looking for vitamin C serums

Ingredients: You need to purchase a serum that has vitamin C, vitamin E, L-ascorbic acid and tocopherol respectively. When all these ingredients are present in your vitamin C serum you get the best results

Concentration: Trace amounts of vitamin C serum won’t do much for you. To really get the best effects you need to use one that has 10-20 percent vitamin C in the formula

Packaging: Vitamin C serum degrades very easily, air, light and heat can render your vitamin C serum unusable. To keep your product safe you need to pick an airtight, dark, glass container and keep it away from heat and light

Can vitamin C Heal Acne?

Vitamin C won’t be the only thing you need to heal your acne but it can help to improve the appearance of your pimples because it is anti-inflammatory. It will help reduce the redness and pain on your acne and this will help to heal it to some degree. If you want to target your acne you need to be using products with salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is a type of hydroxy acid that is used in many skin care products to fight off your acne. It’s a beta hydroxy acid that is great at breaking up the clogs in your pores by displacing the dead skin cells that cause the block in the first place. It also is great at soothing and calming the skin making your acne less red and angry.

Can you speed up skin purging?

No, you cannot speed up your skin purging stage. You have to give the skin time to do its thing in a natural way. The 2-8 weeks may sound like an agonising amount of time to deal with purging but you need to let it run its course.

For the best result make sure you don’t pick at the acne, try to dry it out, exfoliate it or irritate it with products during this time.

If you pick at the acne you can cause the acne to become more infected and this can result in a bigger pimple. If you pick at it you can also damage the skin and cause scarring which is a hassle to remove.

Make sure you don’t dry to dry it out. You develop pimples because of bacteria and dead skin cells trapped in your pores not because your skin is too moisturised.

Can I mix vitamin C and vitamin E?

Yes, you can mix vitamin C and vitamin E. Both these ingredients are great at helping to combat free radical damage on your skin. Using both will give your skin a huge source of antioxidants which is great for the overall health of your skin. Many vitamin C treatments include vitamin E because of this reason.

In addition, they absorb into the skin differently. Vitamin C is a water-soluble ingredient and vitamin E is a lipid-soluble ingredient. This allows them to absorb and penetrate the skin at different levels improving the skin at various depths

Can vitamin C and hyaluronic acid mix?

Yes, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid can be mixed. These two ingredients have great antiaging properties and because of this, the two ingredients are usually used together in skincare products. They can also be combined at home. 

That being said, because they have different pH levels they work better when used separately. Because of the different pH levels, they are more effective if absorbed separately into the skin.

What goes first hyaluronic acid or vitamin C?

If you choose to use these ingredients separately then vitamin C serum should be applied before the hyaluronic acid. The vitamin C serum gets absorbed into the skin very quickly and will take only a few minutes for it to fully absorb into the skin.

After application of your vitamin C you can go ahead and apply your hyaluronic acid serum. Applying these products in this order is best because some vitamin C products can be drying to your skin. Hyaluronic acid is great at giving your skin a great boost of hydration.

When should I take vitamin C in a routine?

It depends on what the consistency of your vitamin C is. The general rule of thumb for skincare product application is that you apply the products in order of thickness.

Your thinner skincare products should be applied first to allow them to sink deep into your skin, Then you should apply your thickest product last to seal in all the previous skincare products.

If your vitamin C is a serum or in an essence, it will be one of the first products you apply. If it is in a cream then you would apply it later. Also, if you’re using a sunscreen you should be using your vitamin C serum before the sunscreen.

Can you use vitamin C serum every day?

Yes, you can use your vitamin C serum every day. You can even use your vitamin C serum twice a day depending on which vitamin C serum you’re using. To get the best results with your vitamin C serum you need to make sure you follow the instructions on the packing.

Before you use your vitamin C serum you should always do a patch test. The patch test tests whether there is anything in the formula that you are allergic to.

This test entails applying the product on a small area of your skin that is easily concealable. Let the product absorb into your skin and see if your skin reacts after 24 hours. If the 24 hours pass and there is no negative effects on your skin like a rash, hives, itchiness or redness on your skin then you can continue using the product.

Can I use Vitamin C after exfoliating?

Yes, you can use your vitamin C serum after exfoliating but you don’t have to. Exfoliating your skin entails using a physical exfoliator like a scrub or a chemical exfoliator like a chemical to get rid of your dead skin cells.

The exfoliation process removes your dead skin cells which become a barrier to the products you want to use. Removing the dead skin cells gives the vitamin C more access to your skin

Once your skin is exfoliated you have a base of new fresh skin cells. The vitamin C will be able to penetrate into and absorb deep into your skin to boost the benefits offered to your skin by the ingredient.

That being said, you can use your vitamin C serum every day but you can’t exfoliate daily. If you don’t exfoliate that day you can simply clean your skin, apply your toner, use your vitamin C product then go ahead and moisturise your skin

That’s it on my article looking at vitamin C breakouts, if you enjoyed the article please share it.

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