Vitamin C serum benefits for acne control

Vitamin C has a great reputation in the skincare world. It’s known as a product that can help with anti-ageing as it helps with collagen production in the skin. It also gives your skin a beautiful, smooth and radiant complexion. But can the serum help with acne-prone skin and breakouts? This article looks at if vitamin C serum has benefits for acne control

You might notice that vitamin C is an ingredient in a variety of skincare products. It is a natural ingredient that people identify with and feel comfortable using. This vitamin is not only associated with preventing scurvy those many years ago. It helps with strengthening the body’s defences, boosting the immune system and giving you brighter, more firm looking, beautiful skin. This is a favourite vitamin C serum.

What is serum?

If you have any type of skin (yes really any type) then serums might just be the best thing to happen to your skin. They are lightweight products (lighter than creams and lotions) that have potent concentrations of ingredients, so potent that the ingredient concentrations surpass that of lotions or creams.

Because they are lightweight, serums are better able to deliver essential ingredients to the skin. They sink deep into the skin and don’t sit on top of the skin like lotion or creams. They can be beneficial in moisturizing the skin, fighting UV damage, providing antioxidants, and fighting bacteria that cause acne.

What do vitamin C serums do for acne?

Hydrates the skin: All skin types need to be hydrated, when oily acne-prone skin is hydrated it prevents the skin from overproducing oil in an effort to hydrate and moisturise itself. The hydration benefits offered by vitamin C serums are all thanks to an ingredient called Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. This is a vitamin C derivative which reduces the loss of water in the skin allowing it to stay hydrated.

Minimize inflammation: The vitamin C serums are able to calm any red and inflamed pimples on your skin. This will allow the acne to heal better. In addition, vitamin C serums have the ability to get rid of free radicals. Free radical damage can trigger inflammation in the skin. By using vitamin C serum you can greatly reduce this.

Quicker healing: Vitamin C has the ability to shorten the time it takes your wound to heal, this is very beneficial if you are a person who pops their pimples. That faster the wound heals the less likely you will get a further infection and the less likely you are to scar up.

Collagen repair: Collagen is not only helpful when it comes to antiageing. Collagen can help heal up acne scars as it repairs the tissue caused by the acne. If you find that you have acne scars after the acne vitamin C serum will be able to fade hyperpigmentation on the skin. Vitamin C is able to hinder the production of the melanin that causes dark masks. There is a myth that steam can remove acne marks, steam can only help unclog pores, read more here.

Can vitamin C serum cause breakouts?

It depends on what other ingredients are in the vitamin C serum you’re using. If the base of the product is something that is comedogenic then yes it will make you break out.

If your serum contains sodium lauryl sulphate then this ingredient will irritate the skin and can cause breakouts. Silicones and fillers will also cause breakouts But serums don’t usually cause breakouts, they are lighter than lotions or creams so they can’t block the pores.


  • Even though this is a great product to use you should still test the product out on a patch of skin. If you try the patch test on your skin and after 48 hours there is no irritation or reaction then you can use the product.
  • Before you decide to start using vitamin C serum in your acne regimen be sure to consult a dermatologist or esthetician to get advice on the best way to be using the product
  • Vitamin C is photosensitive, it will work differently when exposed to the sun, rather use it with a sunscreen if you intend on using it during the day. Also, learn how to make sunscreen look less oily by clicking here.
  • If you decide to use retinol and vitamin C in the same beauty routine at night be sure to apply them 30 minutes apart. This will prevent the two ingredients from interacting with each other.
  • If your serum changes colour and becomes anything other than white, clear or champagne then it shouldn’t be sued anymore, you need to discard it or return is as it has oxidised.
  • To protect it from light exposure make sure your serum is kept in a dark bottle
  • If you have sensitive skin you should be careful when using vitamin C products, they can cause an allergic reaction and or irritation

Does vitamin C serum improve skin?

Yes other than simply helping you deal with your acne vitamin C serums can help improve the skin in the following ways:

Helps with hyperpigmentation: after your acne has disappeared you can develop hyperpigmentation, you can also develop hyperpigmentation if your skin becomes damaged from the sun. Vitamin C serum is great at helping to fade hyperpigmentation. It impedes melanin production, over time your skin tone will become more even

Reduces redness: vitamin C serum isn’t only great at helping with inflammation in your pimples, it can also help heal general redness and irritation on your face. This will give your skin a more even complexion.

Brightening: vitamin C serum is one of the ingredients you can use to help give you brighter, smoother and more glowing skin. This will keep your skin looking younger and fresher for longer.

Helps improve the appearance of fine lines: vitamin C serum aids in the production of collagen, collagen plumps up your skin. This will make the fine lines on your skin appear less deep

Make you look younger: because vitamin C serum helps with collagen production it will help prevent your skin from sagging. Your face as a whole will look firmer and tighter.

Can I use Vitamin C serum every day?

Yes, you can use vitamin C serum every day. If you use it daily you’ll see the more long term effects that the product offers quicker. It is a great first step to use after you wash and tone your face. The consistency is generally thin and this allows it to penetrate deep into your skin.

How long does it take for vitamin C serum to work?

The vitamin C serum you use will take 4 to 6 weeks to work and give you long term benefits. After you use the product for the first time it will give you a radiant glow. As time goes on, if you use it consistently, your face will become more firm and this will make you look younger

How can I clear up acne fast?

All-natural: Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil, when used correctly, can be very good for your acne and your overall skin health. This oil is great at reducing any inflammation on your skin as well as fighting off the acne-causing bacteria that causes pimples in the first place. It is comparable to other acne-fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide. This is a well-loved tea tree oil

Conventional Mario Badescu Drying lotion

This is a well-known and well-loved product that helps get rid of acne overnight. It is a drying lotion that contains ingredients such as zinc oxide, salicylic acid and sulphur which will improve the appearance of your acne.

How can we get glowing skin?

Getting and maintaining glowing skin is an ongoing job. Glowing skin has to do with what you eat, drink how you do your skincare and what products you use. Here are some things you need to do to get glowing skin:

Exfoliate your skin: The skin sheds its dead skin cells and creates new fresh skin cells every 14 days, to get to that new fresh skin you need to remove the old dead skin cells, that’s were exfoliation comes in. Exfoliators, whether chemical or physical remove the top layers of dead skin cells and allow the young fresh supple skin cells to come to the surface giving you glowing skin. This is a favourite chemical exfoliator

Use brightening ingredients: This will entail using brightening ingredients in serums as well as moisturisers. A great brightening ingredient you can use is vitamin C. Another brightening ingredient is niacinamide, niacinamide is helpful in lightening dark spots on the skin. This is a well-loved niacinamide

Drink water: If you’re dehydrated your skin will show it. Dehydration will result in a duller complexion and can even result in premature wrinkles. Drink your water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. If you want to keep hydrated from the outside then use a serum, a hyaluronic acid serum, this hydrates very well without making you look greasy. This hyaluronic acid is a favourite.

Eat foods rich in antioxidants: Another way to make your skin glow from the inside is to eat food rich in antioxidants. These foods will include berries, walnuts, grapes and pecans. Easting these foods and other antioxidant-rich foods will help to protect our skin against dangerous free radicals as well as UV damage.

Can you wear Vitamin C serum in the sun?

Yes, you can wear vitamin C serum in the sun, you should definitely be wearing vitamin C serum with sunscreen. When you use vitamin C serum and sunscreen together you boost the sunscreens sun protection abilities. This combination better neutralises harmful free radicals from the sun. Adding a topical vitamin C product will multiply the benefits of the sunscreen.

Should I use vitamin C or retinol?

Vitamin C serum and retinol are both very beneficial products but they do different things. They should both be a part of your skincare routine:

Retinol: This product is great to use if you want to fight wrinkles, acne, and uneven complexion. If you use retinol consistently you’ll notice a great improvement in your skin texture, acne and fine lines. There are various strengths of retinol on the market that cater to various skin needs.

You should proceed with caution when using retinol, it can cause dryness and purging (read more here) but after this stage, your skin will look wonderful. You can start off by using it once a week when you first start out

Vitamin C serum:  Vitamin C serum will give you hydration and a glow boost. The acidity of the vitamin C sloughs off your dead skin cells like a chemical exfoliator, leaving only the new fresh skin cells and giving you a beautiful glow. It is also a great antioxidant, it fights off dangerous free radicals that can damage your skin.

Can you use retinol and vitamin C together?

No, you cannot use retinol and vitamin C together. If used together they can cause irritation on the skin. Individually the skin loves these two products but together not so much. In addition, if you decide to use them together the individual products will become compromised.

They work at their optimum at different pH levels. Vitamin C works best at a pH level of less than 3.5 and retinol works the best at a pH of 5.5-6. You should rather alternate them if you want to use both

Can you use retinol at night and vitamin C in the morning?

Yes, you can use retinol at night and vitamin C in the morning. The serum should be used in the morning with your sunscreen because it helps to boost the sunscreens sun protection abilities. Retinol should be used at night because sunlight degrades it and compromises it. You can also choose to alternate between using retinol one night and vitamin C serum the next night.

Does ice help acne?

Yes, ice does help with acne. If used correctly it can help calm the redness of acne, reduce swelling, and pain. Using ice on the acne will improve the appearance to a large extent.

Note: applying ice directly on your skin can harm the skin as it can result in frostbite, it can also slow blood flow to the area thus damaging the tissue. When using ice on your skin make sure that you have a barrier like a piece of cloth between your skin and the ice.

Is lemon good for pimples?

Citrus fruits, in general, are well-loved and wildly used in skincare products because they contain high amounts of antioxidants, that being said using lemon juice on your face is not a good idea. The juice can damage your skin.

It’s a very strong citrus fruit not just to our tongue but to your skin as well, using it on your skin can result in redness, irritation, burning, stinging, dryness and the juice can kill off good bacteria on your skin that have nothing to do with your acne. If you want a natural easy option that helps to get rid of acne try tea tree oil.

Can you use vitamin C serum on the eyes?

Yes, you can use vitamin C serum on the eye area, using the serum in that area will give you younger, fresher and less tired-looking eyes. The skin around our eyes is the thinnest and most delicate skin, for this reason, it will begin to look older faster.

Vitamins C serums promote the production of collagen, collagen is what plumps the skin making it look more supple and youthful. When used on the skin around the eyes the product will improve the appearance of wrinkles, dark circles and will even firm the skin.

I hope you enjoyed this article looking at vitamin c serum benefits on the skin for acne. If you found it helpful please share it.

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