Can Vitamin C Cream Cause Breakouts?

a woman applying vitamin c cream on her face

Vitamin C Cream 

In contrast to famous belief, there is no proof that poor hygiene and diet can cause acne. There is a variety of causes of acne or pimples that could include pores blockage due to inflamed sebaceous glands, keratin accumulation in sebaceous glands, extra production of sebum, or trapping of bacteria in hair follicles. Usually, acne starts in teenagers and that could be due to changes in hormones resulting in the production of sebum. 

A vitamin C serum or vitamin C cream is considered one of the perfect defences against pimples. It has a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and has the capability of promoting healing of wounds and as a result, this makes vitamin C an effective acne treatment. 

How can Vitamin C help clear acne?

Three important properties of vitamin C can help clear breakouts and each of these properties have the ability to target different symptoms or causes of acne. These properties are as follows:

  • Antioxidant properties: As vitamin C is an antioxidant, hence it works as an anti-inflammatory. Oxidants are present in the skin that cause inflammation of the skin and this can result in acne. Oxidants are molecules of oxygen that have an unpaired electron (known as free radical). As electrons have a preference for being in pairs, free electrons start searching for other electrons that can damage the skin in different ways. This damage could be inflammation, and hence acne.

  • Anti-inflammatory: As vitamin C can behave as an anti-inflammatory ingredient, hence it prevents the new acne to occur and reduces the effects of present acne. As per experts, the acne that is developed by bacteria or is bacteria-causing is due to inflammation, hence if someone applies vitamin C, it reduces inflammation of the skin and has lower chances of having acne. Moreover, these processes of anti-inflammation help reduce the acne visible signs (if there are any), reduce redness, and erythema.

  • Boosts Collagen: Vitamin C is one of those proven ingredients that can control the production of collagen in the skin which makes skin tone better, results in clear skin, and heals skin. This means that all kinds of damages and discolouration due to breakouts will repair quickly if one applies vitamin C consistently.

Vitamin C cannot treat acne or acne scars completely, but it can help reduce the chances of new acne scars from happening. It does these functions by decreasing hyperpigmentation, promoting the production of collagen, and making skin tone even. Although there is not much research available to confirm this, there are some hints that old acne scars visibility gets reduced with vitamin C as it promotes collagen growth of skin.

Can serums with vitamin C cause Acne?

The clear answer is no. Vitamin C serums don’t cause breakouts or acne. One of the biggest rumours about vitamin C is that it is a pro-oxidant which means that it acts as a free radical (instead of free radical neutralization) and starts damaging the cells of the skin. This type of free radical is known as ROS (reactive oxygen species). It has oxygen molecules that are unstable (basically unbound electrons oxygen) that cause the conversion to skin cells from oxidative tension. Oxidation is triggered essentially if vitamin C gets in touch with metals like iron which are taken to the skin through air pollution.

Multiple pieces of evidence show that oxidative tension and ROS associate strongly with breakouts by starting inflammation, and hence, some experts say that acne can be caused by topical vitamin C. Although it’s indeed an unstable compound pieces of evidence prove that it behaves as an antioxidant and not as a pro-oxidant when used topically on the skin. It basically makes ROS neutral and eliminates them from one’s skin, hence reducing the inflammation risk and chances of having acne breakouts.

Things to look for in Vitamin C Serum

All vitamin C serums are not equal. One should follow some guidelines before choosing vitamin C serum, but when it’s for acne, one can consider these:

  • The concentration of antioxidant properties in Vitamin C (should be between 8% to 20%). Generally, it is more potent when mixed with other antioxidants like vitamin E and ferulic acid.
  • To ease out the acne-inflamed skin symptoms, other compounds like aloe vera and witch hazel can be mixed with vitamin C
  • For dry skin, one should use lower concentration vitamin C. As per experts, if one uses 5% concentration, it can easily promote skin hydration.
  • Usually, the colour of vitamin C impacts its effectiveness. The ideal colour of serum should be slightly yellowish.

Take Away

Vitamin C skin shine cream is very important for skin care and it helps boost collagen levels thus casing anti-ageing effects on the skin and also clearing out acne and acne scars. Vitamin does not cause acne and thus it prevents acne formation from the face and other skin Parts. Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant effects and thus helps in clearing out decolouration of the skin.