Vitamin C For Acne Treatment
You have probably heard about the many health benefits of Vitamin C, including how it boosts your immune system and fights off illnesses and infections. But did you know that this potent antioxidant has many benefits for your skin as a topical serum? Vitamin C can rejuvenate your skin and protect from toxins that cause acne and blemishes. If you are struggling with acne and have tried numerous anti-acne products and treatments with no success, it might be time for you to give Vitamin C a try.
Biochemistry Of Vitamin C
Vit. C has a 5-hydrocarbon ring similar to that of glucose. With an attached hydrogen ion, LAA becomes a weak sugar acid, similar to other alfa hydroxy acids used in dermatology. With a metal ion, it forms a mineral ascorbate. There is a marked interest in synthesis of physiologically active and chemically stable ascorbate molecules as LAA is unstable in nature, especially when exposed to light.
How Should Topical Vitamin C Be Used To Treat Scars
A 1020% concentration of vitamin C serum can be applied to the face once or twice per day morning and evening. Applying it in the morning gives the added benefit of UV protection.
If you have sensitive skin, consider starting with one application a day to build a tolerance to the treatment.
Vitamin C is not readily absorbed through the skin. For maximum absorption, the pH level of the skin should be at 4 or below, and the product being applied should contain vitamin C formulated as ascorbic acid.
The skins normal pH level varies slightly from person to person, but generally it is within a range of 47. In order to ensure that your skin stays around 4 or lower, you may want to wash your face with an alpha hydroxy acid cleanser or any other cleanser with a low pH. Products with AHAs that have an FDA approved pH of as low as 3.5 can lower the pH of the first three layers of the skin.
After washing your face, apply a few drops of vitamin C serum to your fingers. Rub it gently into damp skin and let dry. Allow your skin a few minutes to absorb the serum before you continue on with your regular skin care routine such as applying a moisturizer, or OTC or prescription acne product.
This delay will give the vitamin C the opportunity to absorb properly. However, there is a limit to how much vitamin C the skin can retain and if your skin is saturated with vitamin C, additional skin care products will have no real effect.
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Topical Formulations Of Vitamin C
Vit. C is available in the market as a variety of creams, serum and transdermal patches. Of these, only the serum contains active Vit. C in an almost colorless form. It is unstable and, on exposure to light, gets oxidized to Dehydro Ascorbic Acid , which imparts a yellow color. The stability of Vit. C is controlled by maintaining a pH of less than 3.5. At this pH, the ionic charge on the molecule is removed and it is transported well across the stratum corneum.
From a clinical point of view, it is important to note that the efficacy of the Vit. C serum is proportional to the concentration, but only up to 20%. The half-life in the skin after achieving maximum concentration is 4 days. A persistent reservoir of Vit. C is important for adequate photoprotection, and can be achieved by regular 8-hourly applications. As UV light lowers tissue Vit. C levels, topical Vit. C is best used after exposure to UV light and not prior. A combination of tyrosine, zinc and Vit. C has been shown to increase the bioavailability of Vit. C 20-times vis-à-vis using just Vit. C.
A variety of creams with Vit. C derivatives are available in the market. As a dermatologist, it is important to know that not all preparations are physiologically effective. Some are not delivered into the dermis in an adequate quantity, while others do not chemically convert to the biologically active form of Vit. C in the skin.
Ascorbic acid sulfate.
Can Vitamin C Help With Older Scars
Vitamin C is involved in all phases of the wound healing process, particularly because collagen cannot be produced without vitamin C. Collagen is found in multiple parts of the body, including the skin, and it helps to maintain skin elasticity. It is collagens elasticity and ability to resist infection that helps to close and heal wounds.
Although collagen is most effective when treating new or open wounds, it can also help reduce the appearance of old scars by promoting healthy tissue growth . It is the presence of vitamin C in the skin that will stimulate the production of collagen, thereby softening the wound.
Although this is possible in theory, there is little clinical evidence to support the efficacy of vitamin C in treating old scars, and therefore this treatment cannot be guaranteed.
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Skin Benefits Of Vitamin C
A few clinical studies have demonstrated that vitamin C can improve wrinkles. One study showed that daily use of a vitamin C formulation for at least three months improved the appearance of fine and coarse wrinkles of the face and neck, as well as improved overall skin texture and appearance.
Vitamin C may also help protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays when used in combination with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Clinical studies have shown that combining vitamin C with other topical ingredients, namely ferulic acid and vitamin E, can diminish redness and help protect the skin from long-term damage caused by harmful sun rays.
Further, vitamin C can reduce the appearance of dark spots by blocking the production of pigment in our skin. In clinical trials, the majority of the participants applying topical vitamin C had improvement in their dark spots with very little irritation or side effects, but more studies are needed to confirm the brightening effects of vitamin C.
Hormones In Men And Women
Hormones will affect men and women differently. Many of the changes in skin are directly tied to the production of sebum, the skins natural oil. The sebaceous glands are highly sensitive to changes in sex hormone levels, specifically testosterone. Increased testosterone often leads to the overproduction of sebum. During puberty, testosterone levels rise in both females and males. As men get older, testosterone levels even out. For women, testosterone levels increase right before the menstrual cycle. Changes in testosterone levels and increased production of sebum are the leading causes of acne.
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How To Use Topical Vitamin C
Topical vitamin C is available in a variety of products and formulations. They are often found in water-based or oil-based serums, as well as in cleansers, moisturizing creams and sunscreens. You may use one or more products containing vitamin C in the same skin care routine, but be sure to note other potential active ingredients to avoid irritation.
For optimal absorption, apply your skin care products in order from thinnest to thickest consistency serum first followed by moisturizer.
To apply a vitamin C serum, place a few drops on your fingers and gently pat on your face. Let the serum penetrate before continuing your skin care routine.
Vitamin C is safe for everyday use and may be used once or twice a day. You can even make your own homemade vitamin C serum from LAA.
Underlying Causes Of Acne
Yes, acne occurs when pores clog with oil and dead skin cells. But to get the best results from any acne treatment, you should also rule out sneaky underlying reasons for your breakouts, such as a hormonal imbalance, allergies, or a weakened immune system. There are different targeted acne treatments depending on whats causing yours.
In the meantime, here are some of the best-known vitamins and minerals that could lead to clearer skin, no matter what the cause of your breakouts.
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Restorative: Vitamin C Can Reduce Scarring
Vitamin C is also known for its ability to promote collagen synthesis, giving skin a restorative effect after a breakout which in turn leads to eliminating the redness associated with acne. By stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, thus rejuvenating the skin and generating new skin cells, scarring is reduced and healing is faster.
If you suffer from acne, especially acne from stress and exposure to harsh environments, theres no need to start with heavy prescriptions or over-drying anti-acne serums and creams. Begin with all-natural Vitamin C as part of your daily skin care regimen. If you dont see results after 10 14 days, visit a licensed esthetician who will help customize a personalized skin care regimen that includes Vitamin C and other skin-calming products and treatments.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, A variety of creams with Vit. C derivatives are available in the market. As a dermatologist, it is important to know that not all preparations are physiologically effective. Some are not delivered into the dermis in an adequate quantity, while others do not chemically convert to the biologically active form of Vit. C in the skin. Ensure youre getting the most benefits from your Vitamin C Serum by choosing a pro formula.
Tips & Tricks
Banish Vitamin C Banish Oil
Type of vitamin C used: L-ascorbic acid
Other acne healing benefits: Aloe Vera to calm the skin and Ferulic acid to boost the efficiency of vitamin C.
Depending on where about in the world you are, pretty much all of these products are available to everyone direct from the brand website or on iHerb, Naturisimo or A Beautiful World!
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What Is Vitamin C
Vitamin C, known as ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant that can help brighten your complexion and protect your skin from free radicals, which lead to signs of premature aging in the skin . And, according to Dr. Houshmand, the ingredient optimizes overall skin health and is a must-have for all skin types, including acne-prone.
Why Do I Need Vitamin C Serum
Dermatologists agree that along with SPF and a gentle cleanser, vitamin C serum is a product that many people can benefit from. The antioxidant rich ingredient is generally considered safe and well tolerated on all skin types and concerns. However, some people with sensitive skin might find that a high concentration of vitamin C stings a little bit.
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Is Vitamin C Really What We Think It Is
Vitamin C is the nutrient most people get from orange juice or by taking 1000-mg capsules. It turns out that neither orange juice nor 1000-mg capsules of synthetic ascorbic acid is the best way to get vitamin C for fighting acne.
When the famous Hungarian-American scientist Albert Szent-Györgyi was researching treatments for scurvy nearly 90 years ago, he noticed that vitamin C wasnt enough to treat the red and sore gums, red and sore skin, loose teeth, and connective tissue degeneration caused by this vitamin C deficiency disease. Vitamin C needed some kind of co-factor to regenerate it and to keep it active. Dr. Szent-Györgyi found that if people got their vitamin C from goulash made with paprika , then they got better. If they didnt get this factor he called vitamin P, the vitamin C didnt work.
The term vitamin P was used in the medical literature not printed in English until just a few years ago. In the English-speaking world, what Dr. Szent-Györgyi called vitamin P we call citrus bioflavonoids.
What this means is that natural sources of vitamin C are far more effective than synthetic sources of vitamin C.
There is even a standardized product known as Acerola with Vitamin C USP that uses the Caribbean fruit acerola as the source of an intensely concentrated natural vitamin C that has the cofactors that stabilize the collagen in blood vessels. But what does that have to do with acne?
Best Overall: Skinceuticals C E Ferulic
This antioxidant cocktail of 15% pure vitamin C , 1% vitamin E , and 0.5% ferulic acid, will not only help with brightening complexion, but also protect skin against environmental damage caused by free radicals, unstable molecules generated from sources including UVA/UVB rays, ozone pollution, and diesel engine exhaust. It is also paraben-free and ideal for all skin types, including normal, dry, and sensitive. While the price tag may be a bit startling, keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way, and you only need to use a few drops a day.
TruSkin Vitamin C Serum is plant-based and is a fraction of the price of most vitamin C serums, yet users maintain it is just as effective as even the most expensive options. In addition to vitamin C, it includes botanical hyaluronic acid and vitamin E and is designed to target skin aging issues, such as brightness, firmness, fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and sun spots.
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Can Vitamin C Help Treat Acne
Vitamin C is touted for so many benefits anti-ageing, skin brightening, pigmentation, to name a few, but can it help fight acne?Normally, Vitamin A is the go-to for acne. It has over 50 years of research behind it as an acne-fighting, anti-ageing ingredient. It is known to help acne patients because it promotes cell turnover and regulates natural oils.There is only a little bit of research on whether Vitamin C can help treat acne, but it looks promising so far.
Acne is an inflammatory condition, and Vitamin C is a known anti-inflammatory. It can help calm the redness, inflammation and swelling associated with breakouts to help the skin heal.Vitamin Cs role in synthesising collagen can help prevent atrophic acne scars, such as box scars and ice pick scars.What about the acne lesions themselves? Here is what some of the research says.One study of 50 people conducted at the University of Miami concluded that acne lesions were significantly reduced after 12 weeks of topical application of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C, in addition to being anti-inflammatory, appeared to help treat acne by preventing oxidisation of the sebum in study participants.
How Do I Prevent Vitamin C From Oxidizing
Vitamin C is a difficult ingredient to include in formulas because its a molecule that is unstablewhich means it breaks down when its exposed to oxygen and light. This is why Vichy 15% Vitamin C Serum With Hyaluronic Acid and 10% vitamin C ampoules are housed in tinted-glass bottles to help maintain their stability and efficacy.
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What Do Vitamin C Serums Doand How
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, which are generated by our bodies when exposed to certain conditions, including pollution and UV rays. A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is importantif the free radicals inundate the body and prevent its ability to regulate them, oxidative stress can occur. Free radicals can negatively impact DNA, lipids, and proteins cause a variety of diseases damage our cells and disrupt the skins ability to repair itself and slow down collagen production.
Applying antioxidants like vitamin C can help your body cope with this stress so what are the resulting benefits?
Serums with vitamin C also stimulate collagen production, which slows as we age, says Debra Jaliman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and author of the bookSkin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. Collagen is a structural protein that holds cells together, strengthens skin, and gives it elasticityall of which are important for a healthy, toned complexion. By boosting our skins ability to make collagen, a Vitamin C serum helps soften existing fine lines and wrinkleswhile preventing new ones from forming.
Fight Against Hyperpigmentation
Vitamin C serums fight hyperpigmentation by inhibiting the tyrosinase enzyme and preventing melanin production, says Rhonda Q. Klein, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist. The process brightens dark spots without lightening skin tone overall.
Can You Use Retinol And Vitamin C Together
When it comes to anti-aging all-stars, vitamin C and retinol top the list, but do they complement each other? Yup! Using both ingredients in your skincare routine can help you achieve a radiant and youthful complexion.
Use your vitamin C serum in the morning, followed by sunscreen. And use your retinol serum or cream at night, as it can cause skin sensitivity when exposed to sunlight. That said, pairing the two can be beneficial. Vitamin C can actually help stabilize retinol and allow it to work more effectively.
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The Best Vitamin C Serum
Arguably the holy grail of vitamin C serums is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic. The addition of ferulic acid to L-ascorbic acid improves the stability of the vitamin C serum and reduces the acidity to a pH of below 3.5.
In fact, this topical vitamin C formulation was the first to be clinically proven.
For those of you looking to actively treat acne, look for vitamin C serums with sodium ascorbyl phosphate, as this was the form of vitamin C used in the research study mentioned earlier.