Can Vitamin C Cause Acne? What does Science say

Can Vitamin C Cause Acne? What does Science say

Have you ever wondered if the skincare products that you might be using for reducing your acne symptoms are actually escalating it? We use a thousand different, skincare regimes and trendy products for curbing inflammation and acne, but is it really the right thing to do?

Have you been following skincare trends and using a vitamin C serum or face wash right now? You might be wondering why what is the issue can Vitamin C cause acne. 

You see everything used in a bit of moderation is effective and we don’t deny vitamin C doesn’t have benefits for your skin, it can work wonders for several skin types and skin issues.

But Vitamin C serums can also aggravate your skin issues if not used with care and in moderation. Especially if you have sensitive skin and are dealing with severe acne. 

Don’t use a vitamin C serum without consulting a dermatologist. Because sometimes products don’t suit our skin type and don’t cater to our skin issues effectively and we don’t have an idea what a new product might do to our skin.

Hence it is necessary to be aware of the product's possible side effects beforehand. Let's delve into the details and find out if vitamin C cause acne, can a Vitamin C serum cause acne, or does vitamin C tablets cause acne?

Can Vitamin C Cause Acne? Debunking the Side Effects of Vitamin C in Skincare 

Although there is no scientific proof that vitamin C cause acne, but it can cause discomfort at higher concentrations for those with sensitive skin. Such irritation may result in itching, inflammation, and redness which could aggravate the symptoms of acne. 

Therefore you must cautiously use Vitamin C serums while taking into account your particular skin type along with a balanced concentration that is suitable for you.

The reason why vitamin C serums are being accused of exacerbating acne is due to the higher concentration of vitamin C in some serums which can make the skin more vulnerable to bacterial infections and inflammation.

The occurrence of acne vulgaris is attributed to the combination of bacteria and inflammation. Therefore, if incorporating a vitamin C serum into your routine results in breakouts, it could indeed be due to this ingredient.

Nevertheless, Vitamin C isn't the root cause but rather has impaired your skin's microbiome function enabling bacteria responsible for acne formation to penetrate through easily.

It is important to mention that the intake of vitamin C may result in skin purging. This occurs with any substance that catalyzes cell regeneration, as it brings forth underlying pimples onto the surface of the skin and worsens breakouts.

While it's true that people with oily skin may hesitate to use vitamin C, this doesn't imply they should avoid it altogether. Proper usage of the ingredient could reduce breakouts, prevent or fade acne scars and help with hyperpigmentation and sun protection.

Read More: What Are The Best Facials For Acne Scars And Dark Spots Removal?

Can Vitamin C Serum Cause Acne: Why is the holy grail of Cosmetics hurting your skin?

Let's know Does Vitamin C serum cause acne and why is the holy grail of skincare and cosmetics hurting your skin. Although it has benefits in terms of anti-aging, the substitution of wrinkles with pimples isn't desirable. 

Skincare isn't a clear-cut topic, much like everything else in life. It's far from simple when it comes to the saying that "Antioxidants are beneficial" and "Free Radicals are harmful". Some people experience breakouts after applying Vitamin C serums to their skin and if this is happening to you, these may be the reasons why:

Harmony of Antioxidants and Free Radicals:

To function optimally, your skin cells require a balanced amount of antioxidants and free radicals. Acne is particularly affected by this balance, as a rapid increase of the bacteria P.Acnes can cause breakouts. While some studies indicate that free radicals have anti-microbial properties that may hinder P.Acnes growth. However, using Vitamin C serum could indeed exacerbate acne problems.

Higher Concentration of L-Ascorbic Acid:

High concentrations (15%+) of L-Ascorbic Acid, the pure form of Vitamin C, can be irritating. If you already have sensitive and acne-prone skin that is experiencing irritation, increasing your doses could aggravate acne even more.

Oil-Based Vitamin C Serums:

The breakouts are caused by the oily base of many Vitamin C serums, rather than the Vitamin C content itself. Hence read the ingredients of the product before using them so if you are allergic to something in the formula you can avoid it beforehand.

3 Reasons Why Vitamin C Serums Can Cause Acne And Are Bad For Your Skin:

The reasons why Vitamin C cause acne are abundant and not to be taken lightly:

  • Cosmetics contain common compounds in their formulas that can react with Vitamin C like EDTA, copper, and phosphate.
  • Using a Vitamin C serum can result in skin damage as it has the potential to behave like a pro-oxidant which isn’t good for your skin.
  • Vitamin C serums do not promote collagen production; instead, they diminish its levels. Hence, chemists and biologists should research more about the efficacy of Vitamin C its benefits, and its downsides even further because the facts we are seeing floating around today about the benefits of Vitamin C are debatable.  

Does Vitamin C Tablets Cause Acne? How Much Dosage of Vitamin C is Safe For You?

To learn about the side effects of vitamin C tablets we researched and found some health experts and asked them does vitamin C tablets cause Acne. The health experts said that although Vitamin C is water soluble and does not get stored in your body.

It is not recommended to go overboard with your Vitamin C dosage. Because Vitamin C can not only cause digestive problems, and iron overload, taking Vitamin C supplements in high doses can also lead to kidney stones.

Excessive use of Vitamin C can also cause many health issues like insomnia, nausea, heartburn, stomach cramps, conditional scurvy, and bloating. Furthermore, vitamin C supplements have been linked to acne issues because they cause skin purging, redness, dryness, and irritation.

To sum up, using a skincare product based on the upcoming trends can be extremely harmful as the things that work wonders for others can cause you an adverse reaction.

Even the topical medications and trendy serums that some skin experts swear by can be bad for you because some skincare products are formulated for specific skin types or in a hurry to reach the market by chemists who are not so experienced in this field.

Therefore, relying on the opinion of a celebrity, influencer or beauty trend is pointless. Consult a dermatologist and avoid using comedogenic products if you have oily skin to help curb acne issues. 


On an ending note, we hope we have given you enough insight into the topic of can vitamin C cause acne and does a vitamin C serum cause acne. Provided you a solid ground to make a wise decision when formulating your skincare routine.

Moderation is key and too much of anything can be bad, especially when you have underlying health issues and skin conditions don’t try to experiment with new products and always try to practice caution by doing a patch test first.

Vitamin C is a trending and buzzing ingredient in the world of dermatology, but excessive use of this product can cause severe side effects for sensitive skin like skin peeling, dryness, redness, and irritation, and is not beneficial for your health.

Thus read the ingredients on the products before buying them and when it comes to buying the ideal vitamin c formulation for acne issues, you can consult your dermatologist for the right product that would suit your skin.

Additionally, we would recommend you try vitamin C with a combination of hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, or niacinamide as they are a great combo for dealing with acne.

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