Today I wanted to talk about the benefits of vitamin C for acne and scars and why I think you and your skin may benefit from megadosing this vitamin. You may associate vitamin C with keeping bugs at bay but it’s also a pretty powerful skin healer making it something that every single person suffering from acne or scarring should think about supplementing.
One of the problems I always faced when a new blemish popped up was that I knew it would be sticking around for a long, long time! Even the smallest spot would stay there for 2 weeks or more, making it impossible to break the acne cycle. I felt like I had tried everything to help speed up skin healing and fade my scars but nothing seemed to work. I tried tonnes of topical products, supplemented with zinc, removed all anti-inflammatory foods from my diet – I even started eating fish three times a week to see if it was an omega imbalance!
A balanced, whole food diet is undoubtedly the best way to get your vitamins and minerals, but sometimes it’s near impossible to get the nutrients you need, for the results you want from just diet alone.
what is vitamin c?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which humans must get from food as we cannot synthesise it ourselves. Vitamin C can be found in raw fruits and vegetables such as sprouts, strawberries, kiwi, cauliflower and kale. Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means we must replenish our bodies’ needs for this nutrient on a regular basis to keep our levels correct as it cannot be stored for later use like vitamins A, D and E.
vitamin c for acne and scars: what’s the hype?
Vitamin C is highly effective at clearing up acne and fading scars due to its ability to speed up healing time, reduce redness and promote collagen production. Vitamin C also has a clever way of mopping up excess stress-hormones which means if your struggling to control your acne due to high stress levels, then vitamin C could be your key to clearer skin.
vitamin C for acne healing
Getting plenty of vitamin C in your diet can speed up the healing of scars caused by acne as vitamin C is essential to the formation of new connective tissue in a healing wound. Studies have shown that daily doses of 500-3,000mg of vitamin C can significantly accelerate wound healing even if you’re not deficient in vitamin C!
vitamin c for inflammation and redness
One of the hardest things to deal with when it comes to spots is the bright red marks that litter your face, Initially the redness appears as an inflamed spot before it often develops into post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation which can hang around on your skin for up to a year! Getting plenty of vitamin C can dramatically reduce redness and inflammation in acne by calming down inflammatory responses – this also means some of the pain and discomfort from deep pimples may also be reduce when taking extra vitamin C.
vitamin c for scars and hyper-pigmentation
If you’re looking to get rid of red acne marks and scars, then one of the best vitamins for acne is vitamin C for both internal and topical use. Studies have shown that vitamin C could help acne pigmentation by slowing down melanin production. Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, sun exposure and certain medications can all increase the production of melanin.
Vitamin C also helps to rejuvenate the skin by supporting collagen and elastin production – two proteins that are essential for generating healthy new skin. Without suffiencent amounts of vitamin C, these proteins become weak and make our skin more susceptible to acne scars as well as preventing existing scars from healing quickly.
vitamin c for stress relief
Vitamin C can help your body adapt to physical, chemical, and environmental stress as it helps the body to regulate cortisol, the primary stress hormone that increases sugars in the bloodstream and can impair the normal functioning of the digestive system and reproductive system, all of which can have a negative impact on our skin.
megadosing vitamin c for acne and scars
To see a dramatic difference in your skin it would be very hard to consume enough vitamin C from fruits and vegetables alone. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is only 75-90mg but for noticeable acne clearing benefits you need to be consuming around 1,000mg per day. This RDA isn’t enough for optimal health – it’s just the very minimum dosage to prevent scurvy – a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency.
what are the best sources of vitamin c for acne and scars?
Most fruits and vegetables contain a good amount of vitamin C but it’s important that they are eaten raw as cooking fruit or vegetables can cause loss of vitamin C. The most vitamin C rich food in the world is an Amazonian fruit called Camu Camu. An unbeatable 7.5% of it’s weight is vitamin C meaning that 10g of Camu Camu contains a mega 750mg of vitamin C. Other great vitamin C rich fruits are Amla fruit (6% vitamin C), Acerola cherry (4.5% vitamin C), Rosehip (2% vitamin C), Guava (0.22% vitamin C) and Peppers (0.18% vitamin C).
what’s the best vitamin c supplement to take for acne?
Without a doubt, the best way to increase your intake of vitamin C is through whole superfood supplement powders such as Camu Camu, Amla or Acerola powder/capsules. Look for high quality, organic products such as these Soil Association certified Amla Capsules from True Veda. Natural whole foods are always the preferred option over isolated supplements as they retains all the additional enzymes and cofactors necessary for optimum absorption and efficiency within the body. However, these powdered supplements can be very expensive – especially when taking large acne clearing doses! I find a combination of both whole food powders mixed into smoothies along with non-GMO vitamin C crystals are a great way to achieve healthier skin without breaking the bank.
how much vitamin c is safe to take for acne and scars?
You may have read that too much vitamin C can cause kidney stones? There is actually very little evidence that supports toxicity with high intake of vitamin C and even less evidence when supplementing with whole food vitamin C sources such as Camu Camu, Amla or Acerola powders. However, while not toxic, everyone has their own unique tolerance level and if you take too much you could end up with a mild case of diarrhoea so you will need to work out your own personal tolerance level, but I would aim for 1,000mg per day – about 2 tsp of Camu Camu powder or as stated on the tub of your non-GMO vitamin C crystals.
how much vitamin c should I take each day?
To reap the acne clearing benefits of vitamin C I feel it’s most effective to consume at least 1,000mg of vitamin C per day in the form of whole food powders and/or ascorbic acid crystals.
how to dose with vitamin c for acne and scars
Your body uses up the vitamin C it needs within an hour of consumption and will excrete the rest through urine so for maximum effectiveness, it’s better to take smaller, regular doses throughout the day rather than one huge dose.
how long till i see results in my acne and scars?
If you’re supplementing your diet with vitamin C in the form of 1 tblsp of Camu Camu morning and evening you could start seeing improvements in your skin in 2-3 weeks. However, I’ve read testimonials of people seeing results within the first week.
what about topical vitamin c for acne and scars?
You may have heard some people touting the benefits of applying highly acidic, vitamin C rich fruits such as lemons directly to the skin to speed up healing and fade scars. I can’t stress enough how BAD this advice is! Lemon’s don’t actually contain that much vitamin C but they are very very acidic and when applied directly to the skin can destroy our skins acid mantle and cause redness and irritation. While topical vitamin C can be highly beneficial to the skin, it’s recommended that you use products that have been formulated by trusted brands and don’t try any DIY methods that could make your skin worse. Head over to this blog post to find out the best vitamin c serums for acne scars and hyper-pigmentation.
Find out the 6 other natural ingredients you shouldn’t put on your face here.
what’s the best topical vitamin c for acne and scars?
Topical vitamin C can help promote collagen formation and fade post acne marks for smoother, clearer skin and while most skin care aisles will contain an abundance of acne fighting, age defying vitamin C creams, serums and treatments, it’s important not to be blinded by the marketing strategies of these brands. Yes, some of them may contain a dose of topical vitamin C but they could also contain silicones, alcohols and preservatives which can all contribute to acne and damaged skin by causing clogged pores, dryness and irritation while some preservatives have even been linked to hormone disruption!
If you want to experiment with topical vitamin C you could try these trusted brands here and here that use the safest and most beneficial forms of vitamin C for the skin: ascorbyl palmitate and magnesuim ascorbyl phosphate. Another great way to reduce scars and post acne marks is through antioxidant rich, cold-pressed Rosehip oil or Tamanu oil. They have both been shown to effectively eliminate wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, sun damage and even stretch marks. Just a couple of drops morning and night can help regenerate your skin safely and effectively.
vitamin c for acne and scars
For optimal acne clearing and scar fading, I recommend taking 2-3 tbsp of Camu Camu a day – this will provide you with roughly 600-1000mg of vitamin C along with a natural vitamin C serum (visit this post here) and Rosehip oil as a moisturiser.
If taking 10g of Camu Camu a day is too inconvenient or expensive, you can part or full supplement with L-asorbic acid (vitamin C) crystals – just 1/4 tsp of Vitamin C crystals will provide you with over 1,000mg of vitamin C. Take 1/8 tsp vitamin C crystals dissolved in water 2-3 times a day. Although too much dietary vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, megadoses of vitamin C supplements may cause side effects, such as heartburn, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.
Give vitamin C at least two weeks to work before you assess it’s success, but most people will see at least some improvement in pimple count, redness and healing time.
Have you tried supplementing Camu Camu or vitamin C for acne and scars? Do you have any other recommendations for natural or organic topical vitamin C that I haven’t mentioned?
Peace, Love & Clear Skin