vitamin c and acne


Vitamin C is an important part of the skincare world. Originally found in citrus fruits, this skincare ingredient has a reputation for impressive brightening and anti-ageing benefits when used as part of a well-rounded skincare routine. 

While the uses of vitamin C for ageing and dull skin are often put front and centre, those with oily and acne-prone skin might be questioning whether vitamin C is a good option for you. If you’ve been wondering ‘is vitamin C good for acne-prone skin?’, the answer is yes. We’ve put together this guide to cover all things vitamin C for acne-prone skin, including how vitamin C helps this skin type, how to use it, and how to incorporate it into a skincare regime. Keep reading for all this and more vitamin C tips.

Introducing vitamin C

Aside from being one of the most well-known ingredients found in face serums and creams, vitamin C can help improve the appearance of ageing skin, dull skin and uneven skin tone. These days, the vitamin C found in skincare is usually synthesised in a lab. The benefits of vitamin C for skin are powerful in visibly minimising signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles, as well as antioxidant benefits that help protect the skin from harmful free radicals. Another benefit of vitamin C, acne-prone skin can also see visible improvements with this ingredient.

Is vitamin C serum good for acne-prone skin?

We know this ingredient has many benefits, but how can vitamin C help acne-prone skin? Complexions prone to acne blemishes are often also prone to acne scars which show up as dark spots, discolourations or areas of hyperpigmentation.

Does vitamin C help with acne scars?

Thanks to its skin brightening properties, the benefits of vitamin C for acne scars include visibly reducing or fading these dark areas.

How acne prone skin works

Let’s explore how blemishes work to form an understanding of how vitamin C serum benefits acne-prone skin. Essentially, oily skin increases the likelihood of acne-prone skin. Blemishes develop when excess sebum (skin oil) combines with dead skin cells, dirt or impurities to clog pores. Acne bacteria can then feed on sebum, creating redness and discomfort. Some blemishes then leave darker scars after the lesion itself has resolved.

There are many different potential causes of acne-prone skin. Here are a few of the most common causes:

  • Hormonal factors

  • Wearing masks

  • Dietary factors

  • Genetics

There are also ways to mitigate these factors, like:

  • Seeking medical advice on potential causes

How to use vitamin C in an acne-prone skincare routine

Using vitamin C for acne-prone skin works best when it’s part of a broader skincare routine for oily skin. In terms of skincare routine, vitamin C should be applied directly onto freshly cleansed and dried skin for optimal benefits. Then, follow up with a moisturiser soon after. Vitamin C is also best applied in the morning, so the antioxidants can help to protect your skin from environmental aggressors like UV rays and pollution.

We recommend using a vitamin C serum containing pure vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid), because it’s the most potent form of this ingredient. Our CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum for Anti-Ageing is formulated with 10% pure vitamin C, making it suitable to target hyperpigmentation in the form of acne scars. This advanced formula also contains hyaluronic acid to attract water and help your skin retain hydration, as well as ceramides to hydrate and care for the skin moisture barrier.

Ingredients that work well with vitamin C

If vitamin C is just one part of a complete skincare routine, which other ingredients should you use alongside it? Apart from the hyaluronic acid and ceramides in our vitamin C serum, there’s another ingredient you should use with vitamin C – just not at exactly the same time.

Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A known for its blemish-minimising and anti-ageing advantages. Put simply, it targets similar skin concerns to vitamin C in a different way. We recommend using retinol at night and vitamin C in the morning. Read our guide Retinol & Vitamin C: Can You Use Them Together? for more details.

Your CeraVe vitamin C routine for acne-prone skin

Here’s a simple skincare routine to help you achieve optimal benefits using vitamin C for acne scars:

In the evening, swap out your moisturiser for our CeraVe PM Facial Moisturising Lotion

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