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Can Vitamin C Help Acne?



Vitamin C CAN help acne.

Limited research suggests that vitamin C may be able to help reduce inflammatory lesions caused by acne.

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology explored the effects of topical vitamin C as a treatment for acne vulgaris.  The double-blind study included 50 participants who used a topical vitamin C treatment for 12 weeks.  The study concluded that the treatment demonstrated a significant improvement.  The researchers theorized that vitamin C may act to prevent the oxidation of sebum, which produces and aggravates acne. (Woolery-Lloyd, 22)

Additional Skin Benefits of Vitamin C

Many respected studies have established the skin benefits of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that blocks damage caused by free radicals.  One such study published in the journal Experimental
explored the effects of topical vitamin C on healthy women with photo-aged skin (skin with some amount of sun damage). To test the hypothesis the volunteers used topical vitamin C daily on only one side of the face for six months.  After six months, the vitamin C treated side exhibited a significant increase in the density of skin and a decrease in deep furrows.  Elastic tissue repair was evident in the vitamin C side. (Humbert, 237)

Additional Health Benefits of Vitamin C

Further research has indicated that the immune properties of vitamin C may play a role in cancer prevention, age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, cardiovascular disease, and even the common cold. (“Vitamin C — Health Professional Fact Sheet.”,



[1] Woolery-Lloyd MD, Heather, Leslie Baumann MD, and Hiroshi Ikeno MD. “Sodium L-ascorbyl-2-phosphate 5% lotion for the treatment of acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial.” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 9.1 (2010): 22-27. Print.

[2] Humbert, PG, M Haftek, and et al. “Topical ascorbic acid on photoaged skin. Clinical, topographical and ultrastructural evaluation: double-blind study vs. placebo..” Journal of Experimental Dermatology 12.3 (2003): 237-244. Print.

[3] ” Vitamin C — Health Professional Fact Sheet.” Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2012.

“Vitamin C and Skin Health.” Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2012.

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