I stumbled upon using vitamin C for acne quite by accident. A while back I was taking vitamin C supplements for a cold which was due to an allergy. While the cold stayed put, I noticed that my acne was healing faster and my skin was looking better. The skin tone was even and my skin looked clearer. I had not been doing anything else different, so I was pretty certain it was the vitamin C. Pretty intrigued, I took to the internet to do some research.
The first thing I found out was that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are great for the skin and the body as they neutralise the free radicals which cause damage to the body. The reason vitamin C is recommended to keep colds at bay is that it makes the immune system stronger which in turn fights off colds. However, the same principle can be applied to acne. If the immune system is strong it will fight off acne as well and help it heal faster and better. It also helps with acne scarring. It helps the skin to make essential proteins needed to generate new skin. Without vitamin C, these proteins weaken which will cause scarring and also prevent the older scars from healing properly.
Vitamin C will help your acne in 3 ways.
- Reduction in breakouts and improved healing of acne
- The inflammation and redness in your face is less
- It helps reduce scarring
Fortunately for you, Vitamin C is available in abundance in fresh fruits and vegetables. It can be taken internally and applied topically. The RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin C is 90 mg for men and 75 mg per day for women. However, if you have acne try and aim for more than that.
Vegetables high in Vitamin C
- Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, methi (fenugreek leaves) (1 cup – 80mg)
- Broccoli (1/2 cup – 50 mg)
- Tomatoes (1 cup – 54 mg)
- Peas (1 cup – 37 mg)
- Brussels sprouts (1 cup – 96 mg)
- Cabbage (1 cup – 51 mg)
- Cauliflower (1 cup – 54 mg)
- Red peppers (1/2 cup – 95 mg)
- Green peppers (1/2 cup – 60 mg)
- Sweet potato (1 cup – 40 mg)
Fruits high in Vitamin C
- Strawberries (1/2 cup – 42 mg)
- Guava (1 whole – 125 mg)
- Kiwi (1 whole – 64 mg)
- Oranges (1 whole – 82 mg)
- Papaya (1/2 cup – 60 mg)
- Pineapple (1 cup – 78 mg)
- Amla (Indian gooseberry) – (1/2 cup – 600 mg)
2 servings of any of these every day will be more than enough to keep your skin healthy and acne free. If for some reason you cannot manage this, squeeze the juice of one lemon into water or green tea for a quick way to get your vitamin C. However, I highly recommend that you include the above fruits or vegetables into your diet.
Mashed strawberries, papaya and kiwi can be mixed with honey and applied to the face for a boost of vitamin C directly to the skin. However please be aware that some skins may be a little sensitive to vitamin C applied topically.
If you have severe cystic acne you can start off by taking a Vitamin C supplement of 1500 mg everyday for a month or so till your acne heals. Once your acne has healed, you can stop the supplement but be sure to include the above fruits or vegetables in your diet daily.
You can also make your own DIY Vitamin C Serum. The Health Base has an amazing article with detailed instructions on how to make your own Vitamin C Serum 3 different ways. They also explain how to use the serum correctly. Here is the link to the article. https://thehealthbase.com/diy-vitamin-c-serums/