Vitamin C for Acne Treatment

Vitamin C & Ferulic 15% Skin Brightening Concentrate

Vitamin C is one of the skincare industry’s most popular and favourite active ingredients. And it’s quite clear why! As a topical Vitamin C has been studied and tested on a wide variety of skin types and skin concerns. It has been most commonly used in formulas that target issues such as photoaging, hyperpigmentation, and inflammation. Consequently, it is THE anti-aging ingredient of choice for skincare experts, scientists, and researchers. But is that the limit of this wonderful ingredient’s capabilities? Can it do more? That is exactly what we’re here to get down to the bottom of today!

Let’s Talk About Acne

You read the title and you know what we’re here for – so, let’s talk about acne! Acne prone skin tends to be ruddy (blotchy/uneven), sensitive, and often has visibly enlarged pores. Skin spots, pimples or pustules indicate that the skin is brimming with bacteria and infection. After a flare-up of acne, it’s common to see new marks, scabs, scars, or healing lesions. In short, there is a lot going on when it comes to acne. It would be an understatement to describe skin going through acne as simply fragile or stressed. It was my own battles with acne that led me to discover my passion of being a skincare innovator. So, I have a level of expertise on both first-hand experience and scientific/evidence-based levels! My acne was due to my fragile skin barrier and bad bacteria overload.  After years of experimenting with various formulas and concoctions, my skin began to turn around.  Some ingredients helped fortify my skin barrier which also made for a healthier microbiome, but it was the addition of topical Vitamin C that helped me turn my wounded skin around.

How to Cure Acne

The vast majority of acne treatments focus on the oil, sebum, and bacteria that get trapped in our pores. These solutions are designed to control the acne vulgaris bacteria, which is responsible for one of the most common types of acne breakouts. For a quick video breakdown on acne types (and their corresponding causes/treatments), you can check out this video:

This is definitely an effective strategy, as it’s important to get the infection out and clear the skin of build-up. However, that is not the end of the story – it is not a complete solution to the problem at hand! Once the skin is cleared and the pores are sebum free, what kind of condition is the skin in then? In most cases, it is still damaged and needing of immense healing to stop the cycle of acne to begin again. Stopping your acne treatment at clearing sebum would be like cutting a weed where it comes out of the surface of the ground, rather than removing it at the root.

This is where Vitamin C comes in!

The Science of Vitamin C

Before we get into how Vitamin C works as an acne treatment, we’ll first take the opportunity to dive into the active a little more thoroughly. I love learning about the science behind an active, and experimenting with various formulas to see, in real-time, how the tissues/cells respond. The way Vitamin C works is super complex and intriguing – however, it is also more technical than I should probably get in this blog. If you’re interested in learning more of the details, I highly suggest reading: Vitamin C in Dermatology, by Pumori Saokar Telang, Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr-Jun; 4(2): 143–146.. read Vitamin C in dermatology 


First and foremost, Vitamin C is an antioxidant, a cofactor in the synthesis of collagen, a discoloration-correcting agent, and an anti-inflammatory! When looking at the list of its primary benefits, it makes perfect sense that it would be used in anti-aging solutions. Antioxidants help to protect our skin from the environment and slow down the process of photoaging. Collagen synthesis is crucial to maintaining the vitality and youthfulness of our skin. Finally, treating both hyperpigmentation and inflammation goes a long way in altering the appearance, and overall health of the skin. So, this begs the question, what can all these anti-aging benefits do to help treat acne? Each of these qualities of the active makes Vitamin C effective for acne in the following ways…

Our next-generation Vitamin C & Ferulic formulation is a highly advanced product that has been designed to provide a range of benefits for the skin. The purpose of this formulation is to enhance skin brightness, provide antioxidant properties, and boost collagen production.

The 4 Benefits of Vitamin C


As an antioxidant, Vitamin C helps to neutralize free radicals which cause irritation and promote the breakdown of collagen and skin tissue. The functionality of this antioxidant helps to soothe inflammation and mitigate damage. Therefore, as a treatment for acne, Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties create an environment in the skin that is suitable for healing the tissue and reduce susceptibility to another breakout.

Collagen Maker

Vitamin C aids in the production of high-quality collagen in the skin. Once again, this is one of the benefits of this active that makes it an effective treatment for acne. As you likely know, collagen is one of (if not) the most important components of our skin. It’s the connective tissue responsible for keeping our skin strong, resilient, properly hydrated, and overall happy and healthy! For those reasons it’s clear why it is an anti-aging benefit, but what about treating our acne? It’s all about the incredible healing properties Vitamin C can bring you in your acne treatment. The collagen produced by the active will help to stitch together wounds, improve skin density, and clear up old acne scars. By repairing tissue damaged by acne, Vitamin C is able to not only clear up your last breakout but also smoothen and strengthen the skin to help you avoid your next breakout.


As anyone who deals with acne breakouts knows, after they have healed, they often leave discoloration in their wake. Dark spots and uneven skin tone are some of the telltale signs of past acne battles.  Vitamin C is a depigmenting agent, which means that it regulates melanin levels by lightening dark spots.  This is important for an even healthy-looking skin tone.  The results are incredible – your skin tone is brighter, and more even, and the remnants of your last acne breakout are no more!


Finally, Vitamin C is also an anti-inflammatory, meaning it helps to soothe over-processed or stressed-out skin. Stressed skin is one of the key direct triggers for acne.  Thus by diffusing the inflammation Vitamin C effectively lessens our likeliness to have another acne breakout. This one capability of Vitamin C is also why it is an excellent topical choice for rosacea and sensitivity.

Vitamin C for Acne Aftercare

So, among its many anti-aging capabilities, we have now learned that Vitamin C is also an appropriate acne treatment. Its healing, soothing, and regenerative properties make it super effective at helping to treat breakouts. However, we’re proposing that Vitamin C works as an additive solution when it comes to acne. Meaning that it can/should be included with other acne-focused solutions to help target the problem from all angles. In that role of an additional solution to the acne problem, a Vitamin C formula’s primary function would be healing in the aftercare stage. People often struggle with repetitive acne breakouts partly because the original breakout never properly heals. The skin remains stressed, damaged, and essentially open to receiving more bacteria and another breakout. Therefore, we recommend Vitamin C as part of your acne treatment because it heals the previous lesions, calms the skin, smooths the tone and texture, and promotes tissue building (via collagen synthesis).

Is Vitamin C Too Good to Be True?

It seems like Vitamin C can do it all and do no wrong! This is mostly true, but (yes there’s a but) as a topical, the ingredient is not the easiest to work with at all. This means that with a Vitamin C-based formula, the form and concentration of the ingredient are extremely important. For a more in-depth read on this particular topic, we recommend you read the following blog from ‘The Derm Review’:  The Only Vitamin C That Increases Vitamin C Levels In The Skin

5 Things to Know About Vitamin C

However, we will give you a simple breakdown – here are a few key points to note:

  1. Not just any form of Vitamin C will do (we like Ethylated Ascorbic Acid & Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate)
  2. The optimal range of concentration is between 10-20%, too low won’t do anything and too high can be toxic
  3. Vitamin C topicals work even better when you pair them with other antioxidants
  4. Vitamin E can vastly improve the efficacy of Vitamin C
  5. When properly formulated, Vitamin C is a wonderful ingredient for sensitive skin types

Its Never Too Late to Better Your Skin

Our skin is like a self-renewing wrapper, meaning it’s never too late to start taking proper care of your skin. Even people with the most troublesome skin can give themselves a clean slate when they take the proper steps. Many of those who struggle with acne (myself included) think it’s a life sentence – like there’s nothing that can be done. We’re here today to reassure you that there’s something you can add to your routine that you probably didn’t consider! Vitamin C for acne is one of the biggest hidden secrets in the skincare industry. As a topical agent, Vitamin C soothes, heals, and regenerates your skin in a number of ways that will help to treat post-acne damage and help target your acne overall. So, for the sake of helping to reduce your acne problem, and for the overall health and quality of your skin, we highly recommend adding a Vitamin C solution to your skincare routine!

For an Isomers Laboratories solution, we recommend our Vitamin C & Ferulic 15% Concentrate:

Vitamin C & Ferulic 15% Skin Brightening Concentrate

Alternatively this article recommends a few other Vitamin C solutions you can look into