As one of nature's wonder nutrients, vitamin C boasts an abundance of uses in everyday life. In recent years, its benefits as a tool to fight acne scars have become more widely known. Here is everything that you need to know about this naturally occurring antioxidant and how it can help to reduce the scars left behind by acne.

What Is Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid)?

This powerful antioxidant has a variety of uses in the field of skincare and dermatology. Studies show that topical vitamin C can prevent the issues that come with hyperpigmentation, photoaging, and dark spots. The healing properties of vitamin C promote tissue regeneration. Because of these properties, vitamin C lessens the appearance of skin imperfections and blemishes. L-Ascorbic acid is the chemically active form of the vitamin, with the two terms often used interchangeably.

3 Main Benefits of Using a Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C delivers a wide range of benefits to any skincare routine.

  1. This potent antioxidant evens out skin tone to create a brighter and fresher complexion
  2. The use of vitamin C as a topical agent reduces the appearance of a variety of skin imperfections such as fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, and scarring
  3. Vitamin C also protects the skin from a myriad of environmental impurities while delivering hydration for a younger-looking appearance

Vitamin C Serum for Acne Scars (Hyperpigmentation)

Recent studies have demonstrated that the use of vitamin C as a topical treatment can reduce the appearance of acne scars. When used consistently, vitamin C serums can make scars as a result of acne less pronounced. By promoting tissue healing, the serum goes to work on visible scarring to improve the overall appearance of the skin. 

Best Vitamin C Serums for Acne Scars

As more research has proven the effectiveness of vitamin C to reduce the appearance of acne scars (hyperpigmentation), more products have hit the market to target these skin imperfections. Here are three of the best products to consider when looking to minimize acne scarring:

1. NuFountain C20+Ferulic Vitamin C Serum


Best for: hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone

This powerful serum boasts a 20 percent concentration of topical L-ascorbic acid. Combined with ferulic acid and additional antioxidants, this ascorbic acid delivers a significant boost to the skin. Hyaluronic acid and panthenol work together to provide essential moisturizing capabilities to the skin. This serum is made fresh with each order, guaranteeing that you receive a potent and effective product. The serum will provide the best results when used daily. The color and fragrance-free serum is suitable for all types of skin.

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2. Paula's Choice BOOST C15 Super Booster 15% Vitamin C

Paula's Choice BOOST C15 Super Booster 15% Vitamin C

Best for: hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone

This skin booster combines a concentration of vitamin C with vitamin E and ferulic acid to provide a nourishing treatment. You can use this booster as a standalone product or mix it into your preferred moisturizer. The lightweight booster boasts the ideal mix of antioxidants to reduce acne scarring on the surface of the skin.

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3. Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

Best for: hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone

This innovative serum relies on vitamin C, konjac root, hyaluronic acid, and ferulic acid to deliver visible results. The unique combination of ingredients reduces skin discolorations and scarring left behind by acne. The stabilized form of vitamin C ensures that oxidation does not occur in the product. This product is all natural, vegan, and cruelty-free.

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How to Incorporate a Vitamin C Serum Into Your Skincare Routine

It is easy to incorporate vitamin C serums into your regular skincare routine.

  1. A solid routine starts with a thorough cleansing followed by exfoliation
  2. After the exfoliation process, it is time to apply the vitamin C serum
  3. The application of the serum should be followed with your favorite moisturizer

You can choose to apply the vitamin C serum directly to the skin or mix it with your moisturizer and apply together.

Other Tips for Dealing With Acne Scars

  1. Cleanse Your Skin - Clear skin starts with an effective cleansing routine. Washing your face twice per day will yield the best results. Be sure to use lukewarm water so that you do not unnecessarily dry out the skin. By preventing acne from forming in the first place, you will stop acne scarring in its tracks. Keep in mind that too much cleansing can irritate the skin. This is why a twice per day routine has been shown to be the most effective at fighting acne.
  2. Exfoliate, Daily - After cleansing, a daily exfoliation process will speed the turnover of old skin cells to reveal fresher and unblemished skin. A chemical exfoliation using alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) or beta hydroxy acid (BHA) boosts hydration to the skin and promotes quicker cell regeneration to fight scarring. By smoothing out rough skin, exfoliation provides noticeable benefits to the appearance of scarring.
  3. Daily Sunscreen Use - The use of sunscreen protects the skin from the sun's harmful UV rays and boosts the chances that the scarring will blend with the rest of the skin after it heals. A diligent daily sunscreen routine can also reduce skin discoloration and promote faster healing. Additionally, feel free to check out our recommended best sunscreens to prevent tanning.
  4. Don't Pick Your Skin! - It is tempting to want to squeeze pimples in an attempt to make them go away faster. However, it is important to resist this urge to pick at the skin. Not only will this further irritate the skin, but the dirt and grime that is naturally on the fingers will transfer to the skin. By introducing new contaminants to the skin, acne will be exacerbated, increasing the risk of more scarring.

How Long Does It Take to See Results?

Because everyone's skin is different, it is challenging to say exactly how long it will take to see noticeable results. A general guideline is to expect results in approximately four to six weeks. When trying a new product, it is important to be patient, be diligent, and to not give up.

Take Before and After Pictures

Taking pictures at the beginning of a new skincare routine and then again throughout the process is the best way to ascertain if the product is working.

Not Getting Results? Consult a Dermatologist

It can be disheartening to invest time and money into a particular skincare product and fail to get the results that you desire. A trained dermatologist can help you to devise a plan that is specially formulated for your specific skincare needs and preferences.

Other Benefits of Vitamin C Serums

In addition to promoting the healing of acne scars and other skin wounds, vitamin C serums provide a host of other benefits when incorporated into a daily skincare routine. Read on for ten additional benefits of this wonder drug.

  1. The overall high safety profile of vitamin C makes it suitable for almost all skin types. The antioxidant can also be safely used in tandem with a myriad of additional skincare ingredients such as retinol and AHAs.
  2. The hydration properties of vitamin C reduces transepidermal water loss so that your skin is able to more effectively retain moisture.
  3. The brightening effects of vitamin C serum fades pigmentation so that skin appears more radiant and smooth.
  4. By treating a wide array of inflammatory skin issues, vitamin C serums reduce overall redness on the surface of the skin. This minimization creates a more even skin tone and complexion.
  5. Vitamin C serums can help control hyperpigmentation issues such as age spots, sun spots, and melasma
  6. Vitamin C serums reduce the natural occurrence of under-eye circles. These products work by smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles and providing hydration to the area under the eye.
  7. Because vitamin C boosts collagen production, the serums work to reduce the speed in which fine lines and wrinkles form.
  8. This increase in collagen production also helps to prevent the natural sagging of the skin that comes with the aging process.
  9. The use of high-antioxidant vitamin C serums also protects against the harmful free radicals that damage the skin after exposure to the sun. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C shield healthy skin cells by impeding the harmful effects of free radicals.
  10.  By speeding up the process of cell regeneration, the effects of sunburn are minimized and the soothing benefits are delivered.


Can vitamin C make you break out?

Vitamin C has not been shown to exacerbate breakouts. However, there is a small chance that a particular ingredient in the formulation of the serum will aggravate your skin and cause irritation. For this reason, it is important to do a patch test to determine how your skin will react to the product.

Why are vitamin C serums so expensive?

Although there are some vitamin C serums that may promise lasting results, these cheaply made formulas are not as effective as their more expensive and stable counterparts. The delicate formulas of these serums necessitate that the product is well tested. It is worth investing your skin care dollars in quality products made by reputable sellers.

Do DIY vitamin C serums work for acne scars?

Although these DIY products can demonstrate success if formulated properly, getting the right mix can prove to be challenging. Notably, buying from a reputable seller will end up saving you time, money, and effort in the long run.