Does Vitamin C Work With Your Other Skin Care Actives?

Woman applying Vitamin C serum.

Vitamin C is a true skin care staple. (No, seriously, it does a lot.) But if you’re only just starting to dip your toe into the world of Vitamin C, it can be hard to figure out where it sits alongside your other skin care favourites. Enter: This very useful guide to help you do just that.

Vitamin C and Niacinamide
There has been plenty of confusion about whether or not these two play nicely together but Dermal Therapist and All Round Skin Wizard, Yadira Cauchi, dispelled that myth for us (here!) explaining that “Niacinamide can honestly be used with almost everything and anything. It’s a brilliant all-rounder tolerated by most skin types.” Yadira goes on to explain that in spite of the long-standing myth about Vitamin C and Niacinamide not working together, “recent research has shown this to not be accurate”.

Use them in your routine like this: 
Find a serum that combines the two for turbocharged brightening or feel free to layer the two. While Vitamin C is typically seen as an AM serum, you can certainly use it both morning and night if you choose to.

Vitamin C and Retinoids
While these two certainly both have a place within your routine, it’s best to keep your application separate. “If you try to layer Vitamin C and Retinoids, the pH level of Vitamin C increases and the pH level of retinoid decreases which will prevent them from working as well as they could.” 

Use them in your routine like this: 
Save your Vitamin C for mornings only on the nights you plan to use your retinoids. (Ahem, and while we’re at it, make sure to use an SPF in the AM as well. Sun protection is even more crucial when you’re using retinoids.)

Vitamin C and AHAs 
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are clever chemical exfoliants that remove dead skin cells, speed up cell turnover, and leave skin healthy and glowing. And while you can layer them alongside your Vitamin C, Yadira suggests splitting them up where possible. “AHAs and Vitamin C are fine together but to make things less confusing for everyone, it's a good idea to keep your Vitamin C for the AM and chemical exfoliants for the PM,” says Yadira. 

Use them in your routine like this:
As a general rule, apply your Vitamin C in the AM and your AHAs in the PM. You may also clock that some Vitamin C serums also feature AHAs to boost their brightening effect. These versions are best used in the PM as AHAs increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. 

Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid
A dream team for hydrated, radiant skin. Hyaluronic acid is a potent humectant that is commonly used in skin care to lock moisture in the skin and give it a plump, dewy effect. This combined with Vitamin C’s ability to boost facial radiance and promote collagen production is a recipe for bright, firm skin. 

Use them in your routine like this: 
You can find Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid hanging out together in many formulas or you can layer your Vit C and Hyaluronic serums if you like a longer routine.

Vitamin C and Vitamin E 
A potent duo of antioxidants! Vitamin E is incredibly popular for it’s skin-soothing abilities, which makes it a perfect pairing for Vitamin C, which is potentially irritating for some skin types. This is why many Vitamin C serums will also feature Vitamin E. Together, they’re a powerhouse duo for calm, protected, happy skin. 

Use them in your routine like this: 
Find a formula that incorporates both and use it every morning. (And night, if you’d like.) These two are also 200% fine to layer separately if you’re feeling fancy.

Vitamin C and Benzoyl Peroxide
These guys aren’t the best of friends. Benzoyl Peroxide helps kill acne-causing bacteria which makes it a very effective ingredient for targeting and treating breakouts. And while some forms of Vitamin C (ahem, like this one) boast antimicrobial properties that make them acne-prone-skin-friendly, it’s best to keep this pair separate. Why? Benzoyl Peroxide can potentially oxidise Vitamin C, which will in turn make it less effective. 

Use them in your routine like this: 
Much like retinoids, these two will need to be kept separate. And since Vitamin C is such a gun in the AM, keep that for mornings only and use your Benzoyl Peroxide at night.

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