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Retinol + Vitamin C: To Mix or Not to Mix

by Claudia Christin on Mar 06, 2023

retinol + vitamin C

Both Retinol and Vitamin C are popular tried and tested ingredients. They are two of the most well-researched ingredients with years of evidence backing them up for their benefit. However, there is one thing that we get asked a lot that we are going to answer in this article: “Can we combine them altogether in one routine?”


If you have been having the same question, we are going to break down the argument for you. 


benefits of retinol and vitamin c

Benefits of Retinol and Vitamin C

Retinol is great for skin texture, fine lines and wrinkles, acne, hyperpigmentation, and increasing cellular turnover (skin renewal). Vitamin C mainly takes a big role in brightening skin, fighting free radicals, and serves as an antioxidant. 


Both have a few pretty similar effects on improving pores, hyperpigmentation, and promoting collagen production. Although there are some overlapping benefits, they both work in different ways.


can you combine altogether?


Can You Combine Them Altogether?

There are people wanting to use these two ingredients together in hope to double the effect on their skin, but is it safe to do? Can I mix them and/or use them in one skincare routine?


There is no right or wrong to this question. Both of these ingredients are active ingredients with high chances of irritation especially if you have sensitive skin. 


If you have resilient skin and you have had a solid basic skincare routine, you can probably make the best out of these two by using them in one single routine. You can use your vitamin C early in the morning, and layer both vitamin C and retinol at night. These combinations have been believed to be the dynamic duo for a well-aging care.


other tips

Other Tips

Tips: Try to use this mixing method slowly and see if your skin does not react negatively to this combination, you can slowly increase the frequency of use.


However, if your skin is sensitive, it is best to avoid mixing retinol and vitamin C so it won’t increase/worsen your skin sensitivity. You can opt to use your Vitamin C in the morning and retinol in your night skincare routine to get the best of both. 


Tips: do not forget to always use your sunscreen in the morning when you are using vitamin C and retinol.


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