Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum? Learn the How-to and Benefits

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Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C are powerful skincare ingredients; used individually or paired together. These ingredients are commonly found in skin serums offering moisturizing and skin brightening benefits respectively.

You may be looking to include these skincare powerhouses in your routine or maybe you already have and you’re wondering if they are only good by themselves.

Some skincare products contain both ingredients to help brighten and moisturize your skin at the same time.

If you have separate products or one product, this article is the guide you need to understand the benefits of using hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum for your skin, and how you should use them together.

What Are the Benefits of Using Hyaluronic Acid for Your Skin?

Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the skin. It is a humectant that binds to water molecules in the atmosphere and draws them to the outer layer of your skin, retaining moisture.

Naturally, as we age or in dry climates, hyaluronic acid level depletes, and the skin loses natural moisture. In such conditions, the body depends on the external supply of this acid. And it can be gotten from creams, serums, and injections.

Additionally, hyaluronic acid creates a natural barrier over your skin and prevents moisture loss. The topical application of hyaluronic acid can make your skin feel like you just drank a glass of water.

It enhances skin elasticity, improves skin texture, and makes your skin look dewy. Hyaluronic acid perfectly suits every skin type and helps to enhance the effectiveness of other skincare actives.

Moreover, it soothes the common side effects of other ingredients like retinol, AHAs and BHAs, and benzoyl peroxide.

Moisture is one way to prevent skin issues like acne, the development of fine lines, and wrinkles. Therefore, hyaluronic acid is a key player in treating such skin conditions.

What Are the Benefits of Using Vitamin C Serum for Your Skin?

Vitamin C, the skin-brightening vitamin, is commonly found in serums. Clinically, vitamin C is the ultimate treatment for scurvy which commonly occurs in children. However, the beauty world has found great use for vitamin C.

Vitamin C serum has antioxidant and UV protection properties which makes it a great ingredient for treating signs of aging, skin discoloration, and acne.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C in serums helps to prevent and manage oxidative stress. Consequently, it prevents the formation of free radicals which may lead to acne breakouts or premature aging.

Also, it prevents the formation of dark patches which may occur due to exposure to UVB rays.

Furthermore, vitamin C has strong anti-inflammatory properties making it a good option for soothing inflamed skin. Vitamin C serum helps to stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin, the proteins responsible for skin elasticity.

Overall, it improves the appearance and texture of your skin. It rejuvenates your skin, giving you plump, soft, and radiant skin even in old age.

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum Together?

Yes, you can. Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum make a powerful skincare powerhouse duo. Both ingredients help to hydrate, fortify and protect your skin.

They are even stronger together than when used separately. As we age, collagen and elastin levels naturally deplete, then, the need for vitamin C to stimulate the synthesis of these proteins arises.

However, vitamin C can be quite irritating and cause some skin types to dry out. Pairing it with hyaluronic acid will help to cushion your skin and prevent these side effects.

Moreover, some vitamin C serums contain shorter fragments of hyaluronic acid. These serums altogether brighten your skin, replenish moisture, and improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars.

Can You Layer Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum?

It is safe to layer hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum at the same time in one routine. As earlier mentioned, vitamin C may irritate your skin and cause it to dry out. Therefore, the best way to protect your skin is to layer it with hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid will help to prevent this moisture loss or itching by replenishing moisture. In addition, hyaluronic acid keeps vitamin C serum trapped in your skin and makes it more effective.

Additionally, neither of the ingredients denatures the other or renders the other ineffective. Just like when used as two different products, they do even more when used at the same time.

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid With Vitamin C Serum to Treat Aging?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and hyaluronic acid is a moisturizing ingredient. Skincare ingredients that perform these functions are very useful in any anti-aging routine.

They help to fight off the causative factors of premature aging and even improve already established signs.

Both active ingredients make your skin more resilient against oxidative stress that can result in the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.

Vitamin C serum helps to keep collagen and elastin levels steady, keeping your skin elastic and radiant. Hyaluronic acid uses moisture to plump your skin, smoothening the lines and wrinkles.

Therefore, using both ingredients together and/or separately help to rejuvenate already aging skin, restoring it to radiant youthfulness.

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid With Vitamin C Serum to Treat Acne?

Vitamin C serum acts as an antioxidant, protecting your skin from inflammation that can result in acne breakouts. Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, is a key moisturizing ingredient.

Combined, they can prevent, treat acne and even help to fade acne scars. While vitamin C soothes your skin with its anti-inflammatory properties, hyaluronic acid hydrates your skin.

Steady hydration levels will enhance skin regeneration and prevent dead skin cell buildup which is one major cause of clogged pores.

More so, vitamin C is a mild exfoliant; rather than sloughing off dry skin cells, it promotes cell turnover. Also, it helps to fade dark spots and even your skin tone.

In tandem with hyaluronic acid which moisturizes your skin, acne scars fade away, resulting in clear, smooth, radiating skin.

How to Use Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum

1. As two separate products

When you have hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum as two separate products, you should carefully layer both ingredients to reap maximum benefits and address skin issues.

When your hyaluronic acid-based product is a serum, you’ll find that it is much thicker in consistency compared to vitamin C serum. So, following the order of the skincare routine (from the thinnest to the thickest), you should apply vitamin C serum first.

On the other hand, if your hyaluronic acid-based is a cream, it will also come after vitamin C serum. Follow these steps to correctly layer hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum in your daily skincare routine.

  • Cleanse your face with a mild cleanser to remove soap, oil, dirt, and makeup residues
  • You may exfoliate your skin if you see the need but you must be sure your skin can tolerate the acid and vitamin C together
  • Then, pump out vitamin C serum and release a few drops onto your palm
  • Gently pat it into your skin and wait a few minutes for it to absorb fully
  • Thereafter, layer your hyaluronic acid product (serum or cream) to seal in moisture and enhance the effectiveness of vitamin C serum
  • Allow the product to absorb fully too before you go on to the next product
  • Apply a face oil to create an occlusive seal over all other ingredients and nourish your skin
  • Then, layer a broad-spectrum sunscreen to shield your skin from UV ray sensitivities

2. As one combined product

Serums that combine both hyaluronic acid and vitamin C also help to brighten your skin and simplify your routine.

However, the active ingredients may not be as effective as when used separately. This is because both are effective at different pH values (vitamin C is optimally active at pH values not greater than 3.5 while hyaluronic acid is active at pH values greater than 4).

It does not completely denature both ingredients, but one is less effective than the other. Therefore, you may not get the results you’d get if you were to use them separately.

Follow these steps to use a combined product:

  • Cleanse your face with a mild cleanser to get rid of oil, soap debris, and makeup residues
  • Then, you may exfoliate your skin according to your skin’s tolerance and demands
  • Afterward, pump out the serum and release a few drops onto your hand
  • Apply the serum to your face and neck by gently patting it into your skin
  • Then, take a pea-sized moisturizer and rub it all over your face and neck to seal in moisture
  • Nourish your skin with a face oil and layer SPF to shield your skin from sun damage

Are There Any Potential Side Effects of Using Both?

Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum are safe to use on the skin. Most times, there is almost no report of a side effect from any. However, some people may experience slight inconveniences after using vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

If your skin does not tolerate either of the active ingredients, it is best to stay away from layering them. Also, you should not apply hyaluronic acid or vitamin C serum to dry skin. Otherwise, it may cause your skin to dry out. 


Should you use hyaluronic acid before or after vitamin C serum?

Hyaluronic acid comes after vitamin C serum to seal in moisture and shield your skin from the possible drying effect of vitamin C. Moreover, it enhances the penetration and effectiveness of vitamin C serum.

Also, hyaluronic acid keeps your natural barrier functioning properly and prevents the penetration of irritants that can trigger inflammation and oxidative stress.

What can you not use with vitamin C serum?

You should not layer vitamin C with products that contain retinol, benzoyl peroxide, niacinamide, AHAs, and BHAs like glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid.

These ingredients naturally irritate and/or dry out your skin. Some may cause undue oxidation, denature vitamin C, or expose your skin to UV damage.

What can you not use with hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid pairs perfectly with every ingredient without causing any side effects. Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the body. On its own, it does not cause any side effects except when applied to dry skin.

Hyaluronic acid soothes the drying and irritating effect skincare ingredients like retinol, benzoyl peroxide, vitamin C and AHAs/BHAs have on the skin. Also, it enhances the effectiveness of any ingredient it pairs with.

Should you use vitamin C in the morning or at night?

Vitamin C is best used in the morning. It is a natural antioxidant that will protect your skin from free radical damage that may occur due to exposure to pollutants and UV rays.

Moreover, if you are using it with ingredients like retinol, it is best used in the morning while you use retinol in the evening.


Skincare powerhouses are key ingredients in many skin care products. Individually, they make good ingredients for addressing skin issues. Some of these actives pair together to make each other more effective and load your skin with maximum benefits.

Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum, for instance, make a good pair to improve the appearance and texture of your skin. Vitamin C is a natural skin brightener and hyaluronic acid is well-known for moisture.

Together, they cater to skin issues like signs of aging, acne, skin discolorations, and hydration boost. Most importantly, before your get to pairing these actives, you should be sure your skin amicably agrees with either of them.

Thanks for reading.

Check Serum101 to read more guides on how to pair skincare active ingredients to achieve your skin goals.