Can You Use Vitamin C Serum in the Morning and Retinol at Night?

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If you’re wondering whether you can use vitamin C serum in the morning and retinol at night, the answer is yes.

Vitamin C and retinol are a great combination for skincare. Together, they give you healthy, radiant skin and reverse the signs of aging. They also enhance each other’s results.

This article discusses how vitamin C serum and retinol work, the benefits of using them together, and potential side effects. Keep scrolling.

Can You Use Vitamin C Serum in the Morning and Retinol at Night?

Yes, you can. “Vitamin C  serum is a powerful product to use in the morning because it can help protect skin from free radical damage and inflammation (free radicals are molecules that cause premature aging),” says Dr. Susan Bard, a board dermatologist.

It also works to reduce hyperpigmentation and can have some effect on collagen production — though not as much as many people think, she adds.

“In contrast, retinol exfoliates the skin by speeding up the rate of cell turnover in the skin; this makes it useful in treating everything from acne to aging and hyperpigmented skin,” explains Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist.

It also works well in reducing dark spots and it’s more effective at boosting collagen levels than vitamin C, he adds. When you use them together in the same skincare regimen, vitamin C can enhance the anti-aging effects of retinol.

If you want extra glow in the morning, follow up with SPF 15 or higher sunscreen so you’re protected from UV rays throughout the day.

Should You Mix Vitamin C Serum and Retinol Together?

No, you shouldn’t. Vitamin C and retinol are both powerful ingredients that can help improve the appearance of discolored, aging skin.

“While you can use them together, combining them at the same time can cause serious side effects such as irritation, dryness, burning, and stinging sensations.

You can alternate between your vitamin C serum and retinol or use them at different times of the day. To avoid irritations, Zeichner recommends using retinol at night as it makes skin more sensitive to ultraviolet light.

When applied to the skin at night, retinol can work to repair damaged skin cells, smooth lines and wrinkles, treat acne, and improve hyperpigmentation.

Vitamin C serum isn’t as irritating as retinol, so it’s safe to apply it in the morning, Zeichner adds. It can also protect your skin from environmental aggressors like pollution and UV rays (but it’s not a replacement for sunscreen).

If you follow a proper skincare routine and use vitamin C serum in the morning and retinol at night, you’ll get great results with few side effects.

What Are the Benefits of Using Vitamin C Serum and Retinol Together?

1. They both help boost collagen and elastin

Vitamin C serum works well with retinol because it aids in boosting collagen and elastin production. Retinol also aids in boosting collagen and elastin production, so using them together will provide you with optimal results.

2. They work better together

Because they work in different ways, they complement each other beautifully and help improve your overall complexion by working together to fight free radical damage and protect your skin from further damage.

3. They help repair damaged skin

Vitamin C serum can be used in conjunction with retinol to make your skin look younger and more vibrant. Using them together will help your skin to repair itself faster and improve overall skin health.

4. Your skin will be more moisturized

Besides being an antioxidant, vitamin C is also a great moisturizer and can help your skin feel supplier and softer. When you combine this with retinol’s ability to exfoliate dead cells, you have a winning combination for healthy, moisturized skin.

5. They help reduce pore size

Vitamin C and retinol both help to boost collagen and elastin production. This plays an important role in plumping up the skin and reducing pore size.

6. They both brighten skin

Vitamin C and retinol both help to brighten skin tone, but they work in different ways. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to reduce melanin production, while retinol is a type of vitamin A that increases cell turnover.

They both work well at brightening skin, but when you use them together, they do it better than each one on its own.

What Are the Side Effects Of Using Vitamin C Serum and Retinol Together?

Vitamin C serum and retinol are very effective in improving the overall health of your skin. But when used together, they can cause some side effects.

When you use vitamin C serum in the morning and retinol at night, you may experience dryness on your face. This can be due to vitamin C’s exfoliating properties, which also help brighten your complexion by sloughing off dead cells.

Retinol stimulates cellular turnover, which means it also removes dead cells from the surface of your skin to reveal new skin underneath. When you use vitamin C in the morning and retinol at night, the dryness effect is compounded.

Although both products help increase moisture content in the skin, they could also make dryness worse. If this occurs, stop using one product until symptoms subside before reintroducing it into your regimen.

If you have sensitive skin or are already dealing with dryness or irritation, try including a hydrating serum and a deep moisturizing lotion in your routine.

You may also experience redness when combining vitamin C serum with retinol because both ingredients increase skin sensitivity. This should subside after your skin gets used to the product. If not, stop using the product immediately.


Can you use vitamin C serum with vitamin E?

Yes, you can. But not at the same time; it’s best to use your vitamin C serum in the morning and your vitamin E at night.

Experts recommend applying each product at different times of the day, allowing them to penetrate your skin before applying other products. If you notice any irritation with either product, try alternating them, using one every other day until your skin adjusts to it.

When should you apply my vitamin C serum?

You should apply your vitamin C serum in the morning and night, immediately after washing and toning your face. You want to make sure it has time to absorb into your skin, so don’t apply any other products for at least 15 minutes.

Is vitamin C serum good for acne?

Yes, it is. Vitamin C serum can help speed up the healing process of acne and reduce the visibility of acne scars.

To use it, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, then follow up with a toner to balance your skin’s pH levels. Rub a few drops of the serum into your skin, then follow up with a moisturizer and a broad-spectrum sunscreen (if needed).


So, there you have it. Vitamin C serum is a wonderful skincare ingredient that can work incredibly well in conjunction with retinol.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that lessens the damage caused by UV rays and improves skin complexion. Retinol, on the other hand, is a form of vitamin A that helps to regenerate skin cells.

Both ingredients are beneficial for the skin, and you can use them at different times of the day. However, ensure to them as instructed as they can result in side effects such as redness, irritation, and dryness of the skin.

Thanks for reading.

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