Should You Use Vitamin C Serum at Night? Is It Okay?

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It’s the question that’s been on our minds since we started using vitamin C in our skincare routines. Should you use vitamin C serum at night? And are there any benefits to applying it before you go to sleep?

The answer, as it turns out, is yes. Using vitamin C serum at night helps repair damaged skin cells, boost collagen production, and fade dark spots while you sleep.

Here’s what you should know before applying vitamin C serum at night.

Should You Use Vitamin C Serum at Night?

Yes, you should. The most important reason to use vitamin C serum at night is that it makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight. In fact, any serum with a high concentration of vitamin C should be applied at night because of its sensitivity to light.

Another reason to use this product at night is that it can help the skin repair itself from any damage it has been exposed to during the day. So when you use it at night, you wake up looking radiant because it’s had time to work its magic while your skin is regenerating.

Because vitamin C is an antioxidant, it helps protect the skin from free radicals that can damage cells and cause signs of aging. It also helps repair existing damage caused by UV rays and pollution.

Can You Use Vitamin C Serum in the Morning?

Yes, but it’s not that simple. Many dermatologists recommend using vitamin C serums in the morning because they’re packed with antioxidants that help protect the skin from environmental aggressors like UV rays and pollution.

However, vitamin C can come in a few different forms. The most common forms of vitamin C in skincare products are L-ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), ascorbyl palmitate, and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.

L-ascorbic acid is the most potent form of vitamin C, but it’s also the most unstable when exposed to air or sunlight. So if you’re using a serum that contains L-ascorbic acid, it’s best to use it at night when it can work without getting affected by sunlight.

But if your serum contains other forms of vitamin C like magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, or tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, it’s safe to use it in the morning.

Unlike L-ascorbic acid, these forms are more stable in sunlight, and you can use them both morning and night.

Because of their potential benefits, vitamin C serums are widely available. You can find them in many forms, both online and over the counter at many drugstores.

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

The answer is yes, you can use vitamin C serum in the morning and night. However, when you apply it can vary based on what type of vitamin C formula you use.

If your vitamin C formula contains L-ascorbic acid, you should apply it at night before you go to bed. As mentioned earlier, L-ascorbic acid is highly unstable and gets easily degraded by sunlight, so it’s best to apply it at night before bedtime.

But if your vitamin C formula contains derivatives of L-ascorbic acid like sodium ascorbyl phosphate or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, they are much more stable in sunlight and can be used both morning and night.

If you have sensitive skin, however, it’s best to use vitamin C at night rather than in the morning. This is because vitamin C increases skin sensitivity and can increase the risk of side effects after contact with sunlight.

If you’re new to vitamin C, start by applying it every other day and work your way up to daily use. When using vitamin C in the morning, be sure to follow it with a broad-spectrum sunscreen for protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Benefits of Using Vitamin C Serum at Night

  • It will help boost collagen production while you sleep
  • You’ll wake up with a brighter complexion
  • Your skin will be better hydrated
  • It will help repair sun damage
  • Fewer fine lines and wrinkles
  • More even skin tone and visibly reduce dark spots
  • Smoother skin texture
  • Reduced redness and irritation from acne or other skin conditions

How Do You Add Vitamin C Serum to Your Nighttime Routine?

Vitamin C serums are a great product to add to your nighttime routine, but it is important to use them correctly for the best results.

  • Start with a freshly washed face. If you like, you can also apply toner or exfoliate beforehand.
  • Apply the serum evenly across your face and down your neck. You may wish to avoid the area around your eyes if you have sensitive skin.
  • Wait for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the vitamin C serum to deeply penetrate your skin and nourish it from within.
  • Follow up with a moisturizer or anti-aging cream (if desired).

If multiple serums are part of your skincare routine, apply them from thinnest to thickest inconsistency. So a watery serum followed by a cream-like one and so on.

Applying thicker ones first will form a barrier that will prevent thinner serums from penetrating deeply into your skin.


Does vitamin C darken skin?

No, it does not. Vitamin C serum does the opposite for your skin. It supports collagen production, gives your skin a brighter appearance, and even helps reduce hyperpigmentation.

What’s more, since vitamin C is an antioxidant, it protects your skin from free radical damage that comes from sun exposure and other environmental factors.

Can you use vitamin C serum with niacinamide?

Yes, you can. While vitamin C serum and niacinamide provide different benefits to your skin, they both help improve the appearance of your skin when used together.

And because of niacinamide’s anti-acne properties and ability to regulate sebum production and minimize pore size, adding it to your vitamin C regimen makes the results even more impressive

Should you use vitamin C serum before or after moisturizer?

Before moisturizer. The reason why you should apply vitamin C to your skin before moisturizing is that the ingredients in the serum need time to penetrate your skin.

Applying moisturizer first creates a barrier between your skin and the serum, preventing it from penetrating and doing its job.

Is vitamin C serum good for mature skin?

Yes, it is. Vitamin C helps build collagen fibers while also inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down collagen. By doing this, vitamin C supports healthy collagen production, which results in firmer and younger-looking skin.

In addition to increasing collagen production, vitamin C also helps to prevent skin damage on a cellular level by fighting free radicals. This makes your skin more resistant to future damage, preventing fine lines and wrinkles as well as sagging skin.


Ultimately, it is up to you to figure out what works best for your skin. There is no “right” or “wrong” time of day to use your vitamin C serum to achieve maximum results.

However, it is important to remember that vitamin C serums can break down when you expose your skin to sunlight. To prevent this, always use sunscreen with a high SPF during the day to protect your skin from sun rays.

Also, keep in mind to use your vitamin C serum only at night if you have sensitive skin. If you do not have sensitive skin, then morning or night would be fine.

Thanks for reading.

Visit Serum101 if you want to learn more about vitamin C serums and what they do.