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Can You Use Vitamin C Serum With Retin A?

Can You Use Vitamin C Serum With Retin A?

Retin A and vitamin C are highly important compounds used to rejuvenate the skin. Both products are known for their effectiveness at reducing wrinkles by their ability to stimulate collagen production. Separately, they also have added advantages that make them helpful in keeping your skin healthy and youthful. Yet, because they are both so powerful, many people question if you can use vitamin C serum with Retin A. Like many combinations in skincare, the answer to the question is complicated. In short, yes, you can use both vitamin C serum and Retin A. However, you will want to space out when you use them in the day to eliminate skin irritation.

Benefits of Vitamin C Serum and Retin A

As touched on, we already know that both compounds offer anti-aging benefits because of their ability to stimulate collagen production. Retin A has been prescribed by dermatologists for several decades and is now available over-the-counter in many skincare products. One of the added benefits of Retin A is that it serves as an exfoliant by ridding the top layer of your skin (the epidermis) of dead skin cells. It is important to shed old skin cells so that more youthful skin can emerge and your skincare products have an easier time doing what they need to do.

On the other hand, Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant - meaning that it helps round up free radicals and prevents oxidative stress from taking its toll on your skin and underlying tissues. One of the most powerful effects of vitamin C serum is that it effectively fights radiation from harmful UV rays that damage your skin.


Because both Retin A and vitamin C serum work so effectively at keeping your skin healthy and vibrant, each deserves a role in your skincare routine. However, when you use them is key to keeping your skin happy, healthy, and glowing.

How to Use Vitamin C Serum and Retin A

You will not want to use these two products at the same time each day. It is best to separate when you use them because your skin can become highly irritated. Both products are a type of acid, meaning they not only cause irritation when used together, but also redness and peeling. If you have sensitive skin, you will undoubtedly want to test using these two products separately before you start using them each day.

Both vitamin C serum and Retin A also have different solubility requirements. Solubility is the ability a product has to dissolve into a solvent. When it comes to skincare, a product’s solubility is its ability to activate so the skin can absorb it. Vitamin C is soluble in water, whereas Retin A (which is a derivative of vitamin A) is soluble in oil. So when applied together, they can just sit on your skin without giving you any of the benefits - other than skin irritation.

Fortunately, each product has an ideal time of when to use it. Vitamin C is best used in the morning because it helps combat UV rays. Of course, this product is not to replace a good sunscreen. However, it is safe to use a vitamin C serum followed by a good mineral-based sunscreen before heading into your day.

And to cap off your day, it is safe for you to use your retinol product. Indeed, it is best not to use a retinol product in the morning as it can cause sensitivity to the sun, so it is a good product to incorporate into your nightly skincare routine.

Where to Get a Vitamin C Serum

Retinols in skincare have been around for a long time, but vitamin C is shaking up things in the skincare world because it is so effective against photoaging damage and pollutants. With its antioxidant properties and ability to stimulate collagen and elastin production, it delivers incredible results that make your skin feel and look bright, vibrant, and youthful.

Furthermore, where many effective skincare products require a prescription, vitamin C is safe for over-the-counter use. For the highest concentration of vitamin C available on the market, shop the Pure Vitamin C 35% Perfecting and Brightening Serum at DS Laboratories.

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