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As long as you choose a vitamin C derivative that is close in pH to your retinol, then you can use them at the same time, since they will not destabilize each other. I recommend first experimenting with a higher dosage and seeing how you feel – say 3,000iu. The key takeaway is that you always want to be using "like with like." And for an even bigger brightening boost, combine vitamin C with vitamin E. Because vitamin C loses efficacy in the sun, it's best as a nighttime product. Retinol or vitamin A - the wrinkle warrior Prescription retinoids include tretinoin (the key ingredient in Retin-A and Renova) and tazarotene. Personally, I actually prefer vitamin C derivatives to L-ascorbic acid, even if they aren't quite as powerful. Fortunately, there are a few ways to incorporate both vitamin C and retinol in your skincare routine without sacrificing any of the benefits. RealSelf is a registered trademark of RealSelf, Inc. Daley Quinn is a freelance beauty and wellness writer living in Boston. But no matter which type of vitamin C you choose, using it in combination with a retinol is a surefire way to get your skin glowing, firm and even-toned. “For even greater efficacy, use a prescription retinoid,” she says. At least one study has shown that retinol did maintain its effect when paired with vitamin C, and other “studies have shown that combining retinol with vitamin C or another antioxidant may help stabilize it,” she says. For those of us looking to use retinol and vitamin C at the same time, we're lucky to have so many vitamin C derivatives to choose from. All my favourites from the last 12 months. Here's what to know. Overall, retinol helps to unclog pores; stimulate collagen production, to reduce fine lines; increase cell turnover, to smooth the skin; and even out discoloration. Not anymore, they are now developed in innovative ways for increased efficacy. And what about mixing them together?! Another thing to keep in mind is that oils can create a barrier on the skin that blocks the absorption of water-based products—another reason not to mix oil-based and water-based solutions. You can find a powerful vitamin C serum over the counter, but actually keeping it stable for a longer period of time might prove more difficult. (It's FREE!). Most dermatologists believe that retinol should always be applied at night, away from UV light. “Because retinol can be drying, products with encapsulated retinol help minimize irritation by delivering the retinol to the skin gradually, over a period of time,” says Dr. Marchbein. In this case, I'd apply the retinol first, let it absorb, and then apply the vitamin C. You can also use them at different times of day or on alternating nights. Apply your vitamin C first, since it has the lower pH of the two. Skin Regimen 1.5 Retinol Booster Wrinkle Concentrate, Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Grade IPL Dark Spot Correcting Serum, The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%, Dermadoctor Kakadu C 20% Vitamin C Serum with Ferulic Acid & Vitamin E, Youth to the People Superfood Firm and Brighten Serum, Whether you can apply retinol and vitamin C at the same time, Why you need to consider pH and solubility, The best ways to use retinol and vitamin C in your skincare routine, My top retinol and vitamin C product picks, Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (pH 4.0 to 6.0), Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (pH 6.0 to 7.0), Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (pH 6.0 to 7.0). Do you need to wait in between them? Skincare lovers use it for everything from pigmentation to sagging skin, and it comes in a wide variety of products. The most common over-the-counter retinoids that you find in creams and serums are retinol and retinyl palmitate, “with retinol being stronger and more effective than retinyl palmitate,” says Dr. Marchbein. Now that you're familiar with the different ways you can use retinol and vitamin C, here are my top product recommendations: Retinoids from The Ordinary, Drunk Elephant, A313 and Shani Darden. I love it. In general, you want to apply your products in order of lowest to highest pH. An anti-aging serum! Retinol and vitamin C, are 2 anti-aging skincare powerhouses that ensure and promise powerful skin healing properties and beneficial results in real time. Otherwise, you may not get the results that you're after. The result? Finally, because vitamin C protects skin from environmental aggressors and retinol repairs and rebuilds skin, they're best used at opposite times of the day. All rights reserved. Dr. Levine recommends choosing retinol products that actually list retinol, not a retinol derivative, as the main active ingredient. Let me know what results you experience! She is a former beauty editor at a national magazine, and her work has appeared on sites including Well + Good, The Cut, WWD, Women’s Health Mag, Elite Daily, Family Circle and more. Does your skincare routine include retinol and vitamin C?What results have you noticed so far? As a supplement it is ingested to treat and prevent vitamin A deficiency, especially that which results in xerophthalmia. A quick glance at the ingredient list of your favorite mask, serum or moisturizer will reveal that you’re probably already using at least one of these miracle workers to care for your skin. And also like vitamin C, retinol is fantastic for helping the skin stay smooth and firm and bright. (The only exception where you'd probably want to wait is if two products are more than 1.5 to 2.0 apart.). C hances are you’ve already heard about the skincare benefits of Vitamin C, Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid.These are some of the most popular names at the moment. Then, wait half an hour before you apply your retinol. I've also got a free cheat sheet for you to download at the end of this article! I still recommend you consume foods like Cod liver, regular liver or supplement with Vitamin A/Retinol. Retinol and Vitamin C face cream: Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Repair Cream, £32/50ml – containing 2 forms of retinol (retinol + retinyl palmitate) plus vitamin C as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. There have been many great guides to Vitamin C recently and you might want to take a look at Tophcam and Nadine Baggott. (More on that in a second.) "This retinol-based formula is so gentle that it won't harm even the most sensitive skin," he says. Vitamin C derivatives have to be converted into the active form of vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid, in your skin. Retinol, on the other hand, can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so dermatologists recommend applying retinol at night. “In general, a vitamin C serum helps to protect the skin from the effects of UV rays [but it is not a sunblock], reduce the appearance of sunspots and discoloration, refine skin texture, reduce wrinkle formation and lessen the appearance of existing wrinkles,” says Dr. Levine. Discover clinically proven, results-driven products for all skin types and concerns—plus take 15% off your first purchase on RealSelf Shop. The retinol will become less active, and the vitamin C will have a reduced ability to get into your skin. Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. They also have a much longer shelf life, whereas I struggle to finish L-ascorbic acid serums before they oxidize. Unlike vitamin C (more on that later), retinols “are also very helpful in treating acne, especially comedonal acne [i.e., blackheads and whiteheads],” says New York City dermatologist Dr. Jody Levine. ︎ Vitamin C and Retinol at Night, 30 Minutes Apart. 6 Surgical Procedures That Take Less Than an Hour, Post-Summer Skin Rehab: 6 Doctor-Approved Treatments to Reverse Sun Damage, 6 Miami Doctors Share the Cosmetic Procedure Trends in Their Offices Right Now. Both are known to fight wrinkles, build collagen and fade dark spots and pigmentation. Vitamin C has been proven to help reduce UV damage, but you might not want to cast it aside when the sun starts to fade and temperatures start to drop. L-ascorbic acid treatments from SkinCeuticals, Paula's Choice, Timeless and Drunk Elephant. Which one goes on first? Check out Nadine Baggot's retinol and Vit C videos on YouTube. 5 thoughts on “ Using Vitamin C Serum & Retinol Together ” Pingback: Vitamin C Serum Causes Me to Breakout | Day by Day Beauty Blog Annie Marie Peters June 18, 2014 at 1:13 am. “The stability of vitamin C in solution has been a concern, because exposure to air, heat and light may slowly degrade the vitamin,” explains Dr. King. Here's what happens to them when you use retinol and vitamin C at the same time, and why it matters. It’s also recommended to use it on the nights you're not applying retinol. Since vitamin C helps protect skin from the harmful effects of UV rays and free radicals, it’s advised to apply it to your skin in the morning. Using Retistar serum by GOW. If you don't have time for the 30-minute waiting period, but you still want to use retinol and vitamin C at the same time, then your best bet is a vitamin C derivative. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid,  is an antioxidant that works to neutralize free radicals (pollution, smoke, UV rays) that can break down the collagen in your skin, causing more visible signs of aging. See our Disclosure for more information. Vitamin C derivatives from Mad Hippie, Skin Inc Supplement Bar, Joanna Vargas and The Ordinary. Serum staining your face and fingers? Avocado Oil: Hydrates and softens skin. Should you layer one on top of the other? One tried-and-true favorite that fits the above criteria? Vitamin C: When used in skin-care formulations, vitamin C can make a major difference in your skin tone and hyperpigmentation. Related: Hyperpigmentation: How 5 Skin Experts Treat Their Own Sun-Related Skin Damage. “The stability [of vitamin C] may be increased by adding other antioxidants (like ferulic acid), so look for ascorbic acid, combined with other antioxidants, and packaging that protects the solution from air and light.” Think: dark-glass bottles, ampoules that help maintain the integrity of the formula or vials that close tightly. But did you know that you can apply vitamin C at night, too? Anhydrous solutions will contain oils, silicones or oily solvents that the retinol may not be able to penetrate through. “Studies have shown that this base layer of moisturizer does not dilute or reduce the efficacy of the retinol and helps with tolerability,” says Dr. Marchbein. However, be mindful of textures. (AKA L-ascorbic acid.) “The good news is, retinol works in an acidic environment, so cocktailing these two ingredients together does make sense,” she says. What is Retinol? I find the ones that have a neutral (not acidic) pH are easier to incorporate into my routine, and gentler on my skin. For the skin: Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily + Overnight Boosters with Vitamins C 10% A (retinol) 1x 8.5ml Vitamin C, $68. If you’ve heard about the “skin-saving, life-changing” benefits of retinol and vitamin C but don’t quite know what they are or what the difference is between the two, you’re not alone. Regardless, when you first start using retinol and vitamin C serums, it’s highly recommended that you start off slowly. Retinol may not get the most out of retinol and L-ascorbic acid at the same time, separate by! Here 's what happens to them when you first start using retinol and vitamin C cheat sheet C alternate... Acid serums before they oxidize still an acid is still an acid, if! 'Ve also got a free cheat sheet for you to download at same., can be tricky of lowest to highest pH L-ascorbic acid treatments from SkinCeuticals, Paula 's,! 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