Can You Use Retinol and Vitamin C Together?

To achieve healthy, bright skin with minimal fine lines and wrinkles, you must have two key ingredients incorporated into your skincare routine: Vitamin C and Retinol. The benefits of Vitamin C and retinol are (almost) endless!

To name a few: brighter skin, reduction in hyperpigmentation, and assisting in the increase of cell turnover. The combination will have you looking like the best version of yourself with glowing, plump skin! 

Read on for the best way to include the two ingredients into your daily routine! 

Vitamin C

The benefits of Vitamin C are plentiful. It is made of powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and damaging environmental stressors like pollution, smoke, and UV rays. What’s so bad about free radicals and environmental stressors?

They are damaging to the skin because they break down the skin’s collagen, causing visible signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, dry patches, etc. Vitamin C works to prevent these signs of aging.

A few of our favorite Vitamin C’s and their details can be found below!

1. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

This best selling serum offers powerful antioxidant protection against environmental damage while simultaneously reducing signs of premature aging or photodamage. 

It is a powerhouse fighter against a plethora of environmental factors that damage skin. This product combines 15% pure Vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid to neutralize and minimize free radicals, infrared radiation, and ozone pollution. It does this while reducing signs of atmospheric damage including fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness and dull skin for brighter, smoother, more radiant complexion.  

It is recommended to apply this product once per day every morning immediately after cleansing and toning. Smooth a few drops to your dry face, neck, and chest. Allow the product to full absorb into the skin before continuing on with your skincare regimen. It is important to complete your skincare routine with sunscreen, which offers protection against photodamage and environmental aggressors.

You can place your order for SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic here: 

2. Obagi Professional-C Serum 20%

With its 20% concentration of Vitamin C, it effectively protects the skin against damage from environmental stressors and neutralizes free radicals and molecules that can harm the body. The Professional-C Serum 20% helps to reduce signs of aging, prevent formation of fine lines and wrinkles, insulate the skin cells against further damage, and revamp collagen production for firm and resilient skin. 

Daily use of the serum will leave a more radiant, smoother, firmer, more youthful looking complexion. The serum is ideal for those with sensitive and dry skin as it will not irritate the skin.

Place your order here:

3. SkinMedica Vitamin C Plus E Complex

This product is a sophisticated water soluble silicon gel which allows the aqueous form of Vitamin C to be released throughout the day. The soluble form of Vitamin C diffused directly into the skin for antioxidant defense. 

This rejuvenating powerful complex formulated with 15% Vitamin C works to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and sun spots, while fighting anticipated future effects of the sun. It also helps to improve skin tone, texture and firmness. It is recommended to apply this product once per day every morning immediately after cleansing and toning!

Place your order here: 


Retinol is the number one dermatologist-recommended skin anti-aging ingredient. Believe it or not, we actually have retinoids in our skin, but they deplete naturally over time. The retinoids in our skin work to boost collagen production, regulate pigmentation, even smooth the skin texture, and eliminate and tone blemishes.

It is recommended to start with a milder concentration and working your way up to a higher concentration as your skin adjusts to the ingredients. See below for retinol products we recommend.

1. SkinMedica Retinol Complex

With regular use, SkinMedica’s Retinol Complex works to enhance complexion, texture, and resiliency. It works to increase the skin’s firmness, diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, to create a more vibrant, evenly colored complexion, 

Place your order for this product here:

2. SkinCeuticals Retinol

SkinCeuticals Retinol is a concentrated night cream with 1.0% retinol for experienced retinol users to improve skin tone and texture. With regular use of this night cream, it diminishes the appearance of discolorations, fine lines, blemishes, and wrinkles. This formula won’t clog pores and is effective for most skin types.

It is recommended to only apply this retinol, a pea-size amount is enough to cover your face, eyes, and lips, in the evening. Apply this retinol evenly after cleansing, and before other products allowing it to completely absorb before continuing on with your skincare regimen.

To give your skin time to adjust, use once or twice per week (but no more than once a day!) and slowly increase frequency over time to allow your skin to adjust. 

Order your SkinCeuticals Retinol here:

vitamin c and retinol

Combining Vitamin C and Retinols

Because retinol and Vitamin C are both intense and strong ingredients we do not recommend combining the two during the same routine. It is most common for Vitamin C to be applied in the morning when its benefits against harmful UV rays, free radicals, and environmental stressors can be most impactful.

Retinol can cause the skin to become sensitive to sunlight, it is most commonly incorporated into your nighttime skincare routine. As your skin adjusts to retinol, you may begin to layer it with your serum. However, a broadband sunscreen must be used to protect your skin as your skin will be sensitive! 

Using the two ingredients together is beneficial because while Vitamin C fights pollutants and brightens skin, it also stabilizes the retinol allowing it to work to improve your skin and make a true impact against signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, dark marks, and other skin concerns. 

As we mentioned above, and we can’t emphasize enough, it is so important for you to wear sunscreen following the use of Vitamin C and retinols. We hope you learned something new and have placed your order for a Vitamin C or retinol that you love!

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