Vitamin C VS Retinol

Vitamin C VS Retinol


While some skincare ingredients work best when combined with others, others are strong enough to benefit the skin on their own. Both retinol and vitamin C fall into this category.

Retinol is extremely effective as a stand-alone treatment for stimulating collagen production, treating acne, tightening the skin, softening skin texture, and leveling skin pigment. Vitamin C can brighten the skin, protect it from pollutants and sun damage, treat hyperpigmentation, and reduce skin inflammation and redness on its own.

When used separately, these two ingredients can target specific skin conditions, but when combined, they form the ultimate skin-beautifying duo for any skin type. Before we get into the benefits of using this potent skincare combination together, it’s important to understand why and how these two ingredients work so well separately.

“A potent combination for skin repair and resurfacing! In many ways, our /skin regimen/ Vitamin C Booster is unique. It’s infused with our Longevity Complex, making it an even more potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory formula. It’s also made-to-order in the sense that you activate it at home immediately after purchase, ensuring 100 percent activity, which is especially important with Vitamin C. Our /skin regimen/ Retinol Booster contains sylibin, a retinoic-like extract from the milk thistle plant. This increases retinol activity while also buffering it, making it much more tolerable.” – Elizabeth Nehme, comfort zone Master Educator and Board Certified Esthetician


Retinol, a type of vitamin A, helps the body with cellular turnover, which is the biological process that causes our bodies to shed skin cells and regenerate new skin cells. It is the process that rids our skin of old, dead, dull cells and replaces them with new, strong, radiant cells.

Our skin’s surface cells have been through a lot. Every day, they are exposed to pollution, dirt, debris, and grime… all of which cause our skin cells to become dry, flaky, discolored, and otherwise unappealing. Air pollution has been linked to a variety of skin conditions, including eczema, skin aging, dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis, according to research.

The cellular turnover process (boosted by Retinol) can heal and reinvigorate our skin by shedding these damaged skin cells and telling our bodies to produce new skin cells.


Vitamin C, also known chemically as L-ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant. This means that its function is to neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage all of our cells, not just our skin cells. Free radicals have been linked to cancer, diabetes, eye disease, and a variety of other life-threatening conditions.

Free radicals are unstable by nature because they lack an electron, and all electrons must be paired for them to function properly. Because of this unpaired electron, the unstable molecule attacks a stable molecule and steals an electron, making the stable molecule unstable. As a result of this electron-stealing behavior, a chain reaction of unstable molecules takes the stable ones with them.

It is critical that we neutralize these free radicals as soon as possible, before they cause a mass chain reaction of cell damage. This is where antioxidants (specifically, Vitamin C) come into play. Vitamin C combats free radicals by replacing their missing electron, effectively neutralizing these harmful molecules.

The primary brightening ingredient in skincare is vitamin C. This means it can lighten hyperpigmentation, brighten dull skin, reduce dark spots, and fill fine lines and wrinkles, all of which contribute to a more youthful and full appearance.


There has been a lot of debate about the use of Retinol and Vitamin C together. Their contrasting pH levels are the source of this erroneous uncertainty.

Vitamin C is absorbed by your skin at a low pH level (0 to about 3.5), whereas Retinol requires a higher pH level (around 5.5 to 6).When Vitamin C and Retinol are mixed, Vitamin C’s pH rises while Retinol’s pH falls, which is why the two chemicals are thought to render each other. each other ineffective. Contrary to popular belief, Retinol and Vitamin C work extremely well together: studies have shown that the combination of Retinol and Vitamin C is highly effective in reversing both natural and photoaging aging. Furthermore, Vitamin C has been shown to stabilize Retinol, increasing its effectiveness. The combination of the two ingredients forms a barrier that protects the skin from harmful environmental factors that cause skin damage and premature aging.


Retinol and Vitamin C were created primarily to fight aging. Retinol promotes collagen production, the protein that gives our skin its firmness and suppleness, whereas Vitamin C acts as the glue that holds cells together when collagen is produced. Retinol and Vitamin C work together to promote collagen production, resulting in youthful skin with fewer fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and blemishes.

Retinol and vitamin C can benefit your skin in the following ways:

  • Skin whitening
  • Skin Tone Evening
  • Skin firming and tightening
  • Acne and acne scar treatment
  • Hyperpigmentation lightening
  • Having anti-inflammatory properties
  • Anti-aging properties by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines


Begin slowly, as with any skincare product or ingredient. Integrate new ingredients gradually and monitor how your skin responds to each skincare addition, especially with potent ingredients like Vitamin A (Retinol) and Vitamin C.

Retinol and Vitamin C are extremely effective treatments, but they can be quite harsh. Depending on your skin type and tolerance, you may be able to use these ingredients three times per week or every day of the week. It all depends. Allow your skin to adjust to these metamorphic ingredients before committing. If you incorporate them too quickly into your skincare routine, your skin may react with dryness, flakiness, redness, or inflammation.

Begin with a weekly routine. If your skin reacts well to these ingredients and you don’t have any negative reactions, try using them twice a week. Continue to monitor your skin’s reaction to find out what frequency works best for you.

Vitamin C VS Retinol


While the specific ingredients in your skincare routine will most likely vary depending on your skincare concerns, sunscreen should always be included. Sun exposure not only causes 90% of skin aging, but it is also linked to 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers.

Vitamin A thins our skin’s barrier and makes it more sensitive to UV rays from the sun. Because retinol and retinoids amplify the sun’s effects on the skin, it is critical to use sunscreen when using them. Although Vitamin C’s antioxidative properties allow it to form a skin barrier that protects the skin from UV rays, you should still apply sunscreen for additional sun protection. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying sunscreen every day, no matter how cloudy or rainy it is.


Retinoic Acid is the active ingredient in Retinol, while L-ascorbic acid is the active ingredient in Vitamin C. Active ingredients are great for your skin, but if you use too many of them, they can irritate or inflame it. When an ingredient is biologically active, it changes the structure of cells and reprograms them to behave in a certain way. The active ingredients penetrate the skin and heal it at the cellular level.

To get the most out of their skincare routine, many people combine BHAs and AHAs with Retinol and Vitamin C.

AHAs (which include Lactic acid and Glycolic acid) and BHAs (which include Salicylic acid) are derived from natural substances and act as natural preservatives.

Each of these potent ingredients (retinol, vitamin C, BHAs, and AHAs) increases the sensitivity of the skin. Using all of them at once can irritate and bombard your skin. To avoid skin sensitivity from sun exposure, apply a BHA or AHA to your skin in the morning and a natural Retinol serum at night. Alternatively, try using a BHA one night and retinol the next. The same is true for vitamin C; to avoid skin irritation, try alternating vitamin C with BHAs and AHAs.


To function properly, the skin requires moisture and regular hydration. Without adequate water content, you cannot expect healthy, firm skin.

Retinol can be extremely drying to the skin, especially when first introduced into your skincare routine. This powerful ingredient is known to cause dry, flaky skin cells as your skin tries to adjust to it. Furthermore, as Retinol purges your skin of old skin cells to make way for new skin cells, the surface of your skin begins to flake away. This dehydrated side effect can affect anyone, regardless of skin type (dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, or combination skin).

Although Vitamin C is a proven natural moisturizer that reduces water loss from our skin, adding moisture to your routine is still beneficial. Hyaluronic acid, for example, is a powerful moisturizer that works in tandem with Vitamin C and Retinol. After applying your Vitamin C serum in the morning, follow it up with a layer of hydrating Hyaluronic acid. Apply Hyaluronic acid before Retinol in your nightly routine to increase its effectiveness while also helping to lock moisture in for maximum hydration. Apply a moisturizing cream after applying Retinol to seal in the underlying ingredients and prevent them from evaporating.


When used together, Retinol and Vitamin C can provide a rather intense experience for the skin, similar to the process of combining BHAs and AHAs with these ingredients. Separate your Vitamin C routine from your Retinol routine to avoid skin irritation and increased skin sensitivity, or allow your skin to absorb Vitamin C before applying Retinol.


Vitamin C is best applied in the morning because it can visibly brighten your skin—and who doesn’t want to start the day with visibly brighter skin? Vitamin C also forms a protective barrier that protects the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays and the resulting photoaging.

To preserve your skin’s youth and improve the appearance of dark spots, apply a Vitamin C booster serum in the morning, followed by a sunscreen (with an SPF of at least 30). Dermatologists recommend using Retinol at night because it increases skin sensitivity, making it more susceptible to damage or irritation from heat and UV rays.

Apply a natural Retinol serum at night to tighten the skin and minimize wrinkles, fine lines, and other imperfections. Using Vitamin C in the morning and Retinol at night provides the ultimate brightening and firming treatment for your skin.


Try using Retinol one night and Vitamin C the next to reap the benefits of both without irritating or inflaming your skin. If you prefer to use a Vitamin C serum at night, this routine gives your skin enough time to adjust to the new pH levels. This nightly routine will gradually improve your skin’s radiance and firmness.


Wait 30 minutes after applying Vitamin C before applying Retinol with this technique. Because Vitamin C has a lower pH than Retinol, it is best to apply it before Retinol.

After 30 minutes or so, your skin will return to its normal pH levels after absorbing the Vitamin C serum. (You want your skin’s pH to return to normal so that vitamin C does not lower the pH of retinol.) After your skin’s pH levels have stabilized, apply a Retinol serum that functions at its optimal pH. This skincare technique allows you to reap the transformative benefits of both Retinol and Vitamin C without over-acidifying your skin.

Combining Vitamin C and Retinol in your skincare routine may necessitate some extra thought. Regardless, these ingredients are extremely valuable, so it’s worthwhile to spend the time learning about the best Retinol-Vitamin C practices.

To see results, you must be patient, as with any new skincare product or ingredient you incorporate into your routine. When trying out a new product, many people give up too soon. Allow your skin to adjust to new ingredients before eliminating them from your routine. Results can take anywhere from a week to several months to appear. Dermatologists estimate that it can take up to three months for your skin to fully benefit from ingredients that change cell behavior, such as retinol and vitamin C.

Use skincare ingredients on a regular basis, but don’t overdo it. To avoid skin irritation and sensitivity, space out your ingredients. Because your skin is unique, listen to it and watch how it reacts to each ingredient to find the best products for you.

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