Mixology 101: Vitamin C

Author Team Essentialist

When it comes to skincare there are so many fabulous ingredients but knowing how to use them is not always intuitive. Though it would be lovely to just slap on a given product and get the best results, it's not always so simple. We see questions on general use and mixing of ingredients all the time so we thought a brief on which ingredients work well together and which should be avoided would be useful. To start our Mixology 101 series we are covering vitamin C!

Best Used When:

Morning/daytime routine. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant that has shown to help protect skin cells from UV damage. Remember to always apply SPF after!

Best Used With:

Vitamin E. These two have similar benefits but are often combined because they work even better together, especially in terms of preventing photo-damage. First, they act to stabilize each other and second, they penetrate the skin in different ways ensuring an optimal antioxidant boost.

Antioxidants. In general antioxidants are all a plus and work well when combined with vitamin C. One example of an antioxidant that pairs great with vitamin C is ferulic acid.

SPF. When SPF and vitamin C are used together they help protect your skin from the sun as well as combat and prevent sun/age spots and hyperpigmentation.

Don’t Mix With:

AHAs/BHAs. Both have exfoliating activity so it’s not advised to mix them together, it could be irritating. We advise doing your exfoliation at night and using your vitamin C during the day to avoid an issue.

Caution When Mixing With:

Retinol. These two operate best at different pH levels and won't be affective together. There are three options if you want to incorporate both retinol and vitamin C into your regime: 1) use vitamin C in the morning and retinol at night, 2) use them both at night but on alternating days, or 3) use vitamin C first then wait 30 minutes for your skin to return to it's normal pH level before applying your retinol. Basically avoid applying them both at the same time in order to maximize the benefits you’ll receive from each.