How To Combine Vitamin C, Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid?

How To Combine Vitamin C, Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid?

Generally speaking, many people have a skincare routine that no doubt already contains products rich in vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and retinol. Having said that, if you’ve just read that and found yourself shaking your head or perhaps you have products but have no idea of how to use them. Well, not to panic as you’ve come to the right place!

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at these powerhouse ingredients and shedding some light on how you can use them in your daily routine resulting in you having the best skin. So, with that in mind let’s find out how you can combine vitamin C, retinol and hyaluronic acid.

How do you use retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid together?

All three of these ingredients are probably the most beneficial skincare ingredients available, it’s no wonder they are adored by beauty experts. As effective as they are for the skin, it is important you know how to use them together to ensure you are getting the best out of your skincare routine. 

Hyaluronic Acid: Your skin will love hyaluronic acid as much as you. This clever humectant ingredient is able to bind 1,000 times its weight in water which basically means it’s able to draw in any moisture from around the skin and locking it into place. As a result of this your skin will have continued hydration and remain moisturised throughout the entire day. If that wasn’t enough, all skin types benefit from HA resulting in everyone reaping the moisturising rewards.

Vitamin C: The benefits of using vitamin C in your daily routine are endless. From restoring glow to the complexion, combating fine lines and wrinkles, promote collagen and reducing signs of pigmentation. With a reputation for being unstable in formulations some feel a little hesitant to introduce this powerhouse to their routine, but with modern formulas and performing a patch test will ensure you can use vitamin C with the peace of mind you are doing some good for the skin.

Retinol: Retinol is the one of the most potent skincare ingredients, and with that has come some uncertainty on how it works. Once you have a better understanding you’ll find it retinol has the ability to speed up the skin cell turnover and increase the production of collagen resulting in the complexion looking youthful and full of bounce.

In regards when using these potent ingredients together in your routine the best way to do so is by using vitamin C during your morning routine as it is packed with antioxidant benefits that will keep your skin protected from free radical damage. For your evening routine you should use retinol, mainly due to the fact that once it is exposed to UV rays it renders the ingredient useless. As for hyaluronic acid, you can use this twice a day, every day, not only will it keep your skin hydrated and at its healthiest state, you’ll also avoid any skin irritation.

Can you use vitamin C and hyaluronic acid together?

Absolutely, in fact, I highly recommend you use both of them together every time. When applying each product on the skin you can first use vitamin C, especially if it is a serum formula followed by hyaluronic acid as this acid will work on a different area of the skin keeping it hydrated allowing the vitamin C to reach further down pass the epidermis into the areas of the skin where collagen is produced and signs of pigmentation are formed. 

What goes first retinol or hyaluronic acid?

As effective retinol is for the skin, there is a slight downside to this potent powerhouse, and that is the signs of dryness and flaking it can cause to the skin. This is a very common reaction and will subside as your skin builds its tolerance to it. This is when hyaluronic acid comes into its own and provides hydration to the skin reducing the amount of irritation caused by retinol. If you are wanting to use both ingredients, I suggest applying a serum enriched in hyaluronic acid first followed by retinol this will help it work its magic and reduce its habit of causing skin dryness and irritation.

Which is better retinol or hyaluronic acid?

This is tricky one to answer, as they are completely different ingredients and work differently on the skin. If you are aiming to target concerns with skin ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles, retinol would be the best ingredient to use. Having said that, one important factor to remember is that skin can become dehydrated very easily, which if left can cause the protective skin barrier to not contain the correct levels of water and oil. This then results in it being exposed to excessive damage from free radicals, such as pollution, UV rays and harsh climates. Luckily, using both ingredients together leads to the skin remaining hydrated, protected whilst feeling and looking its best.

Do you put vitamin C on before or after retinol?

When it comes to using vitamin C and retinol, both ingredients are very potent and provide optimal results when used in your skincare routine, but not necessarily at the same time. This is mainly a result of each ingredient working better at difference parts of the day. Vitamin C is enriched in antioxidants protecting the skin from daily exposure to skin damaging factors, it also gives a beautiful radiance to the complexion making it ideal to apply in your morning routine. With UV rays rendering retinol useless so it’s best to use in your evening routine allowing it to work overnight whilst you catch up on your beauty sleep. Both ingredients increase the skin’s photosensitivity so always apply a daily SPF of 30 and above to keep the face protected from sun exposure. 

What order should I apply retinol?

When it comes to skincare formulations, you can usually find retinol is found in products such as, serums, face oils and moisturisers. This generally means you apply retinol in one of the final steps of your routine.

Here is an example of a night-time skincare routine:



Serums (can contain retinol)

Eye Cream

Moisturiser (can contain retinol)

Face Oil (can contain retinol)

By ensuring you apply retinol onto fully cleansed, clear skin you are removing the build-up of dead skin cells, bacteria and dirt that can develop a layer on the top of the skin this over time makes it difficult for other skin ingredients to absorb and get to work.

Can I use vitamin C in the morning and retinol in the evening?

Yes, as I have preciously mentioned this is a recipe for the best complexion! By using each powerhouse ingredient in different routines will benefit your skin whilst giving it enough time to prevent any unwanted irritation. Not forgetting of course, to perform a patch test for each ingredient to ensure it is the best one to introduce into your daily routine. If you have any concerns, consult with a doctor or medical professional for peace of mind you’re using the best products on your skin.

Don’t forget to check out our other blog posts about the ingredients mentioned and how they benefit your skin. Got a question? Come and join us on Instagram!


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