Main content


Vitamin C is well known as a highly efficacious skincare ingredient thanks to its potent antioxidant properties, anti-ageing and brightening benefits and its role in collagen synthesis. Consistently using an expertly formulated vitamin C serum can help provide a multitude of benefits for your skin, however gaining an understanding of when and how to use vitamin C as part of an integrated skincare routine is essential in order to achieve optimal benefits, as well as avoiding ingredient interactions.


Vitamin C requires specific conditions to ensure optimal absorption into the skin and efficacy, which is why it’s important to apply this ingredient in tandem with other ingredients that will help rather than hinder. We’ve put together this guide to ingredients that work with vitamin C to answer questions like ‘Can you use vitamin C with retinol?’ and more. Keep reading for an overview of ingredients that work well with vitamin C, as well as those to be aware of.



SkinCeuticals products are formulated with L-ascorbic acid, a pure, potent and refined form of vitamin C. L-ascorbic acid provides powerful antioxidant benefits, but it does need to be formulated at a low pH level to be able to properly absorb and work within the skin. Certain other skincare ingredients can change pH levels on the skin, resulting in a disruptive impact when applied around the same time as vitamin C. This is the first reason why implementing correct ingredient combinations within your morning and evening skincare routine is so important.

Lastly, mixing various ingredients with vitamin C can also have different positive benefits and outcomes for a variety of skin concerns. As will be detailed below, the benefits of some ingredient combinations are greater than the sum of their parts.


As we know, different types of vitamin C and different formulations have their own distinct benefits and interactions. Read on to learn which ingredients can provide enhanced skin benefits when used as part of the same routine as vitamin C products formulated with L-ascorbic acid.


Can you mix peptides and vitamin C? Peptides help bond skin cells together, meaning they can aid vitamin C’s benefits when it comes to improving texture.

Many people will be able to use products containing peptides and vitamin C at the same time, however if you have sensitive skin we recommend using a corrective cream with peptides at night and vitamin C in the morning. For example, our Tripeptide-R Retinol Neck Repair Cream is ideal for overnight use.


Vitamin C and E are a highly efficacious ingredient combination, as vitamin E is also an antioxidant. Research shows that using vitamin C and vitamin E together provides more protection against free radicals than using either ingredient on its own.


As a fellow antioxidant, ferulic acid is another ideal ingredient pairing for vitamin C. This antioxidant acid can actually help stabilise L-ascorbic acid, helping your vitamin C serum achieve sustained efficacy. In fact, our acclaimed C E Ferulic Vitamin C Serum combines the two ingredients in one facial serum, designed for morning use for optimal benefits.


Hyaluronic acid serums are best known as intensely hydrating formulas, but can you use hyaluronic acid with vitamin C? Hyaluronic acid attracts moisture to the skin’s surface and essentially re-plumps the skin, minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and smoothing skin texture. Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C have no unwanted interactions and the benefits of HA complement vitamin C’s anti-ageing and skin texture improving properties, making these ingredients a good pair.

We recommend using our HA Intensifier Hyaluronic Acid Serum to follow up after applying your vitamin C serum in the morning.


Can you use niacinamide with vitamin C? These two ingredients have been subject to misunderstandings in the past, however niacinamide and vitamin C are fine to use together for most skin types. If in doubt, use vitamin C in the morning and niacinamide at night.

Regardless of when you use them, niacinamide and vitamin C target similar skin benefits via different means, such as brightening and evening out pigmentation. Niacinamide also helps control excess sebum production, so if you usually use our Silymarin CF Vitamin C Serum for oily skin, we recommend following up with a niacinamide enriched anti-ageing cream such as our Metacell Renewal Skin Tightening Cream.


Some ingredients can hamper the benefits of vitamin C, while others are too potent to use in conjunction without risking skin sensitivity. Here are some ingredients to avoid with vitamin C and one where you should proceed with caution.


Can AHA and BHA mix with vitamin C? The answer to this question is no. Mixing the types of hydroxy acids known as BHA and AHA and vitamin C tends to be too much for the skin, resulting in discomfort or unwanted side effects.


Can you mix vitamin C with salicylic acid? This ingredient falls into the BHA category, meaning that salicylic acid and vitamin C usually should not mix.

However, this doesn’t diminish the powerful benefits this ingredient can have for those who experience blemishes. If you have acne-prone skin, you may wish to swap out vitamin C for our Blemish and Age Defense Salicylic Acid Serum.


If you’ve been asking ‘Can I use retinol and vitamin C together?’, the answer is that they are best used at separate times of day.

Some individuals can use these two together at the same time without negative effects. However, retinol creams are best suited for night use to minimise photosensitivity and vitamin C primed for morning use.

We recommend using our Retinol 0.5 Anti-Ageing Night Cream in the evening and reading our guide to How to Use Vitamin C and Retinol Together to learn more.

If you found this guide informative, you may also wish to read our Step-By-Step Guide to the Ideal Skin Care Routine Order.





Find a skincare professional near you

Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device