We all love a good skincare ingredient duo – when the perks of one ingredient is increased with the company of another. So, when vitamin C, hailed for its skin brightening effects, and retinol, celebrated for its skin renewing benefits, are paired together – what's not to love?!
Well, there has been some longstanding uncertainty around the use of vitamin C and retinol together in the same routine, let alone formulated within a single product. And that’s often due to their contrasting pH levels where it’s believed that the combination of the two ingredients increases the pH of vitamin C and decreases the pH of retinol – therefore rendering each other ineffective... Contrary to this outdated belief, the ingredients work synergistically together and vitamin C actually stabilises retinol, therefore increasing its effectiveness!
Together, vitamin C and retinol are a highly effective duo to rejuvenate the skin (assisting fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, etc.) and protect the skin from further environmental damage too. Let’s break it down even more so and explore why each ingredient is so powerful even on their own.
Vitamin C is the Wonder Woman of skin brightening. As well as brightening the skin, it assists with hyperpigmentation, skin redness and inflammation, while also acting as a shield against pollutants and sun damage.
Retinol is the holy grail ingredient for reducing the signs of maturing – it's extremely effective for stimulating collagen production, tightening the skin, improving skin texture, restoring an even skin tone and fighting acne too. You can read all about the jam-packed benefits of retinol here.
We know – sooo many benefits! If you don’t already have these two in your beauty bar, they’re a must!
The benefits of vitamin C and retinol together
Vitamin C and retinol are the perfect combination to dramatically renew your skin and restore the hallmarks of youthfulness. Retinol stimulates the protein which gives our skin its firmness (collagen), while vitamin C essentially provides the glue that holds cells together once collagen is produced. You see – the perfect pair!
Together, vitamin C and retinol can assist to:
- Brighten and even skin tone
- Lighten hyperpigmentation
- Firm and tighten skin
- Reduce the signs of maturing (fine lines and wrinkles)
- Provide anti-inflammatory support
- Reduce acne and diminish acne scarring
How to use vitamin C and retinol; Top tips
Because of a process called retinisation (where peeling and redness can be observed while the older, damaged cells are replaced with new cells), retinol does come with specific instructions to be mindful of. Retinisation is completely normal and nothing to be worried about, so follow our tips below to help your skin become rightly acquainted!
- New users: If you’re new to using retinol, introduce it to your routine gradually starting with just twice a week
- Familiar users: After gradually incorporating retinol into your skincare routine, you can work towards applying it every second day
And when it comes to your routine, familiarise yourself with these tips, too.
- Apply in the evening: We recommend using retinol as part of your evening skincare routine, however if you would prefer to use in the morning, don't forget to apply SPF after!
Order of application: After cleansing and toning, apply a moisturiser followed by a pea-sized amount of retinol to your skin to minimise any totally normal side effects (e.g. redness, peeling, dryness) you may experience from the retinol while your dead skin cells are being replaced. You may also wish to use The Foundation before moisturising if your skin feels comfortable.
- Eye treatment
- Facial Treatment (vitamin C and retinol)
- Facial Oil
- Use a sunscreen: As retinol can make your skin sensitive to the sun, ensure that you use a sunscreen product as the last step in your morning routine, each and every day
*Routine caution: Retinol is not recommended for use in conjunction with deep exfoliation ingredients or facial peels – e.g. on evenings that you’re using a retinol, avoid the exfoliating and mask steps for your routine so as to avoid any preventable sensitivities
- Pregnancy: Retinol is not suitable for pregnancy
- Storage: Store your retinol away from direct sunlight and do not expose the lotion to air
And there you have it – vitamin C and retinol – a match made in skincare heaven! While the rewards are high, so too is the importance of the instructions. If you have any questions at all feel free to DM us on our socials or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to help you get your best skin yet!