Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C

Can You Use Glycolic Acid & Vitamin C Serum Together?

5 min read
The debate rages on: can you combine glycolic acid and vitamin C serum, or is it a recipe for disaster? Here's how to use them together.

Are you caught in a web of confusion when it comes to taking care of your skin? Finding the perfect combination of products for healthy and glowing skin can be tricky, especially since some combinations may not always work as well with each other.

One skincare dilemma many people face is whether or not they can mix glycolic acid and vitamin C serum together—but fear not!

We're here to break down this quandary so that you can confidently make the best choice for yourself.

Let's dive into what exactly these ingredients are, why they should or shouldn't be used together, and how to incorporate them into your routine without any problem, regardless of your skin type.

Understanding Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid exfoliant (AHA) derived from plants such as sugar cane, and it's become a popular skincare ingredient. Alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid have also become common in skincare routines.

This chemical exfoliant works by breaking the bonds that hold dead skin cells together - essentially exfoliating your skin.

When you remove dead skin cells, it can help improve the texture of your skin, reducing wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration.

You'll also benefit from improved hydration, since glycolic acid can penetrate deep into the skin to dissolve sebum and debris in our pores while helping other products better absorb into our skin barrier.

The Benefits of Glycolic Acid for Your Skin

Glycolic acid has been proven to be incredibly beneficial for our skin in several ways, making it a true powerhouse when it comes to skincare products. Here are some of its main benefits:

1. Exfoliates Dead Cells: Glycolic acid works by gently exfoliating dead cells from your face, revealing brighter, smoother skin underneath. This process also helps unclog pores and reduce blackheads/bumps while stimulating collagen at the same time!

2. Improves Texture & Tone: Regular use of glycolic acid can help fade dark spots caused by too much sun exposure or aging and even out discoloration from hyperpigmentation issues like melasma or chloasma (aka “the mask of pregnancy”). The result? A brighter complexion with improved texture and tone!

3. Stimulates Collagen: Glycolic acid stimulates collagen which helps keep your skin looking plump and youthful for longer—a must if you want to maintain that glowing complexion!

In fact, studies show that regular use may even prevent wrinkles from forming due to its ability to stimulate cell turnover rates in the epidermis layer of our skin—which essentially means fresher looking skin on top with more tightness below!

4. Replenishes Moisture Levels & Hydrates Skin: Last but not least—glycolic acid aids in replenishing moisture levels deep within your dermal layers.

This helps hydrate dry patches on your face while allowing natural oils produced by sebaceous glands to better penetrate surface level to protect skin against environmental factors.

These environmental factors include free radical damage or dry air conditions present indoors during winter months where humidity levels can become low causing further dehydration problems.

Understanding Vitamin C:

Vitamin C serum is a skin care product that contains high levels of vitamin C. It's becoming increasingly popular in the beauty industry, and many believe it can improve skin health in a variety of ways.

Vitamin C serums are created by mixing an antioxidant-rich vitamin C extract (also known as L ascorbic acid) with a carrier oil like jojoba or rose hip seed oil. This mixture helps to hydrate your skin while delivering the benefits of the vitamin itself.

Plus, it’s easy to use – just add a few drops onto clean hands and pat into your face for enough coverage!

Benefits of Vitamin C:

1. Antioxidant Protection: The main benefit of using this kind of serum is its ability to protect your skin from free radicals that cause premature aging, wrinkles, dark spots, and other imperfections.

The antioxidants also help repair damaged cells caused by environmental stressors like pollution and UV rays so you look younger for longer. This protection helps prevent premature aging and enhances overall skin health.

2. Brightening and Even Skin Tone: Vitamin C inhibits melanin production, reducing hyperpigmentation and promoting a more even skin tone.

3. Collagen Synthesis: Vitamin C stimulates collagen, improving skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It helps plump and firm the skin for a youthful look.

4. Acne Treatment: Vitamin C serums have even been proven effective in reducing acne breakouts because they help control sebum production which keeps excess oils away from clogging pores.

Using Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C Together:

Now, let's address the crucial question: Can you use glycolic acid and a vitamin C product together on your face? The answer is a resounding yes! While both ingredients offer individual benefits, they can also work synergistically to enhance your skincare regimen.

1. Enhanced Exfoliation and Absorption: Glycolic acid acts as an exfoliant, removing dead skin cells and allowing vitamin C to penetrate deeper into the skin. This synergy boosts the effectiveness of both ingredients, resulting in improved skin texture and increased absorption of vitamin C.

2. Brighter and More Radiant Complexion: Glycolic acid exfoliates the skin, while vitamin C targets pigmentation issues. Together, they can help reduce hyperpigmentation, fade dark spots, and reveal a brighter and more radiant complexion for all skin types.

3. Collagen Boost: Both glycolic acid and vitamin C stimulate collagen production. When used together, they promote firmer, plumper skin and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and smoothes wrinkles.

Do They Need to Be Used Separately?

There is no hard and fast rule that glycolic acid and vitamin C serum must be used separately at different times of the day. However, it's highly recommended. Here are some factors to consider.

1. Skin Sensitivity: If you have sensitive skin or are new to using these skincare ingredients, it may be wise to introduce them gradually. Start by using your glycolic acid product and vitamin C on alternate days to allow your skin to adjust.

Once your skin has acclimated, you can use them on the same day. You definitely want to start slowly if you are use other harsh ingredients on your skin such as salicylic acid.

2. Sun Protection: Both glycolic acid and vitamin C can increase skin sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, it is crucial to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher during the day, regardless of when you use these ingredients.

3. Layering Order: If you prefer using both ingredients on the same day, it is generally recommended to apply vitamin C in the morning, followed by hyaluronic acid and a moisturizer. And don't forget the SPF! Then use glycolic acid as part of your nighttime routine.

Wondering exactly how to layer all your skincare products? This biochemistry expert gives you a great skincare routine to follow in this TikTok video:


Replying to @inshaaaf Replying to @inshaaaf If you are confused about your skincare, comment below with products/ingredients. #skincare #skincareroutine #glycolicacid #retinal #azelaicacid #hyaluronicacid #vitamincserum #pigmentation #melasma #darkmarks #acnescars #acnetips #skintips #skincaretips #skincare2022 #skincare101 #skincarethatworks #skincarethatsaves #howtolayerskincare

♬ original sound - 4complexion

The Right Chemistry

You can bet your favorite selfie filter that the combining glycolic acid and vitamin C is a skincare no-brainer.

Not only will it give you that youthful glow you’ve been searching for, but it also works to deeply clean your complexion from the inside out.

Plus, there won’t be an aesthetician on the planet who won’t sing the praises of this powerful dynamic duo!

So embrace this no-fail combo and enjoy some serious skin-brightening success – go ahead, bask in your new-found beauty! From now on, let two become one with both vitamin C and glycolic acid. Here's to radiant skin!

related stories