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Can You Mix Vitamin C & Retinol Products?

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A bottle of retinol laying on a white surface surrounded with drops of the serum

You can achieve healthy, radiant skin by seeking professional help, but you don’t need in-office treatments. There are many ways to improve your skin from home. Working with an experienced professional can help you find the right products and feel more confident in your skin. 

Retinol and vitamin C are 2 popular and beneficial choices for your skin, but can you mix these products? Due to their pH differences, you should not mix retinol and vitamin C products. Using these two together could result in increased skin and sun sensitivity.

If you’re wondering what skincare products are best for you or what serums you can use together, ask the professional aestheticians at Iconic Beauty Aesthetics.

What is Retinol & How Can It Help Your Skin? 

Retinol is a type of retinoid which comes from vitamin A. You use retinol at night, and this product benefits your skin as you sleep—improving signs of ageing and pores while preventing breakouts

Retinol products help promote healthy cell turnover while improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, discolouration, pores, and blemishes. This product works with your skin’s natural structures to help absorption and benefit your complexion. 

You can benefit your skin in several ways by incorporating retinol products into your skincare routine, including: 

Acne Treatment 

Nobody wants to deal with acne, but retinol can help keep your skin clear. Blackheads, pimples, and cysts can develop when your pores become blocked and inflamed. 

According to a 2017 study, retinol can help reduce the amount of skin peeling that leads to acne—retinol can also reduce inflammation. Another study found retinol can effectively and safely treat acne.


Your skin naturally ages, but other factors can contribute, such as: 

  • Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure
  • Smoking 
  • Pollution 

Skin ageing can lead to less elasticity, causing the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. Sun damage can lead to darker spots appearing on your skin, called age spots. 

Retinol has several anti-ageing properties, helping to protect against collagen breakdown while improving cell turnover and collagen production. This product can strengthen the outer layer of your skin called the epidermis, which can slow the signs of skin ageing and leave you with plumper-looking skin

Research has shown that retinol can improve the look of wrinkles around the eyes and neck after 8 weeks of use. 

Improved Skin 

Retinol can help improve the appearance of uneven skin tone and skin texture. Studies have shown that retinol can help improve the appearance of your skin, including pigmentation and complexion

This product is also known for its ability to help protect your skin by thickening it and minimizing scars and pores. Retinol has many benefits, but it has potential side effects. It’s important to understand the risks of using a skincare product. 

Side Effects

While retinol side effects typically happen with long-term use or high concentration, you should understand these risks. Side effects of retinol include: 

  • Skin dryness
  • Flushed skin 
  • Itchy skin 
  • Scaling of skin
  • Skin discolouration 

Retinol can benefit your skin in several ways, helping you maintain a healthy complexion, but what about vitamin C serum? 

A bottle of vitamin c serum surrounded by sliced oranges

What is Vitamin C Serum? 

Vitamin C is one of the best anti-ageing options available today. It’s known for its ability to leave your skin feeling smooth with a glowing complexion. Many people apply vitamin C serum directly to their skin to experience its benefits. 


Vitamin C is known for being a safe product. Many people can use serums for long periods without experiencing negative side effects. Besides safety, vitamin C has several benefits for your skin. 

Vitamin C has many anti-ageing benefits, such as the improvement of line and wrinkles, loss of firmness, and the brightening of your skin’s complexion. It can help protect your skin from environmental damage while remaining effective for over 72 hours. 

Side Effects 

Even though vitamin C is generally safe, you should still be cautious when using these serums. Vitamin C serum is ideal for all skin types, but test this product on a small portion of your skin before continuing use. Some people’s skin may be too sensitive. 

Both retinol and vitamin C can improve the look of your skin, helping it stay healthy. Because both products are helpful, mixing them will create a more effective skincare routine, right? 

Can You Mix Vitamin C & Retinol Products? 

Retinol and vitamin C can’t mix due to their PH differences. Mixing retinol products and vitamin C may result in over-exfoliation, leading to increased skin and sun sensitivity

You should only apply vitamin C once in the morning while retinol products are for evening use, depending on how your skin tolerates them. Speaking with a professional can help you incorporate these products into your routine as effectively as possible. 

Obtain The Healthy Skin You Deserve 

No matter the skincare routine you use, use caution and take things slow when mixing skincare ingredients. You can enjoy clear, healthy skin once you find the best combination for your needs. Skincare can seem complicated and confusing, especially with unfamiliar products, but you can always seek expert advice. If you want a second opinion on the best ways to benefit your skin, speak with your local expert.

Written by Sarah Noble

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