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Vitamin C vs Retinol: Differences, Benefits & How To Layer Them Together

Retinol or Vitamin A1 is a vitamin of the Vitamin A family that can be found in various foods such as carrots, beets, etc and can be taken as a dietary supplement. It is used as a supplement to treat and prevent Vitamin A deficiency and is one of the most popular ingredients in skincare products for it’s wonderful oil absorbing properties.

Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that may be found in a variety of foods such as citrus fruits, green vegetables, and potatoes. Vitamin C is a necessary nutrient because the human body does not produce it on its own and thus it has to be taken externally. Vitamin C is a popular skincare ingredient because of its numerous skin advantages. It is used in a variety of formulations to address a variety of skin issues and is best known for brightening the skin.

Retinoids and carotenoids are the two components of Vitamin A. Retinoids increase collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin production, which decreases wrinkles and big pores, heals acne and fades hyperpigmentation. Retinol is one of the three forms of a retinoid. Retinol has been shown to tackle many skin conditions like uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin texture, and acne or breakouts.

There are many skincare products available in the market that helps in boosting Vitamin C derivatives as an ingredient such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or ascorbyl palmitate, for example, but L-ascorbic acid is the most effective and widely used form of Vitamin C for skincare regime. The collagen synthesis in the skin decreases with age and sun exposure, which leads to wrinkles and fine lines. Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that is proven to increase the synthesis of collagen production, minimizing fine lines, dark spots, and wrinkles. 

Both Vitamin C and Retinol are powerful ingredients and using them together may cause over-exfoliation, resulting in increased skin and sun sensitivity. Furthermore, Retinol and Vitamin C function best at different pH levels (those are the acid-alkaline ratios of a substance). When you layer Retinol and Vitamin C, their pH levels might go wild, making each less effective when applied to the skin.

However, there are a few different ways to properly combine Retinol with Vitamin C, with the key being to space them out in time. Using one at night and one in the morning is the simplest method to accomplish this. Vitamin C should be used first thing in the morning to take advantage of its potential to brighten the skin and protect it from environmental stressors that can occur during the day. You can also use them at a 30 minutes interval, applying Vitamin C first but a separate day/night routine is recommended. 

This isn’t the only time Retinol and Vitamin C can be combined. You can alternate between the two every other day or even every third day until your skin responds to the Retinol.

Also, no matter what your routine is, never skip applying a good moisturizer like the Deconstruct NMF Hydrating Moisturizer as it will ensure your skin remains hydrated and your skin barrier remains protected.

To begin with, Vitamin C aids in the reduction of issues such as dullness, uneven skin tone, acne scars, and texture. It’s an antioxidant as well as a necessary component of collagen formation. Vitamin C reduces photodamage or dark patches beneath the skin and is necessary for wound healing. It also protects the skin from free radicals caused by environmental factors such as pollution. You’ll see obvious effects including brighter skin and disappearing dark spots if you use it correctly and on a regular basis.

Then there’s Retinol, which is a type of vitamin A. Retinol, like Vitamin C, has certain well-known advantages: It can treat cystic acne, lighten hyperpigmentation, remove dark spots, and soften wrinkles. They boost skin cell turnover, minimize the potential for cells and keratin debris to clump together and clog pores, boost collagen formation, and diminish discoloration.

To get both of their benefits, you can use them both but layering them is not recommended. Use Vitamin C in the daytime and Retinol at night time to get the full benefits of both of the products without causing any skin irritation.

  • Never layer Vitamin C and Retinol on top of each other.
  • At least, keep a 30-minute gap between each of their applications. A day/night separate routine is highly recommended. 
  • Use Vitamin C first (in the morning skincare routine) and Retinol next (in the night skincare routine).
  • Deconstruct Retinol and Peptide Serum Deconstruct Retinol and Peptide Serum has 0.2% Retinol and 5% Peptide that increase the cell turnover rate and rejuvenates damaged skin. This serum also helps in tackling acne, dark spots, and pigmentation thus giving even-toned skin. 
  • Deconstruct Vitamin C serum with 10% Vitamin C + 0.5% Ferulic Acid – If you’re in the market for a Vitamin C serum, what better than one with Ferulic Acid. Ferulic Acid and Vitamin C create an excellent duo where the Vitamin C brightens the skin, provides protection against photodamage and the Ferulic Acid stabilizes the formulation and boosts the efficacy of Vitamin C.

It’s possible to utilize vitamin C and retinol together without causing discomfort as well as getting the benefits of both of the wonderful skincare ingredients; it just boils down to the issue of timing. You should be alright as long as you alternate between using one in the morning and one at night or the other ways as described in this article. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, and not everyone will be irritated if they combine retinol and vitamin C but it should not be risked. If you face any discomfort or side effects, a medical consultation is heavily recommended. 

  • Using Retinol makes my skin dry. Should I continue using it?

Dryness of the skin, nose, and lips is one of the most common side effects of Retinol as it inhibits oil secretion, which causes the skin to become dry. Applying hydrating moisturizers can help with dryness caused by Retinol. Lip balm can also be used to treat cracked and dry lips. Also,  keep your body hydrated by drinking enough water.

  • Is Vitamin C too harsh for the skin?

If used in diluted quantities, Vitamin C can do wonders to your skin but in case you notice any side effects like redness or itching, you should discontinue it and visit a doctor.

  • Is it true that vitamin C cancels off retinol?
    The short answer is no. Because Vitamin C has a lower pH than Retinol, it’s preferable to apply it first. Once the Vitamin C serum has been absorbed, your skin will recover to its normal pH levels after 30 minutes or so, at which point you should apply Retinol. You want your skin’s pH to revert to normal so that Vitamin C doesn’t affect Retinol’s pH. Also, it’s best to use one in the daytime and the other at night time so that they don’t affect each other’s pH level.

 

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