Alpha And Beta Hydroxy Acids
Like vitamin C and benzoyl peroxide, there are over-the-counter products that include both retinol and alpha or beta-hydroxy acids. However, keep in mind that these have been specially formulated for stability. If youre working with two separate products, they will need to be used at different times.
Alpha and beta hydroxy acids may make some topical retinoid formulations less effective because of the pH. It is ok to use these products if your skin tolerates them, but use them in the mornings and use the retinoid at bedtime, says Dr. King. If you are using a topical retinoid regularly, you may notice that your skin is sensitive and you may not be able to tolerate other potentially irritating or exfoliating products like alpha and beta hydroxy acids.
If youre not completely satisfied with your current retinol product, here are some newer formulas to peruse.
The retinol in this luxe night treatment is microencapsulated to prevent irritation and the remaining formula contains a complex that helps further stabilize the retinol so it can be as effective as possible.
Kate Somerville made waves when she debuted this rich moisturizer, infused with both vitamin C and retinol for brighter and smoother skin.
This affordable, fragrance-free option has also been specially formulated with retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. Just be sure to layer with an SPF when applying in the morning.
Eve Lom Time Retreat Face Treatment
Best Retinol for Dry Skin
Size: 1.5 fluid ounces
Key ingredients: Niacinamide, allantoin, and algae
Best for: Dry skin types
Anything from Eve Lom is a treat to use the brands products smell amazing and leave your skin feeling post-facial refreshed. This is the richest cream on our list. Its a heavy moisturizer thats packed with nourishing ingredients, like anti-inflammatory allantoin and hydrating algae, to restore dry skin. A little goes a long way massage a dot onto your face and neck and youre set.
Key ingredients: Shea butter chamomile and frankincense derivatives
Best for: Normal, oily, and combination skin types
With just four to five drops of this cream, youll wake up to fresh skin. The retinol is encapsulated, meaning it wont degrade when you put it on . SkinCeuticals also offers this formula with both stronger and lighter retinol percentages, so you can adjust to what your skin can handle. This retinol treatment is better than any other brand that I have tried I call it a magic eraser for my face, one reviewer explains.
The 21 Best Retinol Products For Every Skin Type And Concern According To Dermatologists
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, WWD may receive an affiliate commission.
Consider retinoids the superfoods of skin care. The ingredient is second only to sunscreen in wrinkle-fighting power, but it does more than that. These vitamin A derivatives also help to fight acne, refine texture, and fade dark spots, according to Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, dermatologist, Dr. Naana Boakye. To reap the maximum benefits, you need to use the best retinol products that work well with your skin, so youre inclined to use it regularly.
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Why Shouldnt You Mix Vitamin C & Retinol
Oil-soluble and water-soluble products dont mix, just like oil and water dont mix. This fact is essential to remember when you are applying your skincare.
- L-ascorbic acid Vitamin C is water-soluble. It will only dissolve in water.
- Retinol Retinol is oil-soluble. It will only dissolve in oil.
Oils create a skin barrier, blocking the absorption of water-based products. Adding vitamin C to retinol results in the non-absorption of vitamin C, thus no skin benefits. So, you see how mixing the two is a waste of skincare products, money, and time.
Retinol Basics And Benefits
Next up is retinol, a derivative of vitamin A. Retinoids are over the counter, while a dermatologist must prescribe retinoids. Many of the benefits of retinol are similar to vitamin C, although each ingredient works differently.
Retinol works by helping to increase the rate that the body can create and turn over new skin cells. What that means for your appearance is that your face is always showing the most youthful skin possible, which is often far more radiant and smooth.
That process can also keep more water inside the skin, increasing your hydration. Retinol also helps exfoliate to constantly clear off the dead skin cells from the skins surface.
Retinol can also help to trigger an increase in the production of collagen. Thats why so many consider it to be such an effective anti-aging skin care ingredient. This action method helps plump and firm the skin, leading to a decrease in the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.
Its also an ingredient that can effectively minimize the number of blemishes you experience. It does this by helping to regulate the production of sebum , which is a frequent clogging agent that can lead to breakouts.
Here are a few of the benefits that people can experience with topical retinol use:
- Clears pores
- Fights visible signs of aging
- Evens the skin tone and reduces hyperpigmentation/dark spots
- Brightens the skin
The only potential drawback of retinol is that it can irritate the skin, especially for people prone to sensitivity.
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Summary Can You Use Vitamin C And Retinol Together
Yes! You can use vitamin C and retinol together. In fact, they are an excellent combination if youre looking to reverse the signs of skin aging.
Most criticisms of this wrinkle-busting due come from the belief that their different pH levels will reduce the effectiveness of either ingredient. However, this is not the case. The only reason you may want to avoid this combination is if you have particularly sensitive skin as the risk of skin irritation is high.
Retinol Vs Vitamin C: The Key Differences
As well as the many similarities between retinol vs vitamin C, Savannah Grizzaffe, esthetician and owner of Southern Beauty Skin , notes there are some key differences:
- Environmental protection: “While both ingredients can help treat wrinkles, fine lines, spots, acne, and more, vitamin C is also known to protect the skin from harmful UV rays, pollution, and other harsh elements.
- Strengths: Retinol can come in different concentrations and styles such as prescription retinoids and retinol esters. Vitamin C cannot, although the percentage to which it is included in a formula can dictate the potency of that particular product.
- Potency: Retinol is one of the most powerful skincare ingredients. Vitamin C is more of a jack-of-all-trades. It has many of the same benefits plus more but the effects may not be as pronounced.
- Who should use it: Vitamin C can be used while pregnant or breastfeeding, but retinol should not be used during this time.”
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Tips For Using Retinol And Vitamin C
START OFF SLOWLY
As with any skincare product or ingredient, start off slowly. Integrate new ingredients progressively and observe how your skin reacts to each skincare additionespecially with powerful ingredients like Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Retinol and Vitamin C are highly effective treatments, but they can be rather intense. Depending on your skin type and tolerance, you may be able to use these ingredients 3 times a weekor your skin may tolerate it every day of the week. It just depends. Allow your skin to adjust to these metamorphic ingredients before going all-in. If you integrate them into your skincare routine too quickly, your skin may react with dryness, flakiness, redness, or inflammation.
Begin with a once-a-week routine. If your skin takes well to these ingredients and you dont notice an adverse reaction, try using them two or three nights a week. Continue monitoring your skins reaction to determine the best frequency for you.
ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN
While the specific ingredients in your skincare routine are likely to vary according to your skincare concerns, sunscreen should always be present in your routine. Not only does sun exposure account for 90% of skin aging, but also about 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
BE WEARY OF COMBINING HARSH INGREDIENTS HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE
The Best Ways To Use Vitamin C And Retinol Together
There are a few options for how you can effectively use vitamin C and retinol together without losing either of their benefits.
USE EACH INGREDIENT AT SEPARATE TIMES OF THE DAY
The first option you have to combine vitamin C and retinol is to use them at separate times of the day. Specifically, its best to use vitamin C in the morning and retinol at night. The reason for that has a lot to do with how each ingredient works.
Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant and may have sun-protective properties, so using it in the morning can boost your ability to limit potential damage from UV radiation. A quality vitamin C-based serum, like Skin Pharms Glow Factor, helps guard your skin against other environmental factors as well.
Alternatively, retinol is an ingredient that can increase sun sensitivity and increase the likelihood of sunburn or UV damage. It is also sensitive to UV light itself, making it less effective. Using it as part of your evening routine is the best option so that it can work its magic while you sleep. Skin Pharms Night Watch serum, formulated with 0.2% retinol, is excellent in this context.
USE EACH INGREDIENT ON SEPARATE NIGHTS
If you prefer to use your heavy-hitting skin care ingredients at night, effectively combining vitamin C and retinol is still a possibility. While vitamin C is at its best as part of your morning routine, it is still just as powerful in the evening.
PUT SOME TIME BETWEEN INGREDIENT APPLICATIONS
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These Common Skin Care Ingredients Should Never Be Used At The Same Time
These days, it seems theres a skin care product out there for everything. Want to reduce the look of fine lines? Reach for the retinol. Looking for a moisturizer that will keep your skin looking supple and glowy? Try something with hyaluronic acid. Looking to fade dark spots and brighten the skin? You need a vitamin C serum.
With so many active ingredients, figuring out how and when to use these products can get a little confusing, especially when youre trying to pin down a skin care routine for yourself.
Were here to help. We spoke to three dermatologists about mixing active ingredients like vitamin C, acids and retinol, and asked them to share their expert advice.
Alpha hydroxy acids , beta hydroxy acids , retinols, and vitamin C are some of the most common active ingredients recommended by dermatologists, Dr. Y. Claire Chang of Union Square Laser Dermatology told HuffPost.
Of the three doctors we spoke to, all of them recommended the use of sunscreen, vitamin C and retinol for a basic skin care routine.
Here are the dos and donts of how to incorporate them into your daily regimen:
Alternate Vitamin C & Retinol Each Night
You dont always have to apply vitamin C in the morning since studies indicate that damage from UV exposure occurs hours after the initial exposure. The findings in the study suggest that using a nightly antioxidant prevents this damage. So, alternate vitamin C and retinol each night to reap the benefits without the concern of interactions.
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Introduce The Products Slowly
Vitamin C and retinol are powerful ingredients that can cause skin sensitivity, depending on your skin type and tolerance if your skin is not accustomed to the ingredients. Start introducing your skin to these ingredients slowly.
Your skin may be able to tolerate these ingredients every day, or only two to three times per week. It depends. Allow your skin to become accustomed to the ingredients before going in with an intense regimen.
Moving too quickly may cause irritation, dryness, and flaking skin. So, apply once per week, then gradually increase as needed.
The Benefits Of Retinol And Vitamin C
Retinol and Vitamin C were basically made to anti-age. Retinol stimulates collagen production, the protein responsible for giving our skin its firmness and suppleness, while Vitamin C essentially provides the glue that holds cells together when collagen is produced. As a combination, Retinol and Vitamin C support collagen production to give us youthful skin with minimal fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and blemishes.
Consistent and proper use of Retinol and vitamin C can benefit your skin by:
Treating acne and acne scars
Providing anti-aging effects by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
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They May Not Dissolve Or Penetrate
The next thing to think about is whether the ingredients are oil-soluble or water-soluble.
- Retinol is oil-soluble, so it will only dissolve in oil.
- L-ascorbic acid is water-soluble, so it will only dissolve in water.
Oil and water don’t mix. So if you’re adding a water-soluble vitamin C into an oil-soluble retinol, it will not dissolve. That means it won’t penetrate your skin, and you won’t get any of the vitamin C’s benefits.
Another thing to keep in mind is that oils can create a barrier on the skin that blocks the absorption of water-based productsanother reason not to mix oil-based and water-based solutions.
So Can You Use Retinol With Vitamin C Bha Aha & Niacinamide
Yes. There is no research anywhere that supports the claim that retinol is deactivated when combined with acidic ingredients. But there is plenty of research that demonstrates the opposite. In fact, cosmetic scientists who specialise in developing retinol formulas are quick to disprove this, and we’ve asked arounda lot!
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Can You Use Retinol With Vitamin C Bha Aha & Niacinamide
Retinol is one of those skincare ingredients that causes a lot of confusion and misinformation. We’re often asked if AHA and BHA exfoliants reduce the effectiveness of retinol. Or if it shouldn’t be paired with vitamin C? Or what about the combination of retinol and niacinamide?
As always, we turn to the research to bring you the facts.
Over The Counter Retinoids:
There plenty of great many retinoid products that are over the counter i.e. you can buy them without a prescription wherever you prefer to buy your skincare products.
Retinol is the most popular and effective of the over-the-counter retinoid options.
OTC retinoids are typically found in lower Concentrations starting at .01%
- Best OTC Retinoids:
Unlike OTC products, prescription retinoids are ordered through a dermatologist, since theyre typically more potent.
Prescription retinoids have a higher concentration of at least .5% 1%.
- Best Prescription Retinoids:
These prescription retinoids are used for anti-aging properties, but more potent forms can be used to treat acne. It is also sometimes prescribed for psoriasis.
If youre looking for a prescription retinoid, speak to your dermatologist who can advise on the best retinoid for you.
Sarah Barthet is a travel, luxury and lifestyle blogger who gave up the world of high finance to follow her passions. She hopes to share her love of luxury travel, fashion, beauty and the odd piece of career advice to fellow successful women who like to enjoy the finer things in life, over on her blog Dukes Avenue.
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What Are The Skin Benefits Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C performs many functions, but it is best known to neutralize free radicals and environmental stressors that can damage your skin.
Environmental stressors trigger free radicals such as pollution, smoke, stress, and UV rays that break down the skins collagen levels and cause premature aging .
Vitamin C is one of the only antioxidants proven to drive collagen production in the skin, thus making skin appear firmer and brighter.
Vitamin C is also a powerful ingredient that brightens the complexion, reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation. With continued use, vitamin C can lessen the appearance of these spots, possibly fading them altogether.
Retinol And Vitamin C: Can You Use Them Together
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Retinol and Vitamin C are two most popular topical anti-aging skin compounds on the market.
Both have proven benefits to collagen production, and each one offers additional benefits that can give your skin the advantages it needs to recover from damage and have a youthful, firm glow up.
Given that theyve both been proven safe and effective, a lot of women are probably wondering: can I use both?
The answer is complicated, as you might suspect, but there are ways in which you can effectively use both treatments without causing any harm to your face. You just have to understand how they work together.
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What’s The Best Way To Get Vitamin C And Retinols
Vitamin C is at its most potent when it’s stable packaging it in serum capsules protects it from exposure to light andair that would make it less effective. Retinols seem to be most effective when found in creams and serums just make surethe ingredient in the formula says retinol.
To give your routine an anti-aging one-two punch, try first applying a vitamin C serum in the morning. In your nighttimeroutine, use a layer of a hydrating, retinol-based cream or a lightweight retinol oil. One study found that subjects usingstabilized vitamin C in a moisturizer and a retinol as part of their face regimen saw improvements in the look of discolorationsin as little as four weeks.
Unfortunately, there’s no real-life fountain of youth but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your skin feeling fresh andnew.