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Can You Use Bha With Vitamin C

Vitamin C + Niacinamide

Mix Rules: Vitamin C, AHA/BHA/Retinol | Find the Best Ingredients Layering for your Skincare Routine

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is an essential nutrient that helps build proteins in the skin, treats uneven skin tone, reduces the size of enlarged pores, prevents fine lines and wrinkles, and adds a healthy glow. However, when you combine niacinamide with Vitamin C, theyll cancel each other out chemically, making both formulas ineffective on your skin. Niacinamide takes out all the good properties of Vitamin C and makes it into a substance that can cause redness and trigger breakouts.

Written by Fatema Habibon Jan 13, 2020

Heres How To Combine Salicylic Acid + Vitamin C

Although salicylic acid and vitamin C can provide your skin with amazing benefits, they need to be used the right way for you to be able to experience them. There are a few different ways that you can do this.


One of the easiest ways to begin to incorporate salicylic acid and vitamin C into your skin care routine is by applying them at different times of the day. This is the recommended application method for anyone starting out with either ingredient and especially those with more sensitive skin.

Vitamin C tends to be at its most beneficial when applied in the morning so that it can also provide its sun-protective benefits. Our Glow Factor 10% vitamin C serum is a useful product here, as it can help guard against all kinds of environmental stressors.

Its generally recommended to wait until your vitamin C serum absorbs before using other products like sunscreens or moisturizers.

Then, in the evening, you can use your salicylic acid product. Serums and toners can work, or you can use a cleanser that contains the ingredient.

Our Papaya Enzyme Cleanser contains not only salicylic acid but also papaya enzymes for even more exfoliation and skin brightening potential. Its also pH balanced for use by all skin types. Our Clarifying Pads are another great option, too they contain salicylic, glycolic and lactic acids to keep breakouts at bay.


Can I Use An Aha/bha With Vitamin C

As Vitamin C often has an exfoliating effect on the skin, we dont generally recommend mixing the two. Aside from the potential irritation, these ingredients can inactivate your Vitamin C, rendering it useless.

If you want to combine the two and your skin is not affected by mixing acids, the correct order is Vitamin C, BHA and then AHA.

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Can You Use Retinol During The Daytime

Retinol does not cause the same sensitivity to daylight as more potent, prescription-only forms of Vitamin A. But we always recommend that you protect your skin with SPF 30, rain or shine. Research has shown that retinol and vitamin C work well under SPF-rated sunscreens to protect the skin from UV light. And that vitamins A, C and E, even in combination, also remain stable and effective under an SPF-rated product.

Research also has shown that a vitamin A and E combination remains stable when exposed to UV rays and paired with sunscreen, as does pure vitamin A when used alone. That’s excellent proof of retinol’s stability when teamed with a sunscreen.

Antioxidants plus sunscreen are a formidable defence against wrinkles, uneven skin tone, loss of firmness, and brown spots. For best results, be sure to apply antioxidant-rich skincare products morning and evening.

Can You Use Glycolic Acid And Vitamin C Together

Nigel Beauty

Yes, you can use glycolic acid and vitamin C together, but make sure you know what youre doing! If you have concerns with your skin looking dull and lack lustre, you notice signs of hyperpigmentation, and dark spots, or you have signs of ageing, then glycolic acid and vitamin C is one effective power duo.

You can achieve amazing skin results with these ingredients if you stagger their application as this will help the pH levels of the skin to rebalance and sidestep any flare-up in irritation. We go into more detail about how to use glycolic acid and vitamin C together on our dedicated blog post over on Beauty Insiders.

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Can You Use An Aha Or A Bha Together

It is indeed safe to use AHAs and BHAs together. They target different actions so they have different benefits. In essence, BHAs disrupt the connections between dead cells whilst AHAs cause dead cells to detach and slough away. In this way they can work really well together, synergistically.

It could be argued that if you use a really effective BHA, then an AHA is not necessary since BHAs are more potent and penetrate deeper. It is really important to note that when using topical acids on the skin, an SPF of at least 30 afterwards is essential, even in winter and in cold weather.

How To Use Ahas Bhas And Vitamin C Together

Are you in need of bright and revitalized skin? Then youre in the right place. AHAs, BHAs, and vitamin C together are great for healthy skin. We all know the benefits of vitamin C for the skin, including protecting your skin from environmental stressors and brightening your appearance. But most people arent aware of the benefits of AHAs and BHAs as they dont use them in their skin care routine. We will get into how each of these products works independently and when combined.

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Can I Use Bhas And Ahas Together

Short answer yes, but not for everyone.

Combining them can cause irritation, so if you are prone to dry skin, sensitivity or redness, stick to just one.

On the other hand, if you have oily skin, combining BHAs and AHAs may be safe and even beneficial.

The key to layering acids comes down to pH levels. You need to start with the product with a lower pH and finish with the one with a higher pH. If you use a product that raises your skins pH first, the product with the lower pH will have to work to bring that number down instead of work on improving your skin, so it wont be as effective.

Think of layering acids like double cleansing start with your oil-soluble BHA first, and then move onto your AHA.

BHAs are typically formulated to be a pH of 3.5 and AHAs have to be formulated at a pH of under 4. Youll want to use your BHA product first, not only because BHAs are lower in pH but also because they are oil soluble and AHAs are not.

A word of caution though if you notice any redness, sensitivity, or excessive dryness, thats a sign to slow down with your acids. Cut back to using them 2-3 times a week and alternate between your acids.

Vitamin C + Vitamin E

Skin care ingredients NOT TO MIX| Dr Dray

Vitamin E is no slouch as a skin care ingredient itself, but when paired with vitamin C, the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University states that the combination is more effective in preventing photodamage than either vitamin alone.

Both work by negating free radical damage, but each combats different types of UV damage .

By adding vitamin C and E serums into your routine, or using products that contain both, youre giving your skin double the antioxidant ammunition to fight damage from free radicals and more UV damage than vitamin C by itself.

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Can I Combine Retinoids With Benzoyl Peroxide

Yes and no.

Benzoyl peroxide works by oxidizing, retinoids have antioxidant activity, so they cancel each other out. The retinoid activity we look for though is not mainly the antioxidant effect, so that wouldnt be that much of an issue, but Benzoyl peroxide is very drying and irritating. Pair that with Retinoids, also drying and irritating, and you set yourself up for adverse reactions.

As for Differin, which is available over the counter in the US now and combines Adapalene and Benzoylperoxide in one formula: Adapalene is less reactive and less irritating than the original retinoids, but you still get more irritation from the combination than you would get from Adapalene alone.

So again, you CAN pair Benzoyl Peroxide with over the counter retinoids and Adapalene, but keep i mind that this increases your risk for irritation.

Can I Combine Retinoids With Vitamin C


BUT! Again, I really dont think you need to.

I use Vitamin C in the morning and Retinoids at night, that way they never interfere. Depending on the type of Vitamin C you use that might be different.

Ascorbic Acid has some irritating potential on its own, both because of its structure and because of its need for a low pH, so using it in the same routine as retinoids will again increase the risk of irritation and adverse reaction.

If you are not using Ascorbic Acid, but a derivate , you have a lesser risk of irritation and usually a neutral pH, so you can mix to your hearts desire, although I still would use my Vitamin C in the mornings.

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Vitamin C + Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is used as a treatment for mild to moderate acne. This ingredient not only reduces acne-causing bacteria but also prevents your skin from becoming dry and flaky. However, combining benzoyl peroxide with Vitamin C may not do any good for your skin. Treating your skin to benzoyl peroxide topically will, in fact, oxidize the Vitamin C, counteracting each others effects.

Which Acids Can You Use Together

COSRX Refresh ABC Daily Toner (AHA BHA Vitamin C) â Fickle Beauty

This really depends on your age and your skin type and any particular skin complaints you may have. I recommend giving advice on combining acids based on age.

AHAs and BHAs can certainly be combined. For example, for oily skin, a salicylic-based cleanser can be used followed by a glycolic acid toner. Generally, a glycolic acid is great for dry, dehydrated or combination skin, whereas salicylic acid would be perfect for oily/spot-prone/acne skin.

L-Ascorbic acid , should not be applied immediately after using topical AHAs or BHAs as this can cause skin irritation and redness. So if you are using a vitamin C product, perhaps apply later in the day or use these products on different days.

For those under the age of 20, it is not recommended to use topical acids without being under the supervision of a doctor and unless prescribed by your GP or dermatologist.

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Can You Use Retinol And Niacinamide Together

Retinol and niacinamide can definitely be used together to give impressive results. Many dermatologists recommend their combined use because niacinamide keeps skin calm, while retinol works its wrinkle-fighting magic. Research shows that these two ingredients work in different yet complementary ways to overturn signs of ageing while addressing other issues, like enlarged pores and uneven skin tone.

How To Apply Vitamin C

Always patch test before applying to your entire face! Apply small amount of vitamin C product to a small area on your forehead . If there is no irritation within 24 hours, apply thin layer of vitamin C product to your entire face.

Vitamin C works best when applied to your entire face because it fights free radicals and facilitates the production of collagen.

For maximum results, let your vitamin C product fully dry before the next step in your skin care routine. Applying moisturizer immediately after vitamin C can prevent your skin from completely absorbing the vitamin C up.

Pair with vitamin E to fight free radicals. Vitamin C and vitamin E can both fight free radical damage separately, but combining vitamin C and vitamin E actually increases the power/potency of both ingredients . Why? Vitamin C and vitamin E do more as a team because vitamin C “recharges” vitamin E. Basically, after vitamin E has donated its extra electron to a free radical, vitamin C says, “Hey boo, take my extra electron” to vitamin E then vitamin E is like, “Hell yeah, now I have another electron to give to another free radical.” Additionally, vitamin E can repair damage in the lipid cell membrane . Vitamin E is also better absorbed when combined with vitamin C. Vitamin C works best on the surface level, whereas vitamin E is oil-soluble meaning it can go one deeper.


Be Consistent

Close the Cap with Use

Look for Ascorbic Acid

15% to 20% is Best


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Next Vitamin C Basics

Vitamin C, on the other hand, is categorized as an antioxidant. That means that it works to neutralize a dangerous type of molecule known as a free radical. Free radicals are molecules that lack an electron in their outer shell, making them feel unbalanced.

In an attempt to balance themselves out, they bounce around the body trying to steal them from other molecules . That process then makes those molecules unstable, leading to many different issues including the signs of visible premature aging.

To stop that from happening, vitamin C is more than happy to lend some of its electrons to those free radicals. That keeps them from continuing to wreak havoc in the body, slowing down the oxidative stress that the process causes.

In addition, vitamin C is also an essential component of the synthesis of collagen. Its thought that the natural production of collagen in the skin slows down about one percent a year after we turn 30.

Counteracting that degradation is one of the main targets of anti-aging skin care products. The more collagen that we have in our skin, the more firm and youthful it appears.

Typical benefits of vitamin C include:

  • Helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Protecting the skin from sun damage
  • Boosting collagen production
  • Helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation
  • Plumps and firms the skin

Ingredients You Should Never Mix With Vitamin C

How to Use Vitamin C Serum in Your Skincare ? Brightening? Acne Scars? Hyperpigmentation?

If youre a skincare junkie , youre probably turning your bathroom into a laboratory by storing a collection of various skincare ingredients *phew*. While layering skincare products might be your favourite thing to do, its important to know what ingredients dont work well together.

One skincare ingredient that works like magic for everyone is Vitamin C. This potent antioxidant neutralizes free radicals, repairs damaged cells, aids in the skins regeneration process, brightens pigmented areas, stimulates collagen production and protects the skin against harmful pollutants. But, you need to pay extra attention when it comes to layering or combining Vitamin C with other skin-loving ingredients. Though individually they do wonders, combining them together can prove to be a recipe for skin disaster. Here are all the ingredients you should NOT mix with Vitamin C.

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The Two Types Of Exfoliators

Skincare exfoliators fall into two main categories manual and chemical.

While manual exfoliants used to be all the range , theyve taken a back seat in recent years thanks to the popularity of chemical exfoliants AHAs, BHAs and PHAs.

While manual exfoliants still have a valid place in your skincare routine, since they are fairly self-explanatory to use, today, were focusing on exfoliants of the chemical variety, which can be trickier to work into your routine because they are pH dependent.

Learning How To Safely And Effectively Combine Ingredients In Your Skin Care Routine Can Help You Identify The Right Combinations For Your Uniquely Beautiful Skin

The opposite is also true the knowledge of which elements dont go well together is also incredibly beneficial.

For those of you looking for a routine that helps your skin appear brighter and more evenly toned, two of the possible stars of the show are salicylic acid and vitamin C.

Well walk you through what each ingredient can do for your skin and how you can use them together for even more impressive results. From the pros at Skin Pharm, heres how you can incorporate them into your skin care routine.

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Ready To Give Them A Try

Generally, acids do best on bare, freshly cleansed skin. Theres a lot of different ideas about whether wait times are needed with acids, which well talk about in a separate post. Regardless of whether you use wait times between acid exfoliants and other products, think of applying acid exfoliants as a final cleansing step. Then move on to the rest of your routine!

If youre not using products with the concentration and pH needed to act as an exfoliant, dont worry about the product order and just use them as directed on the label. Remember, acids can have additional benefits outside the concentration and pH required for exfoliation, but if you want serious results, youll need to find a serious acid to deliver them.

Need a starter list? Heres a few top picks from the K-Beauty Squad:


Which Skin Types Are Best Suited To Ahas

COSRX Refresh ABC Daily Toner (AHA BHA Vitamin C) â Fickle Beauty

AHAs are effective for skin that is suffering with dryness, flakiness or dullness. Once dead cells are removed by AHAs, like glycolic acid, any moisturising products applied on top can penetrate the skin more easily so they can actually help enhance the effects of your other skincare products. They are also very helpful for targeting signs of ageing, such as fine lines and early wrinkles.

AHAs are well tolerated on most skin types but if you suffer with very sensitive skin you should seek the advice of your cosmetic doctor or dermatologist before using them. For more sensitive skin or for people new to AHAs, I suggest the use of lactic acid, which is a more gentle AHA that results in a milder exfoliation. Individuals with dark skin can occasionally react to AHAs with a paradoxical darkening of their skin so in these cases, AHAs should be used with caution and on medical advice.

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