It'll also absorb into your skin most effectively after you've cleansed and exfoliated, so it makes sense to apply it during your nighttime routine. When you use your vitamin C serum during the night, you'll also avoid the risk of photosensitivity, which can occur in some cases with daytime use.
If you're wondering when to apply a vitamin C serum, the answer is both morning and night, after cleansing and toning. One study even recommends applying a vitamin C serum every eight hours, or twice daily for the pinnacle of protection.
Most of the skincare experts we spoke with recommend adding a Vitamin C serum to your skincare routine slowly before building up a daily or twice-daily tolerance. “I recommend every other day to daily use in the morning, typically three to five drops for the entire face,” Palm says.
"Because vitamin C serum helps protect your skin from free radicals, most dermatologists have recommended applying it in the morning to prevent damage during the day," says Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
According to studies, the benefits of Vitamin C serums tend to continue increasing along with increased strengths, but only up to about 20% concentrations. After 20% Vitamin C content, you may run into more irritation from the high concentrations without seeing much benefit in return.
Some of the most common side effects include: itching. redness. skin irritation.
Four of our dermatologists recommend SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, which they (and our editors) hail as the gold-standard vitamin-C serum and is suitable for all skin types. “I think it's the best out there,” declares Howe.
Yes! Hyaluronic Acid can be combined with Vitamin C products or applied separately as the second layer of defense.
If you are applying a Vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid separately, it's suggested that you apply the Vitamin C first, and then add the hyaluronic acid afterward in order to help fortify the skin barrier and lock in the moisture.
"You can absolutely use them in the same regimen, just not at the same time," he says. "Use vitamin C in the morning every day, and exfoliating acids in the evening on an alternate basis." London-based cosmetic doctor Dr.
Though it's perfectly fine to use vitamin C and retinol or retinoids in your skincare routine, each is better suited to a different time of day. Vitamin C is best used in the morning, while retinoids are better for your nighttime skincare routine.
Vitamin C serum (leave to absorb for 1-2 minutes)
Dr Khan explains: “With vitamin C, you want to get the most out of the product by not diluting it. A couple of minutes should be an adequate time for the product to dry down before you go in with your next step.”
On top of that, vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it protects skin cells from damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure. It also inhibits melanin production in the skin, which helps to lighten hyperpigmentation and brown spots, even out skin tone, and enhance skin radiance.
Research shows that vitamin C serum is generally safe , though there is a risk of reactions to concentrated ingredients. Vitamin C can cause skin discoloration in people with sensitive skin or allergies.
A Vitamin C serum should be used in your bedtime routine and a couple of drops of it should suffice. Tap it on your skin using your fingertips and leave it on overnight. Wash your face in the morning and apply SPF to avoid any skin irritation.
Vitamin C serum is typically applied once or twice per day. A good rule of thumb is to cleanse, tone, apply vitamin C serum, and then moisturize. It can be safely used with other active ingredients, although using alongside niacinamide may make vitamin C less effective.
We all have different skin needs and routines, but as a general rule, we recommend incorporating vitamin C into your skincare regime every—or every other—morning. We specify morning, because the antioxidant helps to protect from things like pollution and UV light, which you're typically exposed to throughout the day.
Limit to Two Serums Per Routine
We recommend you use no more than two serums per routine. Again, alternating skin care items is a strategy here. If you have many serums that you like, use one to two in your morning routine and two different serums in the evening.
Most face serums are safe to be applied twice daily – once in the morning on a cleansed face, before the rest of your makeup, and once at night before bed.
Does Vitamin C really darken my skin? No, it does not. It may stain your skin but it cannot darken your skin. It is important to know the difference between staining and darkening the skin.
7 vitamin C serums to consider
Keep in mind that a higher percentage of L-ascorbic acid doesn't always mean a better product. Sometimes it can be too strong for your skin, causing it to react via purging, breakouts, or itchiness.
Notice if the product has changed color.
“Your vitamin C serum should be colorless or a light straw color,” Dr. Hogan says. “If it is oxidized, it becomes yellow or brown and is likely going to be less effective.”