Vitamin C serum benefits
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.
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.
We recommend that beauty lovers use our Vitamin C Serum after cleansing, exfoliating, masking, and/or toning — but always before moisturizing. All you have to do is apply a couple pumps of serum to clean fingers, and gently press the product evenly over damp skin.
In terms of when you should use it in your routine, Corinthian suggests a three-step system of cleansing, treating, and moisturizing. That second step would be vitamin C application, followed by moisturizer, unless you have oilier skin and prefer to use a serum on its own.
Many people wonder when the best time is to use their Vitamin C products. While some associate Vitamin C with daytime, others believe nights and evenings are best to use their Vitamin C-infused products. The truth is, Vitamin C can work effectively in the days or evenings.
Bottom Line: With few exceptions, you can feel free to mix your serum and moisturizer (and most other skin care products) together and apply without concern. The exception is your daytime moisturizer with SPF, as mixing other skin care products with your sunscreen will dilute your UV protection.
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.
A thick moisturizer with hyaluronic acid would be applied after a vitamin C serum, but a hyaluronic acid serum will come before a face cream with vitamin C in its formula. In the case that you have two separate serums, it still comes down to thickness. Apply whichever is thinner first.
AHAs and BHAs, such as glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids should never be used with Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an acid, too, and is unstable, so the pH balance will be thrown off by layering these ingredients together and might as well be useless.
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.
After cleansing your skin, gently press your vitamin C serum into your skin. A dime-size amount is plenty—more isn't always better. Once your vitamin C serum has dried down, apply moisturizer. This order is crucial because applying moisturizer before your serum could block your skin from absorbing all of its goodness.
Since serums contain the active ingredients that you want to penetrate as deeply as possible into your skin, you should always apply a serum directly to your skin after cleansing or toning and before your moisturizer and sunscreen. Don't put your serum on after you moisturize.
How Long Does Vitamin C Serum Take to Work? You will likely notice skin improvement 4-12 weeks after starting routine use of vitamin C serum.
The brightening properties of vitamin C also extend to fading dark spots and lightening hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C inhibits the pathway of abnormal production of skin pigments (melanin) to even out the skin tone and lightens dark spots, sun spots, acne scars, blemishes, and hyperpigmentation due to melasma.
Well, the quick answer is yes, you can mix serums with moisturisers. For this, you should follow the same guidelines as when you mix two serums together. Mix a couple of drops of serum in the palm of your hand with the moisturiser of your choice. Then just apply it to your face.
Why they go together
Combining the two makes for a great all-in-one skin care step. “Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C are commonly used together because they complement each other to hydrate, protect, and repair aging skin,” says Zeichner.
Serums go first
As a rule, serums should be the first products that touch your skin after cleansing and exfoliating in order to get the best results. Never apply them after your moisturizer as thicker creams and oils create a protective layer over your skin and hinder absorption.
Use your vitamin C serum first, and let it dry.
Then "Let vitamin C completely dry prior to placing niacinamide," says Lamm. That way, the ascorbic acid has a chance to settle into the skin, and there's a smaller chance of combining the two actives.
Vitamin C (especially L-ascorbic acid) is notoriously unstable—it loses potency when it's exposed to air, light, and water—which is why you want to apply it on clean, dry skin right after washing. You'll also want to let it dry completely, as piling on products right after could potentially deactivate the vitamin C.
To allow serums to fully absorb, apply and wait 5 minutes before moisturizing. Take note: Well-formulated serums absorb quickly and disappear into your skin. If they leave an oily or sticky residue, they're not doing their job well.
Ultimately, face serum and moisturizer are both necessary for a holistic skin care routine and to ensure that your skin doesn't dry out during the day. Face serum can't replace moisturizer, and moisturizer doesn't give your skin the extra vitamins and nutrients it needs to succeed and look great for years to come.
If all your products (serum, moisturiser, sunscreen etc) already have their fair share of antioxidants, you don't need an extra toner too. Dry skin: If your skin feels tight and dry during the day, you skin needs more moisture. You can either opt for a hydrating toner or a richer moisturiser. It's up to you.