Benefits of Vitamin C and Retinol

Yes! You Can Pair Vitamin C & Retinol Together

Two of the most talked about skincare ingredients and cornerstones of a good skincare routine are Vitamin C and Retinol or Vitamin A. But finding the right balance is key to avoiding potential irritation from pairing these powerful actives. But before we begin, let's do a quick refresh of why these are such worthwhile additions 

What are the benefits of Vitamin C?

  • Helps brighten and add glow to the skin
  • Promotes collagen production
  • Assists in protection against environmental stressors
  • Helps decrease the appearance of pigmentation, discolouration and uneven skin tone

What are the Benefits of Retinol?

  • Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Helps prevent breakouts
  • Plumps skin
  • Assist in collagen production
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Leaves skin bright and glowy
  • Boosts the effects of hydroxy acid peels 

So whether you want to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots and pigmentation, or get rid of acne scarring, using vitamin C and retinol can be hugely beneficial, but how to find the right balance to harness their power without damaging your skin barrier? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.



Here are some guidelines for how to use Vitamin C and Retinol together:

Start Slowly

If you're new to using either retinol or vitamin C, it's a good idea to introduce one product into your routine at a time. This will help your skin adjust and minimise the risk of irritation.

Alternate Days

To avoid potential irritation, you can use retinol and vitamin C on alternate days. For example, you could use retinol on one evening and vitamin C on the following morning.

Apply at Different Times

If you prefer to use both retinol and vitamin C on the same day, apply them at different times. You can use vitamin C in the morning and retinol in the evening, or vice versa.

Use a Lower Concentration

When using both retinol and vitamin C, consider using products with lower concentrations of each ingredient. This can help reduce the likelihood of irritation and sensitivity. The Vitamin C Ultra Serum is a super gentle, easily tolerated Vit C product and a good lower concentration option. Likewise, the Pure Retinol in Luxurious Plant Oils also has low-strength options with a choice of 0.2% and 0.5% or the higher strength options of 0.75% and 1%.

Support & Monitor your Skin Barrier 

Ensure your skin is adequately hydrated and the skin barrier stays strong with the right complimentary skincare. The Deep Hydration Moisture Cream is our favourite skin barrier cream to pair with any actives but there are many more options for you to choose from. Pay close attention to how your skin reacts when using both retinol and vitamin C together. If you notice any signs of redness, irritation, or excessive dryness, consider adjusting your routine or using the products less frequently.

Shop all skin barrier supporting products.

Use Sunscreen

Both retinol and vitamin C can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. It's crucial to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every morning to protect your skin from UV damage.

Shop Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

Patch Test

Before incorporating both retinol and vitamin C into your routine, it's a good idea to do a patch test on a small area of your skin. This will help you gauge how your skin reacts to the combination.

Our Favourite Vitamin C and Retinol Products to Try


Essentials Vitamin C Ultra Serum

A silky-soft serum for all skin types that glides onto the skin. Containing a trio of easily tolerated Vitamin C derivatives, as well as peptides to even out skin tone and Grapeseed and Centella extracts for a healthy, vibrant glow.

Shop the Essentials Vitamin C Ultra Serum

Vitamin C Potent Antioxidant Oil

A light-yet-luxe face oil that is formulated to give you glowy, radiant and antioxidant protection. A base of non-comedogenic plant-derived oils such as Squalane, Rose Hip & Chia Seed enhance the skin’s luminosity.



Shop the Vitamin C Potent Antioxidant Oil


Essentials Pure Retinol in Luxurious Plant Oils


The Pure Retinol in Luxurious Plant Oils is a great option as the botanical oils ensure skin is deeply nourished, lessening the chance of irritation, redness or peeling. Choose from the least potent edition which is 0.2% and work your way up through 0.5%, 0.75% to the 1%. Or simply start where you feel your skin is ready.

Retinol is a clinically proven, powerful anti-ageing ingredient. La Clinica’s Pure Retinol in Luxurious Plant Oils in a range of strengths to suit your skin’s tolerance. Brighten and even out skin tone, regulate oil production and reduce blemishes.



Shop the Pure Retinol in Luxurious Plant Oils

Why Do Some People Recommend Not Using Vitamin C & Retinol Together?

The only reason some people advise not to is that they are both active ingredients and some people cannot tolerate the strength of these active ingredients together. 

So the answer to your question depends on your skin. If you have sensitive skin or have had a reaction to either vitamin c or retinol in the past, do not layer these products. If in doubt, use each individually on alternate nights. But if your skin is resilient and can tolerate active ingredients, then it is totally fine to pair these products on the same day.

Remember that every individual's skin is different, so what works for one person might not work for another. It's important to listen to your skin and adjust your skincare routine accordingly to achieve the best results while minimising any potential adverse effects.

Keep Reading: Which Retinol Percentage is Right For Me?

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