Expert Explanation on Layering Retinol and Vitamin C in Skincare Routine




Laila Afifa

29 January 2023 00:37 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The techniques of layering are currently trending among skincare users. The trend was adopted due to the belief the technique could make the skin healthier and brighter. However, not all ingredients can be applied simultaneously. One of which is the use of Retinol along with Vitamin C. Why is that?

Retinol and Vitamin C are ingredients that are often found in skincare products. Both are useful in reducing wrinkles and black spots on the face and even smoothening the skin texture. Both are often used together in hope that the combination could nourish facial skin with maximum benefits. 

However, Retinol and Vitamin C are ingredients in skincare that should not be used together. Applying both at the same time could increase the risk of skin irritation, rendering the benefits of the skincare content useless. This was also conveyed by a dermatologist, Andrea Suarez.

In her explanation, Andrea Suarez advised not to use retinol and vitamin C at the same time. "The two ingredients and their respective formulations can sometimes be very irritating if used together," she said, as quoted from on July 31, 2022.

Retinol and vitamin C function in different pH environments. Retinol works at a high pH level (alkaline), while vitamin C is formulated in a lower pH environment (acidic). Thus, when combined, retinol and vitamin C cannot work optimally.

If still attempting to continue using skincare that contains retinol and vitamin C, it is better to only apply both ingredients alternately at different times. Citing from, use skincare with Vitamin C in the morning to protect the skin from exposure to pollution and ultraviolet (UV). After that, proceed with applying a proper skin-care routine. At nighttime, apply skincare that contains Retinol and be sure to use moisturizer after or it may cause dry skin.

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