Too much of a good thing? Should you be mixing Retinal and Vitamin C?

When it comes to anti aging skin care ingredients, two of the heroes are Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) and Vitamin A. If you can tolerate them, you want to use them both every day but can you just shove them on together and save time?


The short answer is “better not to.”

It’s not that we know they interact with each other to make them ineffective. It’s rather that they don’t naturally work together. Let me explain;


Vitamin C should be used in the mornings. 

Because of its amazing role as an antioxidant helping prevent and treat the damage from the sun’s rays. Vitamin C is not a sunscreen per se but exerts its effects by neutralizing the damaging oxygen free radicals generated by the UV radiation. (1) 

Studies suggest that used in the morning under your day cream with broad spectrum UV protection, Vitamin C makes sunscreens more effective. (2) 

You could use Vitamin C at night but we have no evidence that there is any benefit using it twice a day and if you’re only using it once a day, you get maximum benefit using it before sun exposure. 


Vitamin A, on the other hand, should only ever be used at night. 

This is for two reasons. Firstly because they increase the chance of sunburn. (3) And also because Vitamin A products are degraded with sun exposure. That would mean using it at night ONLY.

So there you have it. Use your Vitamin C products in the morning and your Vitamin A products at night. And not together. 


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