Can I Use Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C Together?

Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C Together

With several articles about skincare products and routines, it may take a lot of work to know where to begin. It is even harder to determine which ingredient works for your skin type. In this article, we will learn how to use glycolic acid and vitamin C together.

Glowing skin is an emblem of summer. But time spent outdoors can bring on dark spots and dullness. If you want to boost your skincare routine, explore various active ingredients and specialty products. Two of the best ingredients for taking on summer’s after-effects are glycolic acid (AHAs) and vitamin C.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid (1) is a variety of alpha hydroxy acid or AHA. It is naturally derived from certain fruits, such as beetroot and sugarcane and works by breaking down the bond that holds impurities together. This process allows the skin to exfoliate dirt and dead skin cells, which helps to enhance the smoothness and brightness of the skin.

Glycolic acid is the standout AHA in the bunch. That is because it has the smallest molecule among AHAs, which means it easily absorbs into your skin. It is a pivotal ingredient in the best skincare products and has a unique benefit, all of which go back to cell turnover. 

Glycolic acid can help shed dead skin cells and encourage the growth of new ones instead of allowing older skin cells to occupy them. This makes your skin feel rejuvenated and fresh.

Glycolic acid stimulates the skin to produce other essential substance that can help it nourish- collagen is one such substance. 

Collagen (2) is a protein that make your skin plump and more elastic feel. The production of collagen decreases with age or sun damage. That is when glycolic acid prevents the breakdown of collagen that you already have and encourage to make more.

Other Benefits of Glycolic Acid

  • Increased hydration
  • Improved texture
  • Reduced breakouts
  • Smoothen complexion

Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Vitamin C (3) is also well-known as ascorbic acid. Our bodies must grow, repair, and develop issues and cells of all types. It is a powerful antioxidant that is important in maintaining healthy-looking skin. 

Vitamin C is extracted from natural sources, such as Kakadu plum, oranges and other citrus fruits. It works by enhancing natural barrier of the skin and protecting skin from daily environmental stressor.

Vitamin C is often considered the holy grail due to its adaptability. It helps to brighten and smoothen the look of skin tones.

Benefits of Vitamin C

  • Protection against sun damage
  • Boosting collagen production
  • Reducing wrinkles
  • Increased hydration
  • Reduce dark circles

Can Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C Be Used Together?

Both glycolic acid and vitamin C are emerging as popular ingredients in the world of skincare. They both work together to boost the collagen production. Collagen production is crucial to fight the signs of aging during our older age. 

Glycolic acid helps shed off dead skin cells, making the skin feel dull and dry. That is when vitamin C encourages the regrowth of cells in its place. 

Together, they promote hydration deep in the skin. Hydration also helps to flush away toxins and ensure that other nutrients are making up to your skin. Glycolic acid and vitamin C work mutually to give you a wide range of benefits for your skin, especially if it is aging.

Together, their properties could help improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines for firm and bouncier look. It brightens the skin for a more even-toned glow. Incorporating these two ingredients can be an effective way to nourish and revitalize the skin.

How to Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C Together?

In skincare products, such as serums, vitamin C is on the acidic side of the pH level at around 3. However, it is highly effective in bringing results. Glycolic acid and other chemical exfoliants have a much lower acidic pH level. 

If you use both glycolic acid and vitamin C together in either one product or layered on top of each other it may result in skin irritation with flare-ups of redness and rashes. This can be frustrating as individually both of these ingredients work amazingly.

Therefore, rather than using together, incorporate them into your routine in separate sessions. Also, use in lower concentrations or in milder forms to work with the skin instead of against it.

Apply the glycolic acid in the evening, as AHA deeply exfoliate the skin. It will allow some time for the skin to rest and reduce exposure time to the sun. The next morning, you can apply vitamin C product in your AM routine. 

Do not forget to layer your skin with sunscreen (4). If possible, try to limit your exposure to the sun 1-2 days after an AHA session.


Vitamin C and Glycolic acid are two of the most talked about skincare ingredient. Together they can have a massive positive effect on your skin, if used in correct way.

Apply your glycolic acid product first to clean the skin, followed by vitamin C product. This way it will ensure that the products can be as effective as possible. Their combined benefits can overhaul your skin leaving it dewy and radiant.

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