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Skin care combinations are a confusing topic for many because so much conflicting information is out there. It seems that everyone has a different opinion on what ingredients work well together and what ingredients should never be combined, so how do you know where to start when analyzing product formulations? Vitamin C is an incredibly potent antioxidant that fights multiple signs of aging and it is an excellent addition to your skin care routine. When it comes to adding ingredients on top of vitamin C, we’ve got two of the most effective combinations and one that should definitely be avoided listed below.
Do Vitamin C + Retinol
There are plenty of sources that tell you to absolutely stay away from combining vitamins C and A (retinol), but scientific evidence actually indicates that these ingredients work amazingly together. The reason that many people advise against using these two ingredients together is that these two ingredients can be quite difficult to blend into a formulation without losing potency. “Formulating products with finicky vitamin C that is actually active when it reaches the skin is especially challenging since it needs an acidic pH base and to be kept away from UV light,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D. and Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Dermatology Research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. However, when a product is formulated well, retinol and vitamin C are two of the best ingredients you can put on your skin to fight aging.
Do Vitamin C + SPF
The number one cause of premature aging is sun damage and you know by now that you have to wear an SPF every single day in order to properly protect yourself from harmful UVA/UVB rays. What you might not know is that combining vitamin C with your sunscreen can actually increase the effectiveness of your SPF. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts your skin’s natural defenses when it comes to the sun, and adding a sunscreen to the mix further enhances your skin’s ability to resist sun damage.
Don’t Vitamin C + Glycolic or Salicylic Acids
Alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids are incredibly effective exfoliants for your skin and are certainly beneficial ingredients to have in your skincare routine. These exfoliating ingredients work by dissolving the binds that keep dead skin cells together, penetrating into the pores to remove debris and sloughing away dead skin cells so other ingredients can penetrate the skin more deeply. With all of this, it sounds like glycolic or salicylic acids would be great with vitamin C, because they pave the way for vitamin C to get more deeply into the skin, but that isn’t the case. Alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids alter the pH of any formulas they are mixed with, and vitamin C breaks down very easily. Essentially, these acids melt vitamin C before it has a chance to do any good to your skin, so avoid using these ingredients together.
Vitamin C boosts your ability to fight sun damage, helps lighten discoloration or dark spots on the face and fights future damage by eradicating free radicals. When used in combination with the proper ingredients, you will see all of these benefits and more.