How to Safely Combine Retinol and Vitamin C from The Ordinary Skincare

Retinol and vitamin C are two of the most-talked about skincare ingredients in the beauty industry. Each ingredient provides unique benefits to the skin, making them a popular choice for those looking to revamp their skincare routine. However, many people wonder – can I use retinol and vitamin C together? And if so, how should I incorporate them into my routine? In this article, we will explore the benefits of each ingredient and the best ways to use them together.

The Benefits of Retinol

Retinol is a form of vitamin A that helps to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. It works by boosting collagen production and speeding up cell turnover, which helps to reduce the signs of aging. It can also help to unclog pores, which makes it a popular choice for those struggling with acne.

The Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to brighten the skin and protect against environmental stressors such as pollution and UV rays. It also helps to stimulate collagen production, which can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, vitamin C can help to fade dark spots and even out skin tone, making it a popular choice for those dealing with hyperpigmentation.

Can You Use Retinol and Vitamin C Together?

The short answer is yes, you can use retinol and vitamin C together. In fact, using them together can actually enhance their benefits. However, it’s important to use them correctly in order to avoid any potential irritation or sensitivity.

How to Use Retinol and Vitamin C Together

If you’re new to using retinol or vitamin C, it’s best to start by using them separately before incorporating them into your routine together. This will allow your skin to adjust to each ingredient and minimize the risk of irritation.

Here’s how to incorporate retinol and vitamin C into your routine:

  • Step 1: Cleanse your skin
  • Step 2: Apply vitamin C serum
  • Step 3: Wait 15-20 minutes for the vitamin C serum to fully absorb
  • Step 4: Apply retinol
  • Step 5: Moisturize
  • Step 6: Apply sunscreen (AM only)

It’s important to note that both retinol and vitamin C can increase skin sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, it’s crucial to wear sunscreen during the daytime to protect your skin.

Choosing the Right Products

The Ordinary is a popular brand that offers affordable yet effective skincare products. If you’re looking to incorporate retinol and vitamin C into your routine, The Ordinary has a range of options to choose from.

  • The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane: This highly concentrated formula is ideal for those with more advanced signs of aging or acne-prone skin.
  • The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion: This gentle formula is ideal for those who are new to using retinol or have sensitive skin.
  • The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%: This vitamin C serum is formulated with alpha arbutin to help fade dark spots and even out skin tone.
  • The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%: This lightweight serum is a great option for those with dry or sensitive skin, as it’s less likely to cause irritation.

Remember to start slow when incorporating new ingredients into your skincare routine. If you’re unsure about which products to choose, consider consulting with a dermatologist to help determine the best options for your skin.


Retinol and vitamin C are two powerful skincare ingredients that can provide many benefits when used together. By following the correct application method and choosing the right products for your skin type, you can enjoy the benefits of both ingredients without irritation or sensitivity. Remember to start with a low concentration of each ingredient and build up slowly as your skin adjusts.

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