What can you not mix with vitamin c serum?

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what you shouldn't mix with vitamin c serum

It is important to know what you cannot mix with vitamin c serum to avoid issues and complications when using it on your skin.

The ingredients that should not be layered are those that are difficult to keep stable in a formula. 

The combination can increase the risk of irritation or cancel each other out when combined. Some of these highly reactive products may be good on their own. Still, they may not fit into the routine you have.

With a little know-how, you can streamline your routine to make sure all the components work for you and get you closer to your good-skin goals. 

5 skin care products you shouldn’t mix with vitamin c serum?

This is where extra caution is needed when choosing to combine two products and know the skincare products that can not be used in conjunction with vitamin c serum, such as Retinol, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide AHA/BHA acid, and Niacinamide.

1. Retinoid or Retinol and Vitamin C serum

La Roche-Posay Anti-Aging Serum Reviews

Do not mix Retinol and Vitamin C serum as the outcome may not be pleasant to your skin. 

The reality is, no matter how great a product is when used by itself, that doesn’t necessarily mean it would go well with other products. 

It could be detrimental when incorporated into the wrong beauty routine. That’s often the case with Retinol and vitamin C serum, two ingredients that essentially tackle the same skin challenge( dark spots and wrinkles) but don’t always do so when used together.

Since retinol and vitamin c serum has a gap in their PH level, using them at the same time will lower the Retinol’s pH and raise the vitamin C’s pH.  

Therefore, Retinol will become less active, and the vitamin C serum will have a reduced ability to get into your skin.

In addition, if used on top of one another or mixed, the products’ effectiveness can also become compromised and ineffective.

2. Salicylic acid and vitamin c serum

You should avoid mixing products containing Salicylic acid and Vitamin C.

These exfoliating ingredients can dry out the skin and cause further irritation. If your skincare routine already includes vitamin c serum, you should omit salicylic acid.  

PH level is fundamental when it comes to vitamin C serum performance and its effectiveness.


Products with vitamin C are formulated to be accurate in their performance, which ensures they are effective.  

However, using them with acidic ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid can alter its pH, reducing the effectiveness of your vitamin C serum. 

So technically, you can use both elements separately for skin treatment, but combining both ingredients is dangerous to the skin as they result in redness and getting the skin burnt due to the high active in nature.

3. Benzoyl peroxide and vitamin c serum

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The combination of vitamin C and benzoyl peroxide products can counteract each other’s effects. 

Benzoyl peroxide is harsh and effective when used alone for acne treatment that reduces excess sebum that could cause the skin to develop acne bacteria. 

Chemical exfoliants also help reduce acne and clear dead skin cells, but the combination of ingredients may lead to a red and flaky mess on the skin.

4. AHA/BHA and Vitamin c serum

Guide To Skin Brightening Ingredients: AHA, BHA, PHA, Retinol, Vitamin C

The alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) are two naturally-derived chemical exfoliators called hydroxyl acids.

They are also known as fruit acids because the AHAs and BHAs are derived from natural sources such as fruits, milk, sugarcane, etc.

This highly effective acid should not be mixed with vitamin C serum. However, AHA/BHA acids such as glycolic or lactic acids. 

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is also unstable, so any acids you layer it with will destabilize the PH level balance and render it completely useless. 

Therefore, Vitamin c serum should not be pair with acids like Alpha hydroxyl acid(AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) may cause excessive skin sensitivity, irritation, and redness.

5.  Niacinamide and vitamin c serum

Though vitamin C serum and Niacinamide are both antioxidants, vitamin C is one ingredient that’s not compatible with Niacinamide. 

Both elements are prevalent antioxidants used in a variety of skincare products. However, the combination of these ingredients would give unpleasant results.


In conclusion,

In this article, I believe we have learned how to avoid combining up the wrong ingredient with Vitamin C serum to prevent overactive irritation when using it.

Increased in irritation is a sign that the skin barrier is disrupted, which only boosts the likelihood of suffering side effects from active components.


Though it is said that if you do this and your skin does not get red and stingy after using two AHA-containing products — and you’re getting the results you’re looking for, then you have her blessing to continue. For most people, though, this is going to be too harsh.


 If you’re experiencing side effects (redness, burning, flaking) or not getting the results you want, there may be something wrong with how you’re layering your topicals. Pairing the right ingredients with vitamin C serum makes your skin feel great.

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