Skip to content

How to Use Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C Together (CORRECTLY!)

by Yu-Jun Park 22 Apr 2024

Hold tight, skincare aficionados! 

Ready to take your skin game to a whole new level? 

We're diving into the nitty-gritty of how glycolic acid and vitamin C can become your new BFFs. 

Here's your ultimate all-you-need-to-know guide. 

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to flawless skin!

Can you use glycolic acid and vitamin C together?

Absolutely! Both glycolic acid and vitamin C can join the skincare party together

But to truly understand their power couple dynamics, it's essential to dive a tad deeper. So grab your lab coat, and join us on a quick skincare chemistry adventure.  

Glycolic acid belongs to the alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) family, known for peeling away dead skin cells. 

This not only reveals a glowing complexion but also paves the way for other skincare ingredients to penetrate the skin more easily. 

The exfoliation process stimulated by glycolic acid strips away oil and sebum, making it a bff for those with oily skin or acne-prone faces (hello clear skin!). But hold on to your skincare mavericks, since we're about to introduce the second star of our show.

Enter vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that tackles free radicals, evens out skin tone, and brightens your complexion faster than a greasy diner flips pancakes. 

So, where does vitamin C fit into our glycolic acid narrative? Let's find out. 

The newly exfoliated surface created by glycolic acid is a perfect landing pad for our buddy, vitamin C. The gentle peel lets vitamin C penetrate deeper, allowing it to wage full war against skin damage. 

And don't worry, glycolic acid is gentle enough not to irritate the skin when using its power for good.

So, yes, you can use glycolic acid and vitamin C together, but there's a knack to it. As the saying goes, skincare is a marathon, not a sprint. Start slow, play it safe. 

Begin by introducing one ingredient into your skincare routine at a time. 

Let's say, you opt for glycolic acid first. Use it a few times a week initially, tracking how your skin responds. Go easy, tiger, avoid the temptation to rush.

Once your skin sends the green signal, invite vitamin C to join the party. Start small, don't overload. If everything's shipshape after a week, increase your vitamin C dosage.

Remember to always, ALWAYS wear an SPF when using AHAs like glycolic acid – no ifs, no buts, no coconuts. These ingredients can make skin more sensitive to sun damage.

The most effective method? Opt for glycolic acid at night and vitamin C in the morning. This ensures you're getting the 24-hour skincare rave your face deserves without the drawbacks. 

If you notice any irritation, though, it's time to SOS and back down. No one wants a skincare brawl on their hands.

In the end, skincare is akin to high school chemistry, a tight balancing act. 

But fear not, dear reader. With a little bit of patient experimenting, you're bound to find the perfect harmony between glycolic acid and vitamin C – the skincare equivalent of "yin and yang". 

So, the answer to your question is a resounding yes! Glycolic acid and vitamin C can totally be your new beauty squad. 

Remember, though: all good things take time. Patience with these two can lead to a bright, glowing complexion that has you looking radiant, feeling fantastic, and ready to slay the day. 

Is glycolic acid or vitamin C better for hyperpigmentation?

Now this one's quite the skin-care tug-o-war: Glycolic acid or vitamin C? Which of these powerhouse ingredients better tackles hyperpigmentation? 

Pop the cork on this skincare champagne, let's get this party started!

Let's begin with the basics. On the left, we have glycolic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid chock-full of exfoliating prowess. It's a bit like sending in a microscopic cleaning crew to dust away dead skin cells.

On the right, we have our friend, vitamin C. It's not just an immune system booster folks, it lights up your skin, playing the role of an antioxidant superstar. That means protecting against harmful free radicals while improving overall skin tone.

Now, onto the crux of the matter - hyperpigmentation, that pesky uninvited guest. 

Glycolic acid, shoulder to wheel, dives straight into that pool of dead cells, scrubbing away the murky layer to reveal brighter, rejuvenated skin. Plus, it promotes collagen production and new cell growth. 

Yes, you heard it! Sayonara hyperpigmentation cyphers, welcome radiant complexion.

Vitamin C, on the other hand, haughtily yields its shield and sword against hyperpigmentation. 

How so? It inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, thereby slowing down the melanin-producing processes that result in those unwanted dark spots. 

But hold the phone – let's not put these wonder ingredients in the boxing ring just yet. 

Our beauty mantra is simple: More is More! 

Yes, the dynamic duo can complement each other. Glycolic acid kickstarts the party by exfoliating the top layer of skin, paving the royal red carpet for vitamin C to efficiently penetrate and work its pigmentation-inhibiting magic. 

Ready for a little plot twist? 

Regardless of all the razzle-dazzle that these two ingredients offer, it's prime time we shone the spotlight on the waiting backstage: Sunscreen. The super-hero without a cape, it's often an unsung hero in the hyperpigmentation saga. 

No matter how powerful and effective our dynamic duo may be, without proper sun protection, you’d just be running in circles on the hyperpigmentation hamster wheel. Our infamous sun rays exacerbate pigmentation issues, effectively undoing all the good work done by glycolic acid and vitamin C. 

So, consider sunscreen your co-pilot on your skin-lightening journey, and ensure it gets prime real-estate in your skincare line-up!

In conclusion: Glycolic acid or vitamin C for hyperpigmentation? Wrong question, my dear Watson. 

It should rather be, "How do I best use glycolic acid AND vitamin C (and don't forget our friend, Sunscreen) in the fight against hyperpigmentation?” 

You're welcome, and let the glow-up games begin!

What else pairs well with glycolic acid?

DIY skincare enthusiasts, we're looking at you! The question you've likely asked a zillion times, "What else pairs well with glycolic acid?" Let's dive right in!

Glycolic acid, our star player here, takes on the role of a great facilitator. It smoothens the playing field - your skin - by exfoliating and ensuring your other favorite skincare stars can play their best.

Alright, enough of metaphors! Time for some great pairings for our MVP, glycolic acid. 

The first line-up? Hyaluronic acid. 

Imagine making a tropical smoothie of pineapple (our dear glycolic) and coconut (hyaluronic, of course). You get benefits from both, and they mingle in perfect synergy. 

Glycolic acid, with its exfoliating prowess, makes room for hyaluronic acid to penetrate your skin profoundly and bring in hydration. It’s a winning team.

Next, we've got unassuming ceramides. Glycolic acid tends to strip your skin of natural oils. Cue ceramides - their primary role, restoring that protective barrier. Think of them as the defensive line in our ongoing skincare sports scenario. 

Then there's niacinamide, the versatile player. It regulates the exacerbation of oil production that sometimes follows exfoliation. So, it not only backs up glycolic-acid but ensures your skin retains a healthy balance even after all the action.

And let's not forget the humble moisturizer. Whether it's a heavy-duty cream or a lightly whipped lotion, a moisturizer following a glycolic acid application replenishes the inevitable loss of hydration while also soothing any potential irritation. Consider it as the med team patching things up after our big game.

But remember, as fun as having a customized skincare cocktail sounds, timing is just as crucial. A day-night split strategy works best. Use glycolic acid at bedtime as it makes your skin sensitive to sun. 

In daylight hours, vitamin C, niacinamide or your favorite sunscreen - SPF 30, or above - can take stage.

Oh, and talking about sunscreen -- the non-negotiable MVP. True, it's not the fancy, whispered-about wonder ingredient. But, it's your fortified wall standing against the harsh sunlight. Your last-minute savior. Apply it religiously and keep your skin cheering!

In the end, what works for you comes down to your unique skin needs. But hey, why not try out these promising matches?

Take note, every skin, like every sport, has its rules. Quick disclaimer: If you notice reactions like prolonged redness or peeling from any of these combinations, call a timeout and consult your dermatologist.

Mix, match, and stand victorious in the field of skincare -- with glycolic acid leading your squad!

What NOT to use with glycolic acid?

Navigating the impressive skincare labyrinth can be a complex affair. Like a cocktail mixologist of cosmopolitan proportions, blending skincare ingredients requires a little finesse. 

So, let's talk about what not to mix with glycolic acid. 

Ready? Let's dive in!

First on our list: Retinol. The synergy of vitamin A derivatives with glycolic acid might look tempting on paper but wait! Both ingredients increase cell turnover rates, but using them together? Skin irritation alert, especially if you have sensitive skin. Remember, skincare is not a race, but a carefully planned journey.

It's time to shine some sunlight on photosensitive products. Yes, your citrus-y friend, vitamin C. Both vitamin C and glycolic acid are incredibly beneficial to the skin but using them at the same time can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. No one wants an unexpected guest like sunburn crashing their skin party, right?

Now let's venture into an exclusive secret, just for you. 

Consider this the Golden Goose Egg of skincare wisdom, we call it 'Sleeping Beauty Philosophy'. 

As the name suggests, it's all about letting your skin bask in the beauty of glycolic acid while you enjoy your beauty sleep. And guess what stars do this? Our ultra-glowy K-pop idols!

Here's how the K-drama glow works: apply your glycolic acid product just before bedtime and let it do the overnight hustle. For that extra moisture lock, sandwich your glycolic acid application with a hydrating sleeping mask.

Wake up to a surprise! Your skin will look rejuvenated, with a shine that might make even the sun a tad jealous. 

Go forth and apply — correctly!

That was quite the rollercoaster ride, isn't it? 

Always remember, skincare success is about understanding what your skin individually needs and prefers. It's not a one-size-fits-all situation. 

So, whether you're a K Beauty veteran or a skincare newbie, properly incorporating glycolic acid and vitamin C into your skincare wonderland can yield astounding, Instagram-worthy results. 

With these power-packed tidbits up your sleeve, it's high time your skin enjoys its red-carpet moment every day! 

Happy glowing!

Prev Post
Next Post

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Recently Viewed

Edit Option
Back In Stock Notification
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items

Before you leave...

Take 20% off your first order

20% off

Enter the code below at checkout to get 20% off your first order


Continue Shopping