- Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid (HA) can be used together, safely, in your skin care routine.
- Including both vitamin C and HA in your skin care routine will provide better anti-aging results than choosing only one.
- They can be combined in a single product, but are more effective when used separately because they are best absorbed at different pH levels.
- You can make your own serum combining vitamin C and HA.
Can HA and Vitamin C Be Used Together?
Yes. Combining HA and vitamin C allows you to garner the unique anti-aging benefits of each: the protective and rejuvenating effects of vitamin C with the hydrating and plumping effects of HA.
Benefits of Combining HA and Vitamin C
HA and vitamin C have strong anti-aging properties that complement each other by combating aging in different ways.
|Benefit||Vitamin C||Hyaluronic Acid|
|Brightens the skin||X|
|Promotes collagen production||X|
|Neutralizes free radicals, protecting the skin from UV damage||X|
|Reduces dark spots by inhibiting pigmentation||X|
|Helps the skin retain moisture||X|
|Improves skin tone and firmness||X|
|Reduces wrinkles and fine lines||X||X|
Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Combinations
Vitamin C and HA products can be used separately or can be found together in one skin care product. However, for stability and maximum benefits, it’s best to use them separately because they are most effective at different pH levels.
Using separate products
If you choose to use products separately, the order in which you apply them matters. Generally, when applying serums or other skin care products, the thinnest should be applied first and the thickest last.
- Put a few drops of serum on your fingers and apply gently to your face
- Wait several minutes to allow the serum to be absorbed fully
- Follow with an HA product
Since vitamin C can sometimes have a drying effect, HA will work well to restore moisture.
You should choose an HA product based on your skin type. If you have oily skin a water-based serum would be suitable; dry or normal skin types would benefit from oil-based serums or creams.
Using combined products
Serums with vitamin C and HA can significantly reduce the visible signs of aging and improve skin hydration. A serum that combines vitamin C with HA offers added benefits by simplifying your skin care routine and saving time.
However, when combined in one product you may not gain the full benefits that each ingredient has to offer as their ideal pH levels do not overlap.
When in mixtures that are more acidic than a pH of 4, HA begins to degrade and break down over time, decreasing its effectiveness. In mixtures with a pH of more than 3.5, vitamin C formulated as L-ascorbic acid (LAA) is less readily absorbed by the skin, meaning that you will not get its full benefits.
While combining them does not necessarily negate the effects of vitamin C or HA, the pH of a mixed product can lead to one or both ingredients being less effective, depending on the pH of the final product.
DIY Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Recipe
You can make your own vitamin C and HA serum – and in fact, there are some advantages in doing so.
Making your own serum is cost-effective and you can avoid the addition of unnecessary or irritating ingredients. You can also substitute LAA with magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), a derivative of vitamin C, which is stable at a pH of 7.
Doing so is beneficial for two reasons:
- Water has a pH of 7 and MAP is more effective in an aqueous, or watery solution than vitamin C.
- HA is stable at a pH of 7 and will therefore not lose its efficacy.
A recipe for homemade serum can vary, but for best results, ensure your vitamin C concentration is between 10–20%.
The simplest way to make a homemade serum is to combine MAP powder with a pure HA serum:
- 2 tsp HA serum
- 3/4 tsp MAP powder
- 1 tbsp aloe extract
- 2 tbsp distilled water
Combine the ingredients in a small, dark-colored glass container and shake vigorously until the MAP powder has dissolved. This will produce a serum with a 14.75% concentration of vitamin C – in the optimum range for effectiveness.
Combining vitamin C and HA in your skin care regime is an excellent way to reduce the visible signs of aging. They are safe to use together, complement each other, and can also be used separately.
For those looking for an inexpensive option, or wishing to adopt a more natural approach, an effective serum can be made at home using just a few ingredients and no unwanted additives.
- Telang P. S. (2013). Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian dermatology online journal, 4(2), 143–146. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.110593
- Fallacara, A., Baldini, E., Manfredini, S., & Vertuani, S. (2018). Hyaluronic Acid in the Third Millennium. Polymers, 10(7), 701. doi:10.3390/polym10070701
- Garre, A., Narda, M., Valderas-Martinez, P., Piquero, J., & Granger, C. (2018). Antiaging effects of a novel facial serum containing L-Ascorbic acid, proteoglycans, and proteoglycan-stimulating tripeptide: ex vivo skin explant studies and in vivo clinical studies in women. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 11, 253–263. doi:10.2147/CCID.S161352
- Maleki, A. , Kjøniksen, A. and Nyström, B. (2008), Effect of pH on the Behavior of Hyaluronic Acid in Dilute and Semidilute Aqueous Solutions. Macromol. Symp., 274: 131-140. doi:10.1002/masy.200851418