Unless your skin-care routine doesn’t go much beyond cleansing and moisturizing (hope you’re doing at least those!), it’s highly probable you’re using some form of vitamin C, retinol or hyaluronic acid to help your skin. These popular ingredients can be found in quite a few skin-care products — and there’s some real science for that. Each ingredient has its own powerhouse of results driven benefits for virtually every skin condition.
One question we get asked frequently at the Euro Institute is whether you can combine Vitamin C, A and/or Hyaluronic Acid products together. Clients wonder if it’s safe to use them in tandem, or whether using them together cancels out their effectiveness. There is plenty of research out there, but the short story is most experts agree – you can and maybe you should use all three in conjunction.
How Can Vitamin C, Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid Benefit Your Skin?
So before you dive in, exactly why are Vitamin C, Vitamin A (in the form of retinol) and hyaluronic acid must-have skincare ingredients?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant which can neutralize the damage from free radicals (Free radicals can damage the skin by trying to grab an extra electron from atoms in the skin. When atoms are taken away from molecules in the skin, it causes damage to our skin’s DNA that can speed along skin aging.) Your answer to free radicals is antioxidants! They are compounds that can donate an electron to a free radical so that the free radical doesn’t have to take the electron from the skin’s atoms. When used in skin-care formulations, Vitamin C helps improve uneven skin tone and reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation (photo-aging). Using a Vitamin C serum delivers to the cellular level because serums have the highest concentration of active ingredients and tend to have smaller molecules. This allows the product to penetrate more deeply.
Vitamin A in retinol form is a key anti-aging ingredient. It is still the gold standard for reducing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol causes the top layer of skin to turn over faster, which helps remove cell buildup and gives you a healthy, glowing epidermis. If you’re not worried about anti-aging yet, you can still benefit from retinol. This multi-tasking ingredient also helps heal blemish prone skin. Retinol can help increase collagen production, improve tone and even skin’s texture. A plant-based retinol, like our Botanicals Vitamin A Serum (and Crème moisturizer) means less irritation and redness when used frequently.
Hyaluronic Acid is a skincare work horse and for good reason. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant. It binds 1,000 times its weight in water and helps your skin retain moisture. Hyaluronic acid is gentle and can be used on all skin types, including sensitive.
You can — and should — combine all three skin-care ingredients in your routine, By using Vitamin C, Vitamin A and hyaluronic acid together, you’re maximizing results for beautiful skin. That said, take your time before introducing new products into your skin-care routine if you haven’t used these products in the past.
Your Morning Skin-Care Routine
No matter what products you’re using, you must start with a freshly cleansed face. For best results, choose a cleanser suited for your skin type, recognizing that your skin needs vary according to the season, the environment, your diet, stress levels, health, etc. (Try our Moor Lavender Cleanser for dry or dehydrated skin conditions, AHA/BHA Cleanser for blemish prone or to prep for a facial treatment, and Green Tea Cleanser for sensitive or when you fancy a light lotion-type cleanser.)
Apply Vitamin C Serum
After cleansing, apply the Vitamin C Serum and allow to absorb into the skin. Vitamin C helps protect and defend your skin from free radical damage (which can come from pollution like smog, dust, smoke and other environmental factors, like the sun!). The serum also pairs really well with Botanicals Advanced Vitamin C Crème moisturizer – good for all skin types.)
Follow with Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Once you’ve given the Vitamin C serum time to absorb into the skin, it’s time to layer on your hyaluronic acid serum. Our Euro Botanicals Hyaluronic Acid Serum locks in moisture to replenish skin and help prevent premature signs of aging. You can use this all-purpose product all on its own under your moisturizer – every day, twice a day! All skin types benefit.
Don’t Forget Sunscreen
Your morning skin-care routine isn’t complete without sunscreen. After applying serum and letting it fully absorb, apply a broad-spectrum SPF (30 is recommended) before you begin your makeup routine. (Our Raw Elements Tinted SPF Moisturizing Sunscreen gives your face a sun-kissed glow and is sunscreen and moisturizer in one). No matter what other moisturizer or makeup you use, sunscreen is your best protection against premature signs of aging.
Your Evening Skin-Care Routine
Wash your face in the evening even if you haven’t worn makeup. Your skin is exposed to environmental and physical factors every day. For an effective double cleanse, start with a creamy or lotion-based cleanser (Lavender or Green Tea Cleanser) and then wash again with our Clinicals AHA/BHA for a deeper clean.
Apply Vitamin A
Retinol isn’t just for those with problematic or mature skin — anyone can use a retinol (especially a plant based type like our Botanicals Vitamin A Serum & Crème). Start slowly so to minimize skin irritation. Try Vitamin A Serum 2-3 times per week initially, and increase slowly over time, if needed. Be sure you’re applying it to clean, dry skin. Because retinol can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight, only use it at night.
Retinol can be drying (some skin types may experience redness and flaking, but less so with a plant-based product). While gradually increasing the frequency of usage will minimize this, it’s still an absolute necessity to moisturize afterwards. Try our Vitamin A Crème (plant-based retinol) after applying the serum. If you need a heavier moisturizer, Super Emollient Crème or Advanced Moisture Crème (24-hour moisturizers) can be substituted.