Ingredients You Should Never Mix With Vitamin C

Written by Fatema HabibSep 16, 2023
Ingredients you should never mix with vitamin C

If you’re a skincare junkie (just like me), you’re probably turning your bathroom into a laboratory by storing a collection of various skincare ingredients *phew*. While layering skincare products might be your favourite thing to do, it’s important to know what ingredients don’t work well together.

One skincare ingredient that works like magic for everyone is Vitamin C. This potent antioxidant neutralizes free radicals, repairs damaged cells, aids in the skin’s regeneration process, brightens pigmented areas, stimulates collagen production and protects the skin against harmful pollutants. But, you need to pay extra attention when it comes to layering or combining Vitamin C with other skin-loving ingredients. Though individually they do wonders, combining them together can prove to be a recipe for skin disaster. Here are all the ingredients you should NOT mix with Vitamin C. 


Vitamin C + Benzoyl peroxide

Vitamin C + Niacinamide

Benzoyl peroxide is used as a treatment for mild to moderate acne. This ingredient not only reduces acne-causing bacteria but also prevents your skin from becoming dry and flaky. However, combining benzoyl peroxide with Vitamin C may not do any good for your skin. Treating your skin to benzoyl peroxide topically will, in fact, oxidize the Vitamin C, counteracting each other’s effects.


Vitamin C + Retinol

Vitamin C + Niacinamide

Retinoids contain anti-ageing compounds that help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and boost collagen production. Combining retinol with Vitamin C is a recipe for peeling, redness and irritation, in short, a total disaster for the health of your skin. And that’s not all! When you use these two ingredients together, you are at a much higher risk of UV damage. It is, therefore, ideal to use Vitamin C in your morning skincare routine and retinol in your night-time skincare routine.


Vitamin C + AHAs/BHAs

Vitamin C + Niacinamide

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are chemical exfoliants that can totally transform your skin game. While AHA helps renew the skin’s surface, BHA gets deeper into the pores to remove dead cells and excess sebum. Alpha hydroxy, beta hydroxy and Vitamin C are all acidic ingredients. Therefore, when you layer AHA/BHA with Vitamin C, you will experience irritation on your skin. What you could instead do is use Vitamin C in the morning and AHA/BHA in the night or alternate between AHA/BHA and Vitamin C every night.


Vitamin C + Niacinamide

Vitamin C + Niacinamide

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is an essential nutrient that helps build proteins in the skin, treats uneven skin tone, reduces the size of enlarged pores, prevents fine lines and wrinkles, and adds a healthy glow. However, when you combine niacinamide with Vitamin C, they’ll cancel each other out chemically, making both formulas ineffective on your skin. Niacinamide takes out all the good properties of Vitamin C and makes it into a substance that can cause redness and trigger breakouts.

Fatema Habib

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Author at BeBeautiful

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