5 Mistakes To Avoid While Using A Vitamin C Serum

Written by Sumona BoseSep 16, 2023
5 mistakes to avoid while using a vitamin C serum

Vitamin C started out as a trendy new ingredient that fascinated skincare enthusiasts and evolved into a skincare staple for many. Popularly used in serums, Vitamin C's claim to fame lies in its brightening and anti-ageing properties. But it can do so much more than that. When used in the form of a potent formula like the Lakmé 9 to 5 Vitamin C+ Facial Serum, it can strengthen your skin's barrier, fight damage caused due to pollution and sun rays, improve skin texture and brighten up a dull-looking complexion. 

Having said that, while Vitamin C serums are pretty safe and gentle to use on all skin types, some mistakes can reduce its effectiveness. Here are five mistakes you might be making while using Vitamin C serums and ways to avoid them. 


01. The timing

The Pairing of Vitamin C with Other Ingredients

While there is no set rule for applying vitamin C serums; however, it is generally recommended to use it in the morning. When paired with sunscreen, the serum can up the sun protection factor of Vitamin C. Make sure to let the serum completely dry off on your skin before stepping out as exposure to light can reduce its effectiveness.


02. The order

The Pairing of Vitamin C with Other Ingredients

It is so important to layer your skincare correctly to get the most out of them. When it comes to Vitamin C serums, they are best applied right after toner. Take a few drops on the palm of your hands and gently pat in on your skin. Give it a few minutes to fully absorb, and then seal it in with a moisturiser.


03. The formula and concentration

The Pairing of Vitamin C with Other Ingredients

Unlike other popular ingredients like retinol and niacinamide, Vitamin C serums are not made with the same processes or base. For instance, a product may claim to have Vitamin C in it, but it could be in the form of citric extracts. This is different from L-ascorbic acid, which is actually the potent form of Vitamin C that can target your multiple skin problems. Make sure to pick the right concentration (2%-20%) and formula, depending on your skin type and concerns.

Our favourite? The Lakmé 9 to 5 Vitamin C+ Facial Serum. Made with Kakadu Plum extracts (the world's richest source of Vitamin C) and Vitamin E, this lightweight, non-greasy serum is your one-way ticket to healthy, glowing skin. 


04. The mix of ingredients

The Pairing of Vitamin C with Other Ingredients

When choosing the right Vitamin C serum for your, check out the overall formulation of the product. If the product is a single-ingredient serum, you need to only pick the right concentration. But there are serums out there that come with a whole mix of ingredients to further stabilise the Vitamin C content and give additional benefits.

A fomula like the Dermalogica Biolumin-C Vitamin C Serum contains chia seed oil and lactic acid to add further anti-ageing and gentle exfoloating properties to the serum as well. So make sure you are doing a label check to judge if your skincare splurge is worth it or not.



05. The pairing

The Pairing of Vitamin C with Other Ingredients

While Vitamin C is pretty adaptable and can be paired with most ingredients, it is recommended to not use it with benzoyl peroxide and retinoids in the same routine. Because when used together, these ingredients can cause skin irritation, especially for sensitive skin types.


1) How to avoid a Vitamin C serum from darkening your skin?

One of the mistakes that people often commit with vitamin C serums is to not layer it with a moisturiser. Vitamin C has a tendency to oxidise on your skin when it comes in contact with the environment, and can turn orange or darker in colour. Always layer your vitamin C with a moisturiser, face oil or sunblock in order to avoid darkening of skin.

2) What are the ingredients that you cannot pair with Vitamin C serums?

A common mistake many make with vitamin C serums is to pair it with other activities that may reduce its efficacy or cause peeling on the skin. The top ingredients you should never pair with vitamin C serums are retinol, AHAs and BHAs, benzoyl peroxide and niacinamide. 

3) What are some Vitamin C storage mistakes people tend to make?

It is important to use your Vitamin C serum within 3 months, or the timeline the label indicates, after opening. You also need to keep it away from sunlight and avoid exposing it to the air as much as possible. Keep the lid tightly closed and check for "off" smelling odours from the serum before you use it every single time.

Sumona Bose

Written by

Sumona Bose is a writer, skincare junkie and a self-professed makeup connoisseur. Equipped with a Master's degree in Fashion Management and over 3 years of experience writing in the beauty and fashion space, her passion for learning new things has no bounds. Working closely with dermatologists, beauty excerpts, makeup artists and hairstylists, she brings you the best of all things beauty. From trending skincare ingredients to makeup looks that help you slay, she manages to bring something new (and vital!) to our readers every single time. Her hobbies include home workouts, watching foreign films and binge-watching makeover shows!


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