Vitamin C serum has become a popular skincare product due to its numerous benefits for the skin. It is known for its antioxidant properties, ability to brighten the complexion, and stimulate collagen production. However, it is important to know that not all skincare ingredients can be combined with vitamin C serum. In this article, we will discuss what not to mix with vitamin C serum to ensure maximum effectiveness and avoid any potential adverse reactions.

Avoid Mixing with Retinol

Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, is another powerful ingredient in skincare known for its anti-aging effects. While both vitamin C and retinol have their own benefits, combining them can lead to skin irritation and sensitivity. These two ingredients have different pH levels, and when combined, the effectiveness of both can be compromised. It is best to use vitamin C serum in the morning and retinol-based products in the evening to avoid any potential conflicts.

Steer Clear of Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is commonly used to treat acne and is known for its antibacterial properties. However, when combined with vitamin C serum, it can cause the vitamin C to oxidize and become less effective. Oxidized vitamin C may not provide the desired results for your skin. Therefore, it is recommended to use benzoyl peroxide-based products separately from your vitamin C serum, either in the morning or evening, depending on your skincare routine.

Avoid Mixing with AHAs or BHAs

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are exfoliating agents commonly found in skincare products. These acids help remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and improve skin texture. However, when used with vitamin C serum, they can cause skin irritation and increase the risk of sensitivity. It is best to use AHAs or BHAs in a separate step of your skincare routine, either in the morning or evening, and allow some time before applying your vitamin C serum.

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Caution with Niacinamide

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a popular ingredient in skincare products due to its ability to improve skin texture, reduce redness, and minimize the appearance of pores. While it can be beneficial for the skin, combining niacinamide with vitamin C serum can result in the formation of niacin, which can cause flushing or redness. To avoid any potential reactions, it is best to use niacinamide and vitamin C serum at different times or alternate between them in your skincare routine.


Vitamin C serum is a valuable addition to any skincare routine, but it is important to be mindful of what ingredients to avoid mixing with it. Retinol, benzoyl peroxide, AHAs, BHAs, and niacinamide are some of the ingredients that should be used separately from vitamin C serum to ensure maximum effectiveness and minimize the risk of adverse reactions. By being aware of these guidelines, you can make the most of your vitamin C serum and enjoy the benefits it provides for your skin.