Vitamin C in Skincare Routine

There has already been a lot said about vitamin C and it’s anti-aging skin benefits, so I won’t go into detail here, and will just add a couple of informative links at the end of this post. Briefly, vitamin C can make skin more firm, even, and glowy, especially at higher concentrations. There might be quite a few challenges with finding a product that works- formulated right and is stable, using it at the right time and with the right products, as it needs certain PH to work; and with using it right so that it doesn’t cause irritation.

As someone with sensitive skin, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with vitamin C because it causes a lot of irritation. Sadly, there hasn’t been much information online on how to prevent the irritation. Perhaps, most people don’t have that issues, so this post will be for those who do. Currently I’m using The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 23%+ HA Spheres 2% , and finally figured out a way to use it in my routine to get the benefits and avoid burning and redness.


(no foundation, just concealer under eyes)

First of all, I suggest adding vitamin C to skincare routing gradually and paying attention to how your skin feels. Actually, always pay attention to how your skin feels on a given day and adjust what you put on it accordingly. I’ll be talking about L-ascorbic acid here- LAA, since it is one of the most effective and affordable forms. LAA is very unstable, it needs Ph of 3.5 or lower to work, oxidizes when exposed to light or heat (can send one to Oompa Loompa land very fast), so don’t just go applying it whenever wherever.

I’m using LAA every other night- the nights that I’m not using tretinoin. I start off with cleansing my face thoroughly. Face wash of choice is usually something very mild and simple like Purpose- gets the makeup off, and doesn’t dry me out. Then I follow with spraying my face with a gentle toner like MAC Fix + or Lumene and letting it absorb, which is a few minutes. After that I apply a little bit of my LAA avoiding the eye area and find something else to do for the next 20-30 minutes. And then I follow with my BHA (either Paula’s Choice 2% gel or my new COSRX Blackhead Liquid Power). If my skin if feeling extra dry or a bit too sensitive I like to use snail mucus serum. On some nights I use Alpha-Lipoic acid instead of BHA. I’ll write more on that product in another post.

Ever since I switched to this more thoughtful routine the burning and irritation from LAA has stopped, and I am finally seeing skin that is firmer, more supple, glowy, and even.

A little warning. If you are just starting to use The Ordinary’s LAA, or any other LAA are afraid that the product is too harsh for you, you could dilute it with another product, but if you do so, make sure to check PH and ingredients. For example, LAA will not work with niacinamide.

Some useful sources:

Fantastic blogpost on LAA, BHA and AHA