How To Use Hyaluronic Acid And Vitamin C To Rehydrate Your Skin

When used correctly, this moisturizing combination can protect the skin against damage.

Medically reviewed by Dr. M. Khawar Nazir, MBBS Dr. M. Khawar Nazir Dr. M. Khawar NazirMBBS facebook_icontwitter_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc Annie Jangam MSc Experience: 11 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA Experience: 5 years

If you check the ingredients list on your skin care products, you should remember reading the names hyaluronic acid (HA) and vitamin C. They are commonly paired together because of their anti-aging benefits. Hyaluronic acid hydrates and moisturizes the skin, while vitamin C protects the skin with its antioxidant role. Keep scrolling down to know more about why these two ingredients are so popular in the skin care biz. Learn about all the benefits they can provide to your skin and how you can use them effectively.

How Are Vitamin C And Hyaluronic Acid Good For Your Skin?

You have been taught the importance of vitamin C in a wholesome diet. You probably know how vital it is to keep your body’s natural defenses strong. However, did you know that it can also do wonders to your skin?

Vitamin C enhances the quality of your skin in two ways. Firstly, it stimulates the production of collagen. Secondly, it protects the skin from sun damage (1). Moreover, vitamin C also has the best antioxidant properties. It can neutralize the oxidants found in pollutants and protect your skin from free radical damage (1).

Vitamin C also helps reduce the premature signs of skin aging. It protects your skin from harmful UV rays (2). It also exfoliates your skin and eases any inflammation caused by acne.

Hyaluronic acid is a sugar your body produces naturally. It is found in the skin, eyes, and connective tissues. It is a humectant (aids hydration) (3). Hyaluronic acid creates a barrier by sealing the moisture inside your skin and improves your overall skin texture.

Your skin loses moisture as it ages. Hyaluronic helps maintain the water balance and makes your skin soft and plump. Moreover, it also may help reduce fine lines and wrinkles (3).

Now that you know what vitamin C and hyaluronic acid can do to your skin, let us understand if you can use them together.

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid And Vitamin C Together?

Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C
Image: Shutterstock

Yes, you can use the two ingredients together and enjoy the unique benefits they bring to your skin. Generally, two counter-active chemicals can cause skin reactions. But you can rest assured with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. They are effective together and are often used in several beauty products.

While Vitamin C will protect your face from damage and rejuvenate it by stimulating collagen production, hyaluronic acid will make it plump and soft. When you follow any beauty regime, the sequence of the products used is crucial to reap the maximum benefits. You may also use vitamin C and hyaluronic acid separately. If that is the case, which product should be used first?

What Should You Apply First: Hyaluronic Acid Or Vitamin C?

Apply vitamin C to your skin before hyaluronic acid
Image: Shutterstock

HA starts disintegrating in mixtures that have a pH level of less than 4 and more than 11 (4). On the other hand, the pH level of vitamin C should be less than 3.5 for getting absorbed into the skin properly (5).

Both these ingredients/products must be used after the toner. The golden rule is to use the thinnest product first and the thickest one last. Hence, you will have to apply vitamin C first and then move on to hyaluronic acid. However, leave a gap of a few minutes to allow vitamin C to penetrate your skin.

Since vitamin C is lighter and has a lower pH, it will quickly get absorbed into your skin (5). Applying hyaluronic acid afterward vitamin C will create a barrier (6). Moreover, vitamin C may dry your skin. Applying HA afterward will help restore skin moisture.

HA is available in a variety of products on the market. A cream-based formula will work wonderfully for dry and normal skin types, while a water-based product will deliver better results for combination or oily skin types.

While these ingredients can boost your skin health, using them right can multiply the benefits.

How Often Should You Use Hyaluronic Acid With Vitamin C To Improve Your Skin?

A woman using hyaluronic acid with vitamin C at nighttime to improve her skin
Image: Shutterstock

It is advisable to go slow while trying a new product on your face. Your skin could be sensitive to active ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. In the beginning, use these serums on two different days a week and buffer them between your toner and moisturizer. You can preferably follow this regimen before bedtime (to better understand if your skin is sensitive to any of these products).

If everything goes well, you can start layering hyaluronic acid and vitamin c serum together. The trick is to build these products into your skincare regime gradually before you start using them consistently in the mornings and nights.

As for the dosage, less is always more with such active ingredients. A pea-sized amount should ideally be enough for your face. Using more will not give you any better results. Take the product on your fingers and apply it evenly to your face.

Let us now check a quick DIY vitamin C serum with a hyaluronic acid recipe.

DIY Hyaluronic Acid And Vitamin C Recipe

DIY hyaluronic acid and vitamin C
Image: Shutterstock

If you want to use a single product containing these two potent ingredients sans other irritants, this quick DIY vitamin C serum with hyaluronic acid recipe can help. This recipe is a lot more cost-effective than one available on the market.

This recipe works because water has a pH of 7, and it will keep the HA stable. You need not worry if hyaluronic acid would lose its potency after a while. Also, while making your own serum, it is advisable to stick to a vitamin C concentration of 10 to 20% €“ as anything more can be too harsh on your skin. The MAP powder (the vitamin C) used in this recipe is stable and gets easily absorbed into the skin (7).


  • 2 teaspoons of hyaluronic acid serum
  • 3/4 teaspoon of magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) powder
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe extract
  • 2 tablespoons of distilled water

How To Make The Serum

  • Take a dark-tinted bottle.
  • Add all the ingredients into the bottle and shake it vigorously.
  • Your serum is ready once the MAP powder has completely dissolved.
protip_icon Quick Tip
You can use orange gel, cucumber gel, watermelon gel, or rosehip gel as an alternative to aloe vera.

Aine, a YouTuber, shared her experience with hyaluronic acid-based skincare products, testing three different ones. In the video, she said, “I have thoroughly tested out hyaluronic acid in three different forms. I have tested it on damp skin and dry skin and I have given it quite a few weeks to work more to my skin’s detriment but it doesn’t seem to work for me (i).”

Another YouTuber, Mawen Mendoza, shared her 10-day experience of incorporating Vitamin C into her skincare routine. She documented her daily progress, addressing initial tingling, redness, and skin irritation. In the video, she said, “My skin just looks so much better, brighter, my hyperpigmentation is not fully gone but it did go down a lot, and my dark spots are fading like crazy. My skin just feels amazing. I just feel like a whole new woman, I feel more confident wearing no makeup even though I barely wear makeup these days (ii).”

Although you can use vitamin C and HA in combination, you need to be cautious while combining two active ingredients. Let us see a few general rules you are recommended to follow.

What Are The Rules For Combining Skin Care Products?

If you are concerned about using different products together, here are a few rules you can follow.

1. Understand The pH Balance

Understand the pH balance of the skin
Image: Shutterstock

With an understanding of the pH balance of your skin and the active ingredients, you can avoid committing any cardinal mistakes while combining two potent compounds. The natural pH balance of your skin is around 4.7 and 5.7, making it slightly acidic.

Using pH-balanced products will help maintain the pH level of your skin. In other words, any product that has a pH between 4 and 7 should be good for your skin. Also, it is recommended to use products at a similar pH level.

For instance, retinol or vitamin A derivatives have a pH over 5, while vitamin C is more acidic at 3.5. Hence, these two should not be used together.

2. Water And Oil: Decide Which One Goes First

What happens when you mix oil and water? Oil floats on water and creates a barrier. Similarly, an oil-based product will block the penetration of a water-based gel or lotion. Thus, always use the latter first and move on to oil-based products.

3. Allow Each Product To Absorb

When using vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, ensure you have a few minutes for your skincare regime. Let each of your products sit for at least 30 seconds before applying the next. This method will ensure better absorption.

4. Find What Works For you

Your skin is unique, and what works for your friend may not work for you. It is all about finding what gives you better results. You can consult a dermatologist and see what would work best for you.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Know your skin type, ingredients you need to avoid, and additional skincare products to purchase before combining skincare products.

Infographic: Tips For Using Hyaluronic Acid And Vitamin C

Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C improve your skin health in many ways. When paired together, they are an unbeatable duo. However, it is important to learn how to use them properly to avoid any side effects. Check out the infographic below for important tips to follow when using hyaluronic acid and vitamin C.

tips for using hyaluronic acid & vitamin c (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Including hyaluronic acid and vitamin C in your skin care routine can help your skin look and feel younger. This potent combination can refresh your skin, aid skin brightening, improve elasticity, and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. This combo also minimizes the harmful effects of UV rays. Start incorporating these ingredients into your skin care routine right away, and you will see the difference! Although hyaluronic acid and vitamin C can be used together, you must exercise caution when combining two active substances. If you are worried about mixing products, stick to the guidelines listed in the article.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you not mix with hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a hydrating ingredient that goes with most skincare ingredients like retinol to give smooth and healthy skin. Consult a dermatologist to understand the different combinations beneficial for your skin.

Which is better: hyaluronic acid or niacinamide?

Both ingredients serve different purposes. Hyaluronic acid is best for skin hydration. Niacinamide is a derivative of vitamin B3 that helps build keratin, a protein essential for firm and smooth skin (10).

Is vitamin C better in the morning or at night?

You can use vitamin C at night before going to sleep to boost collagen production and let your skin repair itself (1).

Can I use niacinamide with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and retinol?

Yes, you can use niacinamide with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and retinol to keep your skin hydrated from the drying effects of retinol. Ideally, you should pair vitamin C with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide with hyaluronic acid and retinol to get visible results. Ensure that you start off slowly and see what products work for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Found in the skin, eyes, and connective tissue, hyaluronic acid is a sugar naturally produced by your body.
  • It is safe to use hyaluronic acid with vitamin C.
  • Before combining skincare products, understand the pH balance, decide whether water or oil goes first, allow each product to absorb, and find what works for you.

Learn how to use vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid together to achieve glowing skin from an expert dermatologist! Get the best tips and tricks from this helpful video to get beautiful, healthy skin.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.
  2. Double-blind, half-face study comparing topical vitamin C and vehicle for rejuvenation of photodamage.
  3. Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans.
  4. Effect of pH on the Behavior of Hyaluronic Acid in Dilute and Semidilute Aqueous Solutions.
  5. Topical L-ascorbic acid: percutaneous absorption studies.
  6. A review of protection against exposome factors impacting facial skin barrier function with 89% mineralizing thermal water.
  7. Vitamin C in dermatology.
  8. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety
  9. Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the Skin
  10. Nicotinic acid/niacinamide and the skin
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Dr. M. Khawar Nazir has 10 years of experience in cosmetic dermatology and is the CEO of Boston Aesthetics Lahore, Pakistan. He earned his MBBS degree from Nishtar Medical College, Multan, Pakistan, and did his post graduation from Boston University, School Of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA. He is also a member of the Pakistan Association of Dermatologists (PAD) and full bio

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