Salicylic Acid And Vitamin C

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Getting your skincare routine right can be tricky. Everyone’s skin is different, so following a particularly recommended combination of products may not work for you! However, you may have heard of Vitamin C and Salicylic Acid and are wondering if one of them, or both, are right for you?

Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C are supposedly top ingredients in the skincare world for a good reason. They both promise to do wonders for your skin and can provide excellent results. So, are they really that good? And how can you use them to make your skin look its best?

What Is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is a naturally occurring acid from the bark of willow trees. It is a beta-hydroxy acid known for helping exfoliate and remove dead skin from the skin’s surface.

Dead skin cells get in the way of your skin’s ability to absorb other products and stay moisturized, which can then cause blemishes. This is why salicylic acid makes for such an effective exfoliant!

Numerous skin-care products have salicylic acid as an ingredient, which is very beneficial for the skin. It is found in toners, face washes, moisturizers, face masks, and leave-on-spot treatments.  

The Benefits of Salicylic Acid Products

  • Very effective in the treatment of acne
  • Reduces redness and inflammation
  • Softens dry, thickened, or scaly skin for easy removal
  • Targets blackheads and whiteheads
  • Deep cleans pores
  • Encourages skin renewal and rejuvenation
  • Treats discoloration
  • Gentle on sensitive skin

What Is Vitamin C?

Salicylic Acid And Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that naturally occurs in many foods and is an essential nutrient that your body needs to function correctly. It is known for helping our bodies heal and protecting our cells from harmful external sources such as the sun or smoking.

You can’t produce it yourself, so it’s vital to supplement your vitamin C intake through food (or as a skincare ingredient!). It is famously found in oranges and other fruits such as kiwifruit and strawberries. Many vegetables, such as red pepper, broccoli, and cabbage, also have vitamin C. See more foods rich in vitamin C here.

The Benefits of Vitamin C Products

  • Producing collagen in the skin
  • Smoothing and reducing fine lines and wrinkles
  • Preventing sun damage
  • Improves skin texture
  • Hydrating and brightening your skin
  • Reducing the appearance of under-eye circles
  • Firming your skin

Can You Mix Salicylic Acid And Vitamin C?

These two ingredients are essential and incredibly beneficial for skincare routines. However, using these two skincare heroes together can be a bit of a journey to get right! 

Anti-aging products with vitamin C may not work as effectively on your breakouts as a product with salicylic acid. Many will say you can’t use them together, asserting they can reduce your skin’s pH balance. 

They may also state that salicylic acid used after vitamin C will reduce vitamin C’s effectiveness and use it on its own if you want the quick results of brightening vitamin C.

Unfortunately, this misinformation has arisen simply due to people not knowing how to use the two ingredients together properly! You can combine them, but you have to do so in the right way for the best results from both of these powerful ingredients. 

Every person’s skin is different, so understanding what you are looking for and what works for you is crucial. As long as they don’t irritate your skin, there’s no reason why they can’t be used in harmony.

So, how do you get it right without causing harm to your skin?

How To Properly Combine Salicylic Acid And Vitamin C

To get your picture-perfect, clear, and bright skin, follow these tips when looking to use both salicylic acid and vitamin C in your skincare routine.

Use Them At Different Times

One of the best ways to slowly incorporate salicylic acid and vitamin C into your skincare routine is by using them at different times of the day. For those with sensitive skin, this is the best method for starting to use these ingredients.

  • Vitamin C tends to be more effective when applied in the morning. This is because how it helps to protect your skin against the sun’s rays throughout the day.
  • In the evening, salicylic acid is the best product. It removes all of the accumulated dead skin cells and cleanses the surface, leaving you with clean and fresh skin to end your day with.

By keeping these products separate from each other in your daily morning and nightly skincare routines, they can work to their full potential while not canceling each other out!

Start Slow

Integrate the products slowly into your skincare routine. Let your skin adjust to these new products! Starting with daily use will likely make your skin unhappy and not behave as you want it to. It is recommended to use salicylic acid and vitamin C products every other day. 

If your skin starts to get irritated, reduce your use of them even further. You can slowly work your way up from there. For sensitive or dry skin types: keep an eye out for increased redness, irritation, peeling, or tight skin. These symptoms could mean your skin struggles to adjust to them at the frequency you use the products.

Wear Sunscreen

While vitamin C is an excellent ingredient to help support your skin’s natural defense against visible damage caused by the sun, it is not the only thing you should rely on when stepping outside.

Salicylic acid can increase sensitivity to UV rays, so it is crucial to keep that in mind when combined with vitamin C. Especially when you’re trying them both out in your skincare routine, you may use one more than the other! 

This can then increase or decrease your skin’s sensitivity to the sun until your skin becomes more accustomed to the products. Therefore, it is essential to always wear sunscreen to protect your skin. I recommend at least an SPF 30 sunscreen to create a barrier between the harsh sun and your skin.

Salicylic Acid And Vitamin C

Applying Salicylic Acid And Vitamin C Together

Even though salicylic acid and vitamin C are most effectively used at different times of the day, there are ways you can use them together to boost the benefits for your skin. The order in which they are used is the most important aspect and makes all the difference.

  • Vitamin C usually absorbs easily and is most effectively absorbed on skin with low pH levels. 
  • Salicylic acid lowers the skin’s pH, so when it is applied before vitamin C, it actually helps the vitamin C to be more effective!

So, what does the pH level of your skin mean?

What is pH And Why Does it Matter?

The pH scale goes from 0-14. Anything seven and under is considered an acid, and anything over is a base. How is this important to your skin?

The skin has a natural pH level of around 4.7, making it slightly acidic. This helps prevent any bacteria from growing on the surface and protect it from outside threats. If your skin’s pH is higher than 4.7, this can leave it feeling dry and flaky. However, if it’s too acidic, that can also be an issue. Because salicylic acid is an acid you add to your face, it can throw off the natural balance. 

The same goes for vitamin C as well, as this can raise the pH levels. Therefore, it’s not as effective on skin that is not at a low pH level. It is important to consider these considerations when adopting salicylic acid and vitamin C into your routine so as not to throw off your skin’s pH levels. 

Patience is key to attaining the best results, especially when slowly adjusting your skin to new products.

Salicylic Acid And Vitamin C: Conclusion

Salicylic acid and vitamin C are both very effective on their own. However, when combined in the correct manner, they can potentially provide even more significant advantages for your skin! 

Between brightening your skin, reducing spots, and smoothing texture, both of these products will leave you looking ageless and beautiful. Once you know how each of these proven ingredients works and how you can use them in perfect tandem, you’ll be able to achieve excellent results for your skincare routine.  

FAQ

Salicylic Acid is a beta-hydroxy acid known for helping exfoliate and remove dead skin from the skin’s surface.

Vitamin C is well-known for its anti-aging properties, improving the skin’s texture and brightening its appearance.

Every person’s skin is different; this is why you can’t say that one is better than the other. It depends on what your skin needs and what your skin concerns are. Both Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C are great ingredients for their specific purposes.

Vitamin C tends to be more effective when applied in the morning. This is because how it helps to protect your skin against the sun’s rays throughout the day.

In the evening, salicylic acid is the best product. It removes all of the accumulated dead skin cells and cleanses the surface, leaving you with clean and fresh skin to end your day with.

Salicylic acid lowers the skin’s pH, so when it is applied before vitamin C, it helps the vitamin C to be more effective! Vitamin C absorbs quickly and is most effectively absorbed on skin with low pH levels. 

Every person’s skin is different, so understanding what you are looking for and what works for you is crucial. As long as they don’t irritate your skin, there’s no reason why they can’t be used in harmony.

4 Comments

  1. Hi, i am having a problem with my hormonal acne for about 7 months, i am trying the garnier vitamin c with niacinamide and salycic acid. I am still getting breakouts, i am also using the Laroche face wash for acne.

    1. Hi Charlene! You may want to use a product or products that contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid or salicylic acid. I see that you’re already using the last ingredient but you may want to try it in combination with glycolic acid. I would recommend using them at different times of the day though, to avoid any irritation. The Garnier Vitamin C serum you’re using right now, is more of a brightening product and doesn’t really fight hormonal acne. The La Roche face wash sounds like a good option though! Hope this helps. 🙂

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