How to Balance my Skin Care Regimen with Retin-A?

Hello, im confused on how to balance my facial skin care regimen. In the morning i use acanya gel which has a mixture of antibiotic cream and benzoyl peroxide. At night i use Retin-A...This plan has helped to keep me relatively acne free. But i would also like to add a vitamin c antioxidant serum to my regimen. When is the best time for me to put it on considering the other products i use and the reactions they might have together? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 3

Retin-A therapy and vitamin c serum

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The best time to add the vitamin c serum would be during the day. It would support your sunscreen. Ultraviolet light causes free radical formation which increases the risk of skin cancer and photoaging. Antioxidants scoop up free radicals. Put the vitamin c serum on under the Acanya and use the Retin-A at night.

New York Dermatologist

Retin-a and vitamin C serum

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is suggested that the vitamin C serum and retin-a (sparingly) be applied in the evening.  They can be applied one on top of the other.  If, however, this combination causes irritation/redness/peeling of the skin, you may want to consider alternating the vitamin C serum and retin-a, every other night.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

Skin care for acne and sun damage

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I agree with using your Retin-A at night.  It is not stable if it is exposed to sunlight or if it's mixed with benzoyl peroxide.  If you are interested in starting a vitamin C antioxidant serum, that one is best applied in the morning.  Vitamin C and other antioxidants can give you some additional protection from sun damage.   Serums are meant to be applied directly on clean skin, so I would suggest applying that first, then your Acanya, and then sun protection (at least SPF 30 containing UVA and UVB protection such as zinc or titanium). 

Nancy Samolitis, MD
West Hollywood Dermatologic Surgeon

You might also like...

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.