How Do I Use Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum? Which Goes on First?

I started hyaluronic acid in the A.M., which also has vitamin C. After reading about C, I wonder if a C serum would be helpful as well, but am not sure how to use it.

Doctor Answers 6

Hyaluronic Acid Creams

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I would suggest you become more preventative in your skin care with a comprehensive antioxidant serum, such as SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF applied once daily in the morning as a nutritional supplement to your skin. You could then apply your hyaluronic acid moisture cream. Please realize that hyaluronic acid cream is nothing more than a good moisturizer. Let’s get rid of any notion that any applied hyaluronic acid creams or products actually flow into the skin. They don’t, they are simply good moisturizers.

How Do I Use Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum? Which Goes on First?

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You are definitely on the right track by looking to combine the antioxidant power of vitamin C with your Hyaluronic acid serum. I would suggest using a complete antioxidant serum or gel as opposed to a singular vitamin C serum. Many antioxidant products combine other vitamins and compounds to aid your skin in its restorative processes. 

I would suggest you use your current Hyaluronic acid product in the morning, and use an antioxidant product at night before bed. Typically I recommend my patients use an antioxidant every other night alternating with a retinol product.

For more information on antioxidant skin care and how to apply it, please read the following link:

How to apply Vitamin C serums

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In general, you apply all products from thinnest to thickest, which means the Vitamin C serum always goes on first (while your skin is slightly damp). The important thing about Vitamin C serums is finding one that is stablized. If it's not properly stabilized, it will work a few times, and then be totally ineffective because the air will make the product unstable. The best stabilized Vitamin C on the market is made by SkinCeuticals - either CE Ferulic, or Phloretin CF depending on your skin's needs. After this serum, you apply other serums, moisturizers, creams, and finally sunscreen. 

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

Hyaluronic acid with vitamin C

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Thank you for asking about whether hyaluronic acid or vitamin C go on your skin first.

  1. It depends on formulation - some creams and oils inactivate others.
  2. If you bought the hyaluronic acid and vitamin C over the counter, I suggest using one at night, one in the morning.
  3. If you bought them from a physician, contact the office for instructions.
  4. Best wishes.

Using vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid

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Serums are generally applied before moisturizers and creams. If you choose to combine these products, apply the vitamin C serum first then apply the hyaluronic acid over top. The vitamin C will help your skin as an anti-oxidant (which means it can smooth and brighten), and the hyaluronic acid will help plump to make the appearance of wrinkles less noticeable. If you have any further questions about what may be helpful for your skin, I recommend seeing an aesthetician, Dermatologist, or Plastic Surgeon for prescription strength product recommendations. 

ACE your skincare

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Vit C, along  with vitamins A and E, is a great addition to any skincare regime. I often prescribe it with a brightener for pigmentary problems and to reduce redness. The way the product is formulated and delivered is very important as deactivated vitamin C will not do much good.
My preference is C Bright from ZO Medical.

As for topical Hyaluronic Acid, I do not know of any preparation that will effectively deliver HA to the deeper layer of the skin, the dermis. Dermal filler in a bottle is not here yet as far as I  know.

Chien C. Kat, FRCS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

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.