How to Combine Vitamin C and Salicylic Acid For Swift Result

Loving your skin and wanting to take proper care of it isn’t vanity, it’s sanity!

Having beautiful skin requires commitment and being rightly informed on the best products for your skincare routine.

Vitamin C and Salicylic acid are two ingredients that should be constant in a proper skincare routine. Since you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re wondering if combining them is safe.

This article will explore the science behind using vitamin C with salicylic acid for better results on your skin.

vitamin c and salicylic acid
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Skin Care | Vitamin C And Salicylic Acid

Vitamin C and salicylic acid are two antioxidant molecules that work together to help prevent free radical damage. Antioxidants protect your body from oxidative stress, which occurs when free radicals break down nutrients in the body. 

Oxidative stress is associated with inflammation, premature aging, and cancer development. Free radicals are molecules that can damage cells, causing them to become damaged or diseased. 

The most common sources of oxidative stress include exposure to cigarette smoke and pollution, which includes UV rays from sunshine, smoking tobacco products like cigarettes or pipes, exposure to radiation from X-rays, and chemotherapy drugs used after surgery. 

vitamin c and salicylic acid
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Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a member of the group of beta-hydroxy acids, often referred to as BHA. BHAs are carbon-based organic compounds found naturally in plants, fruits, and vegetables.

The best-hydroxy acids are rich in extra carbon molecules. This is the key to their effectiveness and benefits to the skin.

Salicylic Acid can use its fat-soluble state to penetrate deeper into the pores than many other topical products when applied to your skin.

This is where the acidic part of beta-hydroxy Acid comes into action. It dissolves the protein bonds between dead skin cells, making removing them from the skin easier. Salicylic Acid is indeed an effective exfoliant.

As an exfoliant, it also can cause skin irritation, especially if you have never used an AHA or BHA before. For this reason, it is important to start slowly.

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is classified as an antioxidant. This means that the vitamin neutralizes a dangerous type of molecule known as a free radical. 

Free radicals are molecules missing an electron in their outer shell, making them feel unbalanced.

To cope, they hop around the body, trying to steal them from other molecules. This process makes these molecules unstable, leading to many problems, including visible signs of premature aging.

vitamin c and salicylic acid
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Vitamin C donates some of its electrons to these free radicals to prevent this. This prevents them from wreaking further havoc on the body and slows down the oxidative stress this process causes.

Vitamin C is an essential part of collagen synthesis. It’s a known fact that the natural collagen production in the skin slows down by about one percent per year after age 30.

Combating this degradation is one of the main goals of anti-aging skin care products. The more collagen we have in our skin, the firmer and more youthful it appears.

How To Use Vitamin C And Salicylic Acid 

The beauty industry is a business, and they obviously want you to purchase their products.

Using some of these products consistently will become part of your routine. However, some products should never be a part of your beauty routine. Products like:

  • Exfoliation with harsh scrubs or baking soda masks, unless prescribed by your doctor, 
  • Using products containing retinol or hydroquinone without a prescription from a dermatologist, 
  • Using makeup with SPF below 50, 
  • Wearing foundation without SPF.

Vitamin C and salicylic acid are potent at exfoliating your skin and improving its health, thereby preventing acne. 

However, do not overuse these ingredients. You should only use them when needed because too much can irritate the face or body where the product was applied.

You need a proper understanding of how each ingredient works independently and possible ways to combine them.

How To Use Vitamin C

Vitamin C is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the best ingredients to look for in your antioxidants.

It’s an essential vitamin that plays a vital role in our body’s metabolism, so it can help prevent and treat acne and fade scars.

It also helps repair skin cells, so you get better-looking skin over time. Vitamin C can also help your skin look younger by reducing fine lines and wrinkles caused by sun exposure or smoking.

However, too much vitamin C may cause dryness or flaking skin due to increased red blood cells. Vitamin C is a great product for your skincare routine, but it’s not just for nighttime.

Some people use vitamin C in the morning and some at night, which is perfectly fine. Just ensure you follow the instructions on the product you buy, so it’s the most effective.

It is advisable to apply Vitamin C once or twice a day. A good principle of thumb is cleaning, toning, applying a vitamin C serum, and moisturizing. Apply skin care products with clean hands.

vitamin c and salicylic acid
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How To Use Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is derived from willow bark, a natural ingredient that is excellent at exfoliating and reducing acne.

You can use salicylic acid on its own or other ingredients, such as vitamin C, to help reduce inflammation and heal the skin.

Salicylic acid can be found in products like acne treatments or cleansers because it exfoliates dead skin cells from your pores so they can easily be washed away.

Salicylic acid shouldn’t be used every single day. If you have acne, you should avoid using salicylic acid more than once a week. This can cause dry skin and redness in the applied area, which isn’t good for your skin.

If you are looking for an alternative natural remedy that doesn’t have harsh side effects like drying out your face or causing any irritation from its use, consider using turmeric instead.

Remember that salicylic acid can irritate your skin if you have sensitive skin, rosacea, or eczema. If you have any of these conditions, it’s best to refrain from using this product until your symptoms improve.

It’s also unsafe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding because salicylic acid can pass into the breast milk and harm a newborn’s developing immune system.

How To Combine Vitamin C And Salicylic Acid 

Some people ask if it’s safe to use these two skincare ingredients together. The answer is yes because vitamin C and salicylic acid are both antioxidants that help protect the skin from free radicals.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), which exfoliates the skin by loosening dead surface cells and leaving them on the surface of your face for easier removal with cleansers or wipes.

Vitamin C also affects your skin by helping to prevent collagen breakdown caused by exposure to UV light or pollutants such as cigarette smoke or pollution from vehicles’ exhaust fumes.

It turns out it is safe to combine the two. If you are looking for an acne treatment that can help with dry and oily skin, this combination could be ideal for your needs. 

The two ingredients have different functions, mechanisms of action, and various side effects. So while they may not work in the same way or have similar results on your face, they do have some overlap when it comes down to what they do.

Apply Them Together

It is usually common to apply Vitamin C and Salicylic Acid separately. However, there are ways to use them together. It is the order that makes the difference. 

While vitamin C is usually easily absorbed by the skin, it has been found to penetrate most effectively into the skin with lower pH values. 

This is where salicylic acid comes in. The acid itself also lowers the skin’s pH. Applying it before vitamin C will help it to be most beneficial and effective. For clarification, always use your brightening pads before applying your glow factor.

For this application to work, wait a few minutes after swiping the cleansing pad over your face to apply the glow factor. If you use them too close together, you can dilute both products, and neither will be as effective as they could be.


Can I Use Salicylic Acid Before Vitamin C?

Yes, you definitely can; applying salicylic acid before vitamin C ensures that it can penetrate quickly and provide faster results. The reason why this is an efficient way to use both power plants has to do with the pH levels.

What Can I Combine With Salicylic Acid?

Combining Niacinamide, a water-soluble form of vitamin B3, and salicylic acid, will work especially well when combined. They both have anti-acne and anti-aging effects and offer some level of UV protection.

Can I Use Salicylic Acid, Niacinamide, And Vitamin C Together?

It is best to avoid combining vitamin C with Niacinamide. They are rich in antioxidants and are highly beneficial for the skin when used alone. 

When used together, their effectiveness is affected, rendering both of them useless and unable to deliver good results.

Is Salicylic Acid Or Vitamin C Better?

When it comes to anti-aging, vitamin C tops it. However, salicylic acid would be a better choice if you have oily skin or are prone to acne. There is no reason why you can’t use the two ingredients together – as long as you don’t experience irritation.

Can I Use Salicylic Acid Every Day?

While it’s okay to use salicylic acid daily, it could cause irritation. Therefore, many dermatologists recommend using the acid in moderation, applying it three times a week, and working your way up.


Now that you understand the benefits of using Vitamin C and Salicylic Acid, you can see how this could be a great addition to your skincare routine. 

It is important to remember that you should always consult a specialist before using any new products. 

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