Mixing Skincare Ingredients with Vitamin C - Best and Worst

Your favorite dessert – whether it's a decadent bite of chocolate, a luscious slice of cake, or a delightful serving of pie – embodies a symphony of flavors that meld together to create a perfect indulgence. Similarly, your skincare regimen should blend the benefits of various natural ingredients to provide your complexion with comprehensive nourishment.

As a front-runner in skincare ingredients, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boasts a slew of benefits for every skin type. Known for its brightening effects, Vitamin C is also celebrated for its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation, discoloration, redness, and dark spots, as well as its ability to help minimize sun damage and wrinkles (though it’s no substitute for sunscreen). 

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin found in citrus fruits, berries, and some vegetables, and is an essential nutrient for tissue recovery and the formation of collagen. Only a small portion of this dietary vitamin makes its way to the skin, making it an obvious choice to add to your skincare regimen as a serum or topical treatment. 

Excited to introduce Vitamin C into your morning routine? Check out Botanika Life’s Vitamin C and CBD elixir which combines these two ingredients with squalane and grape seed oil for an enriching yet light serum.  

What Not to Mix with Vitamin C Serum

While layering serums is a smart way to benefit from multiple ingredients at once, it’s important to remember that not all ingredients can mix well with Vitamin C. 

For starters, Vitamin C should not be mixed with other acid products. Playing a crucial role in fortifying the outer layer of the skin barrier, when Vitamin C is paired with an acid, it has the potential to amplify the effectiveness of your Vitamin C, but it may also lead to significant irritation. When mixed, some ingredients can even cancel out the positive effects Vitamin C brings to the table. 

All the following ingredients can exist within your skincare regimen; however, they should be applied at separate times than Vitamin C serums and not mixed together. 


When it comes to what not to mix with Vitamin C, retinol is at the top of the list. Retinol is known for stimulating cell turnover, ridding the skin of old and damaged skin cells, often causing skin to peel. Derived from Vitamin A, retinol is known for boosting collagen and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. 

Retinol provides many of the same benefits as Vitamin C, such as reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation and improving skin tone. That being said, these two power-packed ingredients have their place in your skincare regimen, just at different times. 

Try applying Vitamin C serum and retinol at separate times of the day – Vitamin C in the morning and retinol at night – for the best results. If you have sensitive skin, you may need to trade off days, so use these ingredients on alternate days.  

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid and Vitamin C can help you achieve a brighter, even-toned complexion, but they must be used at separate times. 

Renowned for its acne-fighting benefits, this ingredient reduces sebum production which contributes to clogged pores and acne. Vitamin C and salicylic acid are both exfoliating ingredients that remove dead skin cells from the outer layers of your skin. Keep in mind that more isn't necessarily better when it comes to exfoliating. Mixing Vitamin C and salicylic acid can lead to skin irritation and compromise your skin's outer barrier. 


The list of what not to mix with Vitamin C serums includes both AHAs and BHAs. Also known as alpha and beta hydroxy acids, these ingredients help peel away the skin’s surface and get deep into the pores to remove oil and dead skin. 

AHAs are water-soluble acids, popular for their skin-smoothing effects. On the other hand, BHAs are oil-soluble, allowing them to penetrate the skin and pores more deeply. These ingredients are potent exfoliants, but combined with Vitamin C are a sure way to irritate the skin. Mixing these exfoliants with Vitamin C can cause dryness, redness, irritation, and even damage the outer skin layer.

As a general rule of thumb, applying Vitamin C in the morning and AHAs or BHAs at night enhances exfoliation and brightening of skin, and also helps protect your skin from increased sun sensitivity. 

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide effectively decreases acne-causing bacteria, making it very effective for preventing and treating breakouts. That being said, benzoyl peroxide can oxidize Vitamin C when mixed together, canceling out the benefits of both ingredients.

If you are using these ingredients to treat acne, it is wise to use them separately, either at different times of the day or alternating days throughout the week. If you plan on using both benzoyl peroxide and Vitamin C on the same day, try using vitamin C in the morning and the benzoyl peroxide at night.  

Ingredients that Pair Wonderfully With Vitamin C


CBD (Cannabidiol)

A dynamic duo, mixing CBD with Vitamin C creates a powerful combination of skin-enhancing ingredients. CBD and Vitamin C work hand-in-hand to decrease inflammation, heal skin, and address discoloration.

Using a skin serum with Vitamin C will help speed up your body's ability to absorb the potent cannabinoids in CBD, thus enhancing their healing effects. Mixing these two can help protect your skin from free radical damage, boost collagen production, and decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 


If you want to add hydration to your skin and reduce signs of aging, using Vitamin C and squalane is an excellent mixture for your morning skincare. Squalane helps smooth the skin’s texture, reducing the appearance of fine lines without clogging pores. Both ingredients can work together to hydrate and help reduce inflammation, allowing the benefits of both ingredients to improve each other. 

Hyaluronic acid

An ideal skincare pair, mixing hyaluronic acid with Vitamin C offers the benefits of two powerful anti-aging ingredients. Hyaluronic acid is known for boosting hydration and decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to reveal a firmer-looking complexion. This magical ingredient absorbs and retains water, locking in up to 1,000 times its weight in water. By binding to collagen within the skin, adding hyaluronic acid to the mix will surely give your skin added elasticity and hydration.  


Known as a powerhouse skincare ingredient for its versatility and efficacy, niacinamide (or Vitamin B3) can address a wide range of skin concerns. This potent ingredient is often mixed with Vitamin C serums to improve the skin’s barrier, offering protection from environmental harm and increasing collagen production. 

Used in skincare products to decrease fine lines and wrinkles, niacinamide is commonly added to Vitamin C in skincare products to help lighten discoloration and combat signs of aging. 

Vitamin E

A powerful mix, Vitamins C and E, are packed with antioxidants, offering many skin benefits. Vitamin E is famous for its skin-soothing effects, being able to penetrate the skin for deep moisturization. 

Combining Vitamin E in your skincare routine helps the skin absorb and retain the benefits of both these vitamins, creating a duo that calms and protects the skin. 

Witch Hazel

As a natural botanical ingredient, witch hazel is an ideal ingredient to use along with Vitamin C in your skincare routine. Both ingredients can tighten pores and reduce inflammation, leading to healthier-looking skin. 

Witch hazel is known for its antioxidant properties, which can help reduce oil production and minimize breakouts. It is also naturally anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, making it ideal for sensitive skin types and those who deal with acne. 

Ferulic acid

Ferulic acid is a great combo if you are trying to decide what to use with Vitamin C. These two antioxidants magnify each other's anti-aging benefits and can fight environmental damage, thus protecting your skin from toxins and sun damage. Ferulic acid is often mixed with Vitamin C to make this vitamin last longer in skincare products.  

Recommended Morning Skincare Combos from Botanika Life



Start your morning skincare routine off right with the ultimate protection from free radical damage by using Vitamin C & CBD Skin Elixir. Packed with antioxidants, this serum combines squalane, CBD, and Vitamin C to brighten skin, fight wrinkles, and even out your complexion. 


Imagine a cleansing blend of natural ingredients that hydrate your skin while also deep cleaning. Pamper your face with a revitalizing boost by adding this Deep Clean Facial Cleanser to your routine. Including Vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and CBD, this clarifying cleanser is loaded with all-natural ingredients. Additional skin benefits come from the combination of aloe leaf juice, shea butter, and chamomile to make this soothing cleanser your new favorite. 


The powerful ingredients in this Calming Facial Toner elevate its effectiveness, combining everything you need to calm your skin and even out your complexion. From CBD to witch hazel, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, this facial toner is the perfect skincare product to lock in moisture and enhance the absorption of other products. All without the use of chemicals or alcohol. 


For mornings when you have more time, Botanika Life’s Detox & Renew Charcoal Clay Mask provides the perfect balance between indulgence and regeneration. Created with activated charcoal, kaolin, and bentonite clay, this mask goes beyond the surface to deep clean pores while balancing inflammation with ingredients like full spectrum CBD and niacinamide. Combo this nourishing mask with our Vitamin C elixir, and you have a winning duo! 


An added bonus to any skincare routine includes a much-needed Crystal Gua Sha Facial Tool, used to tighten and tone while helping products be absorbed into the skin. Our tip? Apply the Vitamin C elixir prior to using the crystal gua sha facial tool to help the stone glide over the skin while simultaneously massaging the nutrients deeper into your complexion. 

Why Shop With Botanika Life? 

Shop with Botanika Life for an unparalleled skincare experience. Our commitment to excellence begins with sourcing only the finest ingredients, exclusively from the USA and organically cultivated. Each product is meticulously crafted to strike the perfect balance between gentle care and potent effectiveness. Rest assured, our dedication to quality is reinforced by third-party lab testing, ensuring the potency and purity of every item you purchase. Elevate your skincare routine with Botanika Life today.



By Emily Wegener

With a unique background as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Masters Degree in Teaching and experience in Psychology, Emily spends much of her time researching and trying out new holistic healing modalities.