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Can Applying Vitamin C to Your Skin at Night Make a Difference?

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In this article, board-certified dermatologist Shasa Hu, MD, discusses the importance of timing when it comes to applying skincare ingredients. For example, vitamin C serum is best applied in the morning to help protect the skin from environmental aggressors like UV rays and air pollution. While some people have been using vitamin C at night, Dr. Hu explains that using it in the morning is more beneficial for preventing sunburn and DNA damage from UV exposure.

Using vitamin C at night can still provide some benefits, such as reducing hyperpigmentation and increasing collagen production. However, Dr. Hu advises against using it at night, especially if you already use potent actives like retinol or glycolic acid in your evening routine. Using vitamin C both in the morning and at night can potentially damage the skin barrier and lead to irritation, making it best to stick to using it in the morning only.

Dr. Hu recommends using vitamin C in the morning to give the skin extra protection against UV damage, particularly when paired with sunscreen. Applying vitamin C under sunscreen acts as a booster to enhance protection throughout the day. She also suggests using a less irritating type of vitamin C, such as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, if you have sensitive skin or are concerned about potential reactions with other skincare ingredients.

Ultimately, Dr. Hu emphasizes the importance of consistency in skincare routines, likening it to a marathon rather than a sprint. By following her advice to use vitamin C in the morning, you can ensure long-term results for healthier, more radiant skin. So, next time you reach for your skincare products, remember to consider the best timing for optimal benefits and results.

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