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Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid With Vitamin C?

Kristin Hall, FNP

Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Karla

Published 06/15/2021

Updated 06/16/2021

Even with regular SPF use, drinking plenty of water and eating our five-a-day, as we grow older, all human skin begins to show signs of aging. 

Hormonal changes result in less elastic, drier and sometimes age spotted-skin, and sun damage is pretty much a part of life, even if we do spend 90 percent of our days indoors. 

Regular dermatologist visits and a healthy skin care routine — in addition to those wellness habits mentioned earlier — can keep you looking much younger than your “real age,” though. 

A variety of potions and serums are often touted as being beneficial, vitamin C and hyaluronic among them. 

But what does the science say about vitamin C and hyaluronic acid? And can you use hyaluronic acid with vitamin C?

Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in our bodies, and it’s a key ingredient for hydrated skin. It can also be applied topically or as a filler, both of which are proven to be effective and safe.  

A hyaluronic acid molecule is able to hold 1,000 times its weight in water, making it a popular anti-aging skin care active ingredient (considering that tendency toward dry skin as we age). 

For this reason, it falls under the category of a “humectant,” or something that can help the skin retain moisture. 

You can think of hyaluronic acid like a sponge, soaking up water and plumping up skin. If you're getting this acid confused with glycolic acid, another popular skincare ingredient, you can read up about hyaluronic acid vs glycolic acid in this article.

Hyaluronic acid injections work more quickly than hyaluronic acid serums or creams, but they’re also more expensive and invasive. 

With regular use and within less than four weeks, research has shown that topical hyaluronic acid serums and creams can still:

  • Hydrate skin

  • Increase skin firmness and elasticity

  • Help regenerate new skin cells

  • Decrease the appearance of wrinkles 

  • Smooth skin texture

You’re probably familiar with the vitamin C you eat in foods like citrus fruit, tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers and beyond. 

Applied topically, you may have heard it called “ascorbic acid,” which is one of the most effective antioxidants for skin.

Vitamin C serums are exploding in popularity as evidence continues to mount regarding their potent anti-aging benefits for a variety of skin types, including:

  • Increasing collagen synthesis

  • Exfoliating the skin via the promotion of healthy skin turnover

  • Brightening dark spots

  • Decreasing acne by offering anti-inflammatory properties

  • Reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

  • Treating and preventing age spots by protecting the skin from oxidative stress

anti-aging treatment

aging isn't scary with proven ingredients on your side

Look back at those two bulleted lists about the benefits of these skincare products — it sounds like a pretty winning complexion. 

So can you use hyaluronic acid with vitamin C?

You bet, and they might even work better together. Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid complement each other to moisturize, protect and repair the skin all at once. 

They can also help counteract any potential side effects of the other. 

For example, vitamin C serums may result in dryness for some skin types, which hyaluronic acid can help balance.

A 2020 study discovered that applying a 20 percent vitamin C serum (which also included tocopheryl acetate and a very small amount of Rubus Idaeus leaf cell culture) once a day for two months boosted skin elasticity and vibrancy while reducing wrinkles. 

A 2014 study found that hyaluronic acid cream applied twice a day for two months improved skin hydration by as much as 96 percent, decreased wrinkle depth by up to 40 percent, and improved skin firmness and elasticity. 

There are many products on the market that combine these two in one skincare product.

Or you can bookend your day the skin healthy way: Wake up to this Vitamin C Serum and Moisturizer for Men then before bed, slather on wrinkle-fighting Anti-Aging Cream (which is customized to each skin type, but often includes hyaluronic acid if a consultation shows you might benefit from using it).

If you’re using hyaluronic acid and vitamin C separately — and for any skincare products you use and apply at morning or night — follow this rule of thumb: Work from thinnest to thickest consistency, say, a serum, then oil, then moisturizer.

anti-aging cream

fewer wrinkles or your money back

Unless your skin is sensitive to either vitamin C or hyaluronic acid, there’s no risk of combining the two as part of one cohesive, healthy and hydrated skin routine. 

From sun-damaged skin to wrinkly skin to parched pores and beyond, these superhero serums make a strong team.

12 Sources

  1. Indoor Air Quality. (n.d.). United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/report-environment/indoor-air-quality
  2. Gupta, R., Lall, R., Srivastava, A., Sinha, A. (2019, June) Hyaluronic Acid: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Trajectory. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6603175/
  3. Papakonstantinou, E., Roth, M., Karakiulakis, G. (2012, July) Hyaluronic Acid: A Key Molecule in Skin Aging. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/
  4. Vincent, C., Geralis, A., Chandar, P. (2009, March) Performance of Novel Humectant System on Healthy Skin: Longer-Term Improvement of Skin Condition. Retrieved from https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622%2808%2901807-0/abstract
  5. Goberdhan, L., Makino, E., Fleck, T., Mehta, R. (2016, May) Immediate and Long-Term Effects of a Topical Serum with Five Forms of Hyaluronic Acid on Facial Wrinkles and Intrinsic Skin Moisture Content. Retrieved from https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(16)00202-4/fulltext
  6. Vitamin C Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. (n.d.). National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
  7. Al-Niaimi, F. Yi Zhen Chiang, N. (2017, July) Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605218/
  8. Garre, A. Narda, M., Valderas-Martinez, P., Piquero, J., Granger, C. (2018, May) Antiaging Effects of a Novel Facial Serum Containing L-Ascorbic Acid, Proteoglycans, and Proteoglycan-Stimulating Tripeptide: Ex Vivo Skin Explant Studies and In Vivo Clinical Studies in Women. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29881301/
  9. Act Your Age When it Comes to Skin Care. (n.d.). American Academy of Dermatology Association. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/news/age-and-skin-care
  10. Rattanawiwatpong, P., Wanitphakdeedecha, R., Bumrungpert, A,, Maiprasert, M. (2020, March) Anti‐Aging and Brightening Effects of a Topical Treatment Containing Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Raspberry Leaf Cell Culture Extract: A Split‐Face, Randomized Controlled Trial. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7027822/
  11. Jegasothy, S., Zabolotniaia, V., Bielfeldt, S. (2014, March) Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3970829/
  12. Pullar, J. M., Carr, A. C., & Vissers, M. (2017). The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients, 9(8), 866. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/
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Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kristin Hall, FNP

Kristin Hall is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with decades of experience in clinical practice and leadership. 

She has an extensive background in Family Medicine as both a front-line healthcare provider and clinical leader through her work as a primary care provider, retail health clinician and as Principal Investigator with the NIH

Certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, she brings her expertise in Family Medicine into your home by helping people improve their health and actively participate in their own healthcare. 

Kristin is a St. Louis native and earned her master’s degree in Nursing from St. Louis University, and is also a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. You can find Kristin on LinkedIn for more information.

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