Should you use your vitamin C serum in the morning or at night?

When is the best time to apply your vitamin C serum, morning or night?

Vitamin C serum morning or night
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When it comes to vitamin C there is a lot of deliberation on whether it's best to use your vitamin C serum in the morning or night.

There is no doubt that adding one of the best vitamin C serums to your routine is one of the keys to unlocking great skin but there are several questions that come up when trying to figure out how to use a vitamin C serum properly, and this is one of them. As the popularity soars, so does the quest for information. We want to know how to harness it to its fullest potential and soak up all the endless benefits of vitamin C

Vitamin C works to protect skin against free radicals and other damaging environmental factors like pollution and UV. It's also famed for inhibiting the production of melanin and helps to fade discoloration and dark spots.  

It also helps to encourage skin cells to produce collagen—which is naturally occurring in the skin but levels of it decrease as we get older. What’s even more impressive is that it’s one of the few scientifically proven ingredients that can actually help improve existing, visible signs of aging. That means regular use of a vitamin C serum will leave skin even-toned, radiant, plump, and free of any fine lines or wrinkles. A true skincare hero.

So, once you've chosen your preferred vitamin C serum, it's time to put it to work. But before you do, you'll want to work out the best time to use it. 

There is an ongoing debate around whether vitamin C is best used as part of your daily morning routine or whether it should be applied before bed so it can work its magic through the night. 

We’ve broken down the benefits of both ways to help you make an informed decision based on what’s right for your skin type.

The benefits of using vitamin C during the day

First and foremost, vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants out there. That means it really comes into its own during the day when it can get to work protecting skin against harmful elements like pollution, free radicals, UV rays, and other factors that leave skin looking dull and lifeless. 

If you are using your vitamin C serum during the day, it should always be followed with a minimum of SPF30 to help protect it against the sun. However, if your skin is super sensitive and prone to irritation, you may want to switch it up. You could either use a gentle antioxidant during the day and switch to using vitamin C at nighttime instead. Or, you could opt for a lower strength vitamin C serum which is less likely to cause any sensitivity or reaction. 

vitamin c serum morning or night, woman applying skincare

(Image credit: Getty Images / Westend61)

The benefits of using vitamin C at night time

While you’re sleeping, your skin undergoes its natural repair process. During sleep skin’s blood flow increases, it rebuilds collagen and repairs damage like fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots that have been caused by UV exposure. 

So using a curated edit of products that will help aid skin as it gets to work isn’t a bad idea. Using a vitamin C serum during the night means it will have the biggest and most effective impact on the skin. 

If your chosen serum is quite potent, like the Medik8 Super C30 Intense, you also reduce the risk of photosensitivity occurring (a reaction that can be triggered by sunlight).

 It’s worth adding that if you do choose to use vitamin C at night, you should always ensure you’re using SPF the following day to ensure maximum efficacy. 

The benefits of using vitamin C in the morning and in the evening

Think of slathering vitamin C in the morning and night as the best of both worlds. You're sure to reap the rewards of vitamin C's powerful antioxidant properties by essentially getting a double dose. 

Word to the wise, though, it’s worth noting that there’s a limit as to how much vitamin C that skin can absorb. Once that limit has been reached, any extra product will essentially be wasted. So if you’re using a product that’s more gentle and has a lower percentage of vitamin C in it, you’re good to use it twice a day. But if your chosen serum has a higher, more potent level in it then it’s best to adopt a less is more approach and stick to using it just once.

So, should you use vitamin C in the morning or night?

It’s all down to your skin and no one knows your skin better than you. When used during the day, vitamin C helps defend against pollutants and free radicals. This is best for those with normal skin and should always be followed by SPF. If your skin tends to verge on the sensitive side, then using vitamin C at nighttime is advisable 

During sleep, the skin repair process is at its most optimal so therefore nighttime use of vitamin C is preferable as it will have the biggest impact on your skin. Always remember to use SPF the following day to keep your skin protected.