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
(Image credit: Getty / Moment)

When is the best time to use your vitamin C serum, morning or night? A question that has been cropping up ever since this powerhouse ingredient was first mentioned. As the popularity soars, so does the quest for information. We want to know how to harness vitamin c to its fullest potential and soak up all the endless benefits it has to offer. 

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 one of the best vitamin c serums, 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

(Image credit: Getty)

The benefits of using vitamin C at night time

While you’re sleeping, 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 skin. If your chosen serum is quite potent, 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

Perhaps the best of both worlds. Not only will you reap the rewards of vitamin C’s powerful antioxidant properties, but you’ll also benefit from a double dose. However, 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 just stick to using it just once. After, less is more sometimes.

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 a SPF the following day to keep your skin protected.