Is Vitamin C Serum Better Than Hyaluronic Acid For Your Skin?

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Talking about skincare powerhouses, each is good at what it does. You may want to put your ingredients on a scale like a superiority comparison, for instance, to know whether vitamin C serum is better than hyaluronic acid or the other way around.

As mentioned above, each ingredient is a powerhouse and specifically targets a skin concern. If your skin suffers dehydration, you wouldn’t turn to vitamin C or retinol, would you? And this doesn’t undermine the effectiveness of these two active ingredients in any anti-aging routine.

Therefore, rather than putting your ingredients in a competition, a look at their differences, effectiveness in treating different skin concerns, and compatibility will help answer your question. Also, it’ll guide you to the right choice.

What are the benefits of using vitamin C serum?

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin; the body doesn’t produce it naturally. Therefore, you need an external supply of vitamin C to stay nourished.

One of the best ways to supply your skin with vitamin C is via serums; the liquid-based formula aids in quick absorption. Moreover, vitamin C serum has a reputation for brightening the skin and restoring it to its youth.

It is a natural antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical formation, which is almost inevitable due to exposure to the sun and other pollutants. These free radicals can affect the texture and appearance of your skin.

Likewise, applying vitamin C serum to your skin can help to stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis. These proteins are important for skin elasticity and mask signs of aging.

Vitamin C serum is very soothing for skin inflammation and can help to calm skin redness and control skin irritations and subsequent acne breakouts.

Where there are established acne scars, vitamin C serum plays the role of a gentle exfoliator. It can help fade scars, dark spots, and even your skin tone.

In addition to the above-mentioned benefits of using vitamin C serum, it can help cut down healing time and fasten the healing process of wounds. Overall, vitamin C improves the appearance and texture of your skin.

What are the benefits of using hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid is no news when it comes to improving skin hydration and moisture levels. Hyaluronic acid can hold 1000 times its weight in water. It uses this property to increase your skin’s moisture retention capacity and keep it hydrated.

As a humectant, it draws moisture from the atmosphere, pulls it down to your skin, and retains it there. This helps to keep your skin plump and promote elasticity.

Moreover, by increasing your skin’s ability to hold water down, it prevents moisture loss which can lead to dehydration.

Additionally, it strengthens your natural barrier, which is important for protecting your skin from environmental irritants that can affect the health and appearance of your skin.

Besides hydrating your skin, hyaluronic acid supports other actives and can help in the treatment of concerns like acne. It keeps your skin plump and enhances elasticity which is necessary to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

More so, it can fill up those lines and even make sagging skin firmer. Hyaluronic acid also enhances the wound-healing process and can stimulate the regeneration of the skin.

Is vitamin C serum better than hyaluronic acid for hydration?

Vitamin C serums can help hydrate your skin and keep it firm. This property is not so mentioned because the hydrating benefit of vitamin C serum is usually a result of other ingredients like glycerin in the serum.

It combines this hydrating power with its skin-tightening property and improves the texture and appearance of your skin. However, hyaluronic acid is a better hydrator when compared to vitamin C serum. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, while vitamin C serum is not.

In addition, vitamin C serum can strengthen or improve your natural barrier by protecting it from the penetration of pollutants. Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, boosts moisture levels and improves and protects your natural barrier as it amps moisture levels.

To hydrate your skin and keep it plump and glowing with youthfulness, you should use both ingredients to boost hydration levels.

Is vitamin C serum better than hyaluronic acid for anti-aging?

Vitamin C serums are great for treating aging. When the serum absorbs into your skin, it stimulates the synthesis of collagen and elastin. This effectively makes up for the collagen lost to aging.

Increasing skin elasticity increases your skin’s moisture retention capacity. Using vitamin C serum can help reverse the signs of aging by promoting skin rejuvenation which is the key to having youthful skin again.

Hyaluronic acid can also help improve the signs of aging by filling fine lines and wrinkles. As a result, your skin becomes plump, regains elasticity, and is firmer.

Both actives promote skin elasticity and increase the ability of your skin to hold down water. While vitamin C protects your skin from free radical damage, hyaluronic acid keeps it moisturized and enhances skin barrier function.

These two are best used together than separately to treat aging; one enhances the effectiveness of the other.

Is vitamin C serum better than hyaluronic acid for acne?

Vitamin C serum is a mild exfoliator and can help slough off dead skin cells and unclog your pores. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make your skin inhabitable for the breeding of the bacteria responsible for acne breakouts.

With these, vitamin C serum targets acne at its roots. Moreover, it is anti-inflammatory and helps to calm redness and prevent the breakout of inflammatory acne.

Dr. Gretchen Frieling, a board-certified dermatopathologist says, “hyaluronic acid is often included in the treatment regimen for acne-prone patients because it’s non-comedogenic, hydrating, and has antibacterial properties. It makes a good addition as part of a comprehensive treatment.”

Hyaluronic acid keeps your skin hydrated and keeps your natural barrier intact. These are preventive ways of preventing acne breakouts. When your skin is moisturized, oil production is regulated, and your skin doesn’t overcompensate with oil.

However, vitamin C serum is best paired with hyaluronic acid to treat acne. It could be quite drying on the skin and pose threats to the integrity of your skin barrier. Therefore, you should follow up with hyaluronic acid to restore moisture and prevent irritation.

Is vitamin C serum better than hyaluronic acid for skin brightening?

Vitamin C is best known for its brightening effect on the skin, but it doesn’t leave hyaluronic acid out. Every skin type and concern needs moisture which hyaluronic acid does best.

Hyaluronic acid does not directly brighten your skin. However, it can stimulate processes like skin regeneration and improve barrier function to make your skin look more vibrant and glowing.

On its own, vitamin C aligns your skin tone effortlessly. However, it must be followed with a moisturizer like hyaluronic acid. This mild acid is an essential ingredient in skin-brightening formulas.

Vitamin C promotes cell turnover to improve skin complexion. However, while it promotes cell turnover, it is likely to cause skin purges and slight irritations. You should pair it with hyaluronic acid to soothe irritated skin.

This rules out a comparison on which is better between vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid because they make a better pair to brighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation that distort your complexion.

Can you use vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid together?

Yes, you can.

Skincare experts recommend that you always pair vitamin C serum with a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid to enhance its effects and protect your skin. This is because vitamin C has great potential to disrupt the skin’s barrier.

A disrupted barrier will no longer keep moisture in, and it exposes the skin to the penetration of irritants.

Besides the soothing benefit of pairing vitamin C serum with hyaluronic acid, they make a power couple for the treatment of aging, acne management, and skin brightening.

Some vitamin C serums contain short fragments of hyaluronic acid in their formula. These serums are more recommended than those without hyaluronic acid.

How should you use vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid?

Experts recommend that you use two separate products for better results. A combined serum that contains vitamin C and hyaluronic acid is packed with benefits but is least likely to yield as much result as using separate products would.

Therefore, to use vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid, get two separate products. It could be a vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid serum or vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid cream.

Follow these steps to use different products for your routine:

  • Begin your routine by cleansing your face with a mild, non-exfoliating cleanser or micellar water
  • Dampen a cotton ball with a cleanser and wipe across your face to remove dirt, oil, and grime that may interfere with your products
  • Afterward, you may use a toner to balance your skin’s pH and prep it for the products down your routine
  • While your face is still damp, pump out the vitamin C serum and gently pat it on your skin. Make sure you have even coverage of your face and neck
  • Thereafter, allow the serum to absorb into your skin for a minute before you go ahead with hyaluronic acid
  • If it’s a serum, pump out about five drops and pat the serum all over your face and neck. Remember to moisturize after layering serums
  • If the hyaluronic acid product is a moisturizer, a pea-sized amount of cream is enough to moisturize your skin
  • Apply any other cream on your routine (excluding retinol cream)
  • Don’t forget to use sunscreen before you step out during the day

Are there any potential risks of using both?

There are no side effects of using vitamin C serum with hyaluronic acid unless your skin shows natural sensitivities to either of these ingredients.

Therefore, before you fully incorporate any of these ingredients into your routine, you should run a patch test and be sure of their compatibility with your skin.


is vitamin c serum better than hyaluronic acid

Should you use vitamin C serum before or after hyaluronic acid?

Vitamin C serum should come first.

Apply hyaluronic acid to seal in moisture and prevent skin irritations. Moreover, vitamin C serum is thinner than hyaluronic acid; therefore, it should come first. Also, hyaluronic acid helps to prevent moisture loss.

Can you use vitamin C serum every day?

Yes, you can.

If your skin perfectly tolerates vitamin C, you can apply it every day as part of your AM and PM routine. However, to be safer, introduce vitamin C in small concentrations to be sure it fares well with your skin.

Can you use two different serums at a time?

Yes, you can layer two serums.

The rule for layering two serums says that you should be sure the ingredients you’re layering are optimally active within the same pH range. Also, layer serums from the thinnest to the thickest and moisturize afterward.


Skincare actives are quite different from each other and carry out different functions. For this reason, comparing them may not always be possible. Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are two different ingredients that work excellently when used together.

Rather than making a choice, you can and should pair them to get the best results and improve the appearance of your skin. To conquer premature aging and skin discoloration, vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid are the magic duo.

Thanks for reading.

You can find more helpful beauty tips here on MBGON.