Can You Use Benzoyl Peroxide And Vitamin C Together?

There's no denying that the world of skincare can be overwhelming. With the many advances in technology, new skincare ingredients are constantly released to help combat various skin issues. From anti-aging to acne-treating ingredients, there's always something new to discover. However, as great as it is to have options, there's such a thing as having too many ingredients. When you have plenty of skincare ingredients to choose from, you need to be aware of potentially wrong combinations. You want to know what products you are mixing, as certain combinations can not only be ineffective, but harmful to your skin.

Dr. Sivanie Sewell, a consultant dermatologist, tells Refinery29, "Mixing skincare ingredients incorrectly can cause skin irritation and dryness. It can also counteract the benefits of certain ingredients thus making them ineffective and ultimately a waste of money. On the other hand, mixing skincare ingredients correctly can result in tackling multiple skin concerns effectively, help counteract the unwanted side effects of certain ingredients and help some ingredients work synergistically, thus enhancing their effects." Two popular skincare ingredients in most skincare lines are benzoyl peroxide and vitamin C. While their benefits are commonly known, their relationship isn't common knowledge. Knowing how your favorite skincare ingredients interact will give you a more insightful approach to your routine, getting you closer to your dream skin.

Should you mix benzoyl peroxide and vitamin C?

Before adding benzoyl peroxide and vitamin C to your skincare routine, you'll need to switch things up. Benzoyl peroxide and vitamin C are not only opposites, but they are an ineffective skincare combination. The Go-To Guide explains that these ingredients are not friendly and will end up canceling each other in your skincare routine. 

On one side, benzoyl peroxide is an effective ingredient to get rid of acne-causing bacteria. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant skincare ingredient that keeps your skin from showing signs of aging. While vitamin C is potent, various forms of the skincare ingredient are unstable — meaning you need to be aware of what you are using in combination with it. When used in combination, benzoyl peroxide will oxidize vitamin C, rendering it useless.

If you seek ingredients to help combat signs of aging and acne, the combination of benzoyl peroxide and vitamin C won't do anything. While the benzoyl peroxide might prevail in this combination, the vitamin C ingredient would be oxidized almost immediately, meaning it would end up being useless. This combination won't harm your skin — but will waste your products, money, and time.

How to use benzoyl peroxide and vitamin C

When used separately, benzoyl peroxide and vitamin C are great ingredients to include in your routine. However, the key is to know how to use both of these ingredients without having them cancel each other out. Saikia Skin explains that the best way to include both ingredients into your routine is by spreading them out from usage. Opt for vitamin C in the morning and apply your benzoyl peroxide product in the evening to avoid having them cancel each other. Since vitamin C helps protect the skin against external triggers, you want to ensure you apply it in the morning for optimal results.

If you prefer to avoid any potential interference, you can also alternate ingredients each day. However, spreading out your ingredients isn't always possible. As The Good Face Project explains, plenty of face cleansers contain benzoyl peroxide as one of their key ingredients. If this is the case, you'll want to let your cleanser absorb and dry for 10 minutes before applying any vitamin C. After cleansing ensure to wipe off any cleanser residue before continuing onto your vitamin C step. If you can, alternate your benzoyl peroxide cleansers to avoid any potential contact.