Deep Dive: Vitamin C + Retinol in Skincare

When you’re building out the perfect skincare routine, there are a lot of different types of products to sort through. But two ingredients that you probably hear about as must-haves are Vitamin C and Retinol. Below, we break down why we love these two ingredients so much and how you can incorporate them into your skincare regimen. 

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What Does Vitamin C Do? 

It's a powerhouse ingredient that does everything from brightening your skin to refining its texture, from protecting your skin's barrier to reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C is one of the most trusted antioxidants in skincare, recommended by dermatologists and estheticians alike as an integral part of your routine. As an antioxidant, it helps protect your skin from environmental stressors and free radicals that can prematurely age your skin or cause discoloration.

All About CC Me Vitamin C + Niacinamide Serum

After cleansing, apply one to two pumps of CC Me Vitamin C + Niacinamide Serum to your dry skin. This mega-brightening product is packed with two types of Vitamin C to attract and retain moisture while targeting dark spots and hyperpigmentation. In a 4-week consumer study with 32 participants (aged 25 - 55) using CC Me Serum, 97% of participants said their skin looked brighter and less dull, and 94% noted their skin looked more even-toned, felt smoother and more supple.

3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid: Also known as Ethylated Ascorbic Acid, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is the more stable form of the two Vitamin C types, according to the National Library of Medicine. You've probably heard that Vitamin C is a notoriously unstable ingredient that turns brown and becomes ineffective after a few months. 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid consists of Vitamin C and an Ethyl Group bound to the third Carbon position, making this form of Vitamin C very stable and soluble in both water and oil. This placement also enables it to penetrate the skin's deeper layers without causing irritation.

Its efficacy is enhanced by its rapid absorption into the skin, which helps to yield the best results. In CC Me, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid works to both brighten the skin and protect against free radicals and other environmental stressors. 

Ascorbyl Glucoside: Ascorbyl Glucoside is another stable form of Vitamin C combined with the sugar Glucose. When properly formulated and absorbed into skin, it breaks down to ascorbic acid, also known as pure Vitamin C. Once absorbed, its breakdown to Vitamin C is gradual, creating what's known as a reservoir effect within skin. This leads to longer-lasting benefits.

It easily penetrates skin to brighten and improve your skin tone and also has excellent antioxidant properties to improve skin's environmental defenses. CC Me also contains Niacinamide, which is composed of two different components: Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, and nicotinic acid. 

The ingredient is great for brightening skin and helps to reduce redness that occurs due to acne, rosacea, eczema, and other inflammatory skin conditions, per the Cleveland Clinic. It also helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. 

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When Should You Use Vitamin C? 

Vitamin C is recommended for your AM routine because of how well it pairs with SPF. Vitamin C and sunscreen are the perfect pair to protect your skin from the sun. Sunscreen is your first line of defense, blocking UV rays from penetrating into the skin. VItamin C is like an insurance policy that neutralizes free radicals caused by UV light that penetrates into the skin despite our best efforts in wearing sunscreen.

Vitamin C works hard to protect your skin during the day, so when you get ready to turn in for the evening, it’s time for another powerhouse ingredient to work its magic overnight.

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What Does Retinol Do?

Dr. Sam Ellis recently appeared on our co-founder, Marianna’s, Life With Marianna podcast to discuss everything you need to know about Retinols. According to Dr. Ellis, “Retinol is a hormone that's used in the skin and essentially when it's absorbed into the skin it turns on certain genes to be made in your skin cells that help with things like collagen production that help clear away old damaged elastin, which is another protein in our skin that gives our skin flexibility, but as we get older it can accumulate in a damaged form and that can make our skin look dull or bumpy so it helps clear that out. It helps with things like the formation of new healthy blood vessels. It also increases cellular turnover over the top layer of our skin so the skin doesn’t look as dull and it looks a lot brighter.” 

All About Midnight Ritual

A few times a week, apply one to two pumps of Midnight Ritual Retinol Renewal Serum after cleansing. This gentle-yet-effective retinol treatment packs a powerful punch to renew and restore your skin’s tone and texture. Packed with two forms of retinoids — vegan retinol and retinyl linoleate — along with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, it works to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, skin discoloration, and minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores, while simultaneously soothing the skin with a blend of oatmeal and tiger grass. It’s the perfect addition to your nighttime skincare routine.

In an independent clinical study of 33 participants ranging in age from 31 – 60, after 4 weeks of use, 91% of participants showed an improvement in facial skin redness and 88% of participants showed an improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And in an independent consumer use study with 33 participants ranging in age from 31 – 60, after 4 weeks of use, 97% agreed after using this serum, their skin feels soothed and calmed and 94% agreed after using this serum, their skin has a visibly smoother texture. 

Vegan Retinol + Retinyl Linoleate: These are the active ingredients in Midnight Ritual. They are powerful, plant-derived ingredients that work to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, skin discoloration, and enlarged pores. While many retinol formulations can be quite harsh on the skin, these ingredients are gentle enough to be compatible with all skin types, including sensitive skin. 

Midnight Ritual also contains hydrating ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide, as well as skin-soothing ingredients like Tiger Grass and Oatmeal, to help calm your skin while the serum works overtime to deliver overnight results.

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When Should You Use Retinol? 

Retinol can make skin sensitive to sunlight, so it’s best to use it during your nighttime routine. Applying the treatment to freshly-cleaned skin helps work its magic while you sleep and your skin goes through its usual regeneration process. 

Armed with these two serums that are powered by two super ingredients — Vitamin C and Retinol — your skin will look bright, glowing and youthful.