Difference Between Vitamin C Serum and Retinol Serum

Vitamin C Serum is a skincare antioxidant serum that helps your skin from getting damaged. The damages due to the UV rays, pollution can be avoided if the serum is used regularly.

Retinol Serum, on the other hand, is an excellent skincare serum that unclogs the pores and reduces wrinkles drastically. Retinol is the Vitamin A that your skin needs.

Comparison Table Between Vitamin C Serum and Retinol Serum

Parameters of ComparisonVitamin C SerumRetinol Serum
Prescribed time to applyVitamin C Serum is advised to be applied on the day.Retinol Serum is suggested to be applied at night.
SunblockThough Vitamin C protects from UV rays, it is not as effective as retinol.It is an effective sunblock but always considered second to an actual sunblock cream or serum.
Blackhead treatmentVitamin C Serum cannot help in this case.Retinol Serum is always preferred and gives excellent results.
Collagen SynthesisNot effectiveVery Effective
Skin irritationVitamin C is safe and has consequences for using it in the longer run. The skin might turn dry but not as worse as the Retinol.Retinol serum can cause your skin to dry and cause severe irritation upon regular usage.

What is Vitamin C Serum?

Vitamin C Serum is an excellent skin protector. It helps your skin from getting damaged due to

  1. UV Rays
  2. Pollution
  3. Smoke

These are the ones that cause damage to the skin. The free radicals can break the collagen in your skin. This might lead to the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and spots too.

This means to say that the serum has rapid results. Many cheap skincare products use different forms of Vitamin C that may cause skin damage too.

It is always recommended to buy the Vitamin C serum, which has other antioxidants present in it, like the Ferulic Acid that shall keep the Serum stable for a longer time.

What is Retinol Serum?

Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that is widely used in premium skincare treatments. Retinol Serum is an incredible anti-ageing serum that shall help you look younger than ever.

Like Acne or Comedonal, acne is completely cured when the serum is used regularly. The retinol serum works on your skin steadily but not as fast as the Vitamin C serum.

Retinol serum helps largely in cell turnover. This helps the skin to get smoother, and new skin formation shall give you a bright look too.

As such, Retinol increases the sensitivity of the skin. It might be counterproductive if you apply it in the morning. It is medically recommended to apply it at night.

As you purchase Retinol serum, it is suggested that you find a product that comes with a moisturizer. Applying retinol serum shall dry your skin. To combat this, you might need to apply a moisturizer.

Main Differences Between Vitamin C Serum and Retinol Serum

  1. Vitamin C serum fights dry skin, while Retinol serum may dry out your skin upon regular usage.
  2. Vitamin C serum is not as effective as the Retinol serum in anti-ageing therapy.
Difference Between Vitamin C Serum and Retinol Serum


Though the conditions to apply the serums at different timelines in the day, it is also observed that people apply them together. It is not harmful that way either.

Applying it back to back shall reduce the effects of retinol on your skin. You are advised to stay at least 30 minutes after applying Vitamin C serum before applying the retinol. 

Look for the right product with the right combination. As Vitamin C products are vulnerable. Attempt to purchase the premium serums.


  1. https://europepmc.org/article/med/25607555
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5996635/
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