In the Mix: How to Use Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C Together

Mimic in-clinic results with this combo for radiant skin.

Glowy skin is a hallmark of summer. But time spent outdoors can dial up dark spots and dullness. Two of the best ingredients for taking on summer’s aftermath are glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid exfoliant) and vitamin C. But, can you use glycolic acid and vitamin C together? Before we answer that, let’s dive a little deeper into why your skin needs vitamin C.

What is vitamin C and what does it do for skin?
Vitamin C is a skincare powerhouse. It’s an antioxidant that helps defend against free radical damage from stressors like UV light and pollution. It’s also been shown to help minimise the look of frustrating hyperpigmentation. Overall, vitamin C can give skin a bright boost all year long.

But, as Dr. Murad points out, vitamin C has its fair share of kryptonite. “Most forms of vitamin C have a short shelf-life, lose potency, or are hard for skin to absorb.” How can you get this ingredient into your routine and be sure you’re getting the potency needed for results? By choosing vitamin C that’s stabilised by gold.

Uniting gold molecules with vitamin C molecules protects and helps vitamin C remain stable until it's absorbed into skin. The benefits: it has better bioavailability (how well the skin can use an ingredient), is more efficacious, and has 55% higher antioxidant power than traditional vitamin C.

Can I combine vitamin C and glycolic acid?
Dr. Murad says YES! Dr. Murad has been combining glycolic acid and vitamin C since the early days of his Los Angeles-based dermatology practice. Why? Because glycolic acid supercharges vitamin C’s benefits by lifting away dulling surface cells. This clears the way for enhanced vitamin C delivery and accelerates cell renewal that’s essential to smooth and glowing skin.

Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum captures Dr. Murad’s vitamin C and glycolic acid brightening treatment in a bottle.

How soon will I see results?
You’ll start seeing brighter skin in just a week (with best results after 4 weeks) if you follow Dr. Murad’s tips: “I recommend using it every morning and evening after you cleanse. Smooth a few pumps over your face, neck, and chest then follow with a moisturiser. And, always wear SPF during the day. Glycolic acid is exfoliating your skin, so it needs added protection against UV light.”