The Hot Powerhouse Couple

Navigating the world of skincare can be daunting at best. How do you turn back the hands of time? Why are you breaking out (still) while worried about wrinkles? What are the best products on the market that are not prescription? We are not suggesting that you do not consult with a dermatologist but the market has come a long way since the days of cold cream. In fact, just visit Sephora and take a look at all the skincare options available. Long gone are the days of cleansers that strip the skin of natural oils and the one product fits all skin concerns.

We wanted to find out just which ingredients should be in everyone’s skincare routine so we spoke a professional just to see what was recommended. It turns out that Vitamin C and Retinols are regarded as the two ingredients that you need in your arsenal. Let’s find out what makes Vitamin C and Retinol so powerful and what are some of the most effective over the counter products on the market.

The Benefits of Vitamin C

L-ascorbic acid, commonly known as Vitamin C, is a powerful antioxidant that helps with anti-aging. It does this by neutralizing free radicals such as pollution, smoke, and UV rays. These free radicals work to break down the collagen in your skin and cause the signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and dry patches. In fact, Vitamin C is the only antioxidant proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen. Sounds like a must-have ingredient to us!

The Benefits of Retinol

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A and has been beloved by dermatologists for years and is proven to help the look of dark spots and pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, skin texture, tone, and blemishes. Retinol is also the only product that can actually build collagen and elastin in the skin which is why dermatologists prescribe it. If you have ever tried Retin-A, you know that until you build up a tolerance to the product that your skin will shed like you are molting. That is not a bad thing as it is just your skin turning over!

Using Vitamin C and Retinol Together

By combining these powerhouses, you’ll wake up to find your complexion brighter and more illuminated. Typically, Vitamin C is used during your morning skincare routine and retinol is used in the evening. This is because Retinol can cause your skin to be extra sensitive to sunlight. You can use the products together but always follow the directions of the individual product. Please remember to apply and reapply sunscreen!

Which Vitamin C and Retinol to Choose From?

We headed over to Sephora to find the most effective over the counter products on the market. There are several that top our list and are top-rated by customers just like you.

Vitamin C

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum has won awards for being super effective and potent. This wonder serum brightens the skin and improves the signs of photoaging.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum is great for all skin types and is like a multivitamin for your skin.

Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel is an at-home spa treatment that has brightening results that are comparable to a professional peel.

Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum is a strong serum infused with 15% vitamin C to help fight the look of discoloration and dullness while increasing skin’s luminosity.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone is super effective antioxidant at a great price. Due to the silicones in the formula, this product goes on smooth.

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum is a highly effective brightening serum that gives you an instant boost of radiance while tackling the look of fine lines and uneven skin tone.


Lancer Advanced Retinol Treatment is infused with professional-strength 1.25% retinol and combined in a blend of antioxidants and ant-irritants.

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream is a clean 1% vegan retinol that works to diminish fine lines and sun damage.

Kate Somerville RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream works to deeply penetrate the epidermis with the patented time-release technology, while seaweed extract works to lock in moisture.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum works to fight the appearance of imperfections and wrinkles while you get your beauty sleep.

Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinal Alternative Smoothing Serum is a 100% plant-based alternative to retinol that has the same benefits without any irritating effects to the skin.

Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinol Serum is a highly effective retinoid serum that helps to fight sun damage while being free of sulfates SLS and SLES and parabens, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.

We hope this gives you some insight into what we consider The Hot Powerhouse Couple of skincare. As always, consult a professional when in question, but these recommendations are safe and effective and will help give you the best skin of your life.

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