The Ultimate Guide To The Ordinary Vitamin C Products: Which One Should You Choose?

by Gio
ultimate guide to the ordinary vitamin C products

For an ordinary brand, The Ordinary sure likes to confuse people.

Take their Vitamin C products, for example. They have 5 and a 6th on the way! How the heck are you supposed to pick the right one for you?!

Choose the wrong one and you may end up with a bad case of stinging, an acne flareup or a gritty texture you don’t want to put anywhere near your skin.

I’m not exaggerating. Each of The Ordinary Vitamin C serums/creams is a good product… for the right skin type. That’s why they have so many. They know one size never fits all in skincare and have created as many options as possible to serve everyone.

If you don’t know which one will get on better with your skin, don’t fret. I’ve put together this quick guide to The Ordinary Vitamin C products to take the guesswork out of picking the right one for your needs:

But first,

Confused about The Ordinary? Click on the image below to subscribe to my newsletter and get “The Ordinary Products Guide” Cheatsheet:

What The Heck Is Vitamin C And Why Should You Use it?

Vitamin C is an anti aging superstar. It has several superpowers:

The catch? There’s not just one form of Vitamin C. There are a gazillion (I’ve written a post on the most popular here).

L-Ascorbic Acid, the pure form of Vitamin C, is by far the most powerful and the most effective. It’s also the most irritating. It can cause stinging and burning. If you have sensitive skin, don’t go anywhere near it.

Its derivatives, like Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Ascorbyl Glucoside, are gentler and better tolerated even by sensitive skin. But, they’re less powerful. They work. You just won’t be getting the full potency of Vitamin C. But for some skin types, they’re the better choice.

Related: Why You Need To Use A Serum With Vitamin C

Now that you know why you need to add a Vitamin C product to your skincare routine, let’s figure out which one is best for your needs, shall we?

The Ordinary Vitamin C Supension 23% + HA Spheres 2% (£4.90)

What form of Vitamin C does it use?: L-Ascorbic Acid, the pure form of Vitamin C. It’s the most effective but the most unstable. To keep it stable, The Ordinary hasn’t used any water in this serum.

What’s the texture like?: gritty. It feels like sandpaper. It’s NOT pleasant to use. The only way I can use it is by mixing it with a separate hyaluronic acid serum. That dissolves the gritty particles so they don’t scratch your skin (no, the hyaluronic acid in this serum isn’t enough for that – but it’ll hydrate your skin).

Are there any side effects?: It’s the most powerful Vitamin C serum from The Ordinary but also the most irritating. If you have sensitive skin, go with one of the derivatives below.

When do you use it?: at night.

Who is it best for?: Vitamin C veterans who want dramatic and fast results and hate silicones

Where to buy it: Asos, Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% In Silicone (£5.80)

What form of Vitamin C does it use?: pure Vitamin C, L-Ascorbic Acid. It gives dramatic results but is very unstable. The Ordinary fixed that by removing water from the formula.

What’s the texture like?: silky smooth. Vitamin C powder is suspended in the formula like in the original Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA 2% but the addition of silicones makes the texture smooth rather than gritty.

Are there any side effects?: pure Vitamin C can be irritating and sting.

When do you use it?: at night.

Who is it best for?: Vitamin C veterans who want dramatic and fast results but can’t stand gritty textures.

Where to buy it: Asos, Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% ($8.90)

What form of Vitamin C does it use?: Ascorbyl Glucoside, a water soluble derivative of Vitamin C. It’s more stable than pure Vitamin C but less effective. Its forte is brightening skin but it fights wrinkles too. It’s so popular because it works well in water, allowing for an elegant, smooth texture that’s a pleasant to use.

What’s the texture like?: A light serum. Out of all The Ordinary Vitamin C products, this one has the best texture. It absorbs quickly, too.

Are there any side effects?: if you have super sensitive skin that doesn’t tolerate Vitamin C at all, it may irritate it.

When do you use it?: morning and evening, after cleansing.

Who is it best for?: everyone, even sensitive skin, can use it. But, because it absorbs so quickly into your skin, it’s ideal for oily skin.

Where to buy it: Asos, Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% In Vitamin F (£14.90)

What form of Vitamin C Does It Use?: Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate. It’s an oil soluble derivative that penetrates skin faster than all other forms of Vitamin C. It’s especially good at brightening skin. I’ve written an entire post about the benefits of Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate here.

What’s the texture like? It’s a lightweight oil. It doesn’t feel greasy on the skin. It’s runny so be careful when you apply it!

Are there any side effects?: Vitamin F isn’t really a vitamin. F stands for fatty acids, a group of ingredients that’s super moisturising. That’s great for dry skin. But for oily skin? They can clog pores and cause breakouts.

When do you use it?: morning and/or evening.

Who is it best for? Dry and dehydrated skin types that want to moisturise skin and fight wrinkles at the same time.

Where to buy it: Asos, Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty

The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% (£7.80)

What form of Vitamin C does it use?: Magnesium Ascorbyl Phopshate, a water-soluble derivative. It’s less effective than pure Vitamin C but more stable. It’s one of the most studied derivates of Vitamin C so there’s quite a lot of research confirming it works. It’s particularly good at brightening skin.

What’s the texture like?: A light cream.

Are there any side effects?: it’s one of the gentlest forms of Vitamin C but if you have super sensitive skin, it may still irritate it.

When do you use it?: morning and evening after water-based serums.

Who is it best for?: sensitive skin and Vitamin C newbies.

Where to buy it: Asos, Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty 

Vit C 23% Vit C 30% AG 12%AT 20% MAP 10%
TextureHeavy &grittyHeavy & smoothLight serumLight oilLight cream
Best forVit C prosVit C pros who want
a smoother texture
All skin types,
esp oily
Dry and mature
All skin types,
esp sensitive



  • High doses of Vitamin C can sting and irritate skin. Start with a derivative three or four times a week and increase frequency gradually.
  • If your Vitamin C is turning brown, toss it. It doesn’t work anymore.
  • Vitamin C is even more powerful when used with Vitamin E and ferulic acid. Sadly, no The Ordinary product uses this combo. Supplement with a separate antioxidant serum.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right The Ordinary Vitamin C product for your needs depends on your skin type, the type of Vitamin C it can tolerate and what texture it prefers. If you’re a Vitamin C veteran, you can upgrade to pure Vitamin C. Everyone else, stick to a derivative for the time being. Pick the one with the better texture for your skin type and you’ll make it a happy bunny.

I hope this guide helped you understand which The Ordinary Vitamin C product is the right fit for you. Let me know in the comments below which one you picked!

The Ordinary Vitamin C Supension 23% + HA Spheres 2% Ingredients: Ascorbic Acid, Squalane, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Coconut Alkanes, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glucomannan, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Trihydroxystearin, BHT.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% In Silicone Ingredients: Dimethicone, Ascorbic Acid, Polysilicone-11, PEG-10 Dimethicone.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Coco Caprylate/Caprate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Dodecane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyglycerol-3 Diisostearate, Polyglycerol-3 Polyricinoleate, Glycerin, Hexamethyldisiloxane, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F Ingredients: Coconut Alkanes, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ethyl Linoleate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Squalane

The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Coco Caprylate/Caprate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Dodecane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyglycerol-3 Diisostearate, Polyglycerol-3 Polyricinoleate, Glycerin, Hexamethyldisiloxane, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.



Marta November 27, 2017 - 2:37 pm

I love the VITAMIN C SUSPENSION 30% IN SILICONE and use it with The Ordinary Resveratrol and Ferulic acid. I think it’s a great combo 🙂 I love the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic but you can’t beat The Ordinary prices!

Gio December 3, 2017 - 7:12 pm

Marta, I agree. On one hand, it’s more convenient to have everything in one product but when something is so affordable, using two products makes a lot more sense. 🙂

Claudia July 23, 2019 - 2:09 pm

Hi Gio, first of all thanks for your fab Blog! When I was about to change my routing and started adding actives it was so helpful for me 🙏🏻😂😀
Unfortunately I did not find anything about the ordinary 100% ascorbic acid powder. I add this powder to my cream (vit e + resveratol) every morning. But I have also read loads about the timeless Serum, on your Blog too… 😎 Is the Timeless serum more effective than the to powder regarding pigmentation issues?
Hope you can help me with this…

Gio August 8, 2019 - 2:48 pm

Claudia, my pleasure! Glad it was helpful for you!

This post is about Philosophy Booster, but everything I say here applies to The Ordinary powder as well:

I’m not a big fan of them. You can try Timeless and compare them yourself.

Michael October 10, 2018 - 12:43 am

Skinceuticals has always been a rip off-site owned like may brands- loreal??

Gio October 14, 2018 - 3:42 pm

Michael, I agree the products are very overpriced. But, at least, unlike most overpriced skincare brands out there, Skinceuticals products work.

Fari October 22, 2019 - 7:03 pm

If I have not used any serum before , can I use use vitamin c suspension 23% ? Please guide me if I can apply directly after cleansing my face.
My age is 29years and have combination skin.

Gio November 8, 2019 - 11:29 am

Fari, I’d use something gentler, like 15% first. 23% can be irritating for a first time user.

Tresa November 28, 2017 - 5:36 am

Please explain why some of the formulations are recommended for nighttime use. Is it because layering other products and makeup is problematic? Are there other ingredients that should be avoided when using Vitamin C? Thank you.

Gio December 3, 2017 - 7:58 pm

Tresa, some of these formulations are on the heavier side so they’re best used at night. It may indeed be problematic to layer them with your makeup. I wouldn’t use them together with retinol as they’re both powerful ingredients. For some skin types, this combo is too drying. I use Vitamin C in the morning and retinol at night. But you can use them on alternate nights too.

Kristine November 28, 2017 - 6:39 am

Hii. Can i use this with azelaic? Or together with lactic acid 5%?

Gio December 3, 2017 - 7:58 pm

Kristine, if your skin can tolerate it, yes you can.

Susan November 28, 2017 - 9:23 am

Thank you. This brand confuses me!

Gio December 3, 2017 - 7:18 pm

Susan, I hear ya! When a brand offers too many options, it gets overwhelming! Glad you found this useful. 🙂

kaido November 29, 2017 - 6:57 pm

Very informative. I think I’ll try the Ascorbyl Glucoside next! I have the MAP and I somehow found the cream too heavy. Just recently I saw a video on Youtube by Dr Dray and she said she’s not using any Vitamin C serum because studies outside of laboratories are not sufficient so far to prove Vitamin C benefits to skin when applied topically. I’m quite suprised because Vitamin C is a staple in skincare routines but allegedly studies with controls are insufficient to give conclusive evidents. What’s your take on these studies? I’m still using Vitamin C in my routines though 🙂

Gio December 3, 2017 - 6:49 pm

Kaido, this is a complicated topic because there are so many types of Vitamin C. The pure form is effective but highly unstable. Most brands don’t take the time to formulate it properly so a lot of these products are indeed ineffective. The derivates are more stable and easier to work with but yeah they aren’t as well studied as the pure form. A lot of studies on derivatives are done only in vitro so not on real skin. I can see why Dr Dray may lean on the more conservative side and prefer to wait until we have more studies about them. Concentrations also matter. 23% of pure Vitamin C has an effect on the skin, 1% doesn’t.

Imo, Dr Dray isn’t completely wrong. A lot of Vitamin C serums don’t work. That’s why I like brands like The Ordinary and Paula’s Choice that are really into the science of skincare. They take the time to stabilise these ingredients and use it in the same concentrations that have shown to stimulate collagen in studies.

You will probably find this post about Vitamin C and its derivates interesting. It reviews the latest science and explains which ones work best:

kaido December 7, 2017 - 9:46 pm

Thanks for the link! Glad to know PC and The Ordinary brands have good Vitamin C products since these 2 are some of my favourite!

Gio December 10, 2017 - 2:00 pm

My pleasure! I love these brands too. They’re my go-to because I know they formulate their products based on the latest scientific findings, not what’s popular at the moment.

Lynda December 1, 2017 - 6:37 am

I have nearly finished the map which has definitely brightened my skin and have just received the one I vit f which I am pleased to see you recommend for mature and dry skin which is me so looking forward to trying that.

Gio December 3, 2017 - 6:34 pm

Lynda, MAP is great but Vitamin C in F is a much better option for your skin type. I’m sure you’ll like it a lot more.

Barbara December 6, 2017 - 2:37 pm

I so needed this post! Thank you so much for putting this together (I had put together a little sheet myself, but this is WAY better!).

Gio December 10, 2017 - 2:25 pm

Barbara, my pleasure. So glad you find it helpful!

Cat January 20, 2018 - 6:06 am

I have a question. If vitamine c is sensitive to air and light why can it be used in the morning? Wouldn’t it become a pro oxidant?

Cat January 20, 2018 - 6:08 am

Also, does it make the skin sensitive to the sun like other acids?

Gio January 28, 2018 - 11:46 am

Cat, once vitamin C penetrates the skin (which it does pretty quickly if you’re using a properly formulated serum), sunlight won’t be able to spoil it. On the contrary, studies show it can enhance photo protection.

And yes, it does make skin more susceptible to sun damage but that’s why you need to use it with sunscreen. Vitamin C alone in the morning may cause problems but when used under sunscreen, its boots its protection. 🙂

Saranya January 24, 2018 - 4:58 am

I have a question, is it possible to use the MAP and Ascorbyl Glucoside 12% together?

Gio January 28, 2018 - 4:18 pm

Saranya, I wouldn’t recommend it. They both contain high concentrations of vitamin C so using both may be overload.

Kejal March 11, 2018 - 5:44 am

Hi Gio, I am new reader to your blog and I went reading about most of your articles on the ordinary brand. Thereafter i ordered a few products based on your recommendations and my basic understanding. I got the ascorbyl glucoside for my vit c needs and now I am a bit confused as to what else can I use with in terms of making a regimen. or are there some products that cant be used with it?

Gio March 16, 2018 - 8:32 pm

Kejal, what else are you using? If you tell me your regime, I can let you know if there’s something that doesn’t agree with it.

Kejal March 18, 2018 - 9:56 am

Hi Gio,
I am looking to start a regime. I live in India and the sun is really harsh. Even if i use a sunscreen I am afraid I am opening my skin up to more harm by using these sun sensitive vit c and retinol products. I am 36 years btw. These are the products I have got:
1) aha bha peel
2) HA+ B5
3) Ascorbyl glucoside 12
4) Buffet
5) Granactive retinol 2% in squalane
6) cold pressed Marula oil
Along with this I am using avene spf 50+ before i step out.

Gio March 23, 2018 - 7:43 pm

Kejal, I agree you have to be careful than most so be sure to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. You can try alternating vitamin C and retinol at night so you won’t wear them when the sun is shining brightly. I’d use the peel only once a month. It’s very strong, especially if your skin isn’t used to acids. You definitely need to protect your skin really really well for the next few days and top up your sunscreen regularly.

Kejal March 27, 2018 - 5:02 am

Hey Gio, Thanks much! What u say makes perfect sense to me. I’d rather apply them at night than risk damage. I’ll definitely keep reapplying sunscreen in the day and keep away from direct exposure as much possible. Thanks much for being so patient and replying back!

Gio March 31, 2018 - 8:12 am

Kejal, that’s a great plan! My pleasure. 🙂

Rajesh April 3, 2018 - 11:06 am

Hi love your blog. I hv started using all ordinary products
Granactive retinoid 2%
Glycolic 7%
Aha Bha
My nite routine
I use the retinoid 3 days once otherwise I use glycolic acid.
Aha bha once a week
The body shop vit E

Caudalie brightening lotion
Super goop SPF 50
Then my makeup

I want to include vit C after reading ur blog. How do I incorporate it in my regimen?
By the way I’m 56 n dry skin n HIP on my forehead n cheeks.
Thanks a lot.

Gio April 8, 2018 - 11:26 am

Rajesh, use it first thing in the morning after cleansing.

Gabi May 8, 2018 - 6:33 pm

Hey Gio,
I found your blog a while back and have been reading it pretty much every day since. I’m a chemist, so I’m glad so see the nerdy side of skin care. I know this blog post is old, but in it you say to use the L-ascorbic acid based Vitamin C products at night… but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen other places where you mention to use them during the day. Can you clarify? I’m using the Ordinary Vit C 23% + HA product and combining it with the Ordinary Ferulic Acid + Resveratrol, I ALSO combine that with my rose hip oil which has vitamin E in it so cover my antioxidant bases.

Gio May 19, 2018 - 11:10 am

Gabi, when it comes to vitamin C, there are two schools of thoughts. Some people believe that, because it can make skin more susceptible to UV rays, it should be used at night only. Others think that this problem is easily counteracted by sunscreen and that, when used together, vitamin C boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreen. I subscribe to the second school of thought. However, some products like Vitamin C Suspension + HA Spheres has such an unpleasant texture that it’s best to use it at night, especially if you’re wearing makeup. Hope this helps.

Sascha May 13, 2018 - 9:37 pm

Hi Gio,
I recently found your blog, and I must say that I just love it! Thank you so much for all of this amazing advise. 🙂

After reading a lot on your blog, I’m now planning on purchasing my first vitamin C product – preferably from The Ordinary due to their low prices (I’m a student, so my budget is very tight).

It looks like they have added a few new vitamin C products since this post was written, and I’m wondering if you would add some more reviews to it? I’m epsecially interested in more information on the Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15 % Solution.

Thank you again. 🙂

Gio May 19, 2018 - 12:51 pm

Sascha, I definitely plan to update this post in the future. I just hadn’t had the time to do it yet, oops!

That’s a tricky one. It uses a form of Vitamin C that’s not very well studied so we don’t know yet how well it works compared to other, older and better tested forms of vitamin C. I’m sure that, when more studies will come out, they’ll say it works well. But for the moment, we don’t have that much info about it.

Marina May 24, 2018 - 8:21 am

Hi, Gio, I’ve been using “The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%”, but it doesn’t feel enough for my dry skin. Can I use my night cream after the Ordinary product or it’s too heavy for the skin? Thanks!

Gio May 27, 2018 - 7:24 am

Marina, yes, you should definitely moisturize after Vitamin C.

Wemmy May 31, 2018 - 11:04 am

Can I add the ordinary Hyaluronic serum to the vitamin C suspension to remove the grittiness and sting?

Gio June 2, 2018 - 3:02 pm

Wemmy, yes you can.

Khoo July 7, 2018 - 2:35 am

Hi Gio, I am a 28 years old Malaysian citizen and I have never use Vitamin C or any other acids in my skincare routine before. Would like to seek for your opinion which Vitamin C from The Ordinary should I start with? 1) Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F or 2) Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%.

I have dry to very dry skin, not very sure about sensitivity. Used to have aches during my teenage years but now my skin is cleared, and dry. Also, hat about the Artnaturals Vitamin C serum?

Please also guide me how should I layered Hyaluronic acid serum on these 3 Vitamin C products. Thank you so much.

Gio July 21, 2018 - 9:58 pm

Khoo, I’d start with MAP and then upgrade to AT in Vitamin F in a few months. You can apply hyaluronic acid on top.

Suzanne July 29, 2018 - 8:39 pm

Hi, I’m using the Ascorbyl Glucoside in summer and the AT with Vit F in winter. I usually use them on a night as I use their Matrixyl in the morning. Can I mix the Ferulic with it or layer – in which order? I’m 46 and have few wrinkles but loss of firmness – mainly jaw and neck. Also have a few age spots. Any other The Ordinary products you would recommend? Skin care regime? My skin is not usually sensitive.

Gio August 5, 2018 - 10:30 am

Suzanne, you can use vitamin C serum with ferulic acid on top. Also, check out their new Copper Peptide product as that can help with firmness too.

Sundus Lakhani September 2, 2018 - 11:16 pm

Hey can you suggest me vitamin c serum for oily skin?

Gio September 7, 2018 - 5:13 pm

Sindus, from TO? MAP 10%.

Emily Griffiths October 10, 2018 - 8:53 am

I like the 30% suspension by The Ordinary, but do feel it is very thick and sits on my skin. I assume, due to the silicones, that it is the last step in any skincare regime?

I’ve recently been using GOW’s 23% VitC with Ferulic Acid. Have you tried it? Feels strong and the texture is light, plus it’s got the ferulic acid. Also, it’s a tenner!

Gio October 14, 2018 - 3:37 pm

Emily, yes, I’d apply it as the last step (but before sunscreen, if you’re using it in the morning). Having said that, to give vitamin C the best chance to penetrate skin, don’t pile on too many products between this and the cleanser. Keep it simple. If it’s the first thing you can apply after cleanser (and when applicable, exfoliant) all the better.

I haven’t tried GOW yet but definitely should. I keep hearing so much about it.

Erin October 19, 2018 - 4:31 pm

Im wondering which would be the best option for me to try. I use Curology .07 Tret, 7% Azelaic Acid, 1% Clindamycin. I have a multiple step ( Korean Inspired) routine. My Tret prescription was recently upped, and its causing flaking. 🙁 I just purchased a well rated occlusive moisturizer…so Im hoping that will help. I thought I could alternate curology, and vitamin c. I also wanted to purchase another bottle of Buffet because my skin loved it but dont want to overdo it. Id say my skin is dehydrated, combination…I suffer from hormonal breakouts in my jawline area occasionally. Any input would be greatly appreciated….Thanks!

Gio October 25, 2018 - 1:58 pm

Erin, you’re already using the big guns so I’d take it easy. You can alternate curology days to salicylic acid + vitamin C days. You can use salicylic acid only on the areas where you’re prone to breakouts.

Anne November 27, 2018 - 1:00 pm

Hey! I have just discovered your blog while searching for how to combine skin care in order for it to be efficient, and I have to say that I have learned a lot while looking for other info as well. I like your articles, the way they are made, the fact that they are easy to read and understand. And unbiased, I feel. And I share some of your journey in terms of skin care.
Anyway. I wish I would have discovered this post when I bought my first Vitamin C cream(s). I purchased The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% and MAP at the same time, and apparently I saved the best for last.
I decided to open one of them instead of both, so that they don’t expire. Dear God, the area around my nose was on fire from the Suspension 23%, it hurt days after I would apply it and I hated the gritty texture. I tossed it and started using and loving MAP, and it feels like the right product for me.
I am looking for a new BHA, I disliked the one from Paula’s Choice (from the Resist line for oily skin) and the one from COSRX didn’t do much for me, although I felt some benefits after using it. However, I’m sure I can do better.
I am binge-reading your articles, I am sure I will be able to make a better (informed) decision while also not having to dig through tons of research and complicated medical words. I’m working on creating a skin care routine that will help me (already working from the inside out, nutrition and such). I have really really oily skin (I wish I was exaggerating), acne scarring (from cystic acne that finally went away a few years ago) and the occasional blemish. Some wrinkles around the eyes and mouth… Feels like it might be too late to be proactive, but I am at least trying to be … active . =))))
Thank you! Sorry for the long comment.
P.S. : If my phrasing is a bit off, it’s because I am not a native English speaker. Sorry.

Gio December 7, 2018 - 10:25 am

Hi Anne, thank you so much for your comment. So glad my little blog is helping you out in taking better care of your skin. It’s never too late to start. I believe everyone can improve the appearance of their skin – it’s all about knowing what ingredients make it happy. 🙂

Sorry to hear you didn’t like Paula’s Choice BHA. They have like 10 BHA exfoliants with different textures/ingredients so you can always try to get a hold of samples and see if there’s one your skin likes best. The Ordinary has an effective salicylic acid exfoliant too, if you don’t mind the fact it foams a little when you apply it. Weird, I know! Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum has salicylic acid too, but it’s more expensive.

Your English is fine. 🙂 Thanks again for taking the time to comment and for all your support. I appreciate it!

Elsa December 25, 2018 - 2:22 am

Hi Gio,
So loved that explanation. I wanted to ask you, because I haven’t found an explantation on the ordinary site…. they have added a contraction to using their ‘Buffet’ products with Vitamin C. I’m addicted to both. What would be the problem with using the vitamin C and then the ‘Buffet’ products? i have both, the original Buffet and the Buffet with Copper. I use both depending what serums i have added before. I have mature skin so need all the ammunition i can get.

Gio January 6, 2019 - 12:54 pm

Elsa, I admit I’m as confused as you. I understand there are concerns with mixing vitamin C with copper peptides (and you shouldn’t use copper every day anyway as too much copper could have the opposite effect and age you faster), but vitamin C with other peptides is fine. as far as I know.

Sam April 25, 2019 - 11:30 pm

Hi There,
This is the first time I have read any of your writings and I must say you are excellent. Thank you very much for explaining everything in detail.
I would like to know that my skin used to be very clear but now extremely pigmented and small bumps and marks I have started using vitamin c , started first with 12% now using 23%+2% HA but I don’t feel any change in my skin my skin is combination what else you would suggest me to incorporate with vitamin c to make my skin look nice and clean and especially bright and fair also I bleach my facial hair once a month. And shall I be using any other night cream after vitamin c?
Many Thanks

Gio April 26, 2019 - 9:24 am

Sam, have you tried azelaic acid? It helps both with pigmentation and bumps.

Chanel Samson June 7, 2020 - 7:18 pm

Hi Gio! This breakdown was sooo helpful for a first time Vit C user. I currently use the Ordinary’s Niacinamide in the morning and use Cera Ve’s PM moisturizer with niacinamide at night! Can I use a Vitamin C product in the evening or would the niacinamide in my other products cancel it out? I have oily, acne-prone skin. Thanks!

Gio June 12, 2020 - 10:34 am

Chanel, glad you find it useful. You can totally use Vitamin C and Niacinamide together, unless you’re one of the rare people who gets redness when they do so. I explain more here:

Brooke Porter June 8, 2020 - 12:36 pm

Hi Gio! I love this blog and it has been so helpful but I am still feeling overwhelmed. I am 50 years old with some sun damage… dark spots on face and also dehydrated and sagging skin. I just purchased The Ordinary products and so far I do love them but I do not know if I chose correctly based on my skin needs. I bought Squalne Cleanser, Hyaluronic Acid 2% plus B5, Buffett with Copper Peptides, Caffeine Solution for eyes and MA Factors plus HA. I also bought Toner Glycolic Acid 7%, Retinol 0.5% in Squlane… my skin is SO DULL, should I add Vitamin C? HELP! TIA!

Gio June 12, 2020 - 12:02 pm

Brooke, I’d love to help, but I need more information on your issues and goals. Please, book a skincare consultation here:


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