StyleBible Preview
You may now save articles for later!

3 Reasons Your Vitamin C Serum Isn't Working

3 Reasons Your Vitamin C Serum Isn't Working
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/dear_klairs, Drunk Elephant, Mario Badescu
Clear your routine of these mistakes.

Since we were introduced to the wonders of vitamin C, everyone in the skincare world was hooked. The reason is simple: From lightening acne marks to preventing fine lines, vitamin C won't let you down. When it blew up in the market, Western and Asian brands came up with their own versions of the wonder product, and we all fell in love with its amazing power to treat every blemish that we know of. 

Related Stories from

However, it’s also a known fact that if not used properly, the magic of the vitamin C serum simply won’t work. If you’re wondering why your potent lifesaver isn’t doing its job, you might want to check out (and correct!) these three habits:

1. You’re not storing it properly.

Vitamin C serums are extremely unstable actives, and must always be stored in a cool, dark place to avoid oxidation. When it comes into contact with light, heat, and air, vitamin C naturally loses its potent properties and changes its physical appearance. A newly opened vitamin C serum would look clear, but you’ll know that it has oxidized once it turns brownish in color. To prevent this from happening, make sure that your vitamin C serum has an opaque packaging, or is tightly sealed and placed in a cool spot—away from direct sunlight, too.



WISHTREND Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum, P1300, BeautyMNL

2. You’re not wearing sun protection.

The higher the concentration of vitamin C in a serum, the more that it becomes vulnerable to sun exposure. A vitamin C serum works best when put during the day as it destroys free radicals and reduces damage from pollution, but it should always be paired with a good sunscreen to maximize its effectiveness. UV rays naturally darken the skin’s complexion, so not wearing sun protection will only cancel out the brightening effects of the wonder product. 



PHOTO BY Sephora


DRUNK ELEPHANT C-Firma Day Serum, P4715,

3. You’re mixing it with the wrong ingredients.

Not all actives are created equal, and some cancel each other out. Rule of thumb: Acids like vitamin C and AHAs/BHAs (glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids) must never be combined in a single application, for mixing them results in the destabilization of your skin’s pH balance. Other ingredients to look out for are niacinamide, a brightening agent, and retinol, a form of vitamin A.

watch now



PHOTO BY Rustan's The Beauty Source

MARIO BADESCU Vitamin C Serum by , P3150, Rustan's The Beauty Source

Hey, Preview readers! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok, and Twitter to stay up to speed on all things trendy and creative. We’ll curate the most stylish feed for you!

More Videos You Can Watch