Vitamin C serum has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to its many benefits for the skin. This potent antioxidant fights free radicals that can cause premature aging and helps to brighten and firm the skin.

How long to wait after applying vitamin C serum to glowing skin before moving on to the next step in your skincare routine? In this article, we’ll explore this question and provide some helpful tips for incorporating vitamin C serum into your skincare routine.

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How Vitamin C Serum Works

Before diving into how long to wait after applying vitamin C serum to sensitive skin, let’s first review how this beneficial ingredient works. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals, which can cause damage to skin cells. When applied topically, it can help to protect your skin from environmental stressors like pollution, UV radiation, and cigarette smoke.

Gently massage moisturizer and vitamin C also help to boost collagen production in the skin, which can make skin appear firmer and smoother. In addition, it can help to reduce the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation by inhibiting melanin production. With regular use, vitamin C serum can help improve skin texture, tone, and overall radiance.

When To Apply Vitamin C Serum in Your Skincare Routine

Now that we understand how vitamin C serum works on irritated skin let’s talk about when to apply it in your skincare routine. In general, it’s best to apply vitamin C serum after cleansing and before moisturizing. This way, the serum can penetrate the skin and be readily absorbed without any barriers blocking its effectiveness.

How Long To Wait After Applying Vitamin C Serum

So, How long to wait after applying vitamin C serum before moving on to the next step in your skincare routine? The answer depends on the type of vitamin C serum you’re using.

L-Ascorbic Acid Serums If you’re using an L-ascorbic acid serum (the most common and effective type of vitamin C serum), you should wait at least 15-20 minutes after applying the serum before moving on to the next step in your skincare or skincare routine. This is because L-ascorbic acid is a highly unstable and acidic form of vitamin C, and it needs time to absorb into the skin before you apply anything else on top of it.

If you apply your moisturizer or other skincare products too soon after using an L-ascorbic acid serum, you risk diminishing the effectiveness of the serum by neutralizing its pH level, rendering it less effective.

Other Forms of Vitamin C Serums: Other forms of vitamin C serums (like sodium ascorbyl phosphate or ascorbyl glucoside) are less acidic and more stable than L-ascorbic acid they don’t require as much time to absorb into the skin. You can safely move on to the next step in your morning skincare routine after waiting just a few minutes.

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Tips for Incorporating Vitamin C Serum Into Your Skincare Routine

Here are some additional tips for incorporating vitamin C serum into your skincare routine:

  • Start by using a serum with a lower concentration of vitamin C (around 10%-15%) and gradually increase engagement over time as your skin adjusts.
  • Store your vitamin C serum in a cool, dry place away from sunlight to avoid oxidation and degradation of the serum.
  • Use vitamin C serum in the morning (after cleansing) to help protect your skin from environmental stressors throughout the day, and use retinol or other skin care products with active ingredients at night.
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How many hours should we keep vitamin C serum on the face?

Keeping vitamin C serum on the face for no more than two hours at a time is recommended. The length of time may vary depending on personal skin type and sensitivity, so it's essential to experiment with different lengths of time to find the ideal amount for you. Additionally, make sure that after applying your vitamin C serum, you follow up with an appropriate moisturizer or sunscreen to ensure you are getting adequate hydration and protection from harmful UV rays.

Can I leave the serum overnight?

The answer to this question is generally no. Serum products often contain active ingredients that are sensitive and can break down over time or when exposed to air, light, or heat. Additionally, leaving the effect on your skin for too long could lead to irritation or clogged pores.

To maximize the effectiveness of serum products, use them as directed in a timely manner and store them according to their individual instructions. Always apply serum immediately after cleansing your face each night before bedtime for best results.

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How long does face serum take to dry?

Face serum typically takes between 5-10 minutes to dry. Depending on the type of serum you are using and how thick it is, drying time can vary. For instance, if you apply a thicker layer, the serum might take longer to dry completely. Additionally, skin types and environmental factors like temperature and humidity can also affect how quickly your face serum dries, so it’s important to consider those when applying your product.

To ensure optimal results, we recommend allowing your face serum at least 10 minutes to fully absorb into your skin before putting on makeup or other skincare products. This way, you’ll be sure that all the beneficial ingredients are properly absorbed for maximum benefit!

Why is my face sticky after the serum?

When you apply a serum to your face, it's normal for your skin to feel slightly sticky afterward. This is because the active ingredients used in serums are designed to bond with proteins on the surface of your skin, helping them penetrate deeply and work more effectively.

Many serums also contain humectants like hyaluronic acid that attract moisture to oily skin and help keep it hydrated, giving it a slightly sticky feeling. To reduce stickiness, rinse off any excess serum with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Moisturizer applied after the serum will also help balance out any remaining stickiness on the surface of your skin.


In conclusion, vitamin C serum can be a highly effective ingredient to add to your skincare routine to help fight free radicals, brighten and firm the skin, and reduce the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation.

When using vitamin C serum or an L-ascorbic acid serum, it’s essential to wait at least 15-20 minutes before moving on to the next step in your skincare routine to allow the serum to absorb into the skin thoroughly. With patience and consistency, you can achieve glowing, healthy-looking skin with the help of vitamin C serum!

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