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Bakuchiol Before or After Vitamin C? Yes, the Order Matters

by Ella Goodman 10 Jun 2024

Alright, skincare fanatics, we're about to dive deep into a topic that's been lighting up the beauty boards for a hot minute. 

At some point you’ve probably wondered, "Should I use bakuchiol before or after vitamin C?"

Let's break down this skincare mixology conundrum, providing you with practical tips, empowering knowledge, and some seriously skin-loving advice.

Can bakuchiol be used together with vitamin C?

Ah, the glorious blend of bakuchiol and vitamin C - a cocktail that has had skin care enthusiasts sitting on the edge of their seats. 

But should these two powerhouses actually meet in your daily skin care ritual? Now that's the million-dollar question.

Combining ingredients is no child's play. It's a vitamin jungle out there. 

Can the plant-derived, retinol alternative bakuchiol and the potent antioxidant vitamin C play nicely together? 

There's a simple answer - absolutely! Bakuchiol and vitamin C are a great combination.

Bakuchiol, with its array of skin benefits from reducing fine lines to diminishing spots, can certainly mingle with vitamin C. 

And here's why:

First, vitamin C, the champion of brightness, and bakuchiol, the retinol rival without side effects - they both target different skin issues. 

While vitamin C aims to boost brightness and target hyperpigmentation, bakuchiol focuses on reducing signs of aging.

Imagine a team, where each player enhances the other's performance - that's what we are talking about here. Bakuchiol complements vitamin C by boosting its brightening effects while providing its own age-defying benefits.

Now, there is an art to using them at the same time. More on that in just a bit.

But the rules of the game if you’re using them separately? 

Use vitamin C in the morning. Its potent antioxidant properties can help fight off environmental damage from things like pollution and UV rays.

Bakuchiol, well, it's an all-rounder - it doesn't matter when you use it. Apply it in the morning, or make it your night-time partner. Notice the magic unfold.

If savvily combined, these two can prove to be a formidable force for your skin, each magnifying the benefits of the other. It’s like penning an enthralling narrative where every character enhances the overall drama.

And as such, you can use bakuchiol together with vitamin C without any second thought, so long as your skin agrees. 

Just remember to introduce the duo gently to your skin and give it time to adjust.

If skin becomes sensitive or irritated, pause, then start again slowly. 

And always, always listen to your skin. It knows best. 

Bakuchiol and vitamin C: Which goes first?

Let's imagine you're standing before your mirror, skincare products in hand. 

You've got your bakuchiol and your vitamin C and you're ready for action, but one question stands between you and the fresh-faced glory you seek: which goes first?

We all know that skincare is more science than casino; it's not a game of chance, but one of precision and technique.

Firstly, let's take things back to basics. 

Remember the non-negotiable mantra in the skincare universe: thinnest to thickest

This Holy Grail of facial care knowledge will guide you through the modern-day labyrinth of serums, creams, gels and oils.

Now, think about your bakuchiol and vitamin C products. Which one has the thinner texture and lighter consistency? 

The rule speaks clearly: it's the front runner.

Why are we following this rule? 

Here's the twist in the tale: products are absorbed more effectively in order of their molecular size. An intricate dance of science, right there on your bathroom countertop! 

The tinier molecules are raising their hands, calling out "Me first!", while larger molecules willingly stand back, absorbing better after the smaller ones have paved the way.

Now let's weave bakuchiol and vitamin C into this dance. 

Bakuchiol comes in many forms: serums, moisturizers, oils. Its consistency often changes depending on the product form. On the other hand, traditional vitamin C serums are usually water-based and therefore lighter, thinner.

So, by the rule of thumb we've just unpacked, your vitamin C would typically come before bakuchiol. But hold up before you start splashing on the goodness!

Let’s throw in another skincare principle that glosses our decision-making: the pH level of your products. 

Acidic products - and vitamin C products typically fall into this league, often work best at lower pH levels. They thrive in this environment, being absorbed better.

Just when it seems like vitamin C has secured its pole position in the skincare line-up, there's one more method magicians of skincare swear by: the waiting game.

This is where it pays to be patient, my friends! Allow your acid-based product to be absorbed completely before introducing your skin to bakuchiol. A gap of a few minutes can make all the difference.

Find your rhythm in this dance of skincare, understanding that it isn't as complicated as it may first seem. 

It all boils down to a few guiding principles, a little patience and science. 

Follow the trail of thin-to-thick, be mindful of the pH preference of your products, and give the gift of a pause between applications.

All lined up with the correct rules in place, your skin will reap the benefits: vitamin C's brightening effects will not be hampered by the bakuchiol, and bakuchiol will follow through, enhancing the elasticity and reducing signs of aging. 

A delightful duo indeed!

Should I apply bakuchiol on damp skin?

Ah, the suspense! 

Let's jump right into it.

Bakuchiol, your new skin BFF, brings the best results when your skin is prepped and ready, just like an athlete would be before a big race. 

So, damp skin it is? 

You may think so, but hold on a bit. The truth might surprise you.

Applying bakuchiol to damp skin is a bit like serving champagne in a plastic cup. 

Yes, it *may* work, but you won't be getting those fizz and pop you've been craving, darling.

Let me explain this a bit. 

When skin is wet, it's more permeable. This means products can soak in more easily. 

But whereas this might be good news for some hydrating ingredients, it's NOT the best scenario when it comes to actives like bakuchiol.

Hold the gasps - there's a reason why bakuchiol prefers a dry setting. Bear with me here.

Bakuchiol, that suave botanical extract, is oil-soluble, which makes it an epic personality at fat-loving parties - or simply said, oil-based environments. And as we all know, water and oil don’t mix!

When bakuchiol seeps into moist skin, it doesn’t meet a compatible environment, because water isn't its best friend. For bakuchiol, it's less about a moist runway and more about a dry tarmac leading to the oil-rich surface of your skin.

So if you're tempted to apply bakuchiol to damp skin, think again. Instead, dry your face gently after your cleansing routine.

Take a step back, let your skin breathe, maybe do a mini dance around your bathroom - because who doesn't love an impromptu dance-off, right?

Once you've shaken off those fabulous moves and your skin is pat-dry, your face is all set to enjoy the magical touch of bakuchiol. Liberally apply it and sit back while it works its magic.

But just when you think it's all over - boom! There’s more!

Once the bakuchiol is happily soaked into your skin, you have the perfect canvas to layer your other skincare products on. Think hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, the whole shebang!

Remember darlings, skincare is an orchestra. Your products interact in harmony to bring your skin the best results. 

And out there, amidst this harmony, bakuchiol shines best on dry skin—a star that prefers a less moist spotlight. 

So, damp is a no-go for bakuchiol. A little patience before application can lead to some serious skin rewards. 

Should you use vitamin C before or after retinol?

These are two heavyweights in the skincare world, no doubt about it, but choosing a winner isn't quite as straightforward as you might think. 

There is no magical answer, per se. Rather, it's a nuanced approach. 

Vitamin C and retinol are both renowned for being divas in different ways. They live their best lives in separate quarters, thanks to a clash of pH levels and differences in light sensitivity. 

Yikes, this doesn't make for the most harmonious cocktail in your skincare routine.

But fear not! You can still make both these active ingredients play a crucial role in your regime. 

Deploy vitamin C as your primary defense against the sun's harsh and damaging rays during your daytime skincare routine. Consider it your antioxidant-packed secret weapon against aging.

Worried about retinol? Don't be. Let retinol enter the scene after sundown. 

Dubbed somewhat dramatically as ‘the dark knight,' (okay, just by us) retinol works its magic while you're under the spell of the sandman, slaying signs of aging and skin irregularities to reveal smoother, younger-looking skin by dawn.

Remember, skincare is just as much an art form as it is a science. Experimentation is key. You are your own skincare maestro, so don’t be afraid to mix, match, and march to the beat of your skincare drum! 

Just think of Vitamin C and retinol as skincare soloists, rather than a duet. They need to shine on their own in separate performances instead of taking the stage together. 

In conclusion? Avoid playing beauty roulette with your skin by making vitamin C and retinol co-star in the same routine. Let each one shine alone in their individual routines. 

Vitamin C by day, retinol by night; the dynamic duo that isn't quite a duo after all.

Some parting words of wisdom… 

And don't forget - skincare isn't simply sticking to a regimen; it’s a dance choreographed to the tune of your unique skin type. 

Your skincare routine should be as dynamic and vibrant as you are. Whether vitamin C or bakuchiol takes the first step or the final bow, keep your skin's dancing shoes on and its glow levels high. 

Onward, skincare aficionado! Your journey has only just begun.

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