How to use Vitamin C • K-Beauty Ingredient Spotlight

Since you all seemed to enjoy our previous ingredient guide about AHA & BHA we continue this series with Vitamin C!  Like AHA and BHA, this is a very powerful active ingredient which can do wonders for your skin. And when I say wonders I do actually mean wonders because you can SEE your skin improving when you use it correctly.

Benefits of Vitamin C

So why should you use Vitamin C? My oh my, there’s so many reasons I don’t even know where to start! How about the most popular one: it helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. But even you young skincare goddesses can enjoy this ingredient for one of the benefits below:

  • Protects the skin from sun damage
  • Promotes collagen production
  • Reduces dark circles
  • Speeds up the healing process of the skin
  • Helps fading (acne) scars
  • Fades skin discoloration
  • Improves hydration
  • Reduces inflammation

And these are just some of the many benefits of Vitamin C. Did I catch your attention? Great! Now continue reading and find out everything about this amazing ingredient!

Different types of Vitamin C

In skincare there are several different types of Vitamin C used including Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbyl, Phospatem Ascorbyl Pamitate and Retinyl Ascorbate. You can forget all of these difficult names except for the first one. Ascorbic Acid is the most common type of Vitamin C and one of the most powerful skincare ingredients of all time.

Choosing the correct product

It’s worth looking at the packaging for the following things if you want your Vitamin C products to last a while. No label reading necessary for the first step (but I know you kbeauty lovers love that) ! When antioxidant ingredients are exposed to air and light too frequently they can breakdown, so try to look for air-tight (dark) packaging, pumps, droppers or single-use products.

If you really want to get into in it you might actually want to read the label and check the concentration levels. A concentration of 10-20 percent is very effective and shows results quickly. Concentration between 2- 10 percent will still be effective when the Vitamin C used is Ascorbic Acid.

Why the sudden hype?

Vitamin C products have been around for quite awhile but it wasn’t until recently that the products started to become buzzing. Probably because the world around us is changing so quickly that it affects our skin and people are starting to become more aware of our environment. Radiation, UV rays, smoke and other environmental pollutants break down the collagen in our skin which can cause irritation and premature wrinkles. Vitamin C tackles all these issues and stimulates the collagen production making it the hero of our modern era.

Building your skincare routine

Try to look for serums and creams since these have the highest concentrations of vitamin C. It is best to apply Vitamin C in the morning since it protects the skin from those environmental pollutants and boosts the effects of your sunscreen. I think by now you now already how important sunscreen is but especially when using vitamin C in the day it can’t be skipped! You can also apply your serum in your nighttime skincare routine. For both methods just apply the serum after your toner. If you use an essence apply it after the essence. Try to use only one active in your skincare routine if you are a beginner. Also if you never used an active ingredient before, start with a cream or mix the Vitamin C serum with your favorite moisturizer.

Recommended products

In Korean beauty Vitamin C is booming too and a lot of Vitamin infused products are hitting the market lately. My favorite Korean Beauty products with Vitamin C (not in any specific order) are:


Vitamin C is a great active ingredient for all skin types including sensitive and acne prone skin. It’s suitable for all ages and aids in brightening, clearing and moisturizing the skin. It benefits dull, rough skin with (acne) scarring, discoloration and fine lines. So in short: it’s amazing!

You can vote below which ingredient we should cover next!

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We hope you found this helpful.

Lots of love,



42 thoughts on “How to use Vitamin C • K-Beauty Ingredient Spotlight

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi. Thanks for the helpful info! I wish to try the Klairs freshly juiced Vitamin C drop since i have lots of dark spots on my cheeks but will it go well with my cosrx products (I use low-ph morning gel cleanser, AHA/BHA Clarifying toner, Snail essence and cream)?

    • says:

      Hello Jillian, glad you liked this post! You have to be careful with layering different acids as it might irritate or over – stimulate your face. I would suggest using the vitamin C serum when you are not using the Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser and the AHA / BHA Clarifying toner as these both contain acids. Try using your vitamin C serum in the morning combined with a different toner (don’t forget to apply sunscreen!) or if you do want to use all three products at the same time please use the following order: vitamin C, BHA, AHA. You should always layer from the lowest pH in your products to the highest pH. Hope that helps 😀

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi . I have open pores and combination skin sometimes too much dry and sometimes oily .uneven dull skin .what should I use pls tell me skin care routine step by step

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
    Klairs toner
    Cosrx snail mucin essence
    Klairs freshly juiced vit c
    Cosrx oil free moisturiser
    I am applying my night time routine in this order, is it fine or i should shuffle the application order?
    Please suggest.

    • says:

      Hi Bianca, I would apply these products as follows:
      1. Cosrx low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (it is better to replace this by a more gentle cleanser as this cleanser contains BHA and might make your skin over sensitive combined with the vitamin C)
      2. Klairs Supple Preparation Toner
      3. Klairs Vitamin C Serum
      4. Cosrx Snail Mucin Essence
      5. Cosrx Oil-Free Moisturizer

      Please also use a sunscreen every day in your skincare routine. Vitamin C makes your skin more light sensitive so it’s very important to use sunscreen. Please also wait at least 15 minutes after applying your vitamin C serum to have it completely absorbed into the skin. This ensures the vitamin c is not affected by whatever skincare is applied next and makes it more effective.

      Hope this is helpful 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    hi! I use kombucha essence ang vit.c serum in the morning and moisturizer,, and in evening I wanna know if I can use the Estee lauder night repair since I’m using lightening cream.? thank u

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi. I have combination skin and in my nighttime skincare routine I’d like to incorporate Benton Snail bee high content Essence and Mizon snail all in one Cream with Dear Klairs Vitamin C Serum because I have a lot of acne scars and I want them to go away faster. But I don’t know if vitamin C and snail mucin go well together…

    • says:

      Hi Phuong, there’s no conflict between the ingredients of the Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence and the Vitamin C. You can use these both in the same routine. Please apply the Vitamin C on freshly cleansed skin and wait 20 min for the actives to soak in before moving on to your essence. Also, it’s very important to use sunscreen every day to prevent pigmentation spots from acne scars.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you so much for your answer. I’m look forward to seeing more of your informative and helpful articles!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi! I use cosrx low ph goodmorning gel, benton bha aloe toner, cosrx snail mucin essence and dear klairs vit c serum. Is it a good combination for may oily acne prone skin?

    • says:

      Hi Jane, yes that’s a great start. Make sure if you are not used to many acids that you split up the use of different types of acids instead of combining them into one routine. For example: use your vitamin C in the morning (with sunscreen!) and your BHA toner at night time. Use a more hydrating toner together with the vitamin C instead of your current one to prevent your skin for drying or flaking from the acids. A good option is the Soon Jung Toner or the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ive read that we need to use a low ph cleanser before applying vitmain c serum so it can make your skin ph low which is suitable for vitmain c serum to be more effective because vitamin c serum is acidic . I thought about buying cosrx low ph cleanser but as it contains BHA im thinking about buying any other cleanser can you suggest which cleanser can be good for oily skin if vitamin c serum is to be used after cleansing thankyou

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I use the cosrx galactomyces 95 tone balancing essence and I also just bought the pure vitamin c 21.5 advanced serum. In addition I also bought the skinmiso pore zero night cream. For cleanser and toner I use a clinique one form the 3-step kit for combination skin. I was wondering if I can use these products all together.

    • says:

      Hi Wendy, the tone balancing essence is fine however if you have sensitive skin the Skinmiso moisturizer with the Vitamin C might be a bit too much because of the Niacinamide in the Pore Zero Night Cream. Considering the high alcohol content in general Clinique toners you might want to add in some more moisturizing options to ensure your skin is not getting dehydrated with the alcohols and the actives.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hello! For my morning routine I use a hyuloronic acid toner. Followed by Drunk Elphant C Serum, followed by maycoop raw sauce essence, then I go with sunscreen. I am concerned more the order of the essence and the C serum, not really sure at what order they should have.

    • says:

      Hi Haley, I think the order of those products is fine! I would wait 20 min or so after applying the Vitamin C before applying another product on top. Make sure the following products don’t have any acids so that they won’t be in conflict with your Vitamin C. It’s also best to avoid any products with a high alcohol content (unless it’s a fatty alcohol) to minimize any irritation.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Body shop drops of youth foaming cleanser
    Aha/bha corsx toner
    Klairs vitamin c serum

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hello I have cystic acnes in my forehead, cheeks, chin and jaw line due to hormonal balance. I have a combination and acne prone skin. Can you suggest a good skin routine. Enn

  12. Anonymous says:


    I would appreciate a guide if the products I use are safe to combine in a skincare

    I use the Benton aloe BHA toner followed by the Jumiso All day Vitamin Brightening & Balancing Facial Serum and complete my routine with a moisturizer.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hey – I’m new to k beauty. I have pigmentation on the forehead and around the mouth, and dark circles with lines. Mine is a combination skin, and I’m starting to understand the basics of skin care (ph, aha/bha, etc). I just bought myself a vitamin c serum from klairs, and was about to get a cosrx low ph cleanser but found your blog where you suggested to get something mild in the place of cleanser. Could you please suggest products for my skin type? Also can I use kleirs vitamin e mask after using the vitamin c serum ? Thanks a lot 🙂

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have a doubt
    Can i use cosrx snail mucin essence with the ordinary vitamin c ( ascorbic acid 8% + alpha arbutin 2%) ?

    • says:

      Hey there, since Snail Essence is not an active ingredient it can be combined with actives such as Vitamin C without any worries.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi, my skincare routine is cosrx goodmorning cleanser
        Cosrx bha/ aha toner
        Cosrx Snail essence
        Cosrc oil free moisturizer
        I have a klairs vitamins C
        Can you suggest alternatives of my cleanser and toner because this have a active ingredients. And how to layer vitamin C before or after essence ??

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hello there! I was trying to come up with a am&pm skin care routine for myself & I have normal to combination skin. I want to use products that can give hydration and glow to my skin. These are the products I was thinking of :
    klairs foaming cleanser
    I’m from rice toner
    Benton snail essence / cosrx snail essence
    Klairs vitamin c serum
    Klairs vitamin e cream
    Cosrx aloe soothing spf
    Cosrx night rice spa sleep mask/ laneige sleep mask
    I’m still confused with what I should buy and if any of those products will react with the vitamin c serum, can you please help me come up with a morning and night routine?

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