Can I Use Hyaluronic Acid With Retinol At Night?

Can I Use Hyaluronic Acid With Retinol At Night?

Hyaluronic acid and retinol are skincare powerhouses found in skincare products like moisturizing night cream. Retinol is known for its anti-aging benefits, while hyaluronic acid is known for intense hydration. But do they mix well? The biggest question is, "Can I use hyaluronic acid with retinol at night?"

Understanding the Dynamic Duo

Hyaluronic acid and retinol promote youthful and healthy-looking skin. Here's what these two ingredients are and what they do to your skin.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Imagine a sponge that holds a thousand times its weight in water - that's hyaluronic acid for your skin. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the air. It's found naturally in our skin, and it keeps things plump, hydrated, and youthful.

Hyaluronic acid is known for its excellent hydrating properties, as it can hold and retain moisture in the skin, making it appear plump, supple, and well-hydrated. It can help in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as aiding in the skin's natural barrier function, which protects against environmental aggressors. 

This also has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for sensitive or irritated skin. Its lightweight texture makes it suitable for all skin types, including those with oily or acne-prone skin, as it provides hydration without feeling heavy or greasy. 

Sadly, as we age, our natural hyaluronic acid production declines. This leads to dryness, fine lines, and dull skin. This is where incorporating hyaluronic acid, through serums and moisturizers, into your skincare routine is a great idea.

The Power of Retinol

Retinol, derived from Vitamin A, is a staple in countless skincare routines. Retinol can help improve skin tone and texture, and reduce the appearance of acne, aging signs, such as fine lines and wrinkles, and sun damage. Retinol works by boosting the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, proteins that enhance firmness and elasticity.

Moreover, retinol can aid in clearing out clogged pores, thus addressing acne issues and preventing future breakouts. Its skin-renewing properties make it a popular ingredient in various skincare products, providing overall skin rejuvenation and a more youthful appearance.

But, retinol can be a bit harsh on the skin, especially for those with sensitive skin. This could result in dryness, flakiness, or irritation, which no one wants.

Can I Use Hyaluronic Acid With Retinol at Night?

To answer your question, "Can I use hyaluronic acid with retinol at night?", the answer is yes. You can use hyaluronic acid with retinol at night. These two ingredients are best used in your nighttime skincare routine. Combining them is often the secret to achieving great results while reducing the risk of irritation. 

Synergy at Its Finest

Retinol penetrates deep into the skin, boosting collagen production. Meanwhile, hyaluronic acid works its magic by drawing moisture to the skin, counteracting any potential dryness caused by retinol.

How to Apply Hyaluronic Acid with Retinol

Knowing how to layer hyaluronic acid serums and retinol can boost effectiveness and ensure a harmonious skincare routine. Here's a simple guide:

Step 1: Cleanse

Start by cleansing your skin with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, excess oil, and makeup. A clean base optimizes the absorption of active ingredients into your skin. Choose a cleanser that suits your skin type, so it does not strip your skin of its natural oils.

Step 2: Retinol First

Retinol is a potent ingredient and often the first thing applied to the skin after cleansing. Take a pea-sized amount, and apply it to dry skin. Be sure to avoid contact with the eyes and lips. Allow the retinol to absorb fully, which may take 10-30 minutes. This wait time is necessary to ensure that retinol penetrates the skin effectively without being diluted by subsequent products.

Step 3: Hyaluronic Acid Follow-Up

After waiting for retinol to absorb, follow up with a hyaluronic acid serum or moisturizer. This step creates a protective layer, sealing in the moisture, and further hydrating your skin. Apply it in gentle circular motions to optimize the absorption of the product. This restores hydration after applying retinol while also protecting the skin.

Maximizing Results While Minimizing Irritation

While using hyaluronic acid and retinol together is generally okay, we still suggest that you prioritize a gentle approach, especially when you have sensitive skin.

If you're new to retinol, start with a lower concentration two to three times per week. Observe how your skin reacts and adjust the frequency or strength as needed. The goal is to achieve a brighter, more radiant complexion. So always listen to your skin, and don't be afraid to adjust your routine.

You can also use vegan products if you have sensitive skin. The Rehydration Night Crème is a great alternative to hyaluronic acid with retinol. It is infused with hyaluronic acid and provides essential hydration and plumping properties to reduce fine lines. 

The essential lipids, including natural cholesterol, ceramides, and fatty acids, revitalize mature skin types by restoring elasticity and hydration. The crème also stimulates skin cell renewal, improves collagen production, and fights free radical damage. This provides you with a comprehensive anti-aging solution.

Is it Better to Use Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid at Night?

Retinol is best used at night because it can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. You can use both at night - apply retinol first, let it absorb, then follow with hyaluronic acid to combat dryness. You can also use acid products like hyaluronic acid in the morning, but not retinol.

Should You Use Hyaluronic Acid Before Bed?

You can use hyaluronic acid before going to bed. But we suggest that you layer it with a richer night moisturizer after applying hyaluronic acid, especially during colder months. This will help your skin retain moisture throughout the night.

What Can You Not Layer with Retinol at Night?

Now that you know the answer to your question, "Can I use hyaluronic acid with retinol at night?", you might be wondering what can you not use with a retinol at night.

While retinol and hyaluronic acid work well together, you need to avoid layering retinol with certain ingredients. Avoid these ingredients in your night skincare routine if you're going to apply hyaluronic acid with retinol at night:

Vitamin C

While both retinol and vitamin C offer impressive benefits individually, using them together can lead to sensitivity and irritation. Since both ingredients can be acidic, applying them simultaneously may overwhelm the skin barrier, causing redness and discomfort. 

It is best to use them at different times of the day or on alternate days to avoid potential negation of their benefits.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)

These chemical exfoliants, such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid, are potent on their own and can potentially cause excessive skin irritation and sensitivity when layered with retinol. Using these products together can disrupt the skin's natural barrier, leading to redness, peeling, and a compromised skin barrier. 

Benzoyl Peroxide

While benzoyl peroxide is an effective acne treatment, it can be too harsh when combined with retinol. The combination may lead to excessive dryness, irritation, and potential inflammation. 

Alternatives to Hyaluronic Acid with Retinol

While hyaluronic acid and retinol can offer numerous benefits when used together, there are potential disadvantages to consider. Hyaluronic acid with retinol may increase skin sensitivity, cause dryness or peeling, and reduce hyaluronic acid's hydrating benefits if not properly layered or applied. Some popular alternatives include:


Glycerin is a humectant that helps to attract and retain moisture in the skin, similar to hyaluronic acid. It can provide hydration and improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin.


Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is another effective alternative to hyaluronic acid. It helps to strengthen the skin barrier, reduce water loss, and improve the skin's elasticity and texture. Niacinamide also has the benefit of being suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.


Ceramides are natural lipids found in the skin that help to maintain its moisture barrier. Using skincare products containing ceramides can help to improve hydration and minimize moisture loss, making them a good alternative to hyaluronic acid. The Rehydration Night Crème contains ceramides that can lead to improved hydration and a more supple, resilient complexion.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a natural ingredient known for its soothing and hydrating properties. It can help to improve skin hydration and reduce inflammation, making it a suitable alternative for those with sensitive skin or those looking for a more natural option.


Squalane is a lightweight oil derived from plants or sometimes shark liver oil (check for cruelty-free options). It is easily absorbed by the skin and helps to moisturize and soothe, making it a good alternative to hyaluronic acid.

Optimize Your Nighttime Skincare Routine Today

So, can I use hyaluronic acid with retinol at night? The answer is yes. This powerful duo can improve your skin's texture, hydration, and appearance. Just remember to introduce retinol into your routine slowly, observe how your skin feels, and adjust the frequency and concentration based on your skin's needs. 

If hyaluronic acid with retinol doesn't work for your skin, alternative options such as using the Rehydration Night Crème at night can help in keeping your skin moisturized. Get yours from Trilipiderm today!

Back to blog