With so many active ingredients, figuring out how and when to use these products can get a little confusing, especially when you’re trying to pin a skincare routine.
We always remind you of the best ways to layer your skincare products. Which leads off with the product with the thinnest consistency first, but there are more rules to take into consideration. Some of those active ingredients that work to cure your skin challenges should never be mixed with one another.
Times are changing, and products are much more advanced than ever before, but there are still certain ingredients that cancel each other out. And although helpful on their own, when mixed and matched topically, they can create a recipe for redness. Products work when they penetrate the skin, target an area and are formulated in such a way that they can get there. So, it is just as important to remember that no single ingredient has a monopoly. Combining multiple ingredients not only helps decrease irritation, but also provides multiple benefits. It’s all about being more informed about what products and ingredients you’re incorporating in your routine, so you can use them effectively.
Don’t Mix Retinol and Chemical Exfoliants
Products containing retinol are known to speed up cell turnover, leading to a reduction in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation for an overall smoother and brighter complexion. You might think retinol and acidic ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids might work well together since they both make claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing. At their core, retinol and chemical exfoliants do just that: exfoliate the skin. Using two exfoliants together? No, no no no no! Why? Because you’re working your skin into overtime, and this can lead to redness, irritation, sensitivity, and even dryness and flaking.
Don’t Mix Vitamin C and Retinol
Vitamin C products work as antioxidants that can help fight skin damage caused by the sun and other environmental pollutants. Retinol and retinoids are vitamin A analogues that can lighten brown spots and improve fine lines over time.
It’s all about the pH!
What is pH? pH refers to the “potential of hydrogen” or the level of acidity of a product, and it ranges on a scale of 0 to 14. pH is very important when it comes to vitamin C and its effectiveness. Essentially, it helps to tell how acidic or alkaline a product is. The lower the pH, the gentler the formula, which helps to cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natural oils. Vitamin C and retinol work optimally in different pH environments, and thus, should typically not be combined.
Don’t Mix Acne Treatments (Benzoyl Peroxide and Chemical Exfoliants)
Oh, my goodness! If you combine these ingredients together, it’s a disaster waiting to happen. You will over-exfoliate your skin. Benzoyl peroxide is a harsh but effective acne treatment that works to rid the skin of acne-causing bacteria. Although benzoyl peroxide and topically applied exfoliants, like salicylic acid, can be synergistic together against acne, they can also be synergistic in terms of causing increased irritation to the skin.
Try alternating use of products that may have an adverse effect to one another when used together - if you really want to use them in combination.This is a safest way to stick with adverse products while avoiding over stimulated and irritated skin.