6 Skincare Ingredient Combinations To Avoid

nath_knath_k
May 26, 2020
For a routinely healthy glow, it’s important to make sure your skincare routine is on point, but with dozens of different products for every skin problem you can imagine, it can be difficult to decide which products you want to use in the morning, before bed, or which products will work best together. 
If you’ve been using a minimal skincare routine, you don’t have to worry as much about how your products interact with each other, but if you’re obsessed with skincare, then it’s important to know which products you can use together and which you can’t.
Most products can work okay together, and some are even more effective when used in tandem. However, there are some products you just don’t want to mix. 
  • Vitamin C + BHA or AHA. You can potentially combine hydroxy acids with vitamin C, but it creates a very acidic environment. For people with sensitive skin, this acidic environment can be more irritating to the skin than good for it. Also, if you are combating dry skin, this combination is not for you. However, if you have overly oily skin, then creating an acidic environment with vitamin C and hydroxy acid can gradually cut down on the amount of oil your skin produces. Either way, it’s best to wait at least a few minutes between applications if you are choosing to use these products together.
  • Retinol + BHA or AHA. Alpha and beta hydroxy acid (AHA and BHA) are exfoliants, and they speed up your skin cell turnover, meaning they can quickly reduce the look of fine lines and increase your collagen production. However, there has been a heated debate on whether you should use them together. Some argue that it can lead to irritated skin, while others believe that using retinol products with AHA or BHA, in fact, increases the benefits of each. It is suggested that you take some time to let your skin get used to both ingredients. 
  • Retinol + Benzoyl Peroxide. Retinol’s major claim to fame is its anti-aging properties, but it is also very good at getting rid of acne. It’s great for this task because it exfoliates the skin and reduces your chances of getting clogged pores. Benzoyl peroxide is a common acne-fighting antimicrobial product, so it may be tempting to use both of these together. However, benzoyl peroxide can deactivate the retinal molecules, meaning instead of getting double the acne-fighting powers, you’ll get none of them. 
  • Vitamin C + Benzoyl Peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide can reduce the effects of vitamin C. In fact, they cancel each other out. Benzoyl peroxide can oxidize vitamin C, basically counteracting the results you would ordinarily get. This combination isn’t always detrimental. It can work for some people, especially those that have oily or combination skin. You can use the benzoyl peroxide like a toner, and then you can use vitamin C afterwards. 
  • Retinol + Vitamin C. The last two products you should think twice before combining is retinol and vitamin C. Both of these ingredients are great for your skin, but they just don’t play very well together. With these two ingredients, it’s best to use them when you need them rather than try to combine them. Vitamin C works in an acidic environment, and it is great for the daytime because it is an antioxidant and it can protect against the damaging effects of the sun. Retinol is more alkaline and is better applied at night because it makes your skin more photosensitive and it can lead to even more sun damage.
  • Oil-Based + Water-based. This is stuff you should remember from science class. Oil and water don’t mix. Usually, oil will sit on top of water, or oil can prevent water from being absorbed through the skin. This is what happens when you use oil- and water-based beauty products. If you apply the oil-based products first, then the water-based products will not be absorbed into your skin. On the other hand, if you use a water-based product first and then use an oil-based product, the oil can seal in the moisture from the water. 
  • Skincare is not one-size-fits-all, so when it comes down to creating your skincare regimen, it’s important to know your skin. It’s also important to know which ingredients work together and which ones don’t. If you experience flaking, burning, or itching sensations on your face after using a combination of products, then you should take a moment to evaluate the products you’re using and the way you’re using them. 
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