How To Layer Popular Actives

Oct. 10, 2020
Active ingredients are key components in treating your skincare concerns. The active ingredients in your products are what make tangible improvements to your skin. But what if you have more than one thing you’re trying to treat?
Using multiple actives together is an easy way to target multiple concerns in one routine. We’re going to get into some of the best active combinations, and which ingredients can be layered to achieve better results.
But first, here are the basic rules to follow when layering any skincare product, keep these in mind when making your routine order: 
  • Thinnest to thickest (in consistency, so watery liquids to heavier creams)
  • Water-based to oil-based
There are a lot of different types of acne, and no single ingredient can treat all of them. Not to mention the side effects that come with breakouts, things like dryness, redness, irritation, and scarring. Here are some combinations that can treat both acne and some of the side effects.
  • BHA’s & AHA’s: Beta hydroxy acids are effective at treating blackheads and whiteheads, while alpha hydroxy acids are better suited for pustules, papules, and pore size. Combining an AHA with a BHA will allow you to treat the different types of breakouts you may be experiencing. 
  • Niacinamide & AHA's/BHA’s: Niacinamide is known to improve pore size, oil production, and even treat fine lines and dull skin. Layering it with an AHA or BHA, like salicylic or lactic acid, gives you an effective treatment for excess oiliness, pore size, aging, and acne while brightening skin tone. 
  • Hyaluronic acid & Azelaic acid: Inflamed acne can benefit from azelaic acid’s ability to calm breakouts and reduce redness. Combined with hyaluronic acid, a hydration powerhouse, irritation and dryness from breakouts can be reduced. 
  • Benzoyl Peroxide & Azelaic acid: Benzoyl peroxide is a well studied acne treatment, known for its effects on inflammatory acne. By layering it with azelaic acid, also known to reduce inflammation and dullness, you can double up on targeting painful acne while fading redness and acne scarring.
*Note: mixing any two exfoliants puts you at a higher risk of irritation. Proceed slowly or consult a skincare professional. Any form of layered exfoliation should be used at MAX 1x per week to begin.
Preventing and treating signs of aging are high up on the list of skin concerns for a lot of us. Different actives target different signs of aging, so layering them can propel your results, and reduce the negative side effects of certain anti-aging ingredients.
  • Retinol & Hyaluronic acid: Retinol is the master of anti-aging, but many of us have experienced first-hand how irritating it can be for our skin. Add a hydrating factor, like hyaluronic acid, to counteract some of the dryness that comes from retinol.
  • Retinol & Niacinamide: Niacinamide strengthens your skin’s barrier, which can be useful in preventing over-exfoliation from retinol. Niacinamide will work to reduce pore size, brighten skin tone, and smooth texture, while your retinol targets fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Retinol & Ceramides: Retinol can make your skin more vulnerable, especially when you first incorporate it into your routine. Add a product rich in ceramides so you can assure the new skin being turned over is hydrated and supple. 
  • AHA’s & Peptides: Alpha hydroxy acids have proven to be effective against fine lines and wrinkles, and peptides assist in collagen production. These will work together to smooth and plump the appearance of fine lines and give you firmer skin.
  • Antioxidants & Sunscreen: Antioxidants (like Vitamin C)  fight off free radicals, the unstable atoms that contribute to sun damage. Apply an antioxidant serum before your daily SPF to boost your sunscreen’s efficacy.
*Note: It's best to not layer AHA's/BHA's with retinol. If you want both in your routine, I suggest using them on different nights and not layering them. See here what layering glycolic acid and Retin-A did to MY skin!
If you’re naturally dry, layering on hydrating actives will be crucial come winter. Here are some key combinations to look for or create.
  • Hyaluronic acid & Ceramides: HA binds moisture to the skin, while ceramides help your skin to retain that moisture. These together will attract moisture and hold it there, preventing you from getting dry or tight skin.
  • Squalane & Peptides: Squalane is one of my favorite hydrating ingredients because of its anti-inflammatory and oil-balancing properties. Combine that with the collagen-boosting effects of peptides, and you’ve got supple, moisturized, plump skin. 
  • Glycolic acid & Hyaluronic acid: Glycolic acid is one of the better acids for dry skin, as it exfoliates AND helps your skin retain its natural moisture. This will help with any flakiness, while hyaluronic acid will help balance your moisture levels. 
  • Hydrators & Occlusives: If you've got REALLY dry skin, you may need something to lock the moisture in. At night, apply your moisturizing product (whether it be a HA serum or basic moisturizer) and layer an occlusive on top. An occlusive layer essentially inhibits trans-epideramal water loss, so none of the moisture from your product will be able to evaporate. Vaseline or Auqaphor work in a pinch. You can also apply a facial oil on top of your moisturizer to lock hydration in. This can be done day or night. 
Final Thoughts
Be sure to keep stronger exfoliants (AHA’s/BHA’s, retinol) in your nighttime routine, and ALWAYS wear sunscreen in the A.M. There are many combinations that work when layering, so don’t be afraid to experiment to find what active combinations work for you.
Best Reviews
Stay Young Forever? ✨
Stay Young Forever? ✨
That’d be great right? Well in taking those steps, I definitely recommend these amazing serums. I was gifted the: Intoxicated Cosmetics: Snake Serum Bee Serum Snail Serum I started using the Snail Serum last night first and wow did I notice a difference. The Snail Serum mainly targets dryness. I used this in place of my usual night time serum and boy did I notice a difference. I N G R E D I E N T S : All Serums contain: ✨Niacinamide Bee Serum: Bee Venom Plant Based Stem Cells Royal Epigen Snake Serum Snake Venom Green & White Tea Extract Peptides Snail Serum Snail Peptide Hyadisine Echinacea Moronga Oil Extract I definitely will try the other serums in my routine as I get used to the Snail Serum but so far my skin is definitely happy. What serum would you like to try?
At Home Exfoliating Facial ✨✨
At Home Exfoliating Facial ✨✨
So I recently received the Mimi Co Exfoliating Wand via IG PR. I couldn’t wait to do a full facial and I decided to do it tonight. Order: I purchased a steamer from Amazon for $23 and I’m obsessed with it (DM me for product info). I started with UpCircle - Cleansing Face Balm With Apricot Powder As my oil cleanse to get my sunscreen from today off and any other oils and dirts. INDIE LEE - Purifying Face Wash This cleanser is perfect for getting dirts and oils from skin as well. It’s not drying and it’s totally worth it! I paired it with a face cleansing scrub brush, I also purchased from Amazon. I love it and I paid around $20 for it as well! It doubles the vibration frequency put out by Foreo. CLARISMA - Namaste Glow Energizing Face Mask This was the mask I chose for the enzyme properties. This breaks down dirts and oils in pores and dead skin cells. I also steamed my face during this time. Follain - Toning Mist: Balance + Prime This was what I sprayed over my face for the prep for my exfoliating wand. I didn’t have a true medium and I am out of Aloe Vera plants so😭 I then exfoliated with my wand starting at my cheeks and working upward and then to my forehead. I went down and to the sides of my nose. Glow slow! innisfree - Jeju Lava Seawater Lotion I used the toner to cleanse my skin and get any dirts left over from me exfoliating. SUMMER FRIDAYS - Jet Lag Mask I use this as my hydrating mask. I took the back of my Mimi Co Wand on switched to the Moisturizing Setting. I gently slid upwards my entire face for the last 2 mins only and then wiped the mask off with a damp cloth. earthtoskin - Tea Time Anti Aging Eye Cream This is the most hydrating eye cream I own. I used this with the back of my cleansing brush on the heat setting! Yes it made my eye feel so hydrated and relaxed. fresh - Lotus Anti-Aging Night Moisturizer This was the final step as a good moisturizer seals in everything! To prevent acne I use the SUNDAY RILEY - U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil as my last step. I didn’t use an astringent type toner, so I wanted to still treat my skin💚
Drunk Elephant- The Littles 🐘
Drunk Elephant- The Littles 🐘
I won this cute little kit in a raffle & I couldn’t be more thankful! I have always wanted to try these products but never wanted to spend the money on all of them incase I didn’t like them! Inside this kit are the following products: DRUNK ELEPHANT - Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser Deluxe Sample DRUNK ELEPHANT - B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum DRUNK ELEPHANT - Protini Polypeptide Cream DRUNK ELEPHANT - C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream DRUNK ELEPHANT - T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum DRUNK ELEPHANT - C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum DRUNK ELEPHANT - Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil DRUNK ELEPHANT - Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 That’s literally a whole skincare routine! So far I started out my day with one of Drunk Elephants infamous “Face Smoothies” I washed my face with Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser & then combined C-Firma Day Serum, Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, & Protini Polypeptide Cream together on my mixing trey with a disposable skincare spatula! I applied it all over my face & neck. Once that absorbed, I applied Umbra Tinte Daily Defense SPF 30 over my face & neck & was done! I love how the kit comes with steps to walk you through different routines you can use in the morning or at night! I will do a follow up review after I have used all the products for a few weeks! But so far, my skin feels & looks great! I have been breaking out lately & haven’t felt the best about my skin so I really needed this pick me up!! Thank you for reading! You guys are the best!! ❤️ @cherie@Cheriebeauty@CheriePick
Wednesday Wellness 🙏🏾
Wednesday Wellness 🙏🏾
This past week has been rather hard and long for me. I ultimately decided to get back on track with my wellness plan. My main wellness goal for 2021, is to indulge in myself more. I definitely am a firm believe in “as within, so without”. I started my day with: #Four Sigmatic - Mushroom Elixir Mix with Chaga[products]#[FiveStars] I have been getting back into adaptogen and herbal medicine. What we put into our bodies is just as important as what goes on the outside. Adaptogens are apart of ancient medicinal traditions traced all over the world. I also drink Tulsi “Holy Basil” Tea. If you need a pick me up or emotional boost I highly recommend! SUNDAY RILEY - U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil is my treatment of choice I used during the day. Do not be afraid to use salicylic acid during the day. I applied plenty of sunscreen afterwards as well! This is a GODSEND for clearing up acne and acne scarring. It’s by far the best acne treatment I’ve tried and its mostly due to the immediate results I get. This is a dry oil, so it should be used before a heavy moisturizer or sunscreen. THE BODY SHOP - Spa of the World Thai Makrut Lime Firming Oil is a staple in my night time routine. When I want to relax and really unwind I use a body roller with this oil. It smells like a fresh key lime pie and it’s so hydrating. This is great for firming, especially when paired with a body tool. What do you do for wellness?
My Farewell To Cherie
My Farewell To Cherie
Follow me on Ig for more skincare since Cherie is leaving 😭 @naturedskinv This has been an amazing journey and I’ve made soo many amazing friends. Thank you for all the love, conversations, and just overall happiness I’ve experienced on this app. I’m definitely sad, a little upset, and a dash of confused, but thank you @cheriefor giving me such an amazing confidence boost and guidance. The way the app shaped my thoughts on skincare has been insane. I’m still willing to forget this and call it a joke if y’all are! 😭 Anyways thank you again and hopefully we can stay in touch 🙏🏾