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Skin-Care Ingredients That Shouldn’t Be Mixed

Skin-Care Ingredients That Shouldn’t Be Mixed

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Skin care ingredients that should not be mixed

Consider your skin care routine before buying new products based on promises or influencer recommendations. They may not be suitable and may work against you.


Understanding how to effectively combine skincare products can be the key to achieving the best results without causing irritation or reducing effectiveness.

Here’s a breakdown of key combinations and considerations:

Retinoids/retinol and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs): Both of these ingredients increase skin cell turnover, but using them together can be too harsh for some skin types. Alternate them on different days to avoid irritation. Some clinically tested products, such as AlphaRet, effectively combine these ingredients.

Retinoid/Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide can inactivate retinoid molecules, so their use together is generally not recommended. However, newer formulations of tretinoin and products such as Epiduo Forte safely combine retinoids and benzoyl peroxide.

Retinoids/Retinol and Vitamin C: Vitamin C and retinoids work best at different pH levels, so using them together is not ideal. Apply retinol at night and vitamin C in the morning for best results.

Retinoids/retinol and salicylic acid: Salicylic acid can be drying, and combining it with retinoids can increase dryness and irritation. Use salicylic acid in the morning and retinoids at night to balance their effects.

Soap-based cleansers and vitamin C: Soap-based cleansers with a high pH can reduce the skin’s ability to absorb vitamin C effectively. Use a salicylic- or glycolic-based cleanser in the morning before applying vitamin C products.

Using two products with the same active ingredient: Using multiple products with the same active ingredient can cause irritation and disrupt the skin barrier. It is generally recommended to avoid doubling up on the same actives unless your skin tolerates it well without irritation.

In short, understanding the interactions between different skin care ingredients and how they affect your skin can help you create an effective and gentle skin care routine. If you experience irritation or do not achieve desired results, consult a dermatologist to develop a regimen tailored to your skin’s needs.