Skin care routine is an extensive process. It keeps you busy, layering one product after the other. Layering is a hit or a miss, especially if you don’t know your ingredients. Some ingredients don’t play nice together, making it difficult to get the said result. And you think this product is not working for me.
And then there are skin issues – acne, hyper-pigmentation, aging and dark spots. In desperation, it feels right to mix two ingredients together for quick fixes. But does it really work? Personally, It back fires most of the time till you get it right.
Today i’m talking about acids & vitamins, and how can you avoid a serious skin trouble by not mixing them together.
1. Retinol + Benzoyl Peroxide
Retinol is a star anti-aging ingredient and Benzoyl peroxide kills acne in surprisingly low time. It is easy to mix both of them for a quick result. The problem is that, like retinol, benzoyl peroxide stimulate skin cell turnover which means, skin flaking and peeling.
Retinol & Benzoyl peroxide mixed together calls for a serious skin irritation and can lead to extreme peeling, dryness, burning and scarring. That takes longer time to heal than acne. Sensitive & dry skin should stay clear of this combination.
This does not mean that they can not be used in the same skin treatment. Both can be used in a different time frame. In a prescribed manner, retinol can be used with a product containing benzoyl peroxide (in a very low concentration). This type of treatment should always be under dermatologist prescription.
2. Retinol + Alpha Hydroxy Acid + Beta Hydroxy Acid
All the three ingredients are the very best in their category. Alpha hydroxy acids like Glycolic acid and lactic acid are both chemical exfoliants that improve the skin’s texture and minimize pore size. Whereas, salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that prevents acne and can be very drying.
While all these can be used together in a very low concentration, it is advised not to as to avoid redness, burning and extreme dryness. If you must, use the acidic face washes in the morning and use retinol at night, followed by a very good moisturiser.
3. Retinol + Vitamin C
Retinol (vitamin A derivative) and vitamin C are both an excellent anti-aging products that target fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots and uneven skin tone. But using them together can be very irritating to the sensitive skin.
Vitamin A can make skin more photosensitive and should be used at night. Whereas, vitamin C isn’t reactive to sunlight that makes it ideal for the daylight under a broad spectrum sunscreen, Spf 30 of higher.
Vitamin C is acidic in nature. Lower ph value determine the efficacy of vitamin C serum. A pH under 3.0 is considered most effective but can be very irritating to the sensitive skin. That is why a ph 5.0 to 7.0 are available to suit the sensitive skin need.
So, choose your product wisely and start with the low concentration to avoid any irritation.
4. Niacinamide + Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Vitamin B3 also known as niacinamide, is a skin conditioning agent that helps repair the skin. While niacinamide works best in a neutral pH, glycolic or lactic acid are acidic in nature that has very low pH level.
When used together, they basically counteract each other, making them ineffective. But a high concentration of AHA in a product can certainly cause extreme dryness.
5. Vitamin C + Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Vitamic C and alpha hydroxy acid (glycolic acid & lactic acid) works best in a acidic environment. Vitamin C works best in a lower ph of 3.0 or less while a high concentration of 3%-4% AHA available in market works in a pH of 3.0-4.0
So, they may and may not work well together. But for sensitive skin this pH level can definitely cause irritation.
6. Salicylic Acid + Glycolic Acid
Salicylic acid is a popular acne treatment, and glycolic acid is an effective exfoliant that improves skin texture by diminishing fine lines and brown spots.
Both works by removing dead skin cells from the skin surface. using them together at a high concentration can make your skin testy with redness, dryness and burning.
Though they can both be used in different time like salicylic acid face wash in the morning and glycolic acid in the evening.
Must read: Gentle face washes that contain AHA and BHA
7. Benzoyl Peroxide + Vitamin C
Benzoyl peroxide is an oxidant that kills acne causing bacteria whereas vitamic C is an antioxidant. These both together contradict each other, making them ineffective in the process.
Instead of mixing them together, use them at different time of the day or on alternative days at best.
8. Benzoyl Peroxide + Hydroquinone
Hydroquinone is a known skin lightening agent prescribed by dermatologist. And benzoyl peroxide being the anti-acne treatment does not sit well with each other.
Mixing them together can cause serious irritation. It might stain your skin as benzoyl peroxide is bleaching agent and hydroquinone a skin lightening.
9. Citric Acid + Anything
Citric acid is found in citric fruits. It has a very pH of 2.2. Citric acid is used in many moisturiser for removing sun tan, dark spots and pigmentation.
Citric acid should not be mixed with ant of the ingredients above or not to avoid serious irritation and burning.
Lemon and oranges are a good source of citric acid that are commonly used in homemade facial and face masks.
10. Kojic Acid + Retinol
This combination is not a well known skin care regimen. Kojic acid is a skin lightening agent. Though they can be tolerated by oily skin people when kojic acid is used as a face wash in low concentration. This combination is not something sensitive people should try.
Both the ingredient increases cellular turnover, causing skin to dry and flake. Also, it can make your skin hypersensitive to the sun.
11. Sunscreen + Anything
To keep the sunscreen effective, it should never be diluted with any moisturiser, oil or lotion. Always use a broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30+
Must Read: Best sunscreen you need to get you going