We’re a big fan of layering skincare products — that’s what makes the Korean regimen so effective! But there are just some chemicals that don’t play well together. Here’s a list of skincare ingredients you should never mix.
Retinol + aesthetic treatments
Retinol, Retin-A or Tretinoin is one of the best nati-aging ingredients. But since it encourages cell turnover, it can make the skin sensitive. That’s why you should stop this product a few days before doing any laser, peel,, or waxing. By the way, always tell your dermatologist about what products you’re using at home!
Retinol + AHAs
We love these ingredients, but if used together they can cause irritation and redness. It’s a case of too much of a good thing. They both micro-exfoliate and encourage cell turnover. Pick the one that works for you and stick to it. (And always remember to use sunblock whenever you’re on Retinol or acids like AHAs and BHAs.)
Retinol + Salicylic Acid
Are you seeing a pattern here? Retinol and acids don’t mix!
Retinol + Benzoyl Peroxide
Sorry, Retinol. But in this case, it’s not a case of irritation but reduced effectivity. “Topical retinoids such as tretinoin cream and topical benzoyl peroxide will deactivate each other,” says Dr. Mraz Robinson.
Retinol + Vitamin C
Really seems like retinol is the Lone Ranger of skincare. Vitamin C breaks down topical retinoids and make them less effective.
But you also need to be careful about mixing Vitamin C with other ingredients — especially if you’re using high ocncentrations of it, like in a serum. It’s sometimes called citric acid on product labels.
Vitamin C + AHAs
AHAs change the pH of Vitamin C and makes it unstable, so it less effective.
The Golden Rule
In a nutshell, be careful about layering if you’re using retinol, acids, or prescription acne treatments. And always introduce products to your regimen one at a time. If your skin gets irritated, you’ll know what happened.
Read Beauty Insider Philippines to get real, researched and unbiased advice on skincare for Filipinas! Get practical tips (like skincare mistakes to avoid) or product recos for your skin type or concern (this can help you pick the perfect eye cream).