As a skincare enthusiast, you likely have your favorite skincare products on rotation and may have even collected an array of new items that pique your interest. But too much variety in one’s routine could actually damage their skin and lead to irritation.
Certain ingredients work together nicely while others clash and it is possible to follow some guidelines to maximize the efficacy of your products.
Dos and Don’ts
With so many exciting skincare offerings coming out every month from brands you know and love as well as popular ingredients you see posted online, you may be tempted to add new additions to your regimen without thoroughly investigating their ingredients first. While a comprehensive approach can yield great results, adding too many products without knowing their interaction can actually cause damage by oversaturating skin with unnecessary substances that could potentially irritate it further.
Retinol, one of the most acclaimed anti-aging ingredients, may increase dryness while impeding absorption of other skincare actives like vitamin C and AHAs. Furthermore, mixing oil-based and water-based products may create an impenetrable barrier on the skin that prevents actives from penetrating properly and working their magic.
As with any new products you plan to add into your routine, it is wise to run tests first before proceeding to use and apply. Please see each product’s specific instructions and usage recommendations; in the meantime let’s go over some basic do’s and don’ts of ingredient mixing 101.
Avoid Tretinoins and Benzoyl Peroxide
Though mixing skincare ingredients may not be recommended, you can still tailor your routine to meet the unique needs of your skin. Simply be sure to choose products specifically designed for your type, avoid any potential irritants and apply a good sunscreen.
Note that it takes time for skin care products to work. Stay consistent in your routine so you can see results and stay aware.
As a general guideline, it’s best not to mix retinols and benzoyl peroxide together. Benzoyl peroxide’s drying effects could render treatment with tretinoin less effective; moreover, its oxidizing action could even break down its sensitive carbon double bonds and break them down altogether. Some dermatologists do advise using both products simultaneously for treating inflammatory acne; they suggest switching each day for two weeks in order to limit irritation; additionally they suggest also using topical antibiotics at this time as well.
Don’t Mix Your SPF with Your Makeup
The world of skincare can be an overwhelming maze of exciting, innovative ingredients and it may be tempting to add as many products into your regimen as possible in the pursuit of maximum efficiency – but using products which contain unnecessary additives could actually irritate skin, lead to breakouts, and waste your money.
Retinol, for instance, promotes cell turnover to address fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, dark spots, acne scarring and acne – but should never share its spotlight with ingredients such as acids, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that may cause exfoliation, redness and temporary staining.
Combining SPF with your foundation or moisturizer may not be ideal. Incorporating sunscreen into other skincare products dilutes its efficacy (according to Reddit). For optimal sun protection, choose makeup that includes sun protection built-in such as Colorescience mineral makeup which provides a protective base layer against signs of aging while making you appear flawlessly made up.
Always Apply Prescription Products First
An effective skincare routine can become complex quickly if you combine products from different brands. Celebrity esthetician Sarah Akram recommends sticking to one line of products designed specifically to work together so you can trust that all the ingredients will mesh harmoniously together.
She emphasizes the importance of applying any topical prescription medicines first before any skin care products, so they will absorb better. This may result in faster healing.
As for application, generally speaking it’s best to apply thinner textures first; this is because thinner, water-based products absorb faster than heavier oils and creams. Furthermore, it’s crucial that your skin be clean prior to using any product, since dirt may interfere with how your body absorbs certain ingredients and cause less-than-ideal results or even irritation.