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Which skin care ingredients should you never mix together?

Some ingredients work in synergy together, while others are better to be used independently. As water and oil do not mix, neither do certain skin care products.


Skin care products with light pink light and background.

Many think that “because I'm layering products, it must be doing good for my skin!”


However, in skin care, often times “the more the merrier” isn’t your go-to motto.


While some ingredients can enhance others, certain ingredients can actually cancel out other ingredients or cause more harm than good to the skin.


When designing your skin care regimen, remain educated on what ingredients you are putting on your skin to 1) ensure your have the most effective skin care routine and 2) save time, money, and any unwanted side-effects.

Skin care education is essential to maintaining your healthiest skin and avoiding the thirst-trap products and treatments that are purposed to make revenue, not actually help your skin.

Below are skin care ingredients you should nver mix together to maximize the benefits of your skin care regimen:

1. Retinol and vitamin C.


While you can still have both of these ingredients in your skin care regimen, you should never layer them on top of one another.


One of the main reasons for this is because the pH disparity between retinol and vitamin C causes the retinol’s pH level to lower and the vitamin C’s pH to increase. In turn, this results in the retinol becoming less effective and the vitamin C having a harder time penetrating the skin.


Although you can’t use them together, you can still have your cake and eat it too. Implement the vitamin C product in your morning skin care routine and implement the retinol product in your evening skin care routine. Always remember to apply sunscreen in the AM!


2. Retinol and AHA’s.


Both retinol and alpha hydroxy acids are strong exfoliators. When paired together, this regularly consequents in irritation of the skin including redness, sensitivity, dryness, and itching. Their properties can also counteract one another which weakens their effectiveness.


Rather than over-exfoliating your skin, maintain a good balance and listen to your skin. You can intuitively feel what your skin needs if you quietly tune in and listen.


As with vitamin C, you can use your AHA in the morning, while using your retinol at night. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, you may want to only use your AHA every other morning, or only use your retinol product every other evening.


3. Using products with the same active ingredient.


Combining products can feel like you’re killing two birds with one stone, but this is not always the case. If you integrate products at the same time into your skin care regimen that contain the same active ingredient, buckle up for some serious skin irritation and wasted product.


When using two products with the same active ingredient at the same time, the pH levels of each product will butt heads, causing the product that's most favorable to your skin to work its magic, while the other one takes a back seat. Instead, opt to use these products in different skin care sessions.


For example, if you use a use lactic acid (AHA) mask, do not follow this mask up with a glycolic acid (AHA) serum. Instead, stick to one active ingredient for your morning skin care routine and one active ingredient for your evening skin care routine.


When challenged by acne, use your salicylic acid (BHA) serum in the morning, and use your benzoyl peroxide (BHA) moisturizer at night. Evaluate how your skin reacts and modify your routine accordingly.

Skin care product on light pink background.

If you have any questions about what ingredients to use or how to integrate certain products or specific ingredients into your skin care routine, feel free to reach out via my contact page or Instagram. I know things can get a little hairy!


I would love to help with your skin care and self-love journey.


You are worthy, you are amazing, you are a bad bitch!


<3 xo, SK

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