Before using a new product or starting a new routine, it’s important that you know which skincare ingredients to mix and which skincare not to mix. Some ingredients work synergistically together, but others can do more harm than good when used simultaneously. Here are some combinations to embrace and avoid as you plan your skincare regimen.
Do Mix: Retinol & Hyaluronic Acid
Retinol and hyaluronic acid are an extremely popular combination because the moisturizing effects of hyaluronic acid can help to counteract the side effects of retinol, such as dry, flaky, irritated, or acne-prone skin.
Don’t Mix: Retinol & Vitamin C
While there’s nothing wrong with using both retinol and vitamin C in your skincare regimen, using them at the same time can cause discomfort, especially if you have sensitive skin. When considering which skincare ingredients to mix, it’s usually best to avoid combining multiple acid ingredients, with the exception of our next winning combination.
Do Mix: Acids & Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a gentle acid that’s known for its moisturizing properties, so it’s usually fine to mix with other acidic ingredients like vitamin C and glycolic acid.
Don’t Mix: AHAs and Retinol
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), like glycolic acid, should be on your list of skincare not to mix together simultaneously. Because they both exfoliate the skin’s outer layer, using them together can cause a stinging sensation accompanied by visible redness, peeling, and flaking.
Do Mix: Vitamin C & Sunscreen
Vitamin C and broad-spectrum sunscreen are ideal skincare ingredients to mix before spending time in the sun. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to fix skin damage caused by UV, visible, and blue light, as well as environmental stressors, like free radicals. Even the best sunscreen can’t offer 100% protection from UV rays, and vitamin C works on mending damage while sunscreen works on preventing damage.
Don’t Mix: Sunscreen & Moisturizers
While it may be tempting to add a bit of moisturizer to your sunscreen, you run the risk of blending ingredients that counteract or cancel each other out. Additionally, you’re diluting the SPF, making your barrier between your skin and the sun weaker.
Do Mix: Niacinamide & Most Ingredients
Niacinamide is an anti-inflammatory, so it tends to play well with others. Inflammation is one of the most common side effects associated with mixing the wrong ingredients, so as an anti-inflammatory, niacinamide tends to counteract this issue. However, when it comes to skincare not to mix with niacinamide, it’s best to avoid vitamin C. While the mixture isn’t likely to cause side effects, the vitamin C can actually diminish the potency of the niacinamide.
Don’t Mix: Products With the Same Active Ingredients
As a general rule when choosing skincare ingredients to mix, it’s best to avoid two products that both contain the same ingredients. While it may be tempting to double up for more potency, too much strength can irritate the skin and lead to unpleasant side effects. Check the labels, and try to avoid using the same ingredients at the same time—using them on different days should be fine.
Do Mix: HSA & Retinol
Our patented HSA technology works beautifully with retinol. Heparan sulfate is a natural molecule that our bodies produce and use to help decrease inflamed and damaged skin. As we age, the amount of heparan sulfate we produce decreases, often causing chronic inflammation because the body can’t restore inflamed skin properly.
As you learn about skincare ingredients to mix, be sure to consider the synergy of HSA with retinol. After over a decade of work, we were able to develop a modified version of heparan sulfate. Our proprietary Heparan Sulfate Analog molecule is designed to mimic the functions of heparan sulfate in the skin, working to protect the skin from the effects of inflammation.
So, why is HSA such a fantastic companion to retinol? Retinol speeds up the cell turnover process, which can cause side effects such as inflammation. HSA helps to counteract those side effects.
Check Before You Mix
There are endless combination possibilities out there, we highly recommend that you research specific ingredients before trying them together. Remember that everyone’s skin is different in regards to sensitivity, so choosing the skincare ingredients to mix and which skincare not to mix often comes down to a personal choice. When in doubt, talk to a professional. Explore medical-grade skincare products at Senté to find a winning solution that works for you.