When you’re trying to fix your seemingly endless skin problems—acne, large pores, blemishes, dry patches, and more—it feels like you want to slather whatever you can find in your skincare cabinet on to your face. And that might seem like the perfect solution, until you notice that your skincare doesn’t seem to perform, or worse, it’s irritating your skin and giving the opposite results than what you had hoped for.
First things first, identify the active ingredient in your lotion or serum or other skincare products, and second, be sure they don’t clash or negate the effects of another! Here are some basic guidelines of active ingredients that shouldn’t be used at once:
Retinols x Acids
Retinol is a potent form of vitamin A that’s known to work wonders to get rid of the old, dull, and damaged skin cells. But when combined with acids like powerful exfoliating duo AHAs (glycolic and lactic acid) and BHA (salicylic acid), your cellular turnover goes into overdrive, leaving you with redness, irritation, and possibly more sensitive to sunlight. As for Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid), the pH level for their optimum performance doesn’t quite match up with that of retinol, giving less than favorable results.
Retinols x benzoyl peroxide
Retinol is a wonder ingredient, but its biggest flaw is that it doesn’t play nice with other active ingredients. Another substance that retinol is not compatible with is benzoyl peroxide. Both are strong treatments for acne, and harsh on the skin. Using them both at the same time is a huge NO-NO. Choose only one, or expect your skin to rebel with flakiness, redness, peeling, and irritation.
Niacinamide x Vitamin C
Niacinamide is a major skincare darling, especially for people with acne-prone skin. It treats acne, reduces dark spots, and reduces pore size. Its frienemy is Vitamin C, which is a crowd favorite for skin brightening and anti-aging. If you truly need to use both at once, try leaving at least 30 minutes between these skincare ingredients.
Salicylic acid x other acids
It’s like salicylic acid has superpowers when it comes to combating acne—it dissolves the ‘glue’ that binds dead skin cells together, exfoliates at a deeper level, and de-clogs pores to prevent breakouts. Too bad that it cannot be combined with other acids, because the level of exfoliation it brings may cause irritation.
Source: HighEnd Teen