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From acids to retinol: Why you should NEVER mix some skincare products together

With thousands of skincare products on the market, knowing which can be mixed with others and which can’t can be tricky. 

And while it’s entirely possible to layer some, there are others that aren’t only less effective but doing so can cause your skin to react quite brutally.  

Problems you may strike when combining the wrong ingredients can include congested skin, redness and irritation.

So which products should you make sure to never mix together? 

Not all skincare products interact well with others which means its always important to read the ingredient list thoroughly (stock image)  

1. Vitamin C with acids

According to beauty experts at Better Homes & Gardens, if you are using a product which contains vitamin C, you should make sure you’re not layering over one containing acids.

Acid-based skincare includes products made using glycolic, lactic or salicylic acids.

Skincare containing vitamin C is known for its ability to help restore skin, even out skin tone and to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The publication reports that if vitamin C is used over or under a product that contains skin-rejuvenating acids, they will render will render vitamin C useless.

Skincare containing Vitamin C is known for its ability to help restore skin, even out skin tone and to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Skincare containing Vitamin C is known for its ability to help restore skin, even out skin tone and to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

What order should you layer skincare according to Australian skincare retailer Mecca?

1. Cleanser

2. Decongesting or clearing mask

3. Toner, essence, hydrating or treatment masks 

4. Serums and treatments

5. Eye serum, eye cream

6. Face moisturiser, face oil, face mist 

2.  Retinol with acids

Skincare infused with retinol stimulates collagen production and cell turnover, which can clear acne and smooth skin.

Because the ingredient needs to convert at a cellular level, it can leave the skin dry, red and slightly irritated (all side effects which subside after a few months).

Skincare containing glycolic, lactic or salicylic acids used in conjunction with retinol, which also act as exfoliants, can interact with retinol and make the skin more irritated. 

3. Retinol with vitamin C

Vitamin C and retinol are both effective as stand-alone ingredients to fight the signs of ageing.

However, Better Homes & Garden experts state they shouldn’t be used together.

‘Not only will it increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, but it will probably make your skin feel red and irritated,’ the publication states.

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is lauded by beauty buffs for its ability reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is lauded by beauty buffs for its ability reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion

4. Niacinamide with vitamin C 

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is lauded by beauty buffs for its ability to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion.

According to Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice, the ingredient comes with a host of benefits including greater hydration and a reduction in the signs of ageing.

‘Extensive research has shown niacinamide works to protect skin from environmental damage and also helps skin make more collagen and hyaluronic acid,’ she said. 

‘It improves hydration, reduces signs of ageing, diminishes enlarged pores, and significantly lessens skin discolouration.’

Products containing glycolic or lactic acid come in various strengths and are considered milder than  those containing salicylic acid

Products containing glycolic or lactic acid come in various strengths and are considered milder than  those containing salicylic acid

However, it worth nothing, niacinamide – which is found in facial creams, serums, toners and cleansers – shouldn’t be layered under or over Vitamin C as doing so will leave your skin red and also cause breakouts. 

5. Never mix acids 

Acids, including glycolic, lactic or salicylic, exfoliate the skin’s surface by penetrating into the pores.

Products containing glycolic or lactic acid come in various strengths. Both are considered relatively mild and neither will penetrate the skin too deeply.

If your skin is more problematic, cosmetics containing salicylic acid can help. 

This is because the acid not only exfoliates but also neutralises bacteria that cause breakouts.

Regardless of which you use, ensure you never mix products as doing could cause potentially painful skin reactions.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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