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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Skincare Guide: Ingredients to Avoid Mixing Together

When it comes to mastering skincare, the best thing you can possibly do is simply become more aware. Become aware of product types, their functions, ingredients, etc. And one of the things to be aware of is the combination of certain products, specifically when you mix certain active ingredients. By no means does it all of a sudden make them toxic when combined, they just simply render themselves ineffective. Or in simpler terms: they cancel each other out and become useless. So here are three pairings that should be avoided if you want to achieve full effectiveness in your products:

BHA/AHA & Retinol - Acid toners (AHA &BHA - full post explanation here) should not be mixed together with retinol/retinoids (full post explanation here) because the acids can inactivate the retinol/retinoid. Mixing the two together actually diminishes the effectiveness of both ingredients. So what's the solution? Use your acid toner or any product that has an AHA or BHA in the mornings only, on days where you know you're going to use a retinol treatment at night. So just take out acid toners/all acids from your evening routine if you're using retinol or retinoid. And also be aware that some cleansers also contain AHA's/BHA's, including some well known products, like The Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel. If so, just use a different cleanser if you're planning on using your retinol treatment afterwards.

Vitamin C & Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) - these two ingredients sadly also cancel each other out. So if you're using a Vitamin C serum and then apply a cream or serum or some other kind of product right afterwards that contains Niacinamide, then you're pretty much rendering both of them ineffective. Best to keep them apart. 

Vitamin C & Vitamin A - there are technically several products out there, that are formulated with both and work perfectly fine! This is not like mixing BHA/AHA and Retinol, where you really should just avoid all together. Vitamin C and Vitamin A simply work their best when used separately.

Like I said, mixing these pairings is not at all harmful. You're just not getting the most out of your money/products. 

I personally discovered these ill-fated pairings when one of my serums stopped working the way it use to. The change happened right after I had repurchased my acid toner and had began using it before applying the serum, which happened to contain retinol. When I took out the acid toner from my evening routine, the serum went back to giving me amazing results. So it's just a few little facts to keep in mind :).

And if you're ever unsure of what ingredients your product contains, you can easily check using this website:

Next time on The Skincare Guide: Waiting Times


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