She notes that the effect “can be too drying for the skin, but if your skin can handle the two in tandem, then stick to a salicylic acid wash (which will obviously only have short contact with the skin before being washed away) or a spot treatment, and use the retinol and/or retinoid on the entire face.” If it’s acne-free skin sans irritation you’re after, choosing sides is a must. Not only are they synergistic, but Vitamin C is water-soluble, while vitamin E is lipid-soluble. Consider this your skin science class 101. When using hyaluronic acid and retinol, apply retinol first, then hyaluronic acid. Here, we get into the why and the how, and whether it’s a good idea for your skin’s particular needs right now. Tata Harper Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($80, sephora.com), Do Mix: However, dermatologist Patricia Wexler says that layering harsh products like these can cause … Note, the retinoid effect lasts for days after application, so it’s best to make sure to protect daily, and not just the day you’ve used retinol. This study compared the absorption of AHAs at pH 3.0 and 7.0, and found that the higher the pH, the less the skin absorbs. However, keep in mind that these have been specially formulated for stability. So what should you do if you don’t have a combo product, but still want two separate ones in your routine? Using salicylic acid and retinol at the same time causes dryness and redness. "It doesn't play nicely with a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Gross. And if you happen to be using a routine retinol or retinoid, using a daily SPF is imperative. With that being said, experience and plenty of group chats have taught me that multi-step routines still reign supreme, leaving plenty of room for error if it includes retinol. These are great to use in combination with sunscreens in order to enhance the skin’s defence. Just remember, your retinoid is applied at night and your SPF is to be applied in the morning.”. There are a handful of ingredients that can brighten and even out your complexion, but vitamin C is definitely the most popular. Hyaluronic Acid is great for this, as it draws moisture into the skin and keeps it there helping it feel plump and comfortable. Finding the correct acne treatment for your skin can be a challenge. So, can you use glycolic acid and retinol together? So if you’re looking to banish your dark spots, start at the source and swear by SPF. Do Not Mix: salicylic acid) or AHA (i.e. Gross explains that the “sun is our skin’s worst enemy when it comes to causing signs of premature aging.” Since sun damage can occur even in short periods of sun exposure, it’s a great idea to make applying it every morning second nature, like brushing your teeth. Over time, your skin will get tolerant of these side effects.”, Similarly, Dr. Engelman notes that “if you’re working with salicylic or glycolic acid, they need to be coupled with some sort of moisturizer or lotion to combat the drying effects that they can have on the skin. So next time you are thinking about your skin care products, cast your eye over the ingredients list before committing them to your regular routine. Rightfully so, I can personally attest to its exfoliating powers, but knowing what not to mix with retinol is arguably as important as the ingredient itself. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid can be used first to “prep” the skin. These skin fixes have the ability to strip away our moisture, leaving us with dry and flaky skin. Additionally, leaving makeup on the face could lead to inflammation, which can generate free radicals.”. That’s why it becomes risky. Spots on the skin are actually our skin’s defensive reaction to the sun, but if protected, less melanin pigment will be produced,” he continued. Together, they penetrate into the different phases of the skin and neutralize free radicals in their path.”. If you deny your skin of moisture, over-exfoliate and use astringent excessively, you will over-strip your skin.”, To further that, Dr. Engelman reminds us that “if you’re using a retinol/retinoid, moisturizing is a must. Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, protects your skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays. This acid is “a plant-based antioxidant that enhances properties of other vitamins for healthy skin and supplies sun damage protection,” says Dr. The retinol in this luxe night treatment is microencapsulated to prevent irritation and the remaining formula contains a complex that helps further stabilize the retinol so it can be as effective as possible. This can be in a toner or serum form. Can you mix Retinol or AHAs + Hyaluronic Acid in your skin care routine? For those who want to see less wrinkles and lines on their face (or prevent it from happening sooner than later), it’s an absolute must-have. Or you can use salicylic acid every morning and alternate benzoyl peroxide and retinoids at night. Exfoliation involves the removal of dead skin cells, which results in softer and smoother skin. Dr. Sure, most experts will tell you it’s important to at least cleanse, tone and moisturize (with SPF) every day. (AKA L-ascorbic acid.) So if you’re looking for a conclusive skin fix, swearing by your vitamins is a foolproof solution. Why Acids and Retinol Don’t Mix. Retinol and vitamin C used together are a bit like a sweet & sour mix with relationship tension. No matter how much you educate yourself and read labels, chances are you’re not entirely sure what you’re slathering onto your skin every day. When contact is made with the skin, it helps to weaken and reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria, ultimately drying your skin in the process. “If you are using a topical retinoid regularly, you may notice that your skin is sensitive and you may not be able to tolerate other potentially irritating or exfoliating products like alpha and beta hydroxy acids.”. Ultraviolet light is a form of radiation—that people most often come in direct contact with through tanning beds—which has proven to be both beneficial (lookin’ at you, vitamin D) and detrimental to our health. So “antioxidant serums are a wonderful addition to our skincare regimen in the defence against ultraviolet radiation as well as environmental assaults, such as pollution. The brand’s latest face patches are infused with retinol, vitamin C and peptides to diminish fine lines with continued use. Gross. Retinol is often name-dropped as the cure to a ton of skin concerns including hyperpigmentation and signs of aging. You should only combine retinoids with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid using extreme caution. Here, Barankin breaks down the main players and … )—and my skin is thanking me for it. “A product’s efficacy is based on how well it’s formulated to target a specific area. A retinoid and retinol are close cousins, but they’re not sisters. Because I don’t want any of our money to go to waste—retinol can be affordable or expensive, depending on your preference—I asked board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Hadley King, for a quick refresher on the other commonly used ingredients I should keep far from my night serum. The vitamin A derivative is often touted as a cure-all for bumpy texture, recurring breakouts and a dull complexion. Note that “no single ingredient has a monopoly. And although helpful on their own, when mixed and matched topically, they can create a recipe for redness. Retinoids and Ultraviolet (UV) Light. “This helps protect the skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation, as well as from free radicals from other sources such as pollution.” Save your retinoids for the night routine, especially since they are usually degraded by sunlight. They’re clunky. Exfoliators and Skin Brightening Products. The pH optimal for retinol esterification (a process necessary for its activation in the skin) is between 5.5-6.0, as mentioned in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Can You Combine Retinol and Lactic Acid? If your skin is too sensitive to the retinoid effect, you can also mix a little drop of retinoid in with your moisturizer, and then apply the mixture to the skin. But even some of those steps are debated in lengthy Twitter threads and Instagram comments. You can use glycolic acid (or other alpha hydroxy acids) and retinol together if you have oily or normal skin. [However], most formulations have now been proven to be stable in the presence of BPO, but consult with your doctor to ensure that is the case with your specific brand.”. If you’re not concerned about anti-aging yet, you can still benefit from using a retinol. Vitamin E defends against and disables free radicals made by the body. First, let’s go over some basics. copyright 2020 © all rights reserved by stylecaster, been some concerns that the acidic pH needed for vitamin C absorption could contribute to the degradation of retinol.”. Whatever works best for your skin. Retinol before Salicylic Acid, never been flakier. Multiple acids (glycolic + salicylic, glycolic + lactic, etc.) AHAs (glycolic and lactic acid) and BHA (salicylic acid) are all powerful exfoliants. “There are some combination products that contain both benzoyl peroxide and a retinoid and these have been specially formulated for stability (eg Epiduo).”. Try salicylic acid in an allover toner or cream to prevent breakouts, or on pimples if you have sensitive skin—it's gentler than benzoyl, explains Wechsler. Clearogen Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Lotion, ($33, sephora.com), Do Not Mix: So get back what you lost and create a canvas that your dermatologist would be proud of. With salicylic acid being present in the formula at high concentration, combining it with other acidic and high strength formula may increase the sensitivity of the skin. If you regularly visit a dermatologist, you may have been prescribed medication with BZ in it or perhaps you have an OTC spot treatment or acne dot that utilizes its anti-inflammatory benefits. Some of those active ingredients that work to cure your skin issues should never be mixed with one another. A retinoid has a higher concentration of the active ingredient (retinoic acid) compared to a minor concentration as found in a retinol. Moisturizer and SPF with Retinol/Retinoid, Salicylic or Glycolic Acids, A daily moisturizer is essential to any skincare regimen, even if you’re not mixing ingredients. Glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids, for example. We spoke with Dendy E. Engelman of Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, and Dr. Dennis Gross MD Founder of Dennis Gross Dermatology, to help ensure your products are as effective as they were intended to be. And While Retinol is working on firming the skin and adding radiance & luminosity, Ferulic Acid allows the Retinol to work even deeper into the skin while promoting collagen production. You might just do 2+3 or 1+3+4, 1+1 or 1+2. So hopefully you will start looking at your vanity in a new light, start asking your dermatologist the right questions and become more discerning when it comes to your skincare ingredients. If you're applying the product to your face and neck, use a pea- or marble-size amount spread evenly over the area. Just be sure to layer with an SPF when applying in the morning. So to provide you with the skincare knowledge you need, we’re going to expose the ingredients that perform as promised and a few that crack under product pressure. August 14, 2019. Dr. Engelman notes that, “Some of the older retinoids are not stable in UV light, so that is one of the reasons why they were recommended to only be applied at night.” If you’re looking to play it safe, and you’re catching rays all day long, just avoid this active ingredient all together. This is what happens when you use retinol and vitamin C together. The severity of our sunspots can be reduced with the use of a broad-spectrum sunblock and added SPF 15 at the minimum. I even consulted with Dr. Leslie Baumann who said “Retinoids should not be mixed with BHA (salicylic acid) or AHA (glycolic acid) because the BHA and AHA can inactivate the retinoid. So in theory, adding an antioxidant serum that helps combat those chemicals and bad beauty habits is a recipe for radiance. A retinoid and retinol are close cousins, but they’re not sisters. And when combined with skin-brightening products without added SPF, you’re looking at a recipe for disaster, or as Dr. Philosophy Miracle Worker Retinoid Eye Repair Cream ($79, sephora.com). In addition to the brand’s exclusive Retinol Tri-Active technology, this just-released moisturizer is also enriched with peptides, another powerhouse ingredient proven to firm and smooth-out skin. Why can´t I use The Ordinary Buffet with Acids & Vitamin C? Gross points out, “a paradox,” simply because “these same products used to lighten the skin could possibly intensify the darkness in a hyper-pigmented area because, they increase photosensitivity which can irritate the skin. As mentioned above, retinol can be too much when paired with acids, but be wary of layering them with vitamin C, too. Up until recently, Dr. King says there had “been some concerns that the acidic pH needed for vitamin C absorption could contribute to the degradation of retinol.”. And now on to the ingredients that go together like PB and J. Salicylic/Glycolic Acid with Retinols and Retinoids First, let’s go over some basics. If you’re not completely satisfied with your current retinol product, here are some newer formulas to peruse. Before we get down to brass tacks, it’s important to know that there is no one way for all of us to take care of our skin. Truth is, you CAN use them together – if you use the right product and follow our expert tips. If your skin is oily and acne-prone, use an oil-free moisturizer to add back the hydration that could be stripped away.”. Especially if you’re young, you do not need to be applying this every night. Fresh Soy Face Exfoliant ($49, sephora.com), Do Not Mix: glycolic acid/lactic acid) because they can inactivate the retinoid. Retinoids can be inherently irritating to the skin, and moisturizers help to calm and hydrate the skin to combat that effect. Benzoyl Peroxide is a topical quick fix for skin conditions such as acne. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution ($88, dgskincare.com), An antioxidant is a beauty buzzword that shows no sign of slowing down, and for good reason. “Alpha and beta hydroxy acids may make some topical retinoid formulations less effective because of the pH. These powerful antioxidants can work together to create a wondrous effect on your complexion. Dr. Salicylic Acid Regarded by many as the main player in BHAs, salicylic acid dives deep into congested skin to relieve clogged pores and blackheads while reducing bacterial growth. With retinol, start 1-2 times a week at first for a few weeks, and gradually increase if needed. So unless your skin is uncommonly oily, Dr. Engelman advises against using a salicylic and glycolic acid product on the same day as your retinols and retinoids. Furthermore, mixing retinol with acidic products, according to Professor Leslie Baumann, neutralises the activity of retinol rendering it far less effective. Dr. Engelman explains, “the retinoid effect is that it enhances cell turnover and thus makes skin more prone to UV radiation. For example, if you use a salicylic acid-based cleanser, make sure that this ingredient isn’t in your toner or moisturizer. Gross. So if you’re planning on spending some quality time outdoors, work in moisturizer and sun specific makeup with SPF for added protection. “It is ok to use both of these ingredients if your skin tolerates them, but use the benzoyl peroxide in the mornings and use the retinoid at bedtime,” says Dr. King. Retinol is the queen bee of the beauty world, and as skin care royalty, she doesn’t mix with just anyone. Before we get into the "how," I want to briefly touch on the "why"—the reason you shouldn't use retinol and acids at the same time. In bold you can see numbers (as above) which hopefully will help you understand how to layer The Ordinary. Don’t mix Vitamin C with… Copper Peptides and AHAs. Gross notes that “hydrating your skin is a must, regardless of skin type. Irritation: First of all, there's more risk of irritation when you're using two strong exfoliators at the same time. I recommend applying 5 drops in the morning before your moisturizer, followed by SPF,” suggests Dr. Engelman. When you mix them together, the niacinamide will raise the pH of the acid. There are a number of skincare products which shouldn't be mixed with others While some can be … Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Retinol helps reduce visible skin aging while Salicylic Acid clears up breakouts, but using them at the same time can cause irritation. When combined with a retinol, you would create “a unique delivery system that makes Retinol work even better. Ultimately, you have to take social media advice with a grain of salt and simply find a routine that works specifically for you. Kate Somerville made waves when she debuted this rich moisturizer, infused with both vitamin C and retinol for brighter and smoother skin. Retinol and vitamin C combo products are still relatively scarce, albeit some well-known formulas like Kate Somerville’s moisturizer. It is ok to use these products if your skin tolerates them, but use them in the mornings and use the retinoid at bedtime,” says Dr. King. Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO) and Retinols, Well, maybe. Murad Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++ ($63, sephora.com). Like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide is a widely-used and recommended ingredient for targeting blemishes and various types of acne. It’s also worth mentioning that both are potentially irritating, depending on how sensitive your skin is, so there’s a chance you won’t even be able to tolerate both. Again, everyone’s skin is different, so if something doesn’t feel right…something is probably wrong. Retinol and hyaluronic acid are both powerful at improving skin, so using them together can really amp up their effectiveness. Retinol (a form of vitamin A), can accelerate cellular turnover (that’s scientific lingo for speeding up your skin’s natural exfoliating process). So we must protect against this by wearing daily sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. Reviews Skin Care. This is why I personally feel it is not worth the risk of combining the two. Dr. If you’re working with two separate products, they will need to be used at different times. Note that vitamin C and vitamin E are both important to apply topically everyday in your cocktail. Stronger and better, together. Just remember, antioxidant serums should not be your remedy if you’ve been neglecting your skincare regime, but if you’ve had a few late nights, these serums will forgive you. That means you'd be missing out on all the benefits your acid has to offer. An acid is still an acid, even when it gets a glow-y makeover and rebrands itself as a vitamin. Products work when they penetrate the skin, target an area and are formulated in such a way that they can get there,” notes Dr. “Vitamin A helps to smooth lines and wrinkles while increasing moisture and elasticity. Don’t mix Retinol with… most active ingredients but mainly AHAs like Glycolic Acid. Once this regimen has been maintained for weeks, you can begin a topical acid once weekly on a night you’re not using the retinoid. Don’t mix Salicylic Acid with… AHAs and Retinol. Ferulic Acid can be found in several foods and beverages, including coffee, oranges and apples. From acids to retinol: Why you should NEVER mix some skincare products together. If you’re still on the hunt for that miracle product that contains both ingredients, Dr. Engelman explains that, “Adapalene and is a very effective acne treatment that is applied once daily and contains both a retinoid and BPO.” Although, if you’re worried about possible skin irritating side effects, best practice suggests choosing one or the other, and working that into your skincare regimen. You … Salicylic/Glycolic acid with Retinols and retinoids together “ no single ingredient a... Ahas ( glycolic + lactic, etc. can create a wondrous effect on your complexion once has... Niacinamide will raise the pH of the beauty world, and gradually increase if needed relatively,..., start 1-2 times a week at first for a conclusive skin fix, swearing your. Acne Lotion, ( $ 63, sephora.com ), do not:! However, one pairing can actually work very well together 79, sephora.com ), do not:! 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Tone and even out your complexion, but vitamin C minimizes imperfections in the AM, or! Although helpful on their own, when mixed and matched topically, they penetrate into the skin combat... Smooth lines and wrinkles while increasing moisture and elasticity like PB and J the correct acne treatment for skin! Chemicals and bad beauty habits is a must, regardless of skin type and salicylic acids, for.! Single ingredient has a monopoly foolproof solution your collagen levels decline, the buffers the. Oranges and apples us with dry and flaky skin acne-prone skin, crippling! You also mix the preservatives, the pore does not snap back as easily once it has been.! Go together can you mix salicylic acid and retinol PB and J it ’ s go over some basics but also provides multiple benefits ”. Recommend you put on benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acids, for example also been specially for! That go together like PB and J helps reduce visible skin aging salicylic! That you can use glycolic acid on top a challenge 2+3 or 1+3+4, 1+1 or 1+2 in,... Remember, thinnest / clearest to heaviest / opaque lines and wrinkles while increasing moisture and elasticity ones... Smoother skin over some basics a dull complexion same time help to prevent collagen breakdown a bit a. That include both retinol and vitamin C well it ’ s go over some basics be fine gradually. For disaster, or as Dr different phases of the acid performs with the of. Acids and retinoids concentration of the beauty world, and moisturizers help to prevent collagen breakdown, adding antioxidant... Time can cause irritation increased collagen production at prescription strength, improve tone and even out your complexion applied. Radicals in their path. ” and hyaluronic acid is still an acid great. Using hyaluronic acid in your skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays she! Acid ( or other alpha hydroxy acids ) and BHA ( i.e swearing by your vitamins is a recipe radiance. 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