Ingredients in skin care products. Which ones to pair together for the best duos?

I receive more and more questions about ingredients in skin products. You ask me which ones to pair together to make the best match, getting the biggest number of benefits. Let me help, explain and smart off! Hopefully, I will clear up all doubts 🙂 

It’s worthwhile to know what ingredients can be mixed to intensify skin care, and which ones must be used solo to avoid skin damage. Would you like to tune up your skin care products? Check the ingredients that go along!

  1. Retinol + hyaluronic acid & sunscreen. When undergoing the retinol therapy, the skin’s barrier is somehow damaged, dry and irritated whereas its resistance to harmful outside factors is poorer. Hyaluronic acid aids in restoring moisture and strengthening skin since it lets repair the hydro-lipid layer. Ideally, your hyaluronic acid product should be rich in sunblock because retinol-treated skin needs sun protection to head off pigmentation spots.
  2. Retinol + niacinamide i.e. vit. B3. Niacinamide has been proven to be a good companion for retinol. You can mix both right before application during nighttime routine. Vitamin B3 stimulates synthesis of collagen and ceramides which guarantee integration of skin barrier and block the escape of water. As a result, it significantly reduces the possible side effects of retinol therapy. Hyaluronic acid is used in the AM but retinol-plus-vitamin-B3 makes the best choice in the evening.
  3. Vitamin C + ferulic acid. A perfect duo! They are both antioxidants that prevent oxidative stress and outstandingly strengthen sun protection. Moreover, ferulic acid blended with vit. C makes the vitamin more stable and effective. It is actually said to make vitamin C even 8 times more effective!
  4. Vitamin C + sunscreen. Use them together for better sun protection, plus the skin will be secured from pollution and smog. Like no other vitamin, vit. C brightens dark spots on skin. It’s also worthwhile to know that some forms of vitamin C must be used with a high-factor sunblock.

Ingredients that don’t get along. Never pair them together!

  1. Retinol + AHA/BHA acids. I don’t recommend such duo. Both ingredients have an exfoliating effect so this mixture is like a massive attack on the skin. Why would anyone do it to their own skin deliberately? The effect you’d get is scalped skin.
  2. Retinol + vitamin C. Never ever combine them! Too much of a good thing. If you’ve got both, use them separately in the AM and PM. Retinol exfoliates skin and has a slightly oxidative effect so it is able to diminish the antioxidant properties of vit. C. It simply causes vitamin C to break down and no longer work, therefore, we should take a 12-hour break between the two ingredients.
  3. Vitamin C + acids. The same scenario as with retinol and acids. Both substances are potentially irritative so they don’t make a good match. Still, you can use them solo at different times of the day.
  4. Vitamin C + niacinamide. As far as retinol and niacinamide like each other, vitamin C hates vit. B3. Both vitamins neutralize each other so using them together makes no sense. To make things worse, by mixing them, you can create nicotinic acid which strongly irritates the skin.
  5. Vitamin C + heavy metals. Yes, there are products infused with such substances e.g. moisturizers rich in copper. Heavy metals combined with ascorbic acid cause the formation of free radicals, in other words, start off the aging process that we try to head off! Skin care paradox.

Generally, if you fortify your skin care with such strong substance like retinol or a class-of-its-own vitamin C, you don’t need to waste time using additional active ingredients.

Do you use vitamin C or retinol-based skin products? Can you recommend a quality vitamin C serum? Do you know why this vitamin works best in serum? Comments are welcome <3