Whether you’re new to creating a skincare routine or have spent years perfecting a regimen, it’s good to know which ingredients mix well. The active ingredients in serums effectively treat many skin conditions, however, using specific ingredients together can lead to allergies and skin irritations or diminish one of the product's efficacy.
To avoid wasting time and money, we’ll share dermatologist insights on common skincare ingredients you should never mix.
Retinoids are a group of chemicals that come from vitamin A. They treat a variety of skin conditions, from unclogging pores to reducing wrinkles. Whether you use OTC or prescription products, these are the ingredients you should never mix with retinoids.
While technically not an ingredient, you should never leave the house after applying skincare products that contain retinoids. Although you can apply certain retinoids during the day, consider erring on the side of caution and only use retinoids at night.
AHAs and BHAs make effective exfoliants, but you should never combine them with retinoids, as it can lead to dry, irritated skin. Dermatologists recommend using exfoliants on the nights you don’t use products that contain retinoids. Additionally, limit exfoliating to once or twice a week.
Again, since retinoids are used for several skin conditions, they are often found in cleansers, serums, creams, and other skincare products. However, you should never mix retinoids, for example, retinol and tretinoin. Don't assume these ingredients are working double duty; they can only cause excessive dryness and irritation.
People who struggle with inflammatory acne swear by benzoyl peroxide. It destroys bacteria, reduces acne spots, and prevents future breakouts. As a tough antiseptic, it’s best to incorporate hydrating ingredients into your skincare routine. The following don’t play well with this acne-fighting ingredient.
You probably have a prescription for acne medication containing Dapsone if you struggle with severe acne. You can continue to use your prescription, but not at the same time. Together, these ingredients can cause severe skin discoloration (they can turn the skin orange). To avoid this, use one product in the morning and the other at night.
One thing most of us can agree on is that prescription retinoid products cost a pretty penny. Don’t waste your money by combining benzoyl peroxide products with tretinoin, as it can make this retinoid inactive. Again, you don’t have to discontinue using one or both products. Just use one in the morning and one at night.
We love vitamin C in our skincare products. Most of us know that it reduces wrinkles and other signs of aging, but also heavily fortifies the skin and protects it against UV damage when used with sunscreen. However, you want to be careful when using vitamin C with:
The main reason to avoid using vitamin C with exfoliators, such as AHAs and BHAs is that they’re both acids. When you use these ingredients together, they can be extremely drying and harmful to the skin. So, as a rule of thumb, never follow up on exfoliating treatments with a vitamin C product.
Sensitive Skin Types
If you have sensitive skin, don't be afraid to add these popular ingredients to your routine. Just be careful what you mix, as they may not always match. Instead, it can lead to allergic reactions and other harmful skin conditions.
Now that you know which skincare ingredients you should never match, continue your knockout skincare routine, knowing