Active ingredient skincare container

With so many skincare actives on the market these days, it can be tough to keep track of which ones should never be mixed!

Is it safe to mix vitamin c with hyaluronic acid? What about retinol and benzoyl peroxide? Don’t get us wrong, mixing skincare ingredients correctly is always a good idea, but combining the wrong skincare ingredients can result in a big beauty disaster. 

Are you curious? Read on for everything you need to know about skincare actives not to mix! At the end, you'll be able to keep your skin looking its best - without any embarrassing consequences.

Related article: The ABC of Skincare Ingredients To Put Your Best Face Forward

A guide to skin care ingredients not to mix 

Any experienced beauty junkie knows that there are certain skincare ingredients that just don't mix.

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing- this is especially true when it comes to skin care. With so many different options, it can be tempting to mix and match various ingredients in the hopes of achieving optimal results. However, certain ingredients can cancel each other out, or even cause skin irritation and acne breakouts.

Here is our little guide on skincare ingredients to avoid: 

What not to use with retinol?

Ok, if you happen to live in a cave and never heard about retinol, let us update you: this form of vitamin A is basically the fountain of youth in a bottle. Seriously, this stuff is amazing. It helps to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging; diminishes blemishes and acne, and even helps to even out skin texture. Basically, it's like getting a mini facelift every time you use it.

Retinol always makes a good skincare cocktail with moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid!

Sounds amazing? Well, let us tell you which active ingredients you should avoid using if you plan to add retinol into your skincare routine

  • Retinol + Benzoyl peroxide

Sad news for those who have acne-prone skin! 

There are two schools of thought when it comes to skincare: those who swear by retinol, and those who swear by benzoyl peroxide. But what happens when you try to mix the two together? Let's just say it's not a pretty sight. Retinol and benzoyl peroxide both have powerful effects on the skin, and when they're used together, they can cause some serious irritation and excessive dryness. 

The retinol works as an anti-aging product that breaks down the bonds between the cells, while the benzoyl peroxide works to kill the bacteria that causes acne. The combination is just too much for the skin to handle, and it can lead to redness, flaking, and even burning, especially if you have sensitive skin. 

Any board-certified dermatologist would advise you against this mixture!

  • Retinol + Vitamin C

Vitamin C and retinol are both powerful anti-aging ingredients. But what happens when you mix them together? Unfortunately, not much. 

In fact, retinol and vitamin C can actually cancel each other out when used together. That's because retinol is a type of vitamin A, and vitamin A is known to decrease the effectiveness of vitamin C. So if you're looking to achieve youthful, glowing skin, it's best to use these ingredients separately.

Of course, that doesn't mean you have to choose one or the other. You could use vitamin C during the mornings to protect the skin barrier from the harmful uv rays and free radicals, and retinol at night. 

  • Retinol + Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Retinol and AHAs may seem like a match made in skincare heaven. After all, they're both derived from natural ingredients, and they both promise to improve the appearance of your skin. However, while they may sound like a perfect pairing, retinol and alpha hydroxy acids should never be mixed together. 

Retinol is a powerful ingredient that can cause irritation, redness, and dryness, while AHAs *aka glycolic and lactic acids* are known for their exfoliating properties that help to get rid of dead skin cells. When used together, these two ingredients can cancel each other out, leaving your skin feeling raw and irritated. 

  • Retinol + Salicylic Acid

Retinol and salicylic acid, the most famous among the beta hydroxy acids, are really popular active ingredients. And for good reason - they both pack a major punch when it comes to combating common skin concerns like wrinkles, fine lines, and blemishes. But here's the thing: you should never mix retinol and salicylic acid together. 

Why not? Well, retinol can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, while the acid can make your skin more prone to irritation. So using them together can actually dry out your skin. Not to mention, it'll just be a big ol' waste of money since you won't be getting the full benefits of either ingredient. 

What not to mix with niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that is often used in skincare products. While it can be found in many foods, including meats, fish, and nuts, it is also available in topical formulations. 

When applied to the skin, niacinamide can help to improve the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven skin tone. It can also help to reduce the redness associated with conditions like rosacea and acne. In addition, niacinamide is an effective antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from environmental damage, and it can lower oil production. 

With so many niacinamide benefits, what can go wrong? You should totally include it in your skin care routine, but beware of mixing it with these ingredients: 

  • Niacinamide + Vitamin C

We wish I could mix niacinamide and vitamin C, but alas, it is not possible. Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin and vitamin C is an oil-soluble vitamin, so they just won't mix! If you try to mix these potent ingredients, you'll end up with a separated, clumpy mess.

However, you can use them consecutively in your skincare routine - just make sure to apply niacinamide first and then follow with vitamin C. By using them in this order, you'll still get all the benefits of both ingredients without having to worry about mixing them together.

  • Niacinamide + AHAs and BHAs

We get it, trust us. You want to treat acne, so you've been doing your research and you've come across niacinamide and AHAs and BHAs. Two seemingly magical ingredients can transform your skin... so why can't you mix them together?  

While both niacinamide and AHAs/BHAs can be beneficial for the skin, they should not be used together. Niacinamide can actually inhibit the exfoliating effects of AHAs and BHAs and cause redness and irritation. 

So, say goodbye to mixing niacinamide and salicylic acid or glycolic/lactic acid!

Facial Exfoliator
AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid
Facial Exfoliator Cosrx Aha 7 Whitehead Power Liquid
Sale price$25.00
Yuja Niacin Brightening Moisture Gel Cream - Asian Beauty Essentials
Moisturizer Yuja Niacin Brightening Moisture Gel Cream
Sale price$20.00

What not to mix with vitamin C?

Vitamin C is often touted as a miracle ingredient for the skin. And while it can’t quite work miracles, it can do some pretty amazing things. 

This active ingredient is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin from damage caused by free radicals. It also helps to boost collagen production, which gives the skin its plump, youthful appearance. In addition, vitamin C can help to brighten the skin, improve skin texture, and reduce dark spots created through sun damage. 

This vitamin makes a great skincare cocktail when combined with vitamin E and ferulic acid *in fact, you can find them together in many multi-ingredient serums*. But what are the ingredients you should avoid?: 

  • Vitamin C and glycolic acid

There are a few reasons why you shouldn't mix vitamin C and glycolic acid. First, vitamin C is acidic, and glycolic acid is also acidic. When you mix them together, they can cancel each other out and make you vulnerable to skin barrier damage. Second, the acid can break down vitamin C, making it less effective. And third, if you use too much GA, it can actually cause inflammation and irritation. 

  • Vitamin C + Salicylic acid

We all know that vitamin C is great for our skin. It's an antioxidant that helps to protect against damage from free radicals, and it can also help to brighten the skin, promote skin cell turnover, and even out discoloration. The acid, on the other hand, is a powerful exfoliant that can help to unclog pores and eliminates acne-causing bacteria. So, you might be wondering, why can't you mix them?

It turns out that these two ingredients can actually cancel each other out. When they're combined, they can create a type of chemical reaction that negates the benefits of both actives. 

Facial toner
AHA BHA PHA 30Days Miracle Toner
Facial toner AHA-BHA-PHA 30days Miracle Toner
Sale price$22.00

  • Vitamin C + Benzoyl peroxide

For starters, benzoyl peroxide is a very powerful oxidizing agent. When it comes into contact with vitamin C, it can cause the vitamin to break down into its component parts, which can be quite irritating to the skin. Additionally, benzoyl peroxide can also cause dryness and flakiness, both of which are common side effects of acne treatments.

Related article: Top 8 Skincare Ingredients To Avoid While Pregnant

Overnight Mask
Yuja Niacin Brightening Sleeping Mask - Asian Beauty Essentials
Overnight Mask Yuja Niacin Brightening Sleeping Mask
Sale price$22.00

Where to find the best skincare cocktails?

Now that you know all the skincare actives not to mix together, you are ready to find the best skincare cocktails that will work wonders for your beautiful skin! 

Visit Asian Beauty Essentials online and pick your favorite mixture and let us know the results once you include them in your skin care routine!

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