Just a handy guide on the skincare ingredients you definitely shouldn't mix together.

Whether you're absolutely obsessed with skincare or a bit of a newbie (omg, welcome! Take a seat), the whole 'building a skincare routine' thing can be confusing AF. Daunting, even.

And if you're anything like us, sometimes you feel like you need a science degree just to unpack the product labels and all the fancy sounding ingredients. 

What's more, half of the stuff sounds like it would 100 per cent melt your face off if you're not careful (lookin' at you AHAs and BHAs). And they can! Goodness, they can turn on you.

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Knowing *exactly* what's in your products and how they all work together is the best way to ensure your skincare routine is effective without leaving you looking like Two-Face.

To help you get started, we're about to unpack some of the skincare ingredients you absolutely shouldn't use together. 

So, please - pop on that science hat and let's have a read (or at least skim to the good bits).

Don't mix: Retinol, AHAs and BHAs.

Woah, woah, woah! Slow down there, crazy.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid don't really mix well with retinol - like at all. Throwing them all on together is waaay too much for your little face. 

Remember, these are all good, thorough exfoliating ingredients. So going too hard and using too them all at once will mean these products will overwork the skin, breaking down healthy cells and making it very confused.

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The result? This can really dry out the skin, causing irritation and redness and potentially damaging your moisture barrier. Not only will your skin look and feel like a flaky, shiny mess, but it'll also increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. Eek!

Remember, less is more! If you're a glow-hungry monster and want to use all of these ingredients so you can reap ALL the benefits, we recommend spreading them out on alternate days or weeks.

Don't mix: Vitamin C, AHAs and retinol.

Omg, don't. Because AHAs and retinoids both chemically exfoliate the skin’s surface (like we mentioned before), so they definitely shouldn’t be mixed with ol' mate vitamin C at the same time. 

Why? They'll pretty much destabilise each other (read: giant waste of money), while causing your skin to feel all irritated and s**t.

Instead, use vitamin C as part of your morning routine, and save your AHAs or retinol for nighttime.

Don't mix AHAs and BHAs.

Many people use both AHAs and BHAs with no issues at all - and that’s perfectly fine! Good for you! You'll actually notice there are a lot of products that incorporate both of these ingredients cause they're pretty big playas when it comes to clearing blemishes and such.

However! Combining AHAs (like glycolic acid) and BHAs (like salicylic acid) willy-nilly can be really harsh on the skin if you're just starting out. 

Like, you know that time you started using those exfoliating pads (with AHAs and BHAs) to get rid of that dull, rank skin? And then you became addicted to that GLOW and started using them every day? Then by day four your skin was an absolute mess? And you blamed the product? Yes? Good.

More is not more.

We always recommend having a slow, super super gentle approach when you first dip your toes into the active game. Use the product once and week and build things up the frequency as your skin adjusts.

Don't mix: Vitamin C and citric acid.

If you've always fancied having a peel-y face that looks inflamed and sore, pls continue. Because mixing vitamin C with citric acid is a very good way to go about it. 

In case you've been away somewhere and didn't realise, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps brighten the skin. However, when used with an ingredient like citric acid (heard of her?) it can result in a big ol' case of over-exfoliation, weakening the skin barrier and making it sensitive and irritated.

Not. A. Good. Time.


Don't mix: Retinol and benzoyl peroxide.

Ingredients like retinol and acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide are not great mates. In fact, they pretty much cancel each other out if you use them together, making them ineffective and a waste of your pennies.

While prescription acne treatments might be fine with benzoyl peroxide, we'd recommend using them together with caution. 

Don't mix: Retinol and sun.

We can already hear it: "But the sun isn't an ingredient!" 

Sit down, Brenda. This one is important.

Retinol is the gold standard ingredient in skincare and can very effectively increase cellular turnover, revealing younger cells. But this new skin - she's SUPER sensitive, especially when exposed to harsh UVA/UVB rays.

Meaning? You *must* slap on SPF if you're going to incorporate retinol into your routine. Y'know, just in case you needed another excuse to protect your skin from the sun.

Are you guilty of mixing any of the above products? You silly sausage! Share your experience with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Getty

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