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The Dos and Don'ts of Mixing Skincare Ingredients - Actives Mixology


"How to safely mix active skincare ingredients" "Common skincare ingredient combinations to avoid" "The benefits of layering skincare ingredients" "How to balance different types of skincare ingredients" "The impact of pH levels on skincare ingredient mixing" "The importance of patch testing when mixing skincare ingredients" "How to avoid over-exfoliating when mixing active skincare ingredients" "The impact of time and order on mixing skincare ingredients" "How to adjust your skincare routine for ingredient mixing" "The benefits of using a professional skincare consultation for ingredient mixing guidance"


Actives mixology, or the practice of combining active ingredients to achieve a customized skincare routine, has gained popularity in recent years, as more people want to address their unique skin issues.


Skincare Mixology Basics

Mixing skincare ingredients can be beneficial because it allows for a customized and targeted approach to addressing specific skin concerns. When used together, some ingredients can enhance the effectiveness of others or counteract any potential negative effects.


However, it's important to know which ingredients can be mixed together and which ones should be avoided to avoid any potential damage to the skin.


One - pH Balance


One of the most critical principles of actives in skincare is to use ingredients with similar pH levels. The pH level of your skin affects how it absorbs and reacts to different products. Mixing ingredients with vastly different pH levels can disrupt the skin's natural barrier, leading to irritation, dryness, or breakouts.


Two - Ingredient Roles


Another essential principle is to mix ingredients with different functions. For example, mixing an exfoliating ingredient with a hydrating one can help prevent dryness and irritation, as exfoliation can remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, while hydration can replenish the skin's moisture levels.


Moreover, do not mix ingredients with opposing functions. For example, mixing an oil-based product with a water-based product can cause the product to separate and decrease the effectiveness of both ingredients.


 

Retinol Mixology


Retinol is a form of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that is commonly used in skincare products to improve the appearance and texture of the skin. It is a type of retinoid, a group of compounds that are derived from vitamin A.


Retinol works by stimulating the production of new skin cells and collagen, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. It can also help improve skin tone and texture, reduce the appearance of pores, and even out skin discoloration.


What it CAN be mixed with -


  1. Hyaluronic acid - It is an excellent hydrating ingredient that can help counteract the drying effects of retinol.

  2. Peptides - These are amino acid chains that can help boost collagen production and improve the skin's overall appearance. They are safe to use with retinol and can work synergistically to improve skin texture and tone.

  3. Niacinamide - This is a form of vitamin B3 that can help reduce inflammation and improve the skin's barrier function. It is safe to use with retinol and can even enhance its effectiveness.


What it CAN'T be mixed with -


  1. Vitamin C - Vitamin C and retinol are both powerful active ingredients that can provide significant benefits to the skin. However, they should not be used together as they have opposite pH levels and can cancel each other out.

  2. AHAs/BHAs - AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids) are exfoliating ingredients that can help unclog pores and improve skin texture. However, they can be too harsh to use in combination with retinol and can cause dryness, irritation, and even flaking.

  3. Benzoyl peroxide - It is an antibacterial ingredient that is commonly used to treat acne. However, it can be too harsh to use in combination with retinol and can cause excessive dryness, redness, and peeling.


 

Vitamin C Mixology


Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the growth, development, and repair of tissues in the body. It is an antioxidant, which means that it helps protect the body's cells from damage caused by free radicals and unstable molecules.



What it CAN be mixed with -


  1. Vitamin E - Both these ingredients can work together to protect the skin from oxidative damage caused by environmental stressors like pollution and UV rays. Vitamin E is also a natural moisturizer that can help keep the skin hydrated.

  2. Hyaluronic acid - HA is an excellent hydrating ingredient that can help counteract the drying effects of vitamin C. When used together, they can provide powerful hydration and antioxidant benefits to the skin.

  3. Ferulic acid - This is a potent antioxidant that can help enhance the stability and effectiveness of vitamin C. When used together, they can provide powerful anti-aging benefits to the skin.


What it CAN'T be mixed with -


  1. Retinol - Vitamin C and retinol have opposite pH levels. Retinol works best in acidic conditions, while vitamin C requires a neutral pH level to be effective. When used together, they can cancel each other out and reduce the effectiveness of both ingredients.

  2. AHAs/BHAs - These exfoliating ingredients can tend to break down the skin's surface, making it more susceptible to irritation from vitamin C. It is best to use them on alternate days or in different routines.


Note - SPF is an essential component of any skincare routine when using vitamin C. As previously mentioned, vitamin C can increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun, making it more susceptible to sun damage. Therefore, it is crucial to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.



 

Exfoliant Mixology - AHA & BHA


AHAs and BHAs are types of exfoliating acids commonly used in skincare. AHA stands for alpha-hydroxy acid, and BHA stands for beta-hydroxy acid.


AHAs are water-soluble acids that work by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, allowing them to be easily removed. They can help improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, and can also improve skin texture and tone.



What it CAN be mixed with -


  1. Moisturizers - AHAs and BHAs can be drying to the skin, so it is essential to use a moisturizer to help keep the skin hydrated. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides in moisturizers can help hydrate and lock in moisture to help improve the health of your skin's natural barrier.

  2. Vitamin C - These are both powerful active ingredients that can provide significant benefits to the skin when used together as they can help brighten the skin and improve skin texture.

  3. Peptides - They are safe to use with AHAs/BHAs and can work synergistically to improve skin texture and tone.


What it CAN'T be mixed with -


  1. Retinol - Using both of these together can be too harsh on your skin and can cause dryness, irritation, and even flaking.

  2. Benzoyl peroxide - AHAs/BHAs and benzoyl peroxide can be too harsh to use together and can cause excessive dryness, redness, and peeling. It is best to use them on alternate days or at different times of the day.


 

Benzoyl Peroxide Mixology


Benzoyl peroxide is often used to treat mild to moderate acne, as it can help reduce inflammation and breakouts. It is available in a variety of forms, including creams, gels, and washes.


While benzoyl peroxide can be an effective treatment for acne, it can also cause dryness, redness, and irritation. It is important to start with a lower concentration and gradually work your way up to higher concentrations to avoid potential skin irritation.


What it CAN be mixed with -


  1. Peptides - Peptides are amino acid chains that can help boost collagen production and improve the skin's overall appearance. They are safe to use with benzoyl peroxide and can work synergistically to improve skin texture and tone.

  2. Ceramides - Benzoyl peroxide can be drying to the skin, so it is essential to use a moisturizer to help keep the skin hydrated. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides in moisturizers can help hydrate and restore the skin's barrier function


What it CAN'T be mixed with -

  1. Retinol - Using both these skin care actives together can cause dryness, redness, and irritation as they are both highly potent in nature.

  2. Vitamin C - Both these ingredients are both powerful antioxidants, but they should not be used together as they can cancel and nullify each other.

  3. AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids) - These exfoliating ingredients can help improve skin texture, but they can be too harsh to use in the same routine as they can cause dryness, irritation, and even flaking.


 

Niacinamide Mixology


Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, also known as nicotinamide. It is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in many processes in the body, including energy metabolism and DNA repair.


Niacinamide is a popular ingredient in skincare products due to its many benefits for the skin, including reducing inflammation, improving the skin's barrier function, and regulating sebum production. It is often used in anti-aging and acne-fighting products due to its ability to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, as well as reduce the frequency and severity of acne breakouts.



What it CAN be mixed with -


  1. Hyaluronic acid - The combination of these ingredients can help soothe and plump the skin, providing a healthy and youthful glow by working on improving the skin's moisture levels.

  2. Retinol - These are excellent ingredients for improving the skin's texture and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They can be safely combined to provide a potent anti-aging effect.

  3. Vitamin C - Both these actives can be mixed to provide a brighter and more even complexion. They work together to help brighten and smooth the skin, reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.


What it CAN'T be mixed with -


  1. AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids) - Niacinamide can become less effective when combined with acidic ingredients like AHAs and BHAs and can also cause your skin to become irritated and sensitive.

  2. Benzoyl peroxide - This is a highly potent ingredient that can be harsh on the skin when combined with niacinamide and can cause dryness and irritation.


 

Keep In Mind


It is crucial to avoid mixing too many actives at once. Active ingredients are potent and can cause irritation when used together in high concentrations. Therefore, it is best to start with one or two active ingredients, gradually increasing the dosage as the skin adapts.


Remember, always patch-test new combinations before applying them to your entire face. Even if the individual ingredients work well for your skin, the combination of the two could cause irritation or breakouts. Patch testing a new mixture on a small area of your skin can help you avoid any adverse reactions.


 


Layering active ingredients can be an excellent way to achieve optimal results for your skin concerns. However, it is crucial to follow the dos and don'ts of actives mixology to avoid any potential damage or irritation to your skin.


By understanding how to combine active ingredients safely and effectively, you can create a customized skincare routine that works best for you!


Love,

Rae



Image Credits - Tanisa Beck

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