When it comes to skincare, more is not always better. Mixing certain skincare ingredients can be harmful to your skin. Also, when you mix skincare ingredients, you run the risk of overloading your skin with too many active ingredients, which can lead to irritation, dryness, and even breakouts. So be aware of skincare ingredients to not mix.
It’s best to stick to one type of skincare product per category if you want to be on the safe end.
For example, if you’re using a retinol serum, don’t also use a glycolic acid toner at same time to avoid irritation.
What should you do instead?
According to a 2015 study, you can use glycolic acid and retinol at alternate times during the day or week to enjoy the skin transforming benefits of these ingredients. This will help you avoid over-treating your skin and keep your skin care routine simple and effective.
Keep reading to learn more about ingredients that are very beneficial but require caution when it comes to your skincare routine.
What are some of the dangers of mixing skincare ingredients: Caution required
When it comes to skincare, it’s important to be aware of the ingredients in your products and how they might interact with each other.
Some ingredients can be dangerous when mixed, leading to irritation (i.e. dryness, burning, stinging), redness, and even skin discoloration, explains Dr. Caren Campbell – a board-certified dermatologist.
Some of the most dangerous skincare ingredient combinations include:
1. Retinol + Glycolic Acid:
Retinol is a powerful ingredient that can help improve the appearance of wrinkles and sun damage. Glycolic acid is an exfoliating agent that can help brighten the skin.
However, when these two ingredients are combined, they can irritate the skin and cause redness and flaking.
So make sure you use retinol and glycolic acid on alternate days if you must use them due to their transforming benefits for the skin.
2. Benzoyl Peroxide + Salicylic Acid:
Benzoyl peroxide is an acne-fighting ingredient that can help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. Salicylic acid is another acne-fighting ingredient that helps to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores. When these two ingredients (benzoyl peroxide + salicylic acid) are combined, they can dry out the skin and cause skin irritation.
3. Benzoyl Peroxide + Retinol:
Benzoyl peroxide is an acne-fighting ingredient that can help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. Retinol is a powerful ingredient that can help improve the appearance of wrinkles and sun damage. When these two ingredients (Benzoyl Peroxide + Retinol are combined, they can irritate the skin and cause redness and flaking.
4. Vitamin C + Glycolic Acid:
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help brighten the skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles. Glycolic acid is an exfoliating agent that can help brighten the skin.
Although you can combine both of them to achieve their skin-transforming benefits, if your skin is sensitive or prone to developing a reaction combining these two ingredients can irritate the skin and cause redness and flaking.
If you must use them and are prone to developing a reaction due to skin sensitivity, you might want to use them at separate times: Glycolic acid at night and vitamin C in the morning.
5. Retinol + Glycolic Acid + Vitamin C:
This combination of ingredients is particularly dangerous as it can lead to severe irritation. If you must use all three of these ingredients, it’s best to do so on separate days to avoid overloading your skin.
In addition, mixing an acid with a retinoid can neutralize the retinoid’s effectiveness.
6. Vitamin C + Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)/Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs):
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help brighten the skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles. AHA/BHA are exfoliating agents that can help unclog pores and improve the overall skin texture.
Both ingredients are A-listers and can be effective when combined as long as you can tolerate them. However, for skin that is sensitive, when these two ingredients are combined, they can irritate the skin and cause redness and flaking.
If you are prone to developing a reaction, you can alternate the use of these ingredients. So, you may consider using vitamin C in the morning and AHA/BHA at night if you must use them.
7. Hydroquinone + Tretinoin:
Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening ingredient that can help to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Tretinoin is a retinoid that can help improve the appearance of wrinkles and sun damage.
However, when these two highly potent ingredients are combined, they can increase the risk of irritation and inflammation.
So be careful if your skin is a sensitive type. You may consider using them at separate times – hydroquinone in the morning and retinol in the evening.
If unsure, consult with a skincare specialist or a board-certified dermatologist.
8. Chemical Exfoliants + Physical Exfoliants:
Just because someone has had a good result with using both chemical and physical exfoliants doesn’t mean it works for all. You should know your skin type.
If your skin is a sensitive type, it’s best to stick to one type of exfoliant per category as combining both may increase your skin sensitivity, which can result in dryness, flaking, redness, or even breakouts or flare-up of your skin condition.
You may also choose to use chemical and physical exfoliants on alternate days.
Chemical exfoliants are gentler than physical exfoliants, especially for people with sensitive skin.
If you’re unsure about whether or not to use a physical or chemical exfoliant, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist or a skincare specialist.
How can overloading your skin with active ingredients lead to problems?
Here are the following ways overloading your skin with active ingredients can lead to problems;
1) Skin Irritation from mixing of active ingredients
One of the biggest dangers of mixing ingredients is that you can end up irritating your skin. This is because different ingredients can have conflicting effects on your skin, which can lead to a build-up of irritation over time. Additionally, some ingredients are simply more potent than others and can cause irritation even when used on their own.
2) Inflamed skin from mixing ingredients
Another problem that can occur when mixing ingredients is that you may end up causing inflammation. This is because some ingredients can cause your skin to become inflamed, which can then lead to a variety of other issues, such as redness, swelling, and pain. Additionally, inflammation can also make your skin more susceptible to other problems, such as infection.
3) Build-up of toxins in the body from overloading with active ingredients
Finally, overloading your skin with active ingredients can also lead to a build-up of toxins in your body. This is because some ingredients may contain toxins that can accumulate in your system over time. This can then lead to a variety of health problems.
4) Dryness, flaking, redness, breakouts, or flareups from overloading of active ingredients
When you combine multiple actives in cosmetic products, you run the risk of overloading your skin. This can lead to a variety of problems, such as dryness, flaking, redness, breakouts, or flare-ups of existing skin conditions.
5) Overloading your skin can cause clogged pores
You might be inadvertently adding more active ingredients than your skin can handle. This can lead to excessive oil production, which can then cause clogged pores.
How can you tell if you are over-treating your skin?
It can be tough to tell whether you are over-treating your skin or not. Sometimes it feels like more is better, but this isn’t always the case when it comes to skincare. A lot of active ingredients may have a negative effect when mixed.
- One of the main things to look out for is excessive dryness.
- If your skin feels tight, irritated, or flaky, then you might be over-treating it.
- Another telltale sign is a change in texture – if your skin starts to feel bumpy or rough, it could be a sign that you’re using too many harsh products.
What are some of the best ways to avoid over-treating your skin?
To avoid over-treating your skin, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of mixing ingredients. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Avoid mixing active ingredients.
When it comes to skincare, active ingredients are the star of the show. These are the ingredients that have a direct effect on your skin, and they can be powerful. While it’s tempting to mix a few active ingredients together in an attempt to get better results, this is a bad idea. When you mix active ingredients, you increase your risk of irritation or harmful UV rays.
2. Be careful with exfoliating agents.
Exfoliating agents are another type of skincare ingredient that can be powerful. When used correctly, they can help to improve the appearance of your skin. However, when used incorrectly, they can cause irritation. If you’re going to use an exfoliating agent, make sure to use a gentle one and follow the instructions carefully.
3. Don’t mix different products together.
When you’re using a skincare product, it’s important to follow the instructions. This means that you shouldn’t mix different products together. Each product is designed to work a certain way, and mixing them can cause problems. If you want to use more than one product, make sure to use them one at a time.
4. Pay attention to your skin.
As with anything, it’s important to pay attention to your body. This is especially true when you’re using skincare products. If you notice any redness, irritation, or other problems, stop using the product immediately.
5. Talk to a dermatologist.
If you’re not sure about a particular skincare product or ingredient, talk to a dermatologist. They can help you figure out what’s safe for your skin and what isn’t.
What are some of the best ways to treat over-treated skin?
Over-treated skin is a common issue and one that can be addressed through a variety of methods. Here are a few of the best ways to treat over-treated skin:
Hydrocortisone is a type of corticosteroid that can be found in over-the-counter products and is often used to soothe the skin, and treat inflammation and irritation.
Choose a cleanser that is designed for sensitive type of skin, and contains glycerin or other hydrating ingredients. Avoid harsh cleansers that can further irritate the skin.
Facial masks can help to calm and soothe over-treated skin. Look for a mask that contains ingredients such as aloe vera or chamomile, which are known for their calming properties.
Moisturizing the skin can help to hydrate (e.g. with hyaluronic acid) and protect it from further damage. It skin can help to replenish lost moisture and help to soothe any irritation. Choose a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type and that does not contain any fragrances or other irritating ingredients.
Once your skin has been over-treated, it is important to give it a break from any further treatments. This includes both at-home treatments and professional treatments. Allow your skin time to heal and recover before subjecting it to any more products or procedures.
If you are unable to get your over-treated skin under control, it is important to see a board-certified dermatologist. A dermatologist can help to identify the cause of your over-treated skin and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Sunscreen is an important part of any skin care routine, especially if you’re using active ingredients such as retinol, benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxy acid, or beta hydroxy acid. When using such active skincare ingredients, your skin becomes more photosensitive.
When you use a product with sunscreen, it protects the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This is important because UV rays can cause damage to the skin, which can lead to premature aging, uneven skin tone, and other problems.
How can keeping your skincare routine simple help you achieve better results?
When you have a lot of products with active ingredients, it can be difficult to determine which one is working and which ones are just taking up space in your bathroom cabinet.
-By using a limited number of products, you’ll be able to more easily determine which ingredients are effective and which ones you can do without.
-Additionally, a simpler skincare routine is often easier to keep up with, so you’re more likely to see consistent results.
-Finally, you reduce the risk of having active ingredients that cancel out their effectiveness, as in the case of retinoids and acids. It can also affect their absorption as the altered pH of an ingredient may affect its optimal absorption.
So, if you’re looking to achieve better results with your skincare routine, keeping it simple is a great place to start.
Skincare active ingredients can be great for your skin when used correctly, but mixing them can have dangerous consequences. By using a limited number of products and avoiding active ingredients that cancel each other out, you’ll be able to achieve better results with your skincare routine.
Have you ever mixed skincare ingredients? Let us know in the comments below.
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.