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Skincare ingredients you should and shouldn't mix: how to layer products

We know – the science and rules around skincare seem to have gotten more complex as the years have gone by. If you find yourself often overwhelmed about the abundance of information out there, only to learn the hard way that certain skincare products do not mix, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there.

Many mainstream skincare products look and smell nice, but contain toxic chemicals – such as parabens, phthalates and synthetic colours – make them not-so-great for our complexion. In fact, they have been linked to health issues including allergies, eczema, and hormonal disruption. 

Aside from the above, there are so many new products on the market touting game-changing ingredients, and because of this, it’s hard to know what skincare products don’t gel so well together. Up to 60 per cent of what you put on your skin gets absorbed so it’s best to focus on the good stuff and limit the bad. So, let us pop on our lab coats on for a moment and run through what you need to know.

Skincare products to avoid using together

Retinol and Vitamin C are the most sought-after anti-pigment and anti-ageing serums.  They are fantastic alone, but when combined leave your skin feeling irritated, with peeling and redness.  Retinol is also best left on the shelf when you are pregnant, as high doses have been linked to birth defects.

Retinol and AHAS/BHAS. Retinol as a peeling agent is designed to encourage cell turnover and get rid of dead skin. It does not exfoliate like acids, but as both are formulated to get rid of dead skin cells, together they double down creating dryness and irritation.

Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid are designed to remove dead skin and mixing them together will cause a major reaction. Plus, Salicylic Acid is another one to leave out if you are pregnant.

Niacinamide and Vitamin C are a powerhouse against blemish-prone complexions and scarred skin when used individually. But together, the Niacinamide eliminates all the powers of Vitamin C and in turn triggers redness and acne breakouts. Not ideal.

A recommended skincare routine

Kick your morning or nightly routine off with a good-quality cleanser that is gentle on the skin and washes away impurities. For this, we recommend the Chocolate Indulgence Cold Process Soap, which is full of quality oils and grounded cocoa granules. The formula helps exfoliate dead skin cells and moisturises at the same time – a winning combination.

For those more prone to acne, the Brazilian Pink Clay Old Process Soap enhances circulation whilst cleansing deeply. Following this, a toner that suits your skin’s needs to prepare for either a Vitamin C serum in the morning or a hyaluronic acid at night is your next best step. The first helps to fight pigmentation and the latter aids hydration. Then, apply a hydrating eye cream to fight signs of ageing (if you have any).

Finally, a moisturiser to trap all the good stuff in and infuse it so the ingredients are more effective.  Step by step, this process cleanses, tones, soaks in the serums and repairs the area to trap it all in for the perfect glow.

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