If you follow my posts about skin care routines on the Beauty Book, you should already be familiar with layering products. You know the drill: Start by applying products with a thinner consistency and work your way up to ones with a thicker consistency. But that’s not all there is to know.
Another skin care rule to follow has to do with mixing products. There are dos and don’ts when combining different ingredients. Pairing the wrong products will do more harm than good; you could be opening yourself up to irritation, breakouts or redness. Luckily, there are also ingredients that enhance each other’s effectiveness, especially when used together.
Avoid sabotaging your routine by following these simple rules of mixing. Remember, products that work well together, should stay together!
Vitamin C + Sunscreen
Combination to try: Dear Klairs Vitamin C + MISSHA All-Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF45 PA+++
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that brightens overall complexion, reduces hyperpigmentation, fights melanin, stimulates collagen production to reduce fine lines, and shields skin from sun damage. Although sunscreen also protects skin from sun damage, specifically UVA and UVB rays, it can’t stop free radicals from reaching your skin. That’s where Vitamin C comes to the rescue.
Vitamin C helps to boost a sunscreen’s efficacy. When skin is exposed to free radicals, Vitamin C neutralizes and stops them from causing further damage. By applying a Vitamin C serum before sunscreen, you maximize your sun protection and get the most out of your sunscreen.
Face Oil + Moisturizer
Moisturizers offer a great deal of benefits for skin; their main job is to help seal everything in, keeping skin nourished and hydrated all day and night. If you’re looking for extra hydration, introduce face oil to your skin care routine.
Face oils nourish the topmost layer of the skin while also acting as a protective layer to prevent moisture loss. They’re not humectants like moisturizers so instead of offering long-lasting hydration, they help repair signs of skin damage and give skin an extra boost of moisture. Face oils and moisturizers go hand in hand and can be used in various ways, depending on your skin type.
Generally, you apply moisturizer first and save the oil for the final step of your routine. For dry or dehydrated skin, you can mix in a few drops of oil with your moisturizer to enhance the skin’s moisture levels. Those with oily skin should use face oils sparingly; keep it in sight throughout winter and apply it only at night to avoid looking greasy or shiny in the daytime.
If you’re intrigued by face oils, I wrote another article on everything you need to know about these beauty elixirs.
Acids + Hyaluronic Acid
You might wonder if it’s a good idea to combine two acids together, but don’t worry – these acids are safe to mix. There are different types of skin care acids; you have stronger ones like alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA), beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) and polydroxy acids (PHA), and you have hyaluronic acid, a gentler type. Hyaluronic acid is known for its moisture-binding powers and can attract as well as retain a large amount of moisture.
AHA, BHA and PHA are known as chemical exfoliators so they can be drying for skin and cause irritation for certain skin types, such as sensitive or acne-, rosacea- and eczema-prone skin. Apply a hyaluronic acid-based product afterwards, such as a serum or cream, to reduce the chances of your skin reacting. Aside from hyaluronic acid’s moisturizing benefits, it also strengthens your skin’s barrier to prevent moisture loss, revealing a smoother complexion and improving its texture.
It’s a win-win combination because AHA, BHA and PHA help get rid of dead skin cells, fade dark spots and fix an uneven skin tone while the hyaluronic acid provides skin with sufficient hydration and keeps it supple, plump and glowing!
Niacinamide + Vitamin C
Separately, niacinamide and Vitamin C are two of my personal favorite ingredients. They’re great when used alone but are even better together! Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, improves enlarged pores, dullness, dark spots, fine lines and an uneven complexion. It also helps calm any visible irritation or redness so it’s beneficial for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin, as well as those with rosacea. As I mentioned before, Vitamin C brightens overall complexion, fights melanin, improves visible signs of aging and defends skin from sun damage.
When combined, these two antioxidants are more powerful at protecting your skin against harmful environmental stressors and boosting skin’s radiance. With consistent use, they’ll make skin plumper, smoother and younger-looking.
Salicylic Acid Cleanser + Calming Cream
If acne is your main skin concern, this might be the best combination for you. Salicylic acid is a popular ingredient used to fight blemishes as it helps reduce inflammation, and removes excess oil and impurities from pores.
People with acne don’t just suffer from inflammation but also redness. While redness is totally normal, you can treat it by applying a gentle calming cream to reduce it. If you’re currently suffering from acne, the first step is to incorporate a salicylic acid-based product into your regimen.
Wash your face with COSRX’s Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser; it contains both salicylic acid and tea tree oil that gently cleanses skin without stripping it of its natural oils. It also buffs away dead skin cells and soothes skin. The next step is to use the Centella Blemish Cream, also from COSRX, as a spot treatment. This cream is formulated with Centella Asiatica leaf water and zinc oxide that help soothe and treat acne. These primary ingredients also hydrate skin while reducing inflammation. Apply it on troubled areas, especially on pesky red or inflamed zits, and you’ll wake up to less irritated pimples the next day!