Aiming for a healthy, radiant and Instagrammable complexion? Layering skin care products is essential as it maximizes the potential and effects of each. Whether you’re in tune with the latest beauty trends or just starting on a routine, slathering on the new “it” skin care ingredient or working hard on maintaining a regular beauty regimen could be straying far from your goals. Here’s a list of some skin care ingredient combinations that are definite “don’ts”.
Flaky Skin + Exfoliation
Are you guilty of scrubbing, rubbing and exfoliating flaky skin? Flaky skin isn’t uncommon, especially in cold, dry climates where there’s always the temptation to scrub it away for temporary relief. While exfoliants are great for removing old layers of skin and allowing better absorption for the new skin beneath, exfoliating flaky skin is a terrible idea.
The logical approach is to nourish dehydrated skin to prevent further damage on its barrier. If you exfoliate flaky skin, this irritates the skin barrier and induces inflammation. To restore the skin back to its normal state, double up on moisturizers regularly, and finish with face oils for added nourishment. This allows moisture to seep through to deeper layers of skin, creating a good state for recovery.
Water before Oil
Oils don’t mix with water—the same applies to water-based and oil-based skin care products, even if they’re not directly mixed together in a test tube. Applying facial oils at an earlier stage of your skin care routine leaves a layer of film that makes it impossible for water-based toners, essences and ampoules to penetrate through. When layering products on skin, you should always start with the thinnest consistency working towards the thickest, so oil-based products (if it’s an essential part of your beauty regimen) should always be used as one of the last steps of your routine!
Vitamin C + Niacinamide + Dry Skin
Vitamin C boasts as many benefits for skin as it does for health. As a naturally occurring antioxidant, Vitamin C boosts collagen production and improves signs of aging, which is why it’s often used in complexion brightening products! Likewise, Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is notable for improving blemishes, fighting free radicals and acne, and strengthening the skin barrier.
So why can’t they all be used together on dry skin? Although both ingredients help to brighten dull skin and improve hyperpigmentation, they can turn into a niacin or nicotinic acid when combined in a warm environment. This results in redness, tingling sensations and even temporary rashes flaring up on skin.
In general, it’s safe to use them in the same routine but not if you have dry skin. These two ingredients take longer to be fully absorbed so it’s best to use them on alternate days to prevent undesirable rashes.
Day + Night Cream
Many of you may ponder the extraneousness of day and night creams. Day creams can most definitely be used for night time, but night creams can never be used during the day. Doing so may sound harmless, but improper use can lead to unfavorable breakouts and ruin the skin’s barrier in the long run. Our skin seeks different kinds of nourishment at different times of the day, and applying suitable products to suit its needs helps maintain a healthy and balanced complexion.
During the day, your body is physically active so it will constantly produce sweat and oils as byproducts, which is why day creams are generally lightweight, quick-absorbing, and can be blended with sunscreen. Night creams, on the other hand, are thicker in consistency, and are packed with nourishing ingredients to assist in repairing damaged cells overnight.
Using a day cream at night is simply not enough. As your body stops taking in water during sleep, your skin’s moisture levels diminish, leading to dry, dehydrated skin in the morning. Correspondingly, if you use a night cream in the daytime, its thick consistency makes it harder to absorb. It also doesn’t blend well with makeup and actually accumulates more sweat and sebum.
Spot Treatments Last
For those who use spot cream right after washing your face at night, it’s time to correct your bad habits! Using spot treatments right after cleansing can be disastrous if you’re hopping straight onto a routine of skin care products. This spreads the spot treatment all-over the face, diluting its effects and even irritating sensitive areas around the eyes.
At night time, start with a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and facial oils, then finally spot treatment. But in daytime, if you’re going to put makeup on top, the spot cream should be used after toner, and before sunscreen and moisturizer.
Bear in mind that everyone’s skin reacts differently to various products. Understanding your own skin can help you identify the right products to use. But before jumping to conclusions, consult a professional or dermatologist to find what’s best for you!