There’s a certain amount of science involved when it comes to building the perfect skincare routine… We wrote all about the skincare ingredients that you shouldn’t mix together, but did you know there are plenty of pairs that can be mixed, matched, and layered without causing negative reactions? In fact, many of them have extra benefits when combined.
Scroll down to meet the skincare pairs that make the perfect combo.
Despite the scary-sounding name, hyaluronic acid is incredibly gentle, and is one of the few ingredients that works well for any and every skin type. A potent humectant (it draws moisture into the skin and seals it in), hyaluronic acid is a great follow-up to exfoliating ingredients like AHAs and BHAs (e.g. glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids) because they clear pores and pave the way for moisture.
Vitamin C provides antioxidant benefits which pair well with the protective powers of sunscreen to enhance skin’s defense. In fact, research shows that combining vitamin C and SPF can help to prevent long-term pigmentation from sun damage (age spots).
Rich in antioxidants, vitamin E soothes and protects skin from environmental stressors and aggressors – so you’ll often see it mixed with vitamin C (which has the same benefits). Not only do the two vitamins stabilise each other and boost each other’s efficacy, but because vitamin E is oil-soluble and vitamin C is water-soluble, they penetrate skin in different ways, ensuring everywhere gets an antioxidant boost.
Because hyaluronic acid is so gentle, it can be layered with some of the most reactive ingredients, including retinol, without causing a bad reaction. They’re an ideal pair if you’re new to retinol, since applying retinol after hyaluronic acid will help to minimise its irritation, without interfering with how well it works.
Layering AHAs and BHAs is an effective way to efficiently exfoliate skin since AHAs are water-soluble and BHAs are oil-soluble. This means that BHAs penetrate deep into the bottom layers of the skin, whereas AHAs focus on exfoliating the surface layer. It’s advisable not to rely on double-exfoliation, since this can dry skin out, so be sure to moisturise or use hyaluronic acid afterwards.
Retinol stimulates skin cell turnover, which makes your skin more sensitive to UV damage. For this reason, most dermatologists recommend using it at night, but because the sensitivity lasts for days after application, it’s important to wear at least SPF 30 every day.