Don't Combine these Ingredients in Your Skin Care Products
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Don't Combine these Ingredients in Your Skin Care Products

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When we talk about the different ingredients in skin care products, we expect that they will complement one another.
Each ingredient has its own special properties that provide the skin with different benefits. While one ingredient might exfoliate, another moisturizes and still another repairs sun damage.
Mix them all together into one product and you have all those benefits without having to use a bunch of different beauty items.
Does this apply to all ingredients? Can we mix anything together in a skin care product?
It would stand to reason that if one ingredient exfoliates dead skin cells that combining two exfoliating ingredients would do the job even faster. You could have extra exfoliated skin. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
Over exfoliating your skin in a dangerous and irritating thing to do to. You could end up with red, flaky and very irritated skin.

AHA & BHA Acids

AHA and BHA acids exfoliate and are found in many products, from cleansers to scrubs to moisturizers. You would find “one” of these in a product, not a combination of them. Some of these are fairly strong, depending on the percentage found in that particular beauty product. Use all AHA’s and BHA’s separately. They should never be combined in any way.
Salicylic acid is a BHA.
AHA’s or alpha hydroxy acids are:
  • Lactic acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Malic acid
  • Tartaric
  • Mandelic acid


Retinol is one ingredient that you shouldn’t combine with AHA’s and BHA’s. Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and is a great anti-aging ingredient to use on your skin. The problem is that it can be irritating, especially to sensitive skin. It can cause redness and flaking. Of course, an ingredient like an AHA or BHA that exfoliates to remove dead cells could cause peeling and flaking. You wouldn’t want to use two products that both can make your skin red and flaky at the same time.
When you are using a product containing retinol, you also will want to avoid UV rays. Retinol causes your skin to be more sensitive to sun exposure. You would burn more easily than you normally do.

Vitamin C

Beware of what you combine Vitamin C with. For example, AHA’s, BHA’s and retinol shouldn’t be mixed with Vitamin C. The pH of Vitamin C is a bit delicate. Vitamin C must be kept out of sunlight and should not be exposed to air. You should purchase it in an opaque container only. The pH of acids and retinol is extremely different than that of Vitamin C. The mixture could cause Vitamin C to become unstable. That not only renders it useless but could also possibly make it not safe for you to use.


Niacinamide should not be mixed with any acidic ingredients, for instance…vitamin C. Niacinamide is form of niacin. It is a combination of vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid. It’s used in skin care and beauty formulations for its anti-aging and skin brightening benefits. Mixing niacinamide with vitamin C causes the two to cancel out one another. It can also cause a temporary reaction of flushing and a tingling sensation for people with inflammatory acne or for people with a sensitivity to niacin.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is found in products created for acne prone skin. It helps reduce the bacteria that causes acne. It should not be combined with products containing retinol as an ingredient. Benzoyl peroxide is drying to your skin and since retinol can cause flaking and dryness also, they don’t belong together. You also don’t want to mixed benzoyl peroxide with hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is used for skin lightening. It will help in fading dark spots, but it can be very irritating to sensitive skin. Using the two together could cause come serious skin irritation, so be sure to avoid the use of them together.

Oil & Water Based Products

Products that are oil-based shouldn’t be used along with products that are water-based. Since oil and water don’t mix, the oil would prevent the water-based product from being absorbed by the skin. Many skin care ingredients need to penetrate to a certain cellular level to do their job.
The oil in the first product would keep that from happening. It would not be harmful to you to mix them, but you wouldn’t be receiving the benefits from the water-based product, so it would be useless.
Products that contain skin brightening ingredients, like fade creams, should not be used together with products that contain exfoliating ingredients. Skin brighteners can sometimes be irritating to sensitive skin as can exfoliators.
They both cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays. Using both of these products at the same time, you could end up with a nasty sunburn if you spend any time outdoors.
As you can see, it can be quite a challenge to get the correct balance of ingredients in your beauty products. Skin is a delicate organ, but it is also our largest organ. It protects all of our valuable internal organs from the outside world. It should be pampered and needs to be well cared for. You need to know your skin type.
Use products only designed for your particular type of skin. Learn the proper ingredients to manage the conditions and issues that your skin has. Don’t play around with mixing different ingredients without doing some research first. Take care of your skin so that your skin can take care of you!

*Beedewy cannot be held responsible for any actions made, implied or expressed by anyone as a result of this guidance. The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are in no way intended to heal, prevent or treat any illness. Please consult your doctor if you are seeking medical advice.