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Can I use vitamin C with any skin care ingredient?

Following a skin care routine is a must. But not all the skin care ingredients combinations work together. Here's a list of skincare combinations such as vitamin C and retinol that you shouldn't club.
sticky skin
Avoid these skincare combinations while caring for your skin. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 9 Apr 2023, 17:03 pm IST
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A skin care ritual needs to be planned carefully. We know that using a cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen is a must. But what about the skin care ingredients? Vitamin C is known for helping in improving skin tone and reducing signs of ageing. But that doesn’t mean that you can use it with any ingredient. Similarly, there are certain skin care ingredient combinations that can do more harm than good. Let’s find out the skin care ingredient combinations that should be avoided at all costs!

Health Shots connected with Gurugram-based cosmetic surgeon Dr Geeta Grewal, founder of 9 Muses Wellness Clinic, regarding the skin care ingredients that don’t mix well.

skin care ingredient combinations
Some of the skin care ingredients should not be mixed. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Skincare combinations you can avoid

You must have noticed that when you start going to a gym, for the first few days your muscles get sour after working out. Starting a skin care regime is no different. When you start your skin care ritual with active ingredients, your skin will get sensitive. Dr Grewal says you should slowly grade up the actives and understand the combinations. The active ingredients are important for your skin, but they can cause sensitivity as they increase cell turnover, regulate oil activity and contain pigment cells. Some of the popular actives are alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), retinoid and vitamin C. All you have to do is streamline your skin care as some of these actives might not go well with each other. They might nullify each other or accentuate effects causing irritation or redness or peeling.

1. Don’t mix retinol with AHA

These two are skin exfoliating agents that increase skin cell turnover, says Dr Grewal. If they are combined, instead of benefiting, you might end up with skin irritation, rash and redness. So, use one ingredient for two to three months at night and shift to other ingredients after that.

2. Don’t combine topical retinoid with benzoyl peroxide

If you use them separately, they can be good for your skin. But when used together, you will have irritation and flaky skin. Best is to use benzoyl peroxide during the day and retinoid before sleeping.

skin care ingredient combinations
Vitamin c is good for skin, but don’t mix it with all the skin care ingredients. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Don’t club retinol and vitamin C

Vitamin C is good for skin, and it works best in acidic environments. Retinol needs slight alkaline ph for better absorption. As retinol makes skin photosensitive, you should use it at night. Vitamin c, on the other hand, is photo protective. So, use it during daytime before applying a sunscreen.

4. Avoid using retinol and salicylic acid together

This skincare combination is not good, as together, they may increase the oil activity, as well as increase sebaceous activity. The expert suggests use of salicylic acid during daytime and anti-aging ingredient retinol at night.

5. Vitamin C doesn’t work well with AHA and BHA

AHA and BHA nullify vitamin C, destabilise it and make it inactive, so use vitamin C in the day, and AHA and BHA when it’s night to get skin benefits.

These ingredients can easily seen at the back of a skin care product. But it’s not just over-the counter skin care products that women apply. Home remedies for dry skin or oily skin are a hit among many women. The expert says that combining curd and lemon should be avoided. That’s because lactic acid in curd and citric acid in lemon do not go well together. Also, mixing one essential oil with another is not ideal. One essential oil must be mixed with cold pressed coconut oil, which is a carrier oil.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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