Products that don’t mix
Too much of a good thing: skincare products that you should never mix
Guest Written by Kelsey McGillis
New beauty products hit the shelves every day, and with each promising a cure to your every skincare dilemma, it can be hard to pick just one. If you’re like most women, you probably have a cabinet jam-packed with a huge array of skincare items. And with every ingredient targeting a different issue, it’s no wonder many women choose to mix and layer on many skincare products at once. However, unlike most aspects of life, “the more the merrier” doesn’t necessarily apply to your skincare routine. We sat down with Toronto Dermatologist and skincare expert Dr. Lisa Kellett to get the inside scoop on which ingredients definitely shouldn’t be mixed.
Beginning with the basics, sunscreen is obviously a crucial component to everyone’s skincare routine. Dr. Kellett believes in letting sunscreen work its magic all on its own, not mixing it in with any other products. Because sunscreen stops absorption, it’s best to use on its own during the day, waiting to target specific skincare concerns until the evening hours. Dr. Kellett advises clients “When you get home at the end of the day and are staying in for the night, wash your face and use one treatment [whether it’s for brightening, minimizing pores or fighting acne], and then wash your face again before bed and do another treatment [preferably anti-aging],” Kellett says. “If you get home around five and go to bed at 11, that gives you six hours with one treatment and eight hours with another.”
While sunscreen doesn’t tend to agree with most other products, some ingredients have very specific repellents. For example, water-based and oil-based skincare products should not be used together. Kellett explains, “You can get away with it if you’re using a water-based cleanser with an oil-based moisturizer, but oil will leave a film on your skin, so if you apply a water-based product on top, it will considerably decrease the absorption of it,”
In addition to showing caution with oil-based skincare and sunscreen, certain acids do not belong together in your routine. Proof that there is too much of a good thing, be very cautious of using Salicylic and Glycolic acids together. Salicylic acid is a potent acne treatment and Glycolic acid is popular in skin aging prevention, “Both actives are keratolytic agents that help to remove dead skin cells from the stratum corneum [the outer layer of skin],” Kellett says. “Use them both and you’ll double-blast your skin and have an irritant reaction.”
Finally, Dr. Kellett sheds some light on the dangers of combining two high powered vitamins; Retinol (Vitamin A) and Vitamin C. Both of these ingredients are extremely effective in stopping signs of aging in skin, but are much too irritating to be used together. Luckily, these ingredients are proof that you can find a perfectly balanced routine; Vitamin A should be used at night due to its photosensitive properties, while Vitamin C is perfect for the day time.
While it may be very tempting to stock up on all the latest brands’ newest products, it’s important to always check the labels. For example, just because you need both anti-aging and anti-acne properties, doesn’t mean using any combination of those products is healthy for your skin. Simplicity is often the best approach to skincare, so be sure not to go overboard with combining products – or you might get burned.