You've probably heard about retinol's anti-aging properties, but you might not know exactly what this superstar ingredient is or what it does for your skin. Basically, retinol is a member of the retinoids class of chemicals, which are produced from vitamin A.
It stimulates collagen formation and enhances skin turnover, reducing fine lines and wrinkles while also eliminating acne spots, discoloration, and blemishes. Many anti-aging serums and lotions
contain retinol as a key ingredient.
Now that we've gotten acquainted with retinol, let's get down to business.
Skincare Ingredients Compatible with Retinol
It is quite common for people to combine skincare products. But in order to avoid certain undesirable effects like over-drying, over-exfoliating, or skin irritation, the skincare products you combine must complement each other. This goes beyond brand names. At the fundamental level, the active ingredients in the products must complement each other.
Retinol, particularly, as an active ingredient in many skin care products will cause some unfavorable effects when mixed with the wrong ingredient.
We have stressed the repercussions of combining incompatible ingredients enough. Let’s look at the ingredients that can be used with retinol now.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in the body, that lubricates the joints and helps to retain moisture in the skin and eyes. Hyaluronic acid
binds to water molecules in the skin, keeping it hydrated and supple. Hyaluronic acid is a component of many hydrating creams, serums, and gels.
So is it safe to use Hyaluronic acid and retinol together? Absolutely. One of the most popular skin-care combos is hyaluronic acid with retinol. There should be no negative interactions or effects from using skincare products that include these components together.
In fact, combining hyaluronic acid with retinol eliminates or reduces the negative effects of retinol, such as dryness and skin irritation. Although these side effects usually go away after a while, they can be a real pain. So, feel free to combine retinol with your hyaluronic-acid moisturizer.
Ceramides are vital lipids present naturally in our bodies that serve to preserve the integrity of the skin barrier and keep the skin hydrated. They have become a potent element for patients with dry and itchy skin, says dermatologist, Dr. Morgan Rabach
. Ceramide, like hyaluronic acid, is a popular component in moisturizers.
Using a moisturizer containing ceramides substantially aids in the restoration of the skin's outer layer. Ceramide also works well with retinol with no side effects.
Retinol has its drawbacks, one of which is that it can make your skin feel dry. Using ceramide moisturizers with retinol helps combat the issue of dryness. So, you have an added benefit when you combine ceramide and retinol. You can apply the products one after the other or go ahead to mix them together first.
If you’re going to use this combo, ensure you start slowly introducing it to your skin to avoid breakouts.
Speaking of retinol’s drawbacks, retinol also increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. If you’ve been spending both time and money on retinol, you might want to make sure it’s worth it. Using SPF with retinol is a worthwhile investment, something you are advised to do. This is why.
Retinol works by replacing old, damaged skin cells with new ones. Because this new skin is more sensitive and prone to sun damage, it's critical to incorporate sunscreen into your everyday routine if it isn't already.
You know the ingredients that are okay when used with retinol now. To be on the safer side, let’s look at ingredients you should never mix with retinol.
Some Ingredients You Must Never Mix With Retinol
Do not mix retinol with the following ingredients.
Some of the adverse effects you can expect from mixing Vitamin C with retinol are over-exfoliation which increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
lightens dark spots, brightens the skin, and protects it from free oxidative radicals that can potentially cause damage. Vitamin C is most effective in the morning.
Retinol and retinoids, unlike vitamin C, produce collagen and aid in skin restoration and are recommended to use overnight.
We can see already that mixing these ingredients should be avoided as they work best at different times of the day.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t incorporate both vitamin C and retinol products into your skin routine. In fact, you will be amazed by the benefit of using both but they should never be used at the same time.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
When you understand what AHAs, BHAs, and retinol can do for your skin, it's not difficult to see why you'd want to include all three in your skincare routine.
Generally, experts advise against using hydroxy acids and retinol chemicals at the same time or mixing them, as this might cause irritation and dryness. Rather, alternate them on separate days to let your skin develop tolerance. Although, if you have the time, you can use them sequentially.
Wait for at least 30mins after using a hydroxy product before applying your retinol. The waiting period is to give your skin time to return to its normal pH.
Incorporating powerful ingredients into your skincare routine can be daunting, let alone mixing them to create even more potent combinations. So exercise caution when combining skincare products. The goal is to have smooth, healthy, and glowing skin, not the other way round.
If you plan to combine any other product (different from the ones listed above) with retinol, start gently and monitor your skin for any bad reactions. Talk to a dermatologist if possible.
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