I don’t know about you, but my skincare regimen includes multiple steps and several products. There are times when, after cleansing, toning, treating and moisturizing, I realize that I have applied up to four different products to my face! It seems excessive (and a bit high maintenance), but I always assumed the rule with skincare was the more the merrier. Right?
Well, sort of.
Many dermatologists recommend layering products (here’s the exact order of how you should do it). But–and this is a big but–there are certain products that you really *shouldn’t* mix together, because the combination actually makes your skin worse.
For example, you’ve got to be careful using the anti-aging ingredient retinol.
Retinol is a powerful anti-aging ingredient that helps the production of new cells for plumper, firmer skin. Also known as vitamin A, retinol is often found in many serums and moisturizers. However, according to dermatologists, retinol should never be mixed with alpha hydroxy acids, like glycol and lactic acids. These ingredients typically appear in cleansers and moisturizers.
“This duo is a recipe for redness and irritation,” Boston-based dermatologist Ranella Hirsch tells Allure. “If you do mix them, the fastest way to calm skin is by popping an anti-inflammatory, like aspirin, and smoothing on hydrocortisone cream,” Allure reports.
Does that mean you should count retinol and hydroxy acids out of your skincare regimen altogether? Absolutely not! In fact, dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf says retinoids are “the single most important class of ingredients for healthy skin.” Retinol is a powerful ingredient so if you’re a first time user or have sensitive skin, you should start off with a lower dosage.
Dermatologist Dr. Vivian Bucay recommends hydrating retinol formulas like Neutrogena’s Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Night Moisturizer for those with sensitive skin.
The best way to avoid irritation from skincare products is to consult with a dermatologist about which products work best for your skin type and always, always, always read the labels!
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