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A Guide To Skincare Ingredients That Should Never Be Mixed

A Guide To Skincare Ingredients That Should Never Be Mixed

If you’re obsessed with skincare, you probably spend your mornings and nights applying at least five different beauty products on your face before you’ve even moisturised. If you’re not yet layering your skincare products, it’s about time that you start doing so.

Layering skincare products is an intelligent way of forcing ingredients into your skin and making them work to their maximum potential. However, keep in mind that while layering is safe and recommended, certain ingredients in your skincare products don’t go well together; thus, they shouldn’t be mixed.

The most considerable risk of mixing certain skincare ingredients is that it can cause dryness, discolouration, burning, and skin redness. If you’re not sure whether it’s safe to use your skincare products simultaneously, this article is for you.

Read on to find out the common skincare ingredients that you should never mix.

1. Retinoid and Vitamin C

Retinoids are a form of vitamin A that can minimise wrinkles and fine lines by increasing essential collagen production. One popular type of retinoid is retinol, which is often used for anti-ageing and found in numerous skin care products. One crucial piece of advice regarding retinoids is to use them wisely.

There’s a few ingredients that shouldn’t be used together with retinoids because they can cause irritating side effects or decrease the effectiveness of the skincare products. One of them is vitamin C.

If used together, vitamin C and retinol won’t work optimally. Vitamin C works most effectively in an acidic pH environment, so it’s generally a tricky ingredient to incorporate. Retinol, on the contrary, works best at a higher pH. So, it’s advised to use them separately – daytime for Vitamin C and nighttime for retinol.

2. Retinoid and AHAs or BHAs

AHAs and BHAs are chemical exfoliants that help eliminate dead skin cells from your skin’s top layer. Unlike these acids, retinol doesn’t exfoliate, but it’s nonetheless a peeling agent that helps stimulate cell turnover to remove old and damaged skin cells.

Skincare experts strongly caution against mixing retinol with AHAs and BHAs because it can cause dryness or irritation and damage your skin’s moisture barrier. Using them together can also increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and put you at a much higher risk of UV damage. To be safe, use these ingredients on alternate days or weeks.

3. Niacinamide and AHAs or BHAs

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that offers a wide range of skincare benefits, including reducing inflammation, treating hyperpigmentation, hydrating the skin, and promoting skin elasticity. This essential nutrient also acts as an antioxidant that combats free radicals.

While niacinamide and AHAs or BHAs have similar benefits in improving skin texture and reducing signs of ageing, mixing them isn’t recommended, as doing so won’t necessarily bring any benefits.

Niacinamide has a high pH level of 5-7, whereas acids have a lower pH at around 3-4. If combined, the niacinamide will increase the acid’s pH and make it less effective. This combination can also potentially cause skin redness and flushing.

4. Vitamin C and Soap-Based Cleanser

As mentioned previously, vitamin C works best when formulated with a low pH. Since soap-based cleansers usually have a high pH, using one will ultimately minimise your skin’s ability to absorb vitamin C. This creates a problem because you’ll miss out on protection from free radicals and not be able to get the most out of your vitamin C purchase.

Well-formulated vitamin C products are generally expensive. To make sure you get your money’s worth, wash your face with a glycolic- or salicylic-based cleanser in the morning before slathering on some vitamin C.

5. Products With The Same Active Ingredients

Most of the time, using two skincare products with the same active ingredients can lead to irritation. Increased irritation is a sign of disruption of your skin barrier, which only increases your likelihood of suffering from side effects.

Examples of skincare products with the same actives are a glycolic acid mask and a face cream with mandelic acid content. These products are both AHAs, so using them together can cause your skin to become red and stingy. This skincare combination will also prevent you from getting the results you’re looking for.


If you’re experiencing side effects, such as flaking, burning, redness, or not getting the results you’re expecting, there may be something wrong with how you layer your skincare topicals. To build a safe and effective skincare routine, just picking the right brands is not sufficient. It’s also important to look at the beauty product’s ingredients and find out if they go well with the ingredients of your other products.

Beauty supplements in Singapore are typically a safer and more effective method to enhance your skincare routine. Take our Aura White Ultra for example, which whitens the skin and acts as an oral sunblock to protect your skin from sun damage. It is a 2-in-1 skincare routine and it’s safe to consume Aura White with other supplements because it is 100% natural with no reported drug interaction or side effects.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve perfect skin safely and effectively.

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