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Expert Tips For Combining Skincare Products
What Skincare Products Can You Use Together?
There are so many skincare products to choose from, each claiming to address a specific skin condition or promising to help you look younger. Some skincare are sold individually, some as a multi-step skincare regimen, but often you’re left wondering how to mix and match all of these skincare products to achieve your individual best results and address your unique needs.
While mixing and matching can work in some instances, not all skincare products are meant to be layered and combined. When you mix some skincare, their active ingredients can counteract each other and diminish results or even worse, cause new issues for the skin. The result of this can be skin irritations, redness, dryness, flaking, or increased skin sensitivity.
This is a helpful guide of expert tips to help you understand what skincare products work well together and which products will take a little more handholding to get used to each other so your skin doesn’t suffer in the process.
Less Is More
A good rule of thumb when adding new skincare products to your regimen is “less is more.” This rule is just as important whether you’re only using one product or adding a new product into an existing skincare regimen.
When you start with a smaller amount of product, it will give your skin a chance to get used to the product with less of a risk of irritation. This can especially be true when it comes to medical-grade, highly potent skincare products.
Instead of diving into a new skincare product face first (literally), take a “low and slow” approach when incorporating it into your regimen. Typically, you’d want to start by using the new product once a day at first, even if the product recommends more frequently than that.
A good example of this is incorporating our Restorative Skin Complex with TriHex Technology® with any other active serum you may already be using. You’ll want to only use each “active” product once per day for about two weeks. This will give your skin time to acclimate and react to the new product and will allow you to see how it interacts with the rest of your regimen.
Adding A Retinol?
Especially if you’re new to retinol skincare products, it’s important to understand that not all retinol formulations are created equally. Retinol is known for its ability to build collagen to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. But be wary, many retinol products are known to cause adverse reactions due to the active ingredients which aim to address signs of skin aging.
When adding a retinol product to your regimen, it’s best to start by applying only two to three times per week to see how your skin adjusts to that particular formula before moving on to daily use.
Some retinol skincare, like the ALASTIN Skincare Renewal Retinol, come in two different concentrations, which can be helpful as most experts recommend a lower concentration to start, especially if you’re new to retinol altogether. The Renewal Retinol formula has been touted by Oprah Magazine to be a particularly sensitive skin-friendly formulation that is “well tolerated but effective”.
Retinol + Benzoyl Peroxide
If your current skincare regimen has a product with benzoyl peroxide, which is an active ingredient commonly used to treat acne, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not using both products at the same time each day. For example, use the benzoyl peroxide product in the morning and start by using the Renewal Retinol in the evening before bed two to three times per week.
This combination of products can be great for acne-prone skin as the Renewal Retinol is anti-inflammatory and has hydrating properties to protect against dry skin.
Retinol + Vitamin C
Retinols are also commonly used with serums that contain Vitamin C to help with dullness of the skin and to reduce uneven skin tone or dark spots. These two products should not be layered together at the same time but could be alternated in your regimen.
Ideally, you’ll want to use the Vitamin C serum in the morning and make sure that you apply sunscreen before going outside because it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. But you’re already wearing sunscreen every day anyway, right? Good!
Some retinol products can lose their effectiveness in sunlight so for best results, they should be part of your nighttime regimen only. If you start to see any irritation, try alternating days until your skin acclimates.
Renewal Retinol was featured in this article discussing Vitamin C and Retinols that play nicely together if you’d like to learn more.
Exfoliation: Too Much Of A Good Thing
A staple in any skincare regimen should be regular exfoliation. The purpose of any physical and chemical exfoliants are to stimulate collagen production by sloughing off dead skin cells that build up on the skin.
Physical exfoliation happens when you use a scrub, granules, or a polish to get smoother skin by physically removing the dead skin cells. However, chemical exfoliation happens with certain active ingredients in products such as retinol, retinyl palmitate, glycolic, lactic, mandelic, and salicylic acids.
While regular exfoliation is great for the skin, there is such a thing as too much exfoliation. Redness, irritation, and dryness can occur, especially in the winter months where the air and your skin are typically drier. Consult your healthcare provider about the right kind of exfoliation skincare and the proper frequency for your unique needs.
Retinol + AHAs/BHAs
You may have seen common skincare ingredients that mention alpha and beta-hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs). These are common in cleansers, toners, scrubs, peels, masks, and even moisturizers. Their purpose is to exfoliate the skin and the level of concentration of the product will determine the intensity of the exfoliation.
It’s important to look for any of these ingredients in your existing regimen before adding any additional exfoliating product. You may not realize that multiple products are working to exfoliate and be left with skin discomfort instead of your desired results.
Using retinol with other products that exfoliate should be done carefully and it’s recommended to use the retinol product in the evening while the AHA/BHA product should be part of the morning routine.
Skincare Must-Have: Skincare Product Combinations That Work
At this point, you might be scared to combine any skincare wondering if you’re going to make your skin feel worse by trying to make it better. However, there are some products that are perfectly matched for one another, like chocolate and peanut butter, and can enhance your skin’s overall look and feel when working together.
Renew & Revive
Our Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer with TriHex Technology® should be considered the best friend of the Renewal Retinol. Think of them as a pair of skincare superheroes that can renew and revive your skin. Retinol has a host of anti-aging benefits and works hard to renew your skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and improving the tone and texture of the skin.
By itself, retinol can sometimes dry out the skin, especially in the winter months. Enter the Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer, its superhero sidekick, that helps to revive and moisturize the skin while replenishing the moisture barrier, reducing the potential for future dehydration.
Glowing Skin for the Face, Eyes, Chest, and Neck
The Restorative Skin Complex is designed to address fine lines and wrinkles, skin tone and texture imperfections, as well as the loss of volume resulting in the appearance of sagging skin. It is perfect for daily use on the face for more youthful-looking skin. If you’re looking in the mirror, you’re probably wondering, what about my eyes, neck, and chest? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Often the eyes are the first place to start to show aging on the face due to the delicate nature of the skin around the eyes coupled with the effects of all the smiling and squinting they do every day. The award-winning ALASTIN Skincare Restorative Eye Treatment with TriHex Technology® is the "best eye cream" according to InStyle Magazine and pairs flawlessly with the Restorative Skin Complex. Read our article about expert eye cream tips to apply our Restorative Eye Treatment.
You might wonder why your face looks amazing, but you suddenly want to wear turtlenecks and scarves. Your delicate décolleté also requires special attention since it is often forgotten in a daily skincare regimen.
Enter the Restorative Neck Complex with TriHex Technology®; this customer-favorite skincare formula helps combat the distinct skin problems unique to the chest and neck area with a blend of ingredients formulated specifically for this part of the body.
Finally, the TransFORM Body Treatment with TriHex Technology® can be used as a daily skincare product for the rest of the body to support the production of new collagen and elastin to improve the appearance of skin firmness texture, and crepiness.
With this combination of complementary skincare products, you will be able to address most of your skin concerns from head to toe and will be well on your way to achieving glowing, youthful-looking skin. As always, we suggest consulting your healthcare provider for individualized recommendations to develop your customized skincare regimen.
What are your favorite skincare mix and match combinations? Are you looking to add something to your regimen? Connect with us on social and let us know!
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Article Reviewed by Wendy Johnson
Vice President, Marketing
Wendy Johnson brings to Alastin Skincare over 22 years of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and aesthetics industry experience in various sales, training, marketing and thought leader development roles.
After spending 10 years in gastroenterology at Tap Pharmaceuticals and Prometheus Laboratories, with sales and marketing oversight for in-line and pre-launch products, Mrs. Johnson transitioned to an aesthetic career at SkinMedica in 2004. While there, she was responsible for marketing one of the top 2 branded prescription hydroquinones, launching a leading branded low potency steroid, and oversight of the acne franchise line extensions.
In 2010, Wendy joined Merz North America where she developed and managed the Physician Relations department in support of injectable, topical and device business units under Medical Affairs, before transitioning into managing a Regional Aesthetics Marketing team.
Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer
with TriHex Technology®
Designed to help calm, nourish, and hydrate skin.
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