01. Retinol + AHA/BHA
Retinol is a powerful anti-ageing ingredient that exfoliates your skin, improves texture, and enhances the overall health of your skin with regular use. But due to its potency, retinol becomes a difficult ingredient to pair with a lot of other ingredients. AHA/BHA (alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid) are one of them. These are chemical exfoliants that remove dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin, revealing glowing skin underneath.
Since retinol and AHA/BHA both work as exfoliants, pairing them could be too harsh on your skin. This could lead to severe chemical burns, hyperpigmentation, redness, and acne. It’s always advised to keep a gap of a few days to a week between using these two ingredients.
02. AHA/BHA + Vitamin C
As explained above, AHA/ BHA are acids that are used in minimal quantities to gently exfoliate the skin. An ingredient that is wonderful on its own, but could be disastrous with AHA/BHA is Vitamin C. One might assume Vitamin C can seep deeper into their skin and have more advantages after the skin is well exfoliated with a chemical peel. Umm, wrong!
Vitamin C is also an acid called ascorbic acid. It is a water-soluble vitamin that has antibacterial properties that fight bacteria and infection, detoxify skin, and form collagen in fibrous tissue, connective tissue, bones, skin, and capillaries. The problem with using AHA/BHA with vitamin C is that the acids could clash. Moreover, once your skin gets rid of the dead cells on top, it becomes hypersensitive. Vitamin C could seriously sting your skin and cause irritation. It’s better to keep these away from each other and use them individually, at different times of the day.
03. Vitamin C + Retinol
By now we all know what these two ingredients can do. The reason these two be used separately is that they nullify each other out. Retinol and Vitamin C cancel out all the benefits they carry individually and you end up getting nothing for your skin.
And if used together continuously, it could cause skin irritation. Furthermore, retinol and Vitamin C should be used at different times. Retinol is best suited to use at night, post applying moisturiser (or mixed with your moisturiser), while Vitamin C should be used during the day to protect your skin from the sun. Don’t forget to follow it up with SPF.
04. Benzoyl peroxide + Retinol
If you have acne-prone skin, benzoyl peroxide can be a game-changer! Like most acne solutions, benzoyl peroxide is extremely drying. It’s usually recommended for spot treatments as it dries out the pimple. Due to this, it should never be used with retinol.
The latter is also used for acne treatments and has similar drying effects. When mixed together, this is a recipe for disaster.