Layering products correctly is important if you want your products to work. If you place one product on your skin, like a serum, and follow up with another product whose molecules are smaller than the first, like a toner, then the second product cannot penetrate the first layer.
Limit to Two Serums Per Routine
Of course it is fine to use the same one consistently but by alternating you can effectively use many different serums. Retinoids and serums can be used together, especially if the serum is soothing or hydrating.
5 Don't Mix: Retinoids + Any Acids
That's why you definitely shouldn't be using retinoids at the same time as skincare acids—such as alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids—which also increase sensitivity, warns Dr. Rabach. And while it's not an acid, Dr.
The best product you can use in conjunction with retinol, according to Dr. Zeichner, is a moisturizer, which can help hydrate skin and reduce the risk of irritation from retinol. “Some people even prefer to mix their retinol with a moisturizing cream to dilute it out,” he says.
Don't Mix: Retinol with vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and AHA/BHA acids. AHA and BHA acids are exfoliating, which can dry out skin and cause further irritation if your skincare routine already includes retinol. As for benzoyl peroxide and retinol, they cancel each other out.
Retinol is best applied at night, since it can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. When you do go outside, be sure to use sunscreen to protect your face. Also, keep in mind that you don't need to use retinol on a daily basis for it to be effective at treating acne. Two to three times per week may be enough.
Niacinamide and retinol can be combined in one product, which may be easier and more convenient. But they're also available as separate products. If you're using these ingredients in separate products, it's recommended to apply niacinamide first and to then follow with retinol.
The truth: You can use vitamin C with retinol and retinoids. Get them as separate products so you can tailor the concentration of each and use them at the right time of day. Although vitamin C can be used day or night, it is ideal for daytime use, while retinol and retinoids should be applied at night.
It's perfectly safe and okay to use hyaluronic acid and retinol together. Using skin care products that contain these ingredients together shouldn't cause any interactions or side effects. Hyaluronic acid and retinol are one of the most popular skin care combinations.
We love pairing our retinol serum with L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum to ensure the skin is hydrated. Apply the hyaluronic acid serum first, then use the retinol.
Also avoid retinol if you're going to be spending a lot of time in direct sunlight without proper sun protection. Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it's important to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day — even when it looks cloudy.
For prescription retinols, you'll typically apply this step onto dry skin before your moisturizer—but always check with your dermatologist. You may be advised to use it after a moisturizer, which buffers the retinol and lessens risk of irritation.
You should use hyaluronic acid after retinol. And to maximise the benefits, you should use retinol first and then wait at least 30 minutes before applying hyaluronic acid.
STEP 4: APPLY YOUR HYALURONIC ACID
If you are using it in serum form, you'll apply it immediately after your retinol. If it is part of your moisturizer, it will be your last step. That allows it to truly harness its power as an emollient and seal in both your other products and moisture.
It's best to apply Vitamin C before Retinol, as Vitamin C has a lower pH than Retinol. Once your skin absorbs the Vitamin C serum, your skin will return to its regular pH levels after 30 minutes or so. (You want your skin to return to its normal pH levels so vitamin C doesn't lower the pH of retinol.)
Use Exfoliants Sparingly After the Adjustment Period
Start with a mild exfoliant that's largely chemical free to avoid any potential reactions, flaking or itchiness. Another good approach is to avoid using chemical exfoliants and simply use a soft, damp cloth to clear your face of dead or flaky skin.
Well, when it comes right down to it, the choice is really in what you're looking to do for your skin. While vitamin C is incredible for the skin because of its ability to help brighten and improve hyperpigmentation, the best active ingredient for wrinkles is retinol.
Using niacinamide before retinol works well. So does combining them into one product. A 2016 study found that a product containing retinol, niacinamide, hexylresorcinol, and resveratrol improved fine lines, sallowness, wrinkling, hyperpigmentation, and skin tone.
Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide
These water-based treatments are a great pair and are made for all skin types — especially babes with dry, acne-prone skin. You'll find niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, in my Rewind Retinol Serum. Use hyaluronic acid first, followed by my retinol for the best results.
“If you're overusing your retinol, or if you're using a retinol that's too strong for you, it can lead to peeling, irritation, and excessive dryness, which may have led to retinol's association with skin thinning,” she says.
Generally, it takes a few weeks to see results, but some OTC options may require months of regular use. Most dermatologists said you'll need to use retinol for a few weeks before you see results, but you should see improvements by 12 weeks with most products.
Retinoids work best if you use them daily. Specifically, they should be used at night because some types are deactivated by light and air. It's important to start slowly and allow your skin time to adjust. Using too much too quickly can cause redness, dryness, and irritation.
Rouleau says the best time to use a scrub is in the morning. Overnight you've loosened up dead skin cells with your glycolic acid or retinol products, making the morning a perfect time to brush them off.