What Are the Benefits of Combining the Two? Good news: Retinol and hyaluronic acid actually have a synergistic effect. “They can be combined so that the benefits of retinol can be achieved more easily with concomitant use of hyaluronic acid, which helps to prevent retinol irritation,” says Hartman.
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.
No matter which form you choose to incorporate your hyaluronic acid, it should be close to the final step in your routine. 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.
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.
Second, avoid anything with harsh ingredients like alcohol and fragrance, or anything with a high acid concentration. “The majority of over-the-counter (OTC) cosmetic creams, lotions, and serums are water based and contain less than 2 percent hyaluronic acid,” Frey explains.
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.
Is it a good idea to combine Vitamin C, Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid in a skincare routine? Yes. These ingredients work well when used individually and even better when paired together.
Hyaluronic acid is best if they're looking to moisturize dry skin, while retinol works better by encouraging better skin by boosting collagen production. They have several benefits that can work in tandem for better results, though patients need to be careful with the exact formulations they use.
How to Use Them Together. Dr. Van Dyke recommended using hyaluronic acid morning and night after cleansing when the skin is still damp and to leave your retinol application for just once a day at night.
The answer to the hyaluronic acid vs retinol debate is not simple. While hyaluronic acid works its repairing and hydrating magic on the upper layers of the skin, retinol is able to have multiple effects deeper within the skin.
A thick moisturizer with hyaluronic acid would be applied after a vitamin C serum, but a hyaluronic acid serum will come before a face cream with vitamin C in its formula. In the case that you have two separate serums, it still comes down to thickness. Apply whichever is thinner first.
Yup! "Hyaluronic acid is safe and beneficial to use everyday for maintaining skin hydration," says Dr. Russak. You just need to make sure you're applying it correctly.
When it comes to mixing all three together, the best order to apply them is by starting with retinol, followed by hyaluronic acid, and finally niacinamide. By applying retinol first onto a fully cleansed skin the ingredient can penetrate into the lower layers.
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.
“AHA, BHA, retinol, and benzoyl peroxide can be mixed with moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and rosehip oil to get effective results — just ensure you are not using retinol as well as AHA or BHA's during the day," says Graf.
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.
And now another rule to keep in mind: Many prescription-strength retinoids suggest users wait upwards of 20 minutes post-cleansing before putting retinol on their skin and 20 more minutes before putting anything else on, according to Reddit.
Should you use retinol under your eyes? Yes, definitely. While it is true that retinol – a form of vitamin A – is a powerful ingredient and the skin under your eyes is delicate, there's no reason why you should miss out on the amazing benefits of retinol.
A formula with retinol, like the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Eye Treatment, should be applied after your serums and before moisturizer due to its consistency.