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.
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.
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.
Pairing the two ingredients is safe and can make retinol easier to use. Niacinamide helps hydrate the skin, which reduces the risk of irritation caused by retinol. Niacinamide and retinol can be combined in one product or used as separate products.
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.
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.
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.
Retinoids and serums can be used together, especially if the serum is soothing or hydrating. Be careful using very aggressive face oil serums with retinoids.
Retinol is not for daytime use (it breaks down in the sun) and shouldn't be paired with some ingredients, like vitamin C and salicylic acid, says Nussbaum. With retinol, just cleanse, add basic moisturizer on top, and skip exfoliating for the next two mornings.
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.
Your skin requires a low pH level (0 to about 3.5)to absorb Vitamin C, while Retinol requires a higher pH level (around 5.5 to 6). When you mix Vitamin C and Retinol, the pH of vitamin C increases and the pH of Retinol decreases — hence why it's believed that the two ingredients render each other ineffective.
Myth #2: You can't use retinol during the daytime.
Research has shown that retinol works well under SPF-rated products, and that vitamins A, C, and E—even in combination—remain stable and effective under a broad-spectrum sunscreen (8).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“At levels available over the counter, salicylic acid will give better anti-acne benefits than retinol.” However, he noted that prescription-strength retinols “are much more potent on the skin.”
Can you use retinol and glycolic acid at the same time? Yes and no. You can use them at different times on the same day if your skin can tolerate it, but generally speaking it's best to alternate days to avoid sensitivity.
Niacinamide With Vitamin C Are a Winning Combination
This means that you're safe to use both niacinamide and vitamin C, either together in the same product, or combined from different products that you layer one over the other.
The reason why people suggest a maximum of two or three serums comes down to layering and penetration. Heaps of brands, salons and experts recommend leaving time between applying your serums and moisturisers, and doing it in a specific order so as to allow all of the ingredients to actually sink into your epidermis.
Quick Tips for Incorporating Retinol into Your Beauty Routine. Mix your retinol with your moisturizer, or apply your moisturizer first and then your retinol. Always use sunscreen the morning after you apply retinol. Your skin will be especially sensitive to sunlight, so it's important to protect it.
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.