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Do it right: how to combine retinoids, acids, peptides, and other skincare ingredients. Simple rules for dealing with serious formulas
Elena Lezhneva
Do it right: how to combine retinoids, acids, peptides, and other skincare ingredients. Simple rules for dealing with serious formulas

Retinoids, Vitamin C, and other powerful skincare ingredients can now be found not only at the cosmetologists’ and in expensive professional product lines but also in affordable and easy to access products. However, no all highly effective formulas are harmless. In order not to injure the skin, it's worthwhile to introduce these ingredients into your care carefully, and we'll tell you how.

Vitamin C

Tiam My Signature C Source Vitamin C Serum

This modern ingredient and important skin antioxidant is becoming more and more popular and finding a product with a stable vitamin C in high concentration is no longer difficult, however, using them is a bit tricky. Serums and other products with concentrated Vitamin C should be introduced slowly, starting from once or twice a week, observing the skin reaction. Don’t combine these products with other active ingredients on the same days - assign vitamin C, acids and retinoids on different days of the week in reasonable quantities or use different products in courses: 1 month of Vitamin C, 1 month of acids, etc.

Before applying a serum with Vitamin C, cleanse the skin and make sure it’s clean and free from other products. Finally, before going outside always apply a good sunscreen. Otherwise, anti-aging properties of the Vitamin C will disappear, plus your skin will be more sensitive towards the UV light.

Retinoids

Retinol stimulates cell renewal and the production of its own collagen. It works as an antioxidant. Despite the fact that its main action is not exfoliating, during the use of retinol it's worthwhile to postpone any peelings, both chemical and mechanical. Exfoliating procedures may lead to pronounced peeling and skin flaking. Just like with Vitamin C, after exposure to retinol, sunscreen is mandatory: your renewed skin becomes more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation.

If your skin is prone to dryness and reacts to creams and serums with retinol - don't rush to give up this strong remedy. Additional moisturizing will, most likely, counterbalance its renewing effect: other antioxidants, which are contained in many nutritious creams (for example, vitamin E) work together perfectly with retinol.

Acids

COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning Emulsion

We will talk about cosmetics with acids in detail in the next blog post, but let’s mention the quick recommendations now. Acids should also be used separately from other highly-concentrated ingredients. This is especially important when it comes to products combining several different acids, or products with high concentrations of these. Exfoliating with acids should be assigned to specific days, and if you are using retinoids, acids shouldn’t be used more than once a week. If you use a serum with acids, suitable for regular care, take a break from retinoids.

When you use acids, you also need a good sunscreen, and proper hydration as well: a serum with hyaluronic acid is suitable even for dry and sensitive skin, and it will help to use products with acids without consequences.

Peptides

Eleven Huesday Antioxidant Aging Barrier

Peptides are the most peaceful and friendly ingredients for mature skin, increasing the production of collagen, restoring the skin after damage and even able to work as muscle relaxants (thanks to which it’s possible to prevent facial wrinkles. Despite the complexity of the formulations, the products with peptides are practically incapable of producing unexpected irritations, inflammations, and allergic reactions. They also work well with many active ingredients without losing effectiveness.

Peptides are not recommended to be used simultaneously with AHA-acids – (acidic pH is undesirable for peptides), and peeling should be done prior to using peptides. Peptides work great together with the ingredients recommended for sensitive skin: they penetrate deeply into the skin and can provide deep access to other ingredients. With the help of a face serum with peptides, you can increase the effectiveness of products with niacinamide, various moisturizing ingredients, vitamin C.

Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most effective ingredients for fighting acne, directly destroying bacteria. However, this ingredient requires caution if you use retinol in your skincare: benzoyl peroxide has oxidative properties, while retinol is best kept in the company of antioxidants.

AHA and BHA acids can be used with benzoyl peroxide for better anti-inflammatory work - in some products they are even premixed together. And again, after using bacteria killers, don’t forget to moisturize the skin: the basic combination of a face cream and serum could be enough to avoid regular dryness.

- Korean Kiwi Beauty

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