Are you mixing your skincare products in an attempt to save time? Here’s an easy guide to know when it’s a good idea to mix or “cocktail” your products and when to avoid it; also, you will learn the difference between layering and mixing, and how to do it properly.
Is It Ok to Mix Skincare Ingredients?
Ideally, your skincare routine shouldn’t feel like a chore but rather a ritual of self-love and beauty. However, oftentimes we are in a rush and can’t seem to find the time to do everything we want to do.
So, we dispense the moisturizer, vitamin C, and sunscreen on the palm of the hand, rub them together and apply on the face in one single layer, right?... wrong!
Some ingredients react when mixed with others, mixing products can change the product on a chemical level and can affect its efficacy or cause irritation. Also, some textures block the absorption of others (e.g., oils will significantly block the absorption of any product that you apply on top of it), and some products are meant to sit on top of your skin and shouldn’t be mixed with those that should be absorbed (e.g., mineral sunscreen is not meant to be absorbed by the skin whereas moisturizers are absorbed right away).
Another important reason to avoid mixing your products is that some active ingredients require a specific sequence or some time to absorb before applying something else.
Layering vs. Mixing Skincare
Mixing or “cocktailing” skincare is not to be confused with Layering. Layering is essentially applying individual skincare products in a specific order of application and allowing time for each layer to be absorbed by the skin before applying the next one.
Mixing products is almost never a good idea unless you research and know that it is safe to do so. Layering is the way to go, it takes a little more time, but it is safer and ensures that your skin receives the ingredients the way they were intended to be used.
The best way to layer your skincare products is to apply from the thinnest to the thickest, so start with the most liquid product (like toners) and finish with heavy creams.
When Can I Mix Skincare Ingredients?
When you want to create a less intense product, for example, mixing your retinol with a nourishing oil or a hydrating cream will lower the intensity of the retinol, which can be a good way to reduce irritation or to slowly introduce this ingredient in your routine.
When a product is to thick or heavy, for example, you can mix a thick balm or a heavy oil with serum or mist to lighten it up.
When NOT To Mix Skincare Ingredients?
Never mix or dilute sunscreen. It only gets you the desired SPF if applied at full strength.
Don’t mix retinol and acids (except hyaluronic acid… which is technically not an acid and can be applied after your retinol has fully absorbed and can be mixed with other acids too).
Don’t mix exfoliating products because you will run the risk of irritation or over-exfoliation.
Benzoyl peroxide and retinol, they cancel each other out so don’t mix them.
Don’t mix niacinamide and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Although they're both antioxidants, their potency is significantly diminished when used together. You can layer them by spacing the application by at least 10 minutes.
Copper peptides and vitamin C. Copper peptides are an amazing ingredient to stimulate skin renewal, but they should not be mixed with vitamin C as they can oxidize the vitamin C and reduce its antioxidant effect.
When both products contain active ingredients make sure you research if they can be mixed, in most cases it’s safer to layer them instead of mixing them.
Now that you know the basics of skincare ingredient mixing, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice! Be sure to save this article so you can reference it whenever you need help creating the perfect skincare concoction. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re happy to help in whatever way we can.
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