Skinology: Know What Not to Mix

Whether you're a pro or a newbie to skincare, its super important to know which skincare ingredients do and don't mix well together.

Face-off was a hit in the 90's but it won't be as such when it actually happens to you because you thought putting everything that you own on your face would work. 

When incorporating new products to your day or night routine, make sure you're aware of whether this newbie will work harmoniously with your current favourites.

"Mixing ingredients without proper knowledge of how these ingredients work and what other ingredients they may interact with will be not only a waste of money, but also time. It can also lead to frustration if less than expected results are seen (or if the skin becomes irritated)," says Dr. Shari Marchbein board-certified dermatologist.

We've made it simple for you and broken it down to the main ingredients that most (if not all) of us have already in our skincare routine.


Ok, there are quite a few strengths to retinol (retinol, retinoid, retinaldehyde,  tretinoin) but most commonly its known as Vitamin A. What makes retinol so great is that it promotes cell turnover, which in turn can help improve the appearance of fine lines, pigmentation, dark spots and acne. The catch? it can be incredibly irritating.

Do mix: with moisturising ingredients like hylauronic acid, ceramides and always follow with SPF in the AM.

Don't mix: with vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and AHA/BHA acids.

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Vitamin C

This is the ultimate skincare protector as it protects the skin from free radical damage. What are free radicals? Put simply, unstable molecules that damage the skin and can leave you exposed to other health issues. This includes pollution, smoking, sunlight and poor nutrition.

Do mix: with antioxidants ( Vitamin E) and SPF.

Don't mix: with retinol.


Lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids are all effective exfoliants that can improve skin texture, tone and in the case of salicylic acid, can treat acne. However, with ever pro there is also a con and these acids can leave the skin dehydrated and sometimes irritated. Make sure when using these acids that you follow up with a hydrating product.

Do mix: Niacinamide, Hylauronic acid, other moisturising ingredients and SPF.

Don't mix: with retinol


Also known as vitamin B3, this antioxidant is an anti-inflammatory that can brighten skin and even out discolouration. As it's an anti-inflammatory, it can be used with just about anything.

Do mix: with just about every ingredient in your skincare routine.

Don't mix: vitamin C.


If there's one product you should never skimp on, make sure it's SPF. it's the only skincare product that can help to protect the skin from cancer, premature ageing and environmental aggressors.

Do mix:  layered over just about any skincare ingredient

Don't mix: with make-up or moisturisers. Don't try to take shortcuts when applying SPF. Sunscreen should be applied as a single layer to preserve the protection factors.

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