Whether you are new to skincare or want your routine to go beyond simple cleanser and moisturizer, there’s a lot to learn about choosing and combining the right ingredients. Many people neglect the fact that curating a skincare routine that works well for their skin takes a lot of effort and research to get it right.
No doubt, it’s easy to read positive reviews and recommendations online. But just because the product works well on somebody, it doesn’t mean it’ll fit in with other products you’re cocktailing together on your skin.
The reality is, shopping for skincare is now more confusing than ever, even though we’re blessed with endless options in the market today. That’s why experts always recommend trying out a product for at least six weeks to see how well it performs on your skin. Once you’ve identified the exact ingredients your skin needs, learn how to incorporate them into your routine so that they complement other ingredients.
Now that you’ve learned about skincare ingredients that work against each other, here are the skincare ingredients that form power couples!
1. For aging skin
Retinol, also known as vitamin A, is undoubtedly one stellar skincare ingredient loved by experts, thanks to its ability to promote skin cell turnover and enhance collagen production. Many people rely on retinol to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and uneven skin texture. However, as much as it sounds like the perfect skincare ingredient to use, retinol can cause extreme skin irritation. This is because the active ingredient can easily damage the skin’s barrier and increase water loss, leading to severely dry skin.
To prevent your skin from drying out, use retinol together with moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Both ingredients help form the skin’s barrier and retain moisture, with the former being a popular ingredient for drawing and holding water molecules to the skin’s surface layers, and the latter for sealing in moisture.
2. For dull skin
We all know that when it comes to repairing dull skin, nothing works better than vitamin C. This powerhouse ingredient works wonders to even out the skin tone, diminish the appearance of fine lines, and brighten the skin. When mixed with the lipid-soluble antioxidant vitamin E, both ingredients come together to form one of the best skincare power couples. Vitamin E helps to reduce damages caused by UV rays and free radicals and together with vitamin C, they both enhance the effects of each other. Vitamin C helps to regenerate vitamin E to improve its protection for the skin while vitamin E boosts the efficiency of vitamin C by up to four times.
3. For acne-prone skin
When it comes to inflammatory acne, benzoyl peroxide is a great ingredient to fight against those breakouts. It is comedolytic (meaning it can help prevent the formation of comedones) and works effectively in getting rid of bacteria and dead skin cells that clog the pores. Another stellar ingredient that works amazingly well to fight acne is azelaic acid. It is a gentle leave-on exfoliant that targets clogged pores, including those brewing deep below the skin’s surface.
However, both ingredients can dry out the skin and cause irritation, especially benzoyl peroxide. Therefore, they need a gentle hydrating ingredient to buffer the dehydrating effect. Try using the ingredient with hyaluronic acid to ensure your skin stays hydrated at all times or layer a light moisturizer above it. Just make sure not to cause too much stress to your skin by using both azelaic acid and benzoyl peroxide together.
4. For sensitive skin
Since sensitivity signifies that your skin’s barrier is weaker than others, it’s important to choose an ingredient that is gentle enough on the skin while delivering impressive results. Niacinamide is a skincare ingredient that stands out for its versatility for various skin concerns and it’s sensitive skin-friendly! It is a water-soluble vitamin (known as vitamin B3) that delivers stunning results in visibly minimizing enlarged pores, improve skin texture and strengthen weakened surfaces. Not to mention, it also has the ability to improve the skin’s barrier by reducing the impact of environmental damages.
However, as much as niacinamide is an all-rounder for various skin concerns and known to mix well with plenty of ingredients, it is best to steer away from acidic ingredients like vitamin C, AHA and BHA. This is because they all have high potency which can diminish each other’s efficiency significantly. Besides that, you don’t want to stress your sensitive skin’s barrier by applying more than one potent ingredient at a time.