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Desperate times call for desperate solutions- a saying that can be related to skincare and for all the right reasons! Flawless or perfect skin is a myth. If your skin has texture, spots, and fine lines, that's how it is supposed to be. Working towards healthy skin and attaining to get 'filter-like' skin are two different ball games altogether. In order to have the latter, people go to various lengths and would put almost anything and everything on their faces just because it's trending in the market. In the process of achieving that 'unrealistic' skin, we tend to mix up lots of skincare active ingredients together which leads to regrettable disasters.

Before you jump on to any skincare routine, always remember that awareness is the key to healthy skin. While using any product with active ingredients, one should know the correct way and time to use them to reap their maximum benefits. To help you get closer to your skin goals, we have listed down some ingredient combos where extra caution must be in order.

1. Retinol and Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)

A dermatologist's go-to for skin tightening & texture refining, both AHAs, like Glycolic acid and Retinol are derivatives of Vitamin A and are proven to speed up collagen production and skin cell turnover to give you a younger-looking and glowing skin. You might think if these two ingredients have such fine benefits, what can go wrong if you club them together?! Well, the answer is everything! 

Both AHAs and Retinol exfoliate the skin, meaning, they peel off the outer layer of the skin, giving the skin an in-depth treatment.  As an exfoliator, both the ingredients can contain some potential side effects like skin irritation, redness, flaking, and so on; especially when combined together. But the good thing is, you can use these topical actives on alternative days; say if you're applying AHA on a Monday night, it is ideal to use the Retinol on Tuesday night and so on!)

2. Vitamin C and Retinol

The ace ingredient for treating sun damage and hyperpigmentation, Vitamin C is an oxidant that the skincare industry swears by for glowing skin benefits, but it is also notorious for its instability. When combined with Retinol, Vitamin C somehow gets highly affected by its pH and loses its efficacy. Another reason why Vitamin C and Retinol do not gel well is that Vitamin C is best in an acidic pH while Retinol, on the other hand, works in a more alkaline pH. Mixing them together won't provide any optimal results.

So how can you make the most of these two amazing skin actives? You can use them separately in your AM and PM routines. Retinol is ideally applied at night since it makes the skin photosensitive, meaning more risk of sun damage. Vitamin C is best applied during the daytime as its antioxidant properties shield the skin from pollution, UV rays and so on. A pro tip~ the efficacy of Vitamin C is doubled when you layer it with sunscreen.

3. Salicylic Acid and Retinol

It's time to address the elephant in the room~ mature skin needs the utmost attention to care. Some of the common skincare issues that come with age are acne and wrinkles, and fine lines as well. In both scenarios, what does the job are these miracle ingredients known as Retinol/Retinoids and Salicylic Acid (BHA). Retinol is ideal for slowing down the signs of aging, while Salicylic Acid super speeds skin cell turnover, keeping the pores clear, thus, avoiding acne breakouts. 

As individual ingredients, they might be great; but together, they are nothing but a recipe for over-dried skin. The skin has its own sense of defense, hence to expiate the dryness, the skin escalates its oil production which leads to a vicious cycle of acne, dryness, and in some cases, burns and scarring too.