Some things are simply not meant to be, and while I totally believe you can achieve anything you put your mind to, on this occasion, I’m talking about skincare ingredients. Simply put, some ingredients are simply meant to work on their own, especially when it comes to powerful ones like my oh-so-lovely retinol.

Some skincare ingredients, like vitamin C and certain acids, just beg to be the stars of the shows, and combining them can result in redness, irritation, and stressed skin.

Unsure if your skincare routine is *just* right and you’re not mix and matching products you shouldn’t? Here’s my professional advice as an aesthetician on the skincare products you definitely shouldn’t be mixing together — like ever.

Skincare Ingredients You Should Never Mix:

Vitamin C + Retinol

Vitamin C in skincare is the newest buzz, and for all the right reasons! For one, it stimulates collagen production and hydrates our skin like crazy. Moreover, Vitamin C is queen when it comes to reducing dark spots and redness. Retinol is another gold standard in skincare, especially when it comes to repairing, increasing skin turnover, and exfoliating skin.

Even though they’re two of the most-loved ingredients in skincare, they simply can’t meet. Blending them might make them both less effective for one very simple reason: their pH levels might change.

Luckily for us, vitamin C is known to thrive during the daytime, and retinol loves to work at night, so you can still totally use both ingredients — just as long as you do it during different times of the day.

Instead, mix vitamin C with: Antioxidants and SPF.

When mixed with antioxidants like vitamin E, Vitamin C has been known to boost its efficiency. Moreover, since you’ll be using vitamin C in your morning skincare routine, make sure you definitely apply a layer of SPF over it! One of the best benefits of Vitamin C is that it actually helps your skin protect itself from the sun, so adding a little SPF boost will maximize results!

Vitamin C in Skincare

Retinol + AHA/BHA Acids

Another retinol marriage that definitely doesn’t quite work. AHA and BHA acids (Alpha-hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acid) are excellent skincare ingredients, but when mixed with retinol, they can become extremely irritating. This happens because these acids are exfoliating, so they can quickly cause skin sensitivity, irritation, and redness when mixed with retinol. In fact, I’d actually recommend not using either ingredient on the same day.

AHA and BHA acids are exfoliating, which can dry out the skin and cause further irritation if your skincare routine already includes retinol.

Instead, mix retinol with: Moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, and of course, SPF if you’re using it during the day.

Benzoyl Peroxide + Retinol

Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the best skincare ingredients for fighting acne and blemishes. It’s a staple when it comes to topically treat acne and because it’s also keratolytic, it exfoliates dead skin and excess oil, which means it can be a long-term solution for further breakouts.

The problem when mixing benzoyl peroxide and retinol is that, due to each ingredient’s properties, they can actually cancel each other out and make each other less effective.

Instead, mix Benzoyl peroxide with: Hydrating ingredients and SPF.



I hope this list of skincare ingredients that don’t mix helped you plan a better skincare routine! Even though I love each and every ingredient listed here, sometimes it’s best to use them separately in order to ensure they are able to focus and work their magic!

It’s extremely important to stay aware of what each ingredient can do. Even though there are a million plus one ingredients available in the industry these days, it’s best to stay up to date and aware that many of these ingredients are actual chemicals that can wreck your skin if not used properly.

I know that last statement can sound pretty scary, especially because creating the perfect skincare routine these days seems like working on a complicated science experience already with all the products that are available to us in this decade! If you’re not sure whether an ingredient is convenient for you to use, I highly recommend taking your concerns over to a medspa where you can get professional advice. We all have different skin and therefore — different needs in our skincare routine. What might work for your BFF might not necessarily work for you, so the best advice I can give you is to take things to the hands of a professional and let them do their magic by creating the perfect treatment for you.

If you’re in Atlanta, don’t forget we offer complimentary consultations to better help you come up with a skincare regime that works for your skin’s unique needs. You can get in touch with us at bella@bellamedspa.com or call us at 678-908-3491 to schedule a quick visit so we can assess and recommend the best treatment for you!


Skincare Ingredients Not to Mix

Spread the word!