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How To Combine Active Ingredients Like A Pro?

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If you are browsing through the right skincare blogs, you might have heard of the term ‘active ingredient.’  The skincare world is legit obsessed with active ingredients. In fact, everyone is using this buzzword to advertise their product. It is all over Instagram. But what do people actually mean when they say active ingredients? Typically, the term active ingredient is associated with potent ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, AHAs, or BHAs. In short, active ingredients constitute all these powerful ingredients that can transform your skin. Clearly, there is more than one active ingredient. That’s what leads to the inevitable confusion – how to combine active ingredients?  After all, not every ingredient blends well with the other. That is why it is very important to understand which active ingredients you can safely incorporate at the same time.

Honestly, the skincare world is flooded with myths and varying opinions regarding how these ingredients react with each other. However, having a clear understanding of active ingredients is very important to avoid any skin aggravation or irritation. At last, once you know how to combine active ingredients like a pro, you can level up your daily skincare routine by incorporating active ingredients that interact well with each other and boost your skin’s health with their goodness. That is exactly why we have taken the liberty to state all you need to know about layering active ingredients in the best way possible.

What Are Active Ingredients?

Any active ingredient in a skincare product is specifically meant to address the unique skin concern it should target. In simple words, when you come across a Vitamin C cleanser or serum, vitamin C is the active ingredient. Vitamin C is a potent ingredient that actively works to brighten your skin. We are all on our unique skincare journey; our skin craves different ingredients and in different combinations. Some want to address signs of aging, and others want to get rid of acne. At the same time, some have both issues at the same time. Clearly, one active ingredient alone cannot diminish signs of aging and treat acne. Ultimately, they will need to add different active ingredients that interact well with each other and are influential enough to positively change the structure of the skin.

However, unlike active ingredients, the non-active ingredients are comprised of elements like glycerine or aloe vera. These ingredients are meant to soothe and hydrate the skin without making any long-lasting effects.

All You Need To Know About Mixing Active Ingredients

Active ingredients are the most potent ingredients in the formulation of any skincare product. However, its effectiveness highly depends on its concentration and combination. If you want to be able to combine them well, you must understand each ingredient individually.


It is one of the most sought-after skincare ingredients. However, we highly recommend using bakuchiol instead. What makes bakuchiol great is it has all the qualities of retinol without its side effects. It promotes skin rejuvenation and makes your skin look younger. Retinol can be enormously irritating. But bakuchiol is as gentle as it can get.

Mix with: Bakuchiol/Retinol blends well with moisturizing elements like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and SPF.

Avoid Mixing: Retinol/Bakuchiol doesn’t blend well with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, vitamin C or AHA/BHA acids.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the best ingredients for skin brightening and getting rid of stubborn dark spots. In fact, it is one of the most powerful antioxidants.

Mix with: Vitamin C blends well with antioxidants as well SPF.

Avoid Mixing: Vitamin C with active retinol.


Glycolic and lactic acids are highly effective exfoliants. They can remarkably improve your skin texture and treat acne. But they may dehydrate or irritate your skin if not layered properly. That is why when you pick a product infused with AHA or BHA acids, you need to layer it with a hydrating product.

Mix with: AHA/BHA acids blend well with all the moisturizing ingredients along with SPF.

Avoid Mixing: AHA/BHA acids with a retinol-infused product.

Recommended Products

As usual, we have compiled a list of skincare products that are infused with active ingredients so that you don’t have to spend time looking around for the right ones. Check out our exclusive recommendations below!

1. Model Off Duty Beauty Dewy Me Vitamin C Cleanser

Model Off Duty Beauty Dewy Me Vitamin C Cleanser

Here’s a cleanser with an active ingredient that cleanses your skin of every impurity without leaving your skin parched for hydration. Also, did we mention that Vitamin C protects the skin from any form of damage – a total winner!

2. SUNDAY RILEY Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil

SUNDAY RILEY Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil

Let retinol work its magic on your skin throughout the night, make it plump, clean from wrinkles, fine lines, and pores so that you wake up with the skin of your dreams.

3. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial AHA + BHA Mask : Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial. AHA/BHA Face Mask for  Great Skin Clarity, Texture and Tone for a Youthful Radiance. (1.69 Fl Oz).  : Beauty

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial AHA + BHA Mask

The power of AHA + BHA gives your skin the perfect facial and leaves behind a clean, improved skin tone and texture – just what we need to feel better during this pandemic!

4. Glow Recipe Pineapple Vitamin C Serum

Glow Recipe Pineapple Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C and AHA come together with juiced Pineapple and hyaluronic acid to give your skin an unparalleled glow and even skin tone.

5. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA

Powered with lactic acid and hyaluronic acid, this peeling formula is the holy grail your skin needs to look healthier and younger.

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