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We’ve all heard how Vitamin C is a blessing for happy skin and how Retinol is the answer to your anti-ageing prayers, but not much is said about using these skincare buzzwords in conjunction with each other. Certain ingredients, when paired together, can have a negative impact on your skin while others work like a dream team. So here is our very own guide on skincare mixology – we bet you didn’t know how certain ingredients when mixed, matched, and layered together can give you the skin you always dreamt about. Read on to meet the perfect combo for your skin (and the ones you should never mix). These beauty cocktails are life-changing so mixing skincare ingredients is the way to go.

Vitamin C + SPF = Uber Skin Protection

Not only does antioxidant-rich Vitamin C pair well with the protective powers of SPF for increased skin defence, the combination can also prevent against pigmentation and age spots, due to sun damage. 

To buy: Pixi Vitamin-C Juice Cleanser, Rs 1,950

Vitamin C + Vitamin E = Antioxidant Boost

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that protects the skin against free radicals and environmental stressors. The two vitamins together have double the antioxidant ammunition to help protect the skin and keep it healthy. You can also add Ferulic Acid to the mix – another antioxidant that boosts other antioxidants, the three together are a skincare power combo. 

To buy: The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream, Rs 995

Vitamin C + Glycolic Acid = Smooth Radiance

An ideal combination for a pick-me-up when your skin looks tired and dull. Glycolic Acid exfoliates away dead skin cells while Vitamin C brightens the skin. The two together are a quick fix to revitalize and refresh your complexion. 

To buy: Alpha-H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid, Rs 4,350

AHAs + BHAs = Squeaky Clean Pores

Both are efficient exfoliators, since AHAs are water-soluble and BHAs are oil-soluble, the two can be a power couple. BHAs can penetrate deep into the skin layers, while AHAs exfoliate the surface, just be sure to moisturise after as this could dry out the skin. 

To buy: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, Rs 600 (Approx)

Hyaluronic Acid + AHAs/BHAs = Clear Complexion

Don’t be intimidated by its scary name, Hyaluronic Acid is actually one of the gentlest ingredients around. It works for any skin type and is an amazing humectant, which means it draws moisture to the skin and seals it in. It makes sense then to use it after exfoliating with AHAs and BHAs, once the pores are clean they need to be followed up with a moisture kick. 

To buy: Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, Rs 3,500

Retinol + Hyaluronic Acid + SPF = Minimized Irritation & Increased Protection

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

Also known as Vitamin A, Retinol is an anti-ageing superstar and also one of the most reactive ingredients, but you can safely pair it with Hyaluronic Acid thanks to its gentle nature. They’re actually an ideal pair since applying Hyaluronic Acid after can help minimise irritation and keep the skin moisturised without interfering with how well the Retinol works. And since Retinol stimulates cell turnover, it makes your skin extra sensitive to UV damage, even if you use it at night. Which means that using SPF is an absolute must every day. 

To buy: Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream, Rs 5,700 (Approx)

Ingredients You Should NEVER Mix Together

Vitamin C Skincare

Retinol With Vitamin C, AHAs/BHAs and Benzoyl Peroxide 

Vitamin C protects the skin from environmental aggressors while Retinol repairs the skin. Both have different functions so it’s best to keep them apart – Vitamin C is best used in the day while retinol at night. 

It’s not a good idea to use exfoliating acids like AHA and BHA, which dry out the skin further. You don’t want to increase irritation when you’re already using Retinol.

As for Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinol, the two cancel each other out and basically render them less effective or useless. 

Vitamin C With Niacinamide

Also known as Vitamin B3, Niacinamide is also an antioxidant that brightens skin and can even out discolouration. But Vitamin C is the one ingredient that it shouldn’t be used with, even though they’re both antioxidants. Their potency is diminished when paired together; it’s a good idea to space out their application by 15 minutes at least.

Priyanka Ghura

A bonafide makeup hoarder, when she isn’t stalking beauty trends you can find Priyanka glued to her Kindle or catching up on her other guilty pleasure – reality shows. She’s also always bookmarking ideas and plans on where to travel to next. hit her up on tips for your next getaway.