It’s a question I’ve been wondering about and I’m sure you are too. Image supplied.
As a Beauty Editor, I get sent new products to trial all the time and I always wonder what kind of effect mixing all of these products would have on my skin. I have had a love-hate relationship with my skin but I have finally found a skincare routine that works for me. So, I have my dedicated products that I use morning and night, however, sometimes a product comes across my desk that I would love to incorporate but because my skin is so fickle, I never know how I am going to react. So, out of pure curiosity for myself and for our readers, I got in touch with Dermalogica NZ’s Head Of Education, Caroline Parker to ask a few questions about the Do’s and Don’ts of mixing your skincare, here’s what she had to say.
Is it OK to mix skincare products from different brands?
I think you get the best results when you use a regimen of products from the same brand. You tend to find the same key ingredients would be used for a particular skin concern such as a calming blend of botanicals and by layering them, for example in a toner, serum and moisturiser, you get an enhanced result. Also, it reduces the risk of finding yourself with a regimen that has products that might not work well together. Sometimes you might find yourself phasing in a new brand of skincare or your budget doesn’t allow for a complete regimen all at once; I would just suggest talking to a professional skin therapist to get advice on managing this process.
Is it OK to alternate using different ranges of products? For example, the Dermalogica Clear Start Range one day then another skincare brand that has less active ingredients the other day?
You could do this, but I don’t think it should be necessary. If you wanted to give your skin a break from an active ingredient, for example in a serum, then just use that product on alternate days but use the core products like cleanser, moisturisers and sunscreen each day.
What ingredients should we avoid mixing together?
Some of the ingredient combinations which could end badly when mixed include exfoliating ingredients in products, for example, hydroxy acids like lactic acid or salicylic acid, also active forms of vitamin A like retinol.
When choosing a skincare regime, what ingredients should we be looking for in our products that will be beneficial to our skin?
It really depends on your skin goals. If you have oilier skin or get breakouts, ingredients like charcoal and clay can be amazing, and lightweight moisturisers with lots of hydration. In contrast, if your skin goal is for brighter, firmer skin then vitamin C would be a great ingredient combined with skin firming peptides or, for premature ageing, vitamin A (retinol) is well researched and has been shown to deliver great results.
Also think about avoiding ingredients that don’t have skin benefits – things like artificial fragrance and artificial colour, lanolin and SD alcohol.
Is there such a thing as too much skincare?
Not if you are using it all! Many people (including myself) love using skincare products and are prepared to devote the time to a longer regime, others might prefer a quick three-step regimen, so it’s really up to the individual.
I think it’s a real shame if you have products in your drawer that you’re not using so, to avoid this, get the advice of a Professional Skin Therapist about when, where and how you could incorporate your new product – also get real clarity on what a new product will do for your skin so that you feel clear on the benefits and results to expect. If you have a history of allergies or have skin that is reactive to products on a regular basis then you’re better having a smaller skincare regimen – this will reduce the risk of negative skin response.