Combining retinol with other ingredients like AHA/BHA or Vitamin C – #AskDoctorAnne

Combining retinol with other ingredients like AHA/BHA or Vitamin C – #AskDoctorAnne

January 30, 2020 2 By William Morgan


This is actually part two of a three-part series on how to combine ingredients like a pro, And today we’re going to talk about retinoids. So if you missed the first episode, I’m going to link it up in the cards and wait patiently for you to come back. Hi, I’m Doctor Anne. I’m a medical doctor with a passion for skincare that works. On this channel We explore the science behind skin and do quick reviews So you’ll learn to pick exactly those products that work for your individual skin concern. If this is something you’re interested in, please consider subscribing and ring the notification bell. it is important to note that retinol is often used as an umbrella term for a whole family of Retinoids, and which retinol you pick actually makes kind of a huge difference whether or not you can combine it safely with other ingredients. Retinoids are the whole family, while retinol is the most Prominent member of the family and I know this would be the perfect time for a Kardashian family analogy, but I Really don’t know anything about them, So I’m going to stick with skincare here. If you want to learn more about the difference between the retinoids, I have a whole video dedicated on that topic that I’m going to link up in the cards, but in short: Retinol and retinal or retinaldehyde and retinol esters like retinol palmitate are over-the-counter Available. They are a weaker form and are usually safe to combine with everything, Adapalene or Differin is available over-the-counter in some parts of the world, in other parts like Germany, it is still prescription, but it is stabilized so it can be combined with other ingredients. Tretinoin or Retin A is Prescription only and it is really unstable, So I would not advise you to mix it with anything. After that has been cleared up, Let’s talk about the different actives that you can combine or cannot combine your retinoids with. And just to make that crystal clear: if I am talking about mixing your retinoids with other active ingredients, I always refer to over-the-counter retinoids Always! Never mix a prescription on your own terms, Always consult a professional! I can’t stress that enough: There’s a reason why some things are prescription! And no, watching a doctor on YouTube is not the same as talking to the person that Actually prescribed your medication. So the first thing that people like to combine their retinoids with is acids. AHAs or BHAs and while that’s technically possible, I still don’t think that it is Advisable. Why? well, they don’t really interfere with each other, So if you use a retinoid and then you use an acid or vice versa that will not really hinder the effects. But because retinoids increase cell turnover and acids increase Exfoliation both can lead to shedding and flakiness on the skin. So if you combine these two, you can actually Enhance the shedding of flakiness on your skin, which is not a good look. And you can enhance the irritation that your skin experiences, so my advice would be: First start your retinoid until you have zero Irritation and then slowly pair it with an exfoliating acid, if you really think that you need one. Once you build up your tolerance, Slowly start to introduce them once a week – I don’t think you need more – maybe twice a week, Anything else is too much. And if you want to know more about introducing retinoids into your routine, I have a whole video on that topic that I’m going to link up in the cards. The next ingredient that I got quite a few questions on was vitamin C, and I’m going to do a whole video on vitamin C and what to look for when pairing it, but while in theory It’s safe to pair vitamin C with retinoids I would not use them at the same time in my routine, because vitamin C has a low pH, retinoids have a more neutral pH. I don’t think that this matters too much, but the vitamin C can be irritating and the retinoids can be Irritating. Mixing two irritating ingredients increases the risk for more irritation on your skin, So I advise you to use your vitamin C in the mornings, your retinoids at night And you should be good to go. Next thing is benzoyl peroxide. You can mix Over-the-counter retinoids with benzoyl peroxide, but benzoyl peroxide is really really irritating, it’s really drying on the skin, So I would suggest using that only as advised by your doctor, because it can Maximize the irritation that you get. It is however safe to use with over-the-counter retinoids and with Adapalene. Niacinamide is an ingredient that actually helps because it has shown to improve the skins Resilience and reduce the retinoid irritation that many people experience, So niacinamide is a do. Use niacinamide in the same routine, in the same products as you use your retinoids, that will actually grant you more benefits. And as far as peptides and Ceramides go: you can use ceramides after or in conjunction with your retinoid, You can use your peptides as well, Because they don’t really interfere with each other. If you want to be on the safe side you use your peptides as part of your humectant serum in the mornings and use your Retinoid at night. As far as hydroquinone goes: I would never mix hydroquinone with any retinoid. In Germany and the European Union Hydroquinone is prescription only. I know that it’s available over-the-counter in other countries, But I think hydroquinone is a very difficult ingredient to mix, It’s a difficult ingredient to use, and I would only ever do so under supervision of a professional. I hope that answered some of your questions. If there are any more, please leave them in the comments below. I’m going to link to the other videos with my Ask Doctor Anne series on the screen now And I’m going to see you all very soon with another one. Bye!