What are the most Powerful Active Ingredient Combos for your Skin?



The super-powered ingredients that make a skincare product effective are known as Actives in skincare. They specifically address the skin concern the product is meant to target. These active ingredients are usually ingredients that have a scientific basis for their activity that has been sunstantiated and proven by usage. Some of these active ingredients are also regulated by the FDA For example, on sunscreens, you can find a “Drug Facts” label stating the active ingredients, directions and safety information.


  • • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
  • • Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)
  • • Ceramides
  • • Hyaluronic acid
  • • Niacinamide
  • • Retinoidss
  • • Antioxidants
  • • SPF

THE MOST POWERFUL ACTIVE INGREDIENT COMBOS FOR YOUR SKIN Get the most out of your targeted treatments, boosters and serums with the most powerful active ingredient combinations below: VITAMIN C + FERULIC ACID Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the growth, development, and repair of body tissues. It is also one of the most powerful antioxidants. It protects the skin from things like UV rays, dirt and pollution, and free radicals. It helps to boost collagen production and reduce visible signs of ageing, brighten and even out skin tone. But the most potent forms of vitamin C are often the most unstable. That makes them vulnerable to light, heat, and air. Ferulic acid is a phenolic compound found in plants such as rice, wheat and oat. It is also a potent antioxidant. When combined with vitamin C, it is known to enhance stability and effectiveness of vitamin C, allowing it to penetrate the skin more effectively and provide greater antioxidant protection. It also increases its photo-protection too, so that it doesn’t vanish into the air. Ferulic acid also helps to fights free radicals to prevent and correct skin damage, and extends the life and effectiveness of vitamin C. VITAMIN C + VITAMIN E Vitamin C and vitamin E both work by negating free radical damage, but each combats different types of UV damage. When paired together, they work synergistically to enhance their antioxidant properties. Vitamin C helps regenerate Vitamin E when it becomes oxidized, and Vitamin E protects Vitamin C from oxidation, allowing it to remain active for longer periods of time. This means that these antioxidants are more effective in preventing photo damage than either alone. This powerful combo gives your skin the ammunition to fight double the damage from free radicals and sun damage. VITAMIN C + VITAMIN E + FERULIC ACID Vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid are the best of all worlds, offering triple the protection power. You are already aware as mentioned above that vitamin C and E work in tandem to undo damage from the sun. Ferulic acid is a plant derived anti-oxidant that has been proven to enhance stability and effectiveness of both Vitamin C and Vitamin E when used together. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and also helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and sun damage. And when used in combination with Vitamin C and Vitamin E, Ferulic acid is the ultimate active ingredient combo for fighting UV damage. More often Vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid are combined in skin care products due to their complementary benefits for the skin. Together they not only provide powerful anti-oxidant protection for the skin, but also help to improve its overall appearance and texture. HYALURONIC ACID + VITAMIN C Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are two popular ingredients in the skincare industry. They offer unique benefits that keep your skin healthy and youthful. Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that naturally occurs in our body and is known for its ability to retain moisture. It can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, making it an excellent skin hydrating ingredient. With age our body’s natural production of hyaluronic acid reduces that leads to appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Using vitamin C and hyaluronic acid together in your skincare routine is the quickest way to get bright, balanced skin. These actives work together to hydrate, brighten and protect your skin leading to a more youthful and radiant complexion. It smoothens your skin texture, and visibly reduce fine lines. If you’re using them in the form of two different products, apply your vitamin C serum before your hyaluronic acid serum. RETINOIDS + PEPTIDES Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A and are renowned for their capability to increase cell turn over, promote collagen production, and improve skin texture as well as tone. They are effective in reducing appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. They can also unclog pores and prevent acne breakouts. Peptides on the other hand are short chains of amino acids that stimulates collagen production and help to firm and tighten skin. They also improve skin hydration and help reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Some peptides like copper peptides are also known to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protects skin from damage caused by free radicals. Using retinoids and peptides together is another powerhouse skincare combo. You get the collagen building effects of the retinoid, while it works to improve the penetration of the peptide cream. This helps improve skin’s firmness. Plus, many peptide creams contain emollients, or hydrating ingredients, to counteract the irritating side effects from the retinoid. Use the retinol serum first, then top it with the peptide cream. Moreover it is also important to wear sunscreen during the day, as retinoids can increase your skins sensitivity to sun. ANTIOXIDANTS AND SPF Anti-oxidant and SPF are both important components for your skincare, as they provide protection to your skin from different types of damages. Antioxidants are substances that protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals, which are molecules that can cause oxidative stress and lead to premature aging of your skin. Some common anti-oxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea extracts, and niacinamide are used in skin care. These anti-oxidants help to neutralize the free radicals preventing them from causing skin damage. SPF or sun protection factor, is a measure of how well a product protects your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays. These UV radiation can cause damage to the skin, including sunburn, premature aging and increased risk of skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen 365 days per year, rain or shine, is arguably the most important thing you can do for your skin health. And while antioxidants can’t take the place of a preventive SPF, they can make it work harder. Research shows that the combination of vitamins E, C, and sunscreen increases the effectiveness of your sun protection. Antioxidants work to scavenge damaging free radicals, acting as a second line of defense and extra layer of protection. This is a powerful active ingredient combo in the fight against both the visible signs of aging and skin cancer. RETINOIDS + HYALURONIC ACID Retinoids help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging. They work by promoting cell turnover and increasing collagen production which helps improve texture and tone of the skin. Hyaluronic acid on the other hand is a naturally occurring substance of our body that helps our skin hydrated and plump. It offers great moisturizing and anti-aging benefits. It was previously presumed that applying a moisturizer before a retinoid would render the latter inactive. But we now know this isn’t the case. Retinoids are infamous for being harsh on the skin. They can cause discomfort, irritation, redness, flaking, and extreme dryness. This is where the hydrating attributes of hyaluronic acid help greatly. Pairing a retinoid with a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum is actually a great combination. Apply a light layer of the hyaluronic acid cream or serum first, followed by a pea-sized amount of the retinoid. NIACINAMIDE + VITAMIN C Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 is a water soluble vitamin that has proven to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone. It also helps strengthen the skins barrier function, which leads to better hydration and less sensitivity. On the other hand Vitamin C protects the skin from free radical damage caused by environmental factors like pollution and UV radiation. It also helps reduce appearance of dark spots as well as brighten and improve the overall skin tone. There was once a misconception that niacinamide couldn’t be mixed with vitamin C. However, they don’t render each other less effective — they actually form a powerhouse duo. Using niacinamide in conjunction with a vitamin C serum will leave skin looking more radiant and noticeably younger-looking. Additionally, niacinamide also helps reduce any potential irritation or sensitivity caused by using vitamin C. Niacinamide can be applied both in the morning and at night, whereas vitamin C is most effective when applied in the morning. ACTIVE INGREDIENT COMBINATIONS TO BE CAUTIOUS OF The following active ingredient combinations that require caution and monitoring. RETINOIDS + SKIN ACIDS When used together retinoids and skin acids increase skin sensitivity and potentally cause irritation, dryness, redness and even peeling. If you do want to use both active ingredients, use the acids in the morning and save the retinoid for evening. Or, use them on different days. If you want to use them together then it is prudent to introduce them gradually in to your skin care routine, starting with low concentration, and using them on alternate days to let your skin get used to them. RETINOIDS + VITAMIN C Both retinoids and vitamin C are beneficial for certain skin types and concerns like reducing fine lines and wrinkles as well as improving overall skin tone and texture. But using retinoids in combination with vitamin C can cause over exfoliation. This can result in increased skin and sun sensitivity. Separate these two active ingredients in your skincare routine. Use one in the daytime and one in the nighttime or use them on alternate days to allow your skin to adjust to each product. BENZOYL PEROXIDE + VITAMIN C This active ingredient combination nullifies the effectiveness of both the ingredients and makes them useless. The benzoyl peroxide will oxidize the vitamin C. Its best to use these two ingredients separately and that too on alternative days. BENZOYL PEROXIDE + RETINOL Just like with vitamin C, mixing benzoyl peroxide with retinol does not work. These two ingredients deactivate each other. If you are using both it is advisable to use them on alternate days for best results. BETA HYDROXY ACID + ALPHA HYDROXY ACID It’s best not to use products with beta hydroxyl acid and alpha hydroxyl acid together. Salicylic acid is the most common BHA; glycolic and lactic acid are popular AHAs. BHAs and AHAs aren’t meant for layering. But they can work together only if they’re formulated and blended correctly. Look for a product that contains both, rather than layering them as separate products. The specially formulated products are aimed at minimizing irritation. WHEN TO APPLY YOUR ACTIVE INGREDIENTS ACTIVES TO USE IN YOUR MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE How you cleanse in the morning is your personal choice. Atoner and any of your favorite hydrating products like hyaluronic acid can be applied at any time of day. But there are a couple active ingredients that are best used in the morning. These include: Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and other SPF ingredients. Whatever your preferred sunscreen, it’s best that you apply it in the morning. Your SPF should be applied as the final step before your makeup. Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. You can technically apply vitamin C at any time of the day, but you’ll make the most of its benefits if you use it in the morning. Because vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, it shields your skin from free radicals and sun damage. ACTIVES TO USE IN YOUR NIGHTTIME ROUTINE A double cleanse is recommend in your nighttime routine, especially if you are a regular makeup wearer. Start with a micellar water to wipe off the makeup and oil build-up. After this first cleanse is done to remove all impurities, use a face wash. Always wash upwards and outwards in order to get a deeper cleanse. Next, you can apply a serum, treatment or cream with an active ingredient that works best overnight. Retinoids: are generally best applied at night since the sun can break down the ingredient rendering it less potent. Vitamin C and retinol also shouldn’t be mixed, so it’s best to use one in the morning and one in the evening. Finally, using retinol at night allows you to combine it with a heavier cream to reduce irritation. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), like glycolic and lactic acid are also best effective when used at night. This is because they can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. It’s ideal to use an AHA only two to four times per week, and that too depending upon their potency. Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide should be reserved for nighttime use. Similar to other acids, BHAs can cause sensitivity with over use or when combined with other exfoliating ingredients. Conclusion: Make your skincare routine as effective as possible and your products work even harder for you. Step up your knowledge of active ingredients, by knowing and following the do’s and don’ts. Knowing active ingredients that work well together and those that don’t! you’ll see your best skin results yet!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *