Layering skincare products isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and once you get the hang of it, you'll be reaping the rewards of an effective routine containing an array of beneficial actives. Understandably, when it comes to BHAs you must proceed with caution as they are known for their potency and ability to penetrate the furthest into the lower layers of the skin.
Salicylic acid is the most used and well-known of this exfoliant family and provides impressive results on the skin, particularly for those who are prone to oiliness and frequent blemishes and breakouts. As effective as it is at combating these concerns, it is also known for causing some dryness and discomfort, depending on your skin type this dryness can become quite severe. To avoid any unwanted irritation, consult with your doctor or dermatologist to get a better understanding of whether your skin will benefit from a new addition to your routine.
If you are wanting to know more about how to layer salicylic acid with hyaluronic acid, there is a dedicated blog post, so do check it out!
What can you not mix with hyaluronic acid?
Despite the fact it contains the word “acid” in its name, hyaluronic acid works very differently on the skin delivering its own unique, hydrating benefits with little to no side effects. HA is known for working well when teamed with other skincare ingredients, even the most potent ones, such as retinol, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and other BHAs.
Many experts suggest you apply hyaluronic acid after using these potent powerhouse ingredients to help counteract their drying effects and reduce any chances of irritation on the skin. For complete peace of mind, you can perform a patch test on the skin for 24 hours before applying any new ingredients or formulas on the skin.
Can I use hyaluronic acid with BHA and niacinamide?
Absolutely! Hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are both effective hydrating ingredients that both provide humectant properties. This means that they are both able to draw moisture from the atmosphere surrounding the face or skincare products that are applied on the skin and lock it into place. By doing this, you’ll find the protective skin barrier has a constant supply of water strengthening it to ensure it is able to protect itself from any exposure to free radicals, such as pollution, UV rays, harsh climates, and other environmental aggressors.
Niacinamide differs slightly to hyaluronic acid because it can regulate the sebum (the natural oil found in the skin surface) production of the skin making it a desirable ingredient for those with an oily and blemish-prone skin type.
When layering the two humectants it is thought that starting with hyaluronic acid will help rebalance the skin barrier, then following that with niacinamide will help with absorption and provide regulation of any oil found on the skin surface. Applying both powerhouse ingredients after using a BHA will prevent the skin surface from becoming too dry. You can find out more about how to layer these ingredients together with our blog post over on The Beauty Insiders.
How do I apply hyaluronic acid after BHA?
You’ll often find that hyaluronic acid is formulated into skincare products with a thicker consistency, such as serums and moisturisers, that require you to apply it in the later stages of your daily routine. You can also find BHAs in similar products, however many find that using an exfoliating toner are a better fit in their daily routine. Following a BHA enriched toner with a hyaluronic acid will keep the skin hydrated and reverse any signs of irritation, redness, and dryness.
Can you combine hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid?
Yes, absolutely, you’ll find that hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid are a highly effective duo that can work together at restoring complexion clarity whilst keeping the skin barrier at its strongest, healthiest state.
With the salicylic acids small molecular size, it can reach further down the skin pass the epidermis and into the pores helping to unclog them of any build-up of bacteria, excess sebum, dirt, debris, and other impurities. Whilst salicylic acid is busy working in the lower layers and sloughing away the build-up of dead skin cells applying hyaluronic acid will lock moisture into the skin enabling it to absorb other ingredients effectively and remain plumped, hydrated with a dewy complexion.
Can hyaluronic acid cause acne?
Not really, much like all skincare ingredients, even ones as versatile as hyaluronic acid, it can have a negative impact on some people’s skin. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a doctor or dermatologist before trying any new ingredients, especially if you are wanting to target any acne concerns you have.
What you will find is that products that are formulated for combating acne can often lead to the skin becoming dry, irritated, and flaky, as you know, hyaluronic acid can counteract this easily. It is also a beneficial addition to your routine if you have overcome problematic acne-prone skin and help reduce the appearance of scarring that is a common side effect for those who have suffered from frequent breakouts.
Are hyaluronic acid and alpha hydroxy acid the same?
No, they are very different, just happen to both be called acids. Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, is the name given to a collection of chemical exfoliants, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, and many more. All acids perform slightly differently on the skin, but generally speaking, they work on the outer surface of the skin combating signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles, reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and give the complexion an all-over healthy glow.
As you can see, alpha hydroxy acids provide different results to the skin compared to hyaluronic acid and its hydrating traits. Unlike AHAs, hyaluronic acid doesn’t provide any exfoliating properties which basically means you are able to use hyaluronic acid with any type of AHA without causing any skin discomfort!
So, I hope that this answers some of your questions about mixing BHA with hyaluronic acid, don’t forget you can always ask us more over on the Procoal Instagram.