Can you Use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol Together?

Can you Use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol Together?

Hyaluronic acid and retinol have gained so much popularity in recent years I wouldn’t be surprised to find at least one product in your routine that contain one of these powerhouses. These holy grail ingredients deliver impressive and effective results for the skin and when teaming them both together will leave you with the best skin, but don’t just take my word for it. Allow me to go into a little more detail about both ingredients and how you use hyaluronic acid and retinol together.

Can you use hyaluronic acid and retinol together?

Absolutely, it’s perfectly fine to use hyaluronic acid and retinol together, in fact using them both together forms a powerful skin benefitting duo. This is because the hydrating benefits of hyaluronic acid can combat any signs of dryness and irritation that can often occur when using retinol.

One of the common side effects of retinol and other retinoids is the skin flaking, dry patches, and itchiness. This is something that will happen to everyone who first introduces retinol into their routine, luckily it is not a long-term side effect and will subside after the skin has built its tolerance. The fact that retinol is so potent, using it with hyaluronic acid will result in the skin remaining hydrated as well as helping the retinol deliver its results on the skin more rapidly.

When do you use retinol and hyaluronic acid?

When it comes to using retinol and hyaluronic acid there is only one part of the day that would result in each ingredient being able to deliver to the best of its abilities, and that is during your evening routine. This is because exposure to UV rays effects the potency of retinol rendering it completely useless when applied to the skin during your morning routine.

You can use hyaluronic acid twice a day, this will keep your skin and its protective barrier functioning correctly. With HA drawing moisture into the outer layers of the skin and locking it into place will make sure any active ingredients applied afterwards will absorb quickly and effectively into the lower layers of the skin.

When you are first introducing retinol into your routine it is best to start with a low percentage inside the formula. Over the counter products contain the smallest amounts of retinol in the formulations. If you are wanting a product that packs more of a punch, the best products to try are ones that are prescription or medical grade formulations that can only be brought after a skin consultation with a trained professional.

These formulations usually start at a 0.5% and can go as high as 2% retinol meaning they need to be introduced into your routine correctly. By doing this you need to first apply your retinol product once a week for the first week, then increase this to twice a week and continue to do this until you have reached three times a week. Avoid using too much retinol too quickly as this will lead to the skin becoming irritated, blistered, flaking and very uncomfortable. If you are wanting to know more about retinol and its plethora of skin benefits check out our dedicated blog post about what retinol is and what are its skincare benefits.

What can you not mix with retinol?

As I have already mentioned, retinol is a highly potent skincare ingredient, this of course means it delivers impressive results but can be temperamental when used with other ingredients. Here are some that should be avoided when applying retinol.

Don’t Mix with Retinol: Vitamin C, Benzoyl Peroxide and AHA/BHA Acids. 

Vitamin C is packed with antioxidant and other skin properties making it able to form a protective coat over the skin. This ensures that any exposure to free radical damage from pollution and other environmental aggressors will affect or damage the skin. This makes vitamin C the perfect partner for retinol if you alternate when you apply each ingredient.

Benzoyl peroxide and retinol are both highly effective and potent skin ingredients at targeting blemishes and acne. But this also means that using them both together will be completely pointless as they literally cancel each other out. Stick to alternate evenings of using these ingredients during your skincare routine.

AHA/BHA acids provide chemical exfoliation for the skin and when used with retinol can result in the skin becoming drier with flare-ups of irritation causing some increased discomfort.

Is retinol or hyaluronic acid better?

Retinol and hyaluronic acid are both powerhouse ingredients. Trying to determine which is better is quite impossible as the benefits you receive from applying them are that impressive. The beauty of retinol and hyaluronic acid is the fact you can use them both in your routine. While retinol increases the speed of the natural skin cycle, revealing fresh layer of skin underneath, hyaluronic acid is preventing the skin from becoming irritated and excessively dry. To really reap the rewards, you should use both in your daily routine, for hyaluronic acid you can apply it to the skin twice a day.

What should be applied first retinol or hyaluronic acid?

During your skincare routine there is a known method you should follow when applying your products, and that is the thinnest to thickest consistency. This then results in which order you apply hyaluronic acid and retinol, however, generally speaking HA is usually found in formulas that are more gel-like in consistency which tend to be thicker than retinol formulas. Apart from the thickness of the product it is also considered that applying hyaluronic acid before retinol will make the skin act like a wet sponge. This will result in the retinol absorbing into the lower layers quickly with minimal amount of irritation.

I hope that these have answered some of your questions about hyaluronic acid and retinol and how you use them together if you are wanting to know more about how to layer them together check out our blog post. If skincare is something you are particularly keen on come and follow us on Instagram.

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