What Can You Mix With BHA?

What Can You Mix With BHA?

Today we will be exploring more into skincare mixing and how to make it work for you and your skin needs. Figuring out the best ingredients to layer in your daily routine will help you reap the rewards of the array of benefits they provide. BHAs, for example are some of the least known skincare ingredients, with salicylic acid being the most used in various formulas.

If you wanted to know more about BHA and salicylic acid, we have previously written about these powerhouse ingredients in other blog posts that you can take a look at to find out more about their benefits and how they work on the skin.

What is Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA)?

What is Salicylic Acid?

What can I use with BHA?

BHAs are chemical exfoliants that often have a small molecular size meaning they are able to penetrate into the lower layers of the skin, ensuring they can unclog the pores of any build-up in excess sebum, dirt, bacteria, and other impurities. They also work on the surface sloughing away the dead skin cell build-up revealing fresh, vibrant skin cells. With this exfoliation some skin types, especially those that are dry and prone to sensitivity, will begin to feel excessively dry, tight, and uncomfortable.

Because of this reason, it’s recommended by many skincare experts to team BHAs with moisturising ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. Each of these humectants make a perfect addition to your routine that already contains a beta hydroxy acid. With their ability to draw water in from the atmosphere surrounding the skin, you are able to keep the skin barrier hydrated and strong enough to combat any damage caused from free radicals. 

What can you not mix with BHA?

Due to the high potency of BHAs, there are some other ingredients that shouldn’t be mixed. Here are some examples of what should be avoided with BHAs, such as salicylic acid.

  • Retinol- When using BHA and retinol, to gain optimal results, it is best to leave around 30 minutes in between applications to allow the pH levels in the skin to rebalance. Alternatively, you can apply retinol and your BHA product at different times of the day, ideally leaving retinol for the evening due to it increasing photosensitivity to UV light.
  • Vitamin C- Applying vitamin C with BHA is a well-known recipe for skin irritation. This is because there is simply too much exfoliation and similar benefits being performed on the skin at the same time.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide- Much like retinol, benzoyl peroxide is considered too potent to apply with BHA. Avoid using these together, but if you are wanting to have both in your daily skincare routine, alternate the days you apply them.

There you have examples of some ingredients that should not be mixed with BHA. If you have any concerns with any other active ingredients, always consult with your doctor for peace of mind you are using the most effective formulas for your regime. 

Can I use BHA with niacinamide?

Yes, you can indeed use BHA and niacinamide in the same routine. Unlike many other ingredients that can be mixed, niacinamide and BHA are best applied in separate layers, rather than mixing different formulas together. This is the easiest way to gain optimal results with little impact on your skin, just be mindful on the basic skincare rule of applying the thinnest consistency to the thickest. You’ll often find BHA are formulated into products that have a thin consistency such as face cleansers and toners, this means applying the BHA product first, followed by the niacinamide which is often found in serums and moisturisers.

Can I use BHA and vitamin C together?

Not really, this is only because using vitamin C and BHA together can result in a flare-up in skin irritation, redness, flaking patches of skin, and sometimes breakouts. It’s understandable that you would want to use both powerhouse ingredients in your daily routine. This is when alternating the time of day, you apply vitamin C and BHA will ensure you reap the rewards, without any unwanted flare-ups. Due to the fact that vitamin C is packed with antioxidants makes it the perfect formula to apply in your morning routine. You will have the peace of mind your skin is protected from environmental aggressors such as UV rays, pollution, central heating, and harsh climates. 

Can I use BHA and salicylic acid together?

Salicylic acid is a type of BHA, it is one of the most used and is favoured to be blended in skincare products designed to effectively combat breakouts, spots, and acne. Because of this is, means its best to avoid using salicylic acid with other BHAs as it can become too harsh for the skin, this will weaken the protective skin barrier leaving it open to experience vast amounts of skin damage.

The other, main downside to salicylic acid is its tendency to become quite drying on the skin surface which means it requires you teaming it with hydrating and nourishing ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid or vitamin E.

Can you use niacinamide after AHA BHA?

Yes, you can but only if you apply them the correct way as I have already suggested. One option is to leave 30 minutes in between applications, this will not only allow the active to absorb into the skin but will allow the pH levels of the skin to rebalance again which helps to avoid a flare-up in skin irritation. The second option is to decide on applying each ingredient separately on alternate day, this is recommended for anyone who is new to using niacinamide or AHAs and BHAs as its introducing them slowly into your routine and helping to build skin tolerance. You can find out more about what not to mix with niacinamide over on our dedicated blog post.

Hopefully today I have answered some of the main questions you’ve had about what not to mix with BHA. Don’t forget to come and follow us on Instagram for more daily skincare tips and tricks, or to answer any questions you have.


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