Shake up your beauty routine with these skincare cocktails

Words: Leila Petersen | Images: Supplied

New to skincare?

Or maybe you've decided it's time to take your routine to the next level with more than just a simple cleanser and moisturiser.

Either way, the one thing that’s really important when it comes to building the perfect routine is to know which ingredients work harmoniously together.

We’ve all heard that Vitamin C should be your go-to for glowing skin and how Retinol is the answer to your anti-ageing prayers, but not much is said about using these skincare buzzwords in conjunction with each other.

There are actually plenty of pairs that can be mixed, matched, and layered without causing negative reactions. In fact, many of them have extra benefits when combined.

Mixing skincare ingredients correctly can result in tackling multiple skin concerns effectively, help counteract the unwanted side effects of certain ingredients (such as retinol and acids) and help some ingredients work synergistically, thus enhancing their effects.

So to get the most out of your bottles and droppers, we’re sharing five powerful skin cocktails that will help you reach all your skincare goals, with you.

Bonus, it’s Beauty Week so you shake up your routine and mix the perfect ingredients for your complexion with our deals, and score up to 50% off skincare.

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Salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acids are all effective exfoliants that can improve skin texture, tone, and in some cases treat acne.

However, all three of these acids often strip the skin of moisture leaving it feeling dry and dehydrated. The bottom line: When using products with AHA or BHA acids, follow up with a soothing hydrating product.

Despite the scary-sounding name, hyaluronic acid is incredibly gentle and is one of the few ingredients that work well for any and every skin type. A potent humectant, which means it draws moisture into the skin and seals it in, hyaluronic acid is a great follow-up to exfoliating ingredients.

Highly nourishing and hydrating, it’s able to replenish the skin with all the moisture it lost, leaving it plump and radiant.

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The power couple of protection. When sunscreen and vitamin C are mixed, their benefits actually multiply.

A potent antioxidant, which means it helps to protect your skin from environmental damage, vitamin C is known for its skin brightening and dark spot-fighting potential - not to mention it supports the body’s production of wrinkle-minimising collagen and elastin.

And when paired with the protective abilities of sunscreen, it increases the skin’s defence, helps prevent pigmentation, dark spots, and boost your SPF’s efficacy.

The sunscreen, on the other hand, helps prevent vitamin C from oxidising on the skin, thereby improving its effectiveness.

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Not only do these two vitamins stabilise each other and boost each other’s efficacy, but because vitamin E is oil-soluble and vitamin C is water-soluble, they penetrate the skin in different ways, ensuring everywhere gets an antioxidant boost.

Often used by skincare experts to repair skin cells as you age, vitamin C protects and helps to stimulate collagen for a plump and youthful look while vitamin E is a powerhouse ingredient that reduces the signs of ageing by blocking free radicals from attacking and damaging the skin.

Since both of these vitamins are antioxidants, they become even more powerful at protecting your skin from environmental aggressors, such as pollution, sunlight, varying temperatures, and smoke, helping prevent the appearance of fine lines when combined.

Basically, when you use them both, along with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, you're giving your skin the most optimal shield against the sun and, inevitably, the wrinkles that come along with UV exposure.

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Ah, retinol.

A youth-boosting superstar of note, and one of the most revered skincare ingredients that dermatologists love to recommend.

Also known as vitamin A, what makes retinol so great is that it promotes skin cell turnover, which can help improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin texture, dark spots, and acne.

The only catch?

Retinol can be extremely irritating and can exacerbate skin dryness.

Because hyaluronic acid is so gentle, it can be layered with some of the most reactive ingredients, including retinol, without causing a bad reaction.

By pairing your retinol of choice with a hyaluronic acid serum, you'll be able to minimise its irritation and balance the often abrasive effects while allowing your skin to drink up both the youth and moisture-boosting benefits.

It's also important to keep in mind that retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. This means that using SPF is an absolute must every day.

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The perfect duo for those with combination or acne-prone skin, niacinamide and salicylic acid work particularly well when combined.

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid, meaning it is oil soluble and will exfoliate inside the pores where oil collects. It is also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, making it the perfect product to prevent and treat breakouts.

But just like retinol, it can be drying to the skin.

Skin becomes inflamed, red and sore when breakouts hit, so to help soothe your face, pair your retinol with niacinamide. A derivative of vitamin B3, this gentle antioxidant is effective in addressing skin irritation.

In addition to reducing the redness and inflammation associated with certain skin conditions, it also boosts your skin’s ability to retain moisture, assists in evening out skin tone, and brightens your complexion.

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