Retinol and glycolic acid don't mix, what about retinyl palmitate and vitamin C?



So I've read before that retinol and glycolic acid don't mix because retinol is not stable and they kind of cancels each other out. Does that mean I shouldn't use retinyl palmitate with glycolic acid? Glycolic is a fruit acid, so does that mean I shouldn't use retinol with fruit acid? And if you go far back enough isn't it just vitamin C? and isn't retinol a form of Vitamin A? does that mean I shouldn't use Vitamin C and A together? or just those forms?


Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

Re: Retinol and glycolic acid don't mix, what about retinyl palmitate and vitamin C?

I know when retinol in it's form of vitamin A is fine with vitamin C as A, C, and E are common antioxidant chains tied together in plenty of skin care products and cosmetics.


I think as long as the properties are balanced and not in high dosages to combat one another you should be fine. Especially if a product is made to be balanced with the two ingredients, regardless of what form it's in. In other words it's more than likely okay to use vitamin A and C together when it's already combined for you in a wash, serum, or cream, but if it's some high dosage retinol cream and then a vitamin C powder, you might consider holding off or using the products every other day in conjunction with one another.


The face was I use (Anthony Logistics) is glycolic based, has ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and retinyl acetate (vitamin A). Though it's not a heavy dose of vitamin A/retinol, it's a good stable balance.


I think all in all that rule of not combining applies to heavy/intensive treatments like peels, masks, and resurfacing products.


I know vitamin C is an ingredient that can be hard to stabilize, perhaps making it more likely to be agitated by other active ingredients. I know when it's in ascorbic acid form it's stable, and I believe Murad's C line states they use stabilized vitamin C.

Re: Retinol and glycolic acid don't mix, what about retinyl palmitate and vitamin C?

[ Edited ]

I think retinyl palmitate is different than retinol itself -- and if it's far down on the ingredients list (of whatever you're thinking of using), I doubt it would make much difference at all.


I know in terms of harsh treatments -- i.e. either ingredient in a high concentration -- it's not good to mix the two. I use Retin-A (I have for about 7 or 8 years) and a glycolic acid cleanser, and this is not too harsh on my sensitive(ish) skin -- glycolic acid can be gentle. Tretinoin (rx strength) is the acid form of vitamin A; however, retinol is sometimes so diluted that it doesn't have nearly as harsh an effect as a prescription strength retinoid...and, in theory, you would be using the retinol / retinoid etc. at night, not during the you might be fine using the glycolic product during the day (if it's a treatment serum, for instance).


Like anything else, it might also just depend on how your skin tolerates things. I'm fine with the glycolic cleanser and strong Vitamin C / Ferulic serum during the day, and Retin-A at night, and while those are both strong concentrations, I think the time of day / space between use is key.


I realize this wasn't really an answer, but I hope some of it makes sense! Smiley Tongue

Re: Retinol and glycolic acid don't mix, what about retinyl palmitate and vitamin C?

[ Edited ]

Thanks! That makes sense, because when I saw the news, I decided to look for glycol and retinol and separate all my products, then I realized retinyl is a form of retinol so I combed through the ingredients again, but then I saw some product that have retinyl and glycol and I'm like "........o.O?"


Because there's a lot of serums with retinol, but most of my moisturizers have glycol, but I wasn't sure if it's too much if I use a retinol serum with a retinol cream and I got all confused.

Re: Retinol and glycolic acid don't mix, what about retinyl palmitate and vitamin C?

Another thing that makes this so tough is the fact that skin care/beauty products aren't required to state the percentage of the ingredients used, so it's more difficult to weigh things out by going "Hmm, product A has XYT% of retinol, I shouldn't combine it with product B that has XYT% of retinol and vitamin C because it will be too much."


If the product you buy has both, then it's more than likely balanced to be a safe combination, but again, I would just avoid doing some crazy retinol peel and then following up with a heavy duty vitamin C mask/treatment right after.

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