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Post in Skincare Aware

Need help with skincare routine!

I am 30 and trying to incorporate a better face regimen but the rules of what acids to mix together and what not to mix is really overwhelming. I feel like my beauty products are all over the place and I need help figuring out what I can use together, in addition to, new beauty recommendations. I currently have small bumps here and there but I am prone to cysts. Right now, I have that under control but they can come at any time. I am focusing on getting rid of all the small red / hard bumps on my cheeks. My face is kind of dry. I have Olive skin tone too and in the winter it looks very dull and dehydrated! In addition to maintaining a smooth face, I want to minimize a few cysts acne scars (some ice pick scars too).


This is what I have today:

  • First Aid Beauty Original Face Cleanser
  • Pixie Glycolic Acid Toner (just purchased; used to use Thayers Witch Hazel)
  •  Youth to the People Superfood Firm and Brighten Vitamin C Serum (been using for a year but I don't care for it very much)
  • Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop (Peptide serum)
  • Tretinoin (prescribed - use roughly 3 x week)
  • Tatcha The Water Cream

I have read online that you aren't suppose to mix Glycolic Acid with Peptides or Vitamin C. I like the benefit of all. Any suggestions on how to use these together or should I be purchasing other products? I would love to mix the Glycolic with Salicylic Acid but I've read that is a no-no too. For reference, I use the Tretinoin with no serums or toner (just cleanse, apply, then moisturize). 


Thanks for your help!

First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser 5 oz/ 150 mL

Youth To The People Superfood Firm and Brighten Vitamin C Serum

Tatcha The Water Cream 1.7 oz/ 50 mL


Re: Need help with skincare routine!

Use the glycolic acid toner at night, and use the vitamin c serum in the day. During the day I would use a toner that is more balancing. Definitely not thayers, I used to use it to, but found out that witch hazel is really over drying and can mess with your skin's optimal PH balance which can lead to over oil production or too little oil production (dryness). 


But please if you take anything out of this remember that you can ABSOLUTELY use AHA and Salicylic acid together!! Salicylic acid is a type of BHA (derived from willow bark) and together they are not irritating, they actually work double time on different things. AHA is for surface exfoliation and BHA is for deep pore exfoliation. There are MANY products that use AHA and BHA together like Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask, Dr Jart Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel, and waaaay more. And most of these products use BHA in the form of willow bark extract (Salicylic acid). So girl, yesss, mix them away! They are a superstar pair and I usually don't use one without the other. 🙂 

RE: Need help with skincare routine!

It sounds like a perfect skincare routine. You have all the components and a good idea of what they’re doing. When it comes to ingredient mixing, there’s a general list of dos and don’ts, but it also matters how your skin reacts to things. For example, I apply my vitamin c and retinoid both at night, and it has never irritated my skin. However, if I use a harsh cleanser I immediately break out. If you’re going to use all of these active ingredients, it’s important to keep the rest of your skincare gentle and supportive. For example, a lactic acid exfoliants would be more hydrating than pixi, which uses glycolic. I know it feels extra, but consider adding an essence or hydrating toner. Also, make sure you aren’t being too abrasive in your cleansing. It seems like you’re having trouble with inflammation-related problems. Niacinamide and azaleic acid are two soothing ingredients, and an essence or serum with fermented ingredients could help with barrier repair. Krave Beauty’s ‘great barrier relief’ might be helpful, or the missha essence. As for cutting out ingredients, the peptides and vitamin c might not be what your skin needs right now. You could try rotating them out and seeing how your skin reacts. This is a small thing, but maybe after you finish the tatcha, try Sunday Riley’s Tidal. Similar texture, but has exfoliating and soothing ingredients, the two things you want most. Hope this helps. Reply with any questions I’d be happy to troubleshoot.

Re: RE: Need help with skincare routine!

Thank you! You make a great point about rotating out the peptide and vitamin C with something else. Do you have a recommendation for a lactic acid exfoliant? If I get a hydrating toner, would you recommend using it at night and then a glycolic or lactic toner in the morning? Or just rotate them daily? Thank you for your help!

Re: Need help with skincare routine!

@sweetpea868 Generally it’s advised not to combine strong concentrations of active together because it can cause irritation, so you are right about that. However, there are some mixed info about whether or not different ingredients can render each other ineffective. There are a few different products  that do contain small concentrations of those ingredients, but they shouldn’t be used as the same time as products with stronger concentrations... if that makes sense. It is confusing! The easiest way to incorporate different ingredients is by staggering days or alternating day/night use. Are you using the YTTP during the day and the Kiehl’s at night? It looks like the products you’re using right now shouldn’t be too irritating unless there is one particular product you can tell your skin doesn’t like. If you don’t like the YTTP, give Herbivore Prism 12% AHA + 3% BHA Exfoliating Glow Serum a try. It’s not specifically a Vit C serum, but it does have some in it as well as other ingredients that work in a similar way. I started having some issues with my skin and this was a game changer. It may help take care of the issues you’re hoping to address too. I wouldn’t recommend changing or adding too many ingredients all at once, especially for daily use. You can add some weekly/biweekly treatments with stronger actives if you’re curious about other products. Just make sure you moisturize after! 

Re: Need help with skincare routine!

Yes, I am using YTTP during the day and Kiehl's at night. Thank you for the recommendation! I am going to look into it!

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