Impossible Combinations of Actives in Cosmetics

Oranges with oranges and apples with apples... because some things just shouldn't be mixed - if you don't know what we're talking about, you're as lost as a needle in a haystack.

Well, you see the same crushing logic 😅 in any cosmetic blog today: don't mix vitamin C with retinoids, don't even think about mixing exfoliants with retinol... as if it were mixing drinks at your cousin Karen’s  wedding. That's why today we're here to debunk the myths that have formed around combining actives in cosmetics. 

🚨Spoiler alert🚨
You can mix whatever you want; your heart and baby face will thank you. 😏

  • Retinol and Vitamin C

What you'll read: Vitamin C (that ingredient that makes your skin look fresh and radiant) and retinol (the anti-wrinkle champion) don't get along because they work at different pH levels and combined, they irritate.

What we know today: Science evolves, and now it's possible to formulate different pH levels in the same formula (e.g., microencapsulating ingredients), and there are studies that suggest they actually enhance each other's effects.

Our recommendation: You can use both our Tan-Tan-Go antioxidant and self-tanning serum with Vitamin C and our Wowyoung retinol serum simultaneously to see the combined effects on your skin.

  • Exfoliating Acids (BHA and AHA) and Retinol

What you'll read: Retinol makes your epidermis thin, and exfoliants smooth it down, leading to irritation if combined. It's better to do skin cycling and alternate them on different days...

What we know today: Their mechanisms of action are completely different and work on completely different cells and receptors. After the initial period of getting used to retinol (which can last about a month), there’s no issue with adding exfoliation on top. No need to alternate days... use them TOGETHER.

Our recommendation: If you're using our Wowyoung night serum with retinol... try incorporating Coffee Crush, our physical + chemical exfoliant. It feels amazing, and baby-smooth skin.

  • Retinol vs Bakuchiol

What you'll read: The natural purists swear by bakuchiol and clash with the 'scientists' who support the solid evidence of retinol.

What we know: They work radically differently on the skin. We shouldn't pit them against each other but rather put them in the same bottle. They aren't comparable. They are compatible.

  • Niacinamide and... anything you fancy

What you'll read: You shouldn't mix niacinamide with... STOP

What we know today: Niacinamide or vitamin B3 is that great (versatile) reliable cosmetic ingredient. No matter what combo you use, it's always perfect for your skin and causes very few reaction issues (though they do exist). With retinol, it helps smooth your skin; with Vitamin C, it helps reduce spots; with exfoliating acids, it's great for acne and oil control... an all-rounder.

Our recommendation: Our Handsomefyers contain 5% Niacinamide and can be used at the end of any treatment you choose because they won't interfere; they'll support.

✨The fun is in the mix

The truth is, impossible combinations make for great Instagram posts... but those of us in the know ignore them ALL mix everything: because it feels great and because today's science supports it.

Like with sex, like with drinks, like with cosmetic actives or real life... mix it however you want and enjoy.


PS: This week's blog is sponsored by the multi-fruit cocktail included in the Tan-Tan-Go day serum: Vitamin C, Chebula, Goji Berry, and a load more antioxidants having a party in the bottle. It gives you a tan and protects you from oxidative stress.