If your anti-aging skin care routine isn’t quite working the way you want it to, it might have something to do with the products you’re using. In an attempt to stay on top of all the latest anti-aging skin care advice, many people end up using a heap of different products and treatments at the same time. While layering products can be useful to address multiple skin concerns, too much overlap can sometimes do more harm than good. What a lot of anti-aging skin care advice doesn’t mention is that certain ingredients can actually clash with and counteract each other.
Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, so when it comes to picking the right products and treatments for you, your own doctor or dermatologist will really be able to give you the best anti-aging skin care advice. Still, it’s important to be aware of the ingredients you’re using and how they work with each other. Here is some ingredient-related anti-aging skin care advice to help point you in the right direction.
Vitamin C + Alpha Hydroxy Acids
A lot of anti-aging skin care advice these days will include vitamin C, and for good reason. Its antioxidant properties make it an effective wrinkle treatment, thanks to the role it plays in stimulating collagen production. It also makes for good anti-aging skin care advice because, in addition to reducing the appearance of fine wrinkles, vitamin C can enhance skin tone,improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin, prevent and reduce acne marks, and minimize the appearance of age spots, as various studies have shown. Furthermore, vitamin C has been shown to be effective for anti-aging skin care because of its ability to neutralize free radicals that would otherwise deteriorate skin health.
When seeking out anti-aging skin care advice, you may also have heard a lot about alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), like glycolic acid, citric acid, or lactic acid. These are often used as a wrinkle treatment by way of exfoliating the skin. The problem is that AHAs and vitamin C are both acid-based, and using both can irritate sensitive skin. The other problem is that because vitamin C is so pH-sensitive, the AHAs can actually alter its pH level and diminish its antioxidant power, which means that it won’t be as effective anymore.
Retinol + Benzoyl Peroxide
Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is another popular recommendation in anti-aging skin care advice. It was originally marketed to treat acne, but is now being used to treat a wide range of skin concerns. Retinols work by boosting the skin renewal process to minimize the look of wrinkles and discoloration. Experts refer to retinol as a “cell-communicating” ingredient, because it latches to skin cells and encourages them to function like healthier cells. Although they do work for anti-aging skin care purposes, retinols, specifically a prescription-strength retinoid, can cause some redness, peeling, and dry skin, but this is normal because it’s how the retinol promotes cell turnover.
Many adults who suffer from acne use benzoyl peroxide, which works by causing skin to peel in order to clear pores and reduce the bacteria that cause the breakouts. However, when benzoyl peroxide is used simultaneously with retinol, they can counteract each other. Both of these powerful anti-aging skin care ingredients are useful on their own, but both cause drying, peeling, and slight redness. So, when you combine the two, it can lead to excessive peeling, prolonged irritation, lasting redness, and even scarring or blistering. If you want to use both, the best anti-aging skin care advice would be to alternate between the two so that your skin isn’t too overloaded.
Glycolic Acid + Exfoliator
Glycolic acid is one type of milder AHA. This particular anti-aging skin care ingredient is usually found in the form of a chemical peel, although smaller concentrations may be added to creams and serums. Glycolic acid works as an exfoliator for the top layer of your skin by helping to wear down the lipids that keep dead skin cells together. Removing these dead skin cells will make way for healthy new ones—the result is smoother, brighter-looking skin.
Because using an exfoliant like glycolic acid can sometimes have a drying effect on skin, you might be tempted to scrub it away with your traditional exfoliator or scrub. Avoid the temptation, because this would just exacerbate dry skin. Exfoliating is certainly good anti-aging skin care advice, but over-exfoliation can have the opposite effect. You’ll just end up stripping away your skin’s natural oils. If you start to notice that your skin is constantly red, irritated, and/or flaky, you may be over-exfoliating.