Mix And Match: 8 Skincare Products That Work Well Together

8 Skincare Products That Work Well Together

What if you can supercharge your beauty routine?

Each skincare product targets a specific skin issue. But, with cocktailing, you can address multiple issues in less time.

How to do it?

Cocktailing is done by layering two (or three) products to target different skin concerns in one go.

Some even “support” each other by boosting the other’s effectiveness.

Just remember that while some active ingredients complement each other, some don’t. And this is where this list of skincare products that work well together comes in handy.

So, shall we start?

Mix And Match: 8 Skincare Products That Work Well Together

1. SPF + Retinols/Retinoids

skincare products that work well together

Retinoids or retinol creams work by increasing cell turnover. They also inhibit collagen break down and thicken the skin’s deeper layer where wrinkles most likely form.

They work great on acne-prone skin, too. They unclog pores so other acne medications can work better, making them a great option for treating and preventing future breakouts.

Unfortunately, they can also increase your sensitivity to the sun. And we know that the sun’s rays are our skin’s number 1 enemy.

This is where sunscreens fit in.

Sunscreen protects the skin from the sun’s rays. Wearing it over retinoids allows them to do their job without worrying about sun damage.

Just remember that the effect of retinoids lasts for days. So, wear sunscreen every day and not only on the day you’ve applied a retinoid.

Also, avoid applying retinoids during daytime. They should be used only at night and sunscreen the morning after.

2. Retinol + Ferulic Acid

skincare products that work well together

Ferulic acid, in case you’re wondering, is an antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals. It is plant-based and is usually found in the cell walls of fruits and vegetables.

It can even provide sun protection.

Meanwhile, retinols help boost collagen production and soften wrinkles and fine lines. They’re more ideal for sensitive skin as there is a lower risk of skin irritation compared to tretinoin.

But, as mentioned earlier, they can increase your sensitivity to the sun.

So, together, retinol and ferulic acid make a powerful anti-aging duo. Ferulic acid also lets retinols do their job as it gives your skin 4-fold protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

3. SPF + Antioxidant Serums

skincare products that work well together

Sunscreens protect the skin from sun damage but they just aren’t enough. This report shows that an ample amount can only block 55% of the sun’s rays.

And this is where antioxidants come in.

Antioxidants can maintain the skin’s radiance by protecting it from free radicals and oxidative stress. They also offer sun protection.

I think you now know where I’m going.

Antioxidant serums increase the ability of sunscreens to protect the skin from the sun.

All you need to do is apply a few drops of the serum to your skin before wearing your moisturizer and sunscreen and you’re good to go. Just remember to never use these serums on their own.

4. Vitamin A + Vitamin C + Vitamin E

Although there isn’t a “best” antioxidant, these three come close.

Vitamin A penetrates deep down to boost collagen production and keep skin firm and healthy. Meanwhile, the oil-soluble Vitamin E repairs damaged cells and protects the skin from free radicals.

Don’t forget Vitamin C.

It works by evening the skin tone, correcting dark spots, and reducing the appearance of scars. It is also water-soluble, allowing it and Vitamin E to penetrate more layers of the skin.

5. Vitamin A + Antioxidants

Want to age more gracefully? Consider adding Vitamin A products to your routine.

Vitamin A works by increasing skin cell turnover. It assists in the production of collagen which means it helps firm and tone sagging skin.

Antioxidants, as mentioned earlier, protect the skin from free radical damage. The more protected the skin is from pollutants, the more revitalized and younger it looks.

Since Vitamin A encourages cell and tissue growth, products with antioxidants are beneficial as they protect the cells while encouraging cell growth.

Just think of them as a never-ending cycle to maintain your skin’s overall health.

6. Vitamin C + Vitamin E

skincare products that work well together

These vitamins work as antioxidants to limit free radical damage. Free radical damage prevents healthy cell function and, in the long run, can lead to the death of cells.

What makes Vitamins C and E a great pair is how they “support” each other.

You see, though a great antioxidant, Vitamin E “dies” once it’s done “fixing” free radical damage. Vitamin C has the ability to restore the antioxidant function of Vitamin E so it could continue to fight tissue damage.

Together, they also have the power to inhibit UV rays. So, with the right formula, your chances of getting sunburned or skin cancer are also lessened.

Speaking of Vitamin C, check out my review of the best Vitamin C serums.

I just want to mention that our serum contains both these antioxidants. So, if you are in a rush and just want one that really works, you can do so by clicking here.

7. AHAs + BHAs

These two basically work as gentle exfoliants.

Alpha-hydroxy acids, like glycolic and lactic acid, slough off dead skin cells and hydrate the skin. Though they don’t directly control your skin’s oil production, they peel off and regenerate the skin’s top layer.

When the old layer of skin is removed, clear skin begins.

Beta-hydroxy acid (or salicylic acid,) on the other hand, also removes dead skin cells. But unlike AHAs, it works inside the pores to reduce blemishes and unclog pores.

Clean pores = smaller pores = lesser chances of breakouts.

Using them at the same time won’t necessarily provide better results. But, it’s a totally different story if you’re suffering from severe acne or stubborn clogged pores.

Just remember that you’ll experience a “purging” period when using these products. This means that breakouts will worsen in the first few weeks before you actually start seeing results.

Also, always wear sunscreen after using AHA and BHA products. Since they work by removing the skin’s top layer, sensitivity to the sun will likely happen.

8. Hyaluronic Acid + Retinol

skincare products that work well together

Retinol creams prompt skin cell turnover and stimulate collagen production. This leads to softer and more supple skin.

They also help unclog pores to increase the effectiveness of acne medications. They are, however, very drying to the skin.

This is where hyaluronic acid enters. It combats the dryness caused by retinols by providing the skin with enough hydration.


Anything goes in skincare products, right?


Skincare products exist to help improve the skin’s condition. However, you must still remember that they have ingredients that may not work well with other active ingredients.

This list aims to show you the skincare products that work well together.

Some work by boosting the effectiveness of the other. Meanwhile, some work by minimizing any side effects caused by the other product.

Either way, both situations benefit the skin. Just remember to allow the first product to be fully absorbed by the skin before applying the next one.

Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

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