Your physical requirements and personal preferences are the two main factors that determine your skin-care program. Some people adopt a minimalist strategy and keep just three or four things in their arsenal. Then there are the skin maximalists, who use every product in their cabinet twice a day to achieve the bright skin they desire. Whichever strategy you use, one thing is certain: people are more aware than ever before of the substances in skin-care products nowadays.

 You can credit social media for this change, according to Wassim Taktouk, MBBS, a board-certified dermatologist in London, who speaks to Allure. “Consumer understanding of skin-care ingredients has exploded thanks to social media. Patients now see me and are more knowledgeable about the effectiveness of ingredients, “He imparts. When I used to inform them about niacinamide and ceramides initially, they now ask me about them. Now that consumers are aware of what these substances actually accomplish, they are seeking for methods to combine them to develop the best skin-care routines, a process known as “skin-care cocktailing.”


What Is Skincare Cocktailing? 

Your skin-care cocktail’s ingredients shouldn’t be blended before use, unlike a great beverage. That might even irritate people, which would defeat the whole point of the procedure and upset the ingredients.

Instead, according to Los Angeles-based aesthetician Shani Darden, “skin-care cocktailing is the technique of layering and/or combining multiple products in your routine to target various issues.” It offers everyone the chance to personalize their routine in a way that benefits their skin.

Cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson tells Allure that “cocktailing allows the consumer to get the extra benefits of using numerous products rather than just one.” It is both unique and useful.

As a general rule, once you start layering, you should be applying each product in sequence of increasing texture. Dr. Taktouk advises beginning with toners or serums and concluding with the oiliest or most heavily-textured products on top.


How To Layer Skincare Active? 

How to layer skincare actives is something that many of us find confusing. To determine the ideal manner to layer skincare products, we spoke with our expert.

Always adhere to the general rule of applying the items in the textural order while stacking a skincare active. The sequence of the ingredients in your skincare product should be lightest at the bottom, thickest on top. Apply face serums and toners first, followed by greasy or thickly textured products.

The Best Ingredients Worth Combining

There are some components used in skin care that simply go together, like rice and beans or chocolate and peanut butter. Nina Desai, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with a practice in Manhattan Beach, California, declares, “I’m a huge advocate of layering products with active components that compliment each other. For instance, layering brightening treatments with chemicals like alpha arbutin or tranexamic acid with exfoliating products like glycolic acid works incredibly well.

Board-certified dermatologist Lindsey Zubritsk, MD, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, says adding antioxidant compounds like vitamin C with sunscreen is one of her favorite chemical combinations. This method improves defense against UV radiation and oxidative damage.

As retinol tends to dry up skin, she also suggests combining retinoids with moisturizers for added hydration. Niacinamide combined with hyaluronic acid is also suggested to moisturize and hydrate the skin. Regardless of what our specialists advise, always speak to your doctor to determine the product combinations that would be most beneficial for your skin.


Ingredients You Should Avoid Combining

Like there are elements that go well together, there are others that don’t get along as well. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are two examples of powerful active substances that should not be combined since they may irritate the skin, says Dr. Desai. I think the mixture can make the skin overly dry and irritated. Be cautious when using benzoyl peroxide with other active ingredients in your leave-on treatments, including as serums or moisturizers. According to Desai, those kinds of elements don’t frequently combine nicely.

Always combine calming components with sensitizing ones (the ones that make your face tingle) is a basic rule to keep in mind. Ziad Halub, a product formulator, adds that taking retinol in conjunction with a soothing facial oil will help to lessen some of the dryness and irritation that retinol can bring on.

Additionally, he advises against using two distinct products that share the same active ingredients because doing so could compromise the skin’s barrier and result in sensitization. If you’re using resurfacing actives like retinol, cosmetic expert Ginger King suggests using a moisturizer or serum with a lot of hyaluronic acid or some sort of relaxing component, like licorice extract. You can prevent any dryness or irritation in this way.



Skincare Cocktails For Targeting Various Skin Concerns 


1. Skincare Cocktail For Oily And Acne-Prone Skin: Salicylic Acid And Niacinamide 

Try this skincare concoction of salicylic acid and niacinamide if your skin is greasy and prone to acne.

Salicylic acid is essential for skin that is prone to acne because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. Deeply penetrating the skin, this BHA dissolves oil and other impurities to clear clogged pores. It gently exfoliates the skin’s surface by eliminating dead skin cells. Salicylic acid is a great skin care product for skin that is prone to acne because of these advantageous traits.

Niacinamide, often known as vitamin B3, is crucial for replenishing the skin’s moisture content. Niacinamide is useful in treating papules and pustules that resemble acne as well as repairing damaged skin cells and enhancing skin texture.

Applying a salicylic acid toner before using a hydration serum with niacinamide ought to be the ideal combination for irritated, acne-prone skin.


2. Skincare Cocktail For Hydration And Anti-Ageing Benefits: Hyaluronic Acid + Retinol 

One of hyaluronic acid’s most well-known uses is as a humectant. It holds onto the water molecules and bonds them to the skin, preserving the moisture in your skin for a longer period of time.

Retinol is regarded as an elixir for aging, dry, and dehydrated skin. Retinol promotes the formation of collagen and elastin by boosting cell turnover, giving the skin contour and structure. It is regarded as the greatest ingredient for firming skin. However, retinol is quite active and can lead to dry skin, thus it has its downsides. Retinol, hyaluronic acid, and face oil are suggested combinations to address this issue.

Apply a retinol-based serum on your face, then moisturize with hyaluronic acid. If skin dryness is a severe issue, you can add a layer of face oil on top to lock in moisture.


3. Skincare Cocktail For Skin Dullness: Vitamin C + Sunscreen 

Your skin might suffer damage from damaging UV radiation, pollution, and harsh weather, which can result in the production of free radicals. These free radicals cause the skin’s cells to deteriorate, resulting in wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots.
A potent antioxidant like Vitamin C can help counteract the effects of free radicals, thereby minimizing skin damage. Additionally, vitamin C has the ability to brighten and lighten skin. It is essential for maintaining healthy skin because it helps to balance out your skin tone. This potent antioxidant reduces the obvious signs of aging by battling free radicals and repairing and healing damaged skin cells.

To counteract the harmful effects of sunshine, experts advise using a Vitamin C face serum, followed by a moisturizer and sunscreen.

4. Skincare Cocktail For Hyperpigmentation: Hyaluronic Acid + Niacinamide 

Try this skincare method for glowing, even skin tone if your skin appears dull and uneven.

In order to keep the skin moisturized, hyaluronic acid is helpful. Your skin will look smoother, plumper, and softer as the moisture levels rise, diminishing wrinkles and fine lines.

According to a recent study, niacinamide is essential for skin whitening because it prevents the transfer of the skin pigment melanin to skin cells (keratinocyte). Niacinamide helps progressively lighten the skin by reducing hyperpigmentation. It works to get rid of extra melanin and give you bright skin.

This cocktail’s active ingredients work to moisturize the skin, lighten the complexion, and lessen hyperpigmentation. Hyaluronic acid serum should always be applied before niacinamide.

You may formulate a skincare cocktail that caters to the individual demands of your skin by having a greater understanding of skincare actives.



Skin-Care Cocktailing Examples

Issue: Dehydrated skin
Ingredients to look for: Hyaluronic acid, phospholipids, linoleic acid, glycerin, ceramides, jojoba oil, humectants, PHAs, and AHAs.

Issue: Fine lines and wrinkles
Ingredients to look for: Retinol, vitamin C, glutathione, ceramides, peptides, SPF, and exfoliating AHAs, BHAs, or PHAs.

Issue: Oily-combination and blemish-prone skin
Ingredients to look for: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, niacinamide, bakuchiol, SPF, and exfoliating acids such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid.

Issue: Dullness
Ingredients to look for: Vitamin C, vitamin E, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, caffeine, green tea extract, and exfoliating acids (lactic, glycolic, and salicylic).

Issue: Sensitivity and redness
Ingredients to look for: Centella asiatica, prebiotics, aloe vera, PHAs, ceramides, azelaic acid, and niacinamide.