What Goes With What – Mixing Skincare Products

What Goes With What – Mixing Skincare Products

Glycolic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C, peptides, AHA/BHA exfoliants, retinol… If all of these sound made up to you or seem like they belong in the Greek alphabet, then you are in the right place, because we are here to translate.

These are all skincare ingredients that can do wonders for your skin if used correctly. But in the sea of too much information and products, how to know what goes with what? Well, that is the tricky part.

If you use it right, you get beautiful, glowing skin, but if not…  It can be a total disaster.

Keep on reading, because we’ll explain everything and by the end of the article, you’ll be ready to make your own combination of products.

Vitamin C

We are starting our lesson with a very popular product, vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. 

It is considered to be one of the best anti-ageing products, because of its versatility:

  • Almost every skin type works well with it (hypersensitive skin can have a mild reaction though)
  • Provides hydration
  • Brightens the skin
  • Reduces redness, signs of hyperpigmentation, and under-eye circles
  • This leads to collagen production which as a result has less saggy skin

It protects your skin in more ways than one.

When to start using it? Your early 20s are a great time to start using vitamin C and we would suggest continuous use throughout your adulthood. 


We are moving to another favourite when it comes to useful ingredients for your skin.

Niacinamide is actually a type of vitamin B3, which is an essential nutrient found in eggs, dairy products, beef, fish, nuts, seeds…

There are numerous benefits when it is consumed through food, but it is not the same thing as using it topically.

Thanks to its adaptability, there are many great things it can do for your skin:

  • It reduces the appearance of enlarged pores, helping them return to their natural size
  • It is great for dry skin because it boosts the hydrating capacity of moisturizers 
  • It protects from the sun
  • Good for hyperpigmentation
  • Minimizes wrinkles and regulates oil
  • Treats acne-prone skin

It is in general a great ingredient to have in your skincare routine, but you should be patient because you will see the first results after a few weeks.

When to start using it? You can start using it in your 20s, to prevent early signs of ageing.

Hyaluronic Acid

Let’s move on to the holy grail of the skincare industry. We have talked at length about all the ways hyaluronic acid can help your skin in our previous blogs. So you are familiar with the benefits.

Just in case you missed those blogs, hyaluronic acid is great for:

  • Anti-ageing purpose
  • Skin moisture
  • Producing collagen
  • Wrinkles and skin elasticity

It is so well-loved because any skin type responds well to it and it mixes well with every other skincare product.

When to start using it? The ageing process starts about the same time when we become full-fledged adults – when we’re 21, so you can slowly start adding it to your skincare routine around that time.


Another miracle product we have already discussed here.

Spoiler alert, it should be your best friend and it’s amazing.

But, unlike its former friends, it doesn’t go well with every skin type, so if you have sensitive or dry skin, or rosacea, eczema etc, you should stay away from it.

It works wonders for:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne 
  • Collagen production
  • Enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation

Whatever bugs you, retinol can probably fix it (when it comes to your skin, at least), you just need to be patient and introduce it to your skincare slowly. Slow and steady gets healthy, glowing skin.

When to start using it? Elastin production starts to slow down in your mid-20s, so around 25 is the best time to start using retinol.

What goes with what

Vitamin C and Niacinamide – even though we said Vitamin C goes well with almost everything, Niacinamide is one exception, because it can lead to skin sensitivity. Which we want to avoid, obviously.  So, the best thing to do is to divide and conquer, vitamin C should be used in the morning and then Niacinamide can go in the evening routine.

Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid – this, on the other hand, is a dream team. Using them together can bring the best from each of the ingredients and help you on your way to beautiful skin. You can use them both in the morning, to give your skin the protection it deserves.

Vitamin C and RetinolYes, they go well and you can mix them – first goes vitamin C and then in about 30 minutes retinol. However, don’t forget that retinol goes into your routine only once or twice a week.

Niacinamide and Hyaluronic acidThis is also a combination that works well, you should use hyaluronic acid first and then niacinamide. 

If you are using Vitamin C, Niacinamide and Hyaluronic acid you can use the latter two in the morning and evening.

Niacinamide and RetinolThe gentleness of niacinamide goes well with stronger retinol, so you can use them together, niacinamide being the first one. 

Hyaluronic acid and RetinolThis is one of the most popular skincare combinations because they work so well together. The benefits of retinol can be easily achieved with the help of its friend.

Final Notes

There you have it, the do’s and don’ts of mixing skincare products – and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The above-mentioned products are some of the most popular ones, but the total list is much longer.

Don’t worry, this won’t turn into a book, so we’ll discuss other ingredients in one of our next blogs.

If you have any questions, our lovely team here at Ottawa Vein and Cosmetic Clinic will gladly be of assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule your consultation. 


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