Finding the right skincare routine that suits your skin can be quite challenging.
Choosing between skincare products, combining different skincare ingredients, and adapting your skincare regimen – this all can be quite tough decisions. In the end, it is your skin, your outer self.
In this article I’m going to focus on two very popular skincare ingredients: hyaluronic acid and retinol – and will explain how to layer these two.
Retinol is very popular product in the skincare routine due to its benefits in treatment of acne and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Similarly, hyaluronic acid is also very well liked skin care routine product, that keeps your skin hydrated and helps to fight signs of aging.
Both – retinol serum and hyaluronic acid serum – have extraordinary effects on your skin cells. If you wonder can you use hyaluronic acid with retinol, the answer is – YES!
They are often used together, as they complement each other, and work simultaneously to improve skin texture, make your skin firm, reduce signs of aging, and, in the end, improve your skin condition.
Can I Use Retinol And Hyaluronic Acid In The Same Skincare Routine?
To achieve the best results in your skincare routine, you may want to try combining hyaluronic acid and retinol in your everyday skincare.
You can use hyaluronic acid and retinol together in the same skincare routine, as these two ingredients complement each other1. If you want to know how – make sure you read the rest of my article.
Also, it is crucial to know the order of applying these two ingredients, and the time you need to wait between them.
Do You Use Retinol Before Or After Hyaluronic Acid?
If you decide to incorporate hyaluronic acid and retinol into your skincare routine, be aware that retinol should be applied first.
Applying retinol first allows it to sink more deeply into the skin pores to be more effective.
You need to let it dry and soak into your skin before you moisturize it with hyaluronic acid.
Now, as retinol may cause some side effects, including irritations, dry skin, and skin flaking, hyaluronic acid is a perfect help – it is one of the calming ingredients.
Hyaluronic acid hydrates your skin and increases its ability to tolerate irritation (it also reduces the flaking and dryness!).
In other words, hyaluronic acid helps keep the negative side effects of retinol to a minimum.
It makes sense to use retinol first, right?
However, if you have dry or sensitive skin, you may want to use a hyaluronic acid serum before retinol, to create a protective barrier.
Remember to use a calming moisturizer afterwards too, for example with niacinamide (read more about using retinol and niacinamide together).
Some skincare experts actually recommend layering retinol between hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
How Long To Wait Between Layering Retinol And Hyaluronic Acid?
Once retinol is applied topically, you need to give it some time to do its job.
The sufficient time between applying retinol serum and hyaluronic acid serum is around 30 minutes2.
Can I Use Hyaluronic Acid During The Day And Retinol At Night?
Yes, you can use hyaluronic acid during the day and apply retinol at night. You may also use hyaluronic acid twice a day: in your morning and night routine.
However, apply retinol only once a day, preferably at night. Retinol increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so it is better to use it at night.
And of course, make sure you incorporate sunscreen into your morning skincare, even if you use retinol at night.
How Do You Use Retinol And Hyaluronic Acid Together?
Now that we know some basics, let’s go into detail. So, what’s the best way to combine these two powerful ingredients to get the most out of both?
This is the step-by-step guide for using hyaluronic acid and retinol together3.
Step one to any skincare routine is cleansing. Make sure you wash your face first, to remove all the dirt, make-up, or dead skin so that there are no barriers on your skin that could interfere with the skincare product.
Choose a gentle cleanser according to your skin type, and use warm water, as it is best for your skin.
After you thoroughly dry off your skin, pat it to dry off. Avoid rubbing, as it may cause skin irritation and make you in an increased risk for blemishes and other skin concerns.
Apply toner to balance your skin pH and prepare it for the next step in your beauty routine.
Now that your face is clean and completely dry, it is prepared for retinol use.
And yes, make sure your skin is really dry, as retinol cream is more likely to cause irritation or other side effects on wet skin.
Apply retinol with your fingertips and gently pat it on your skin, especially on the areas with the most prominent skin-aging appearance.
Wait for some time (best around 30 minutes) before heading onto the next step.
4. Hyaluronic Acid
Once the retinol products are absorbed, you can continue with hyaluronic acid moisturizer. It is best to wait for 30 minutes after you apply retinol before you put hyaluronic acid cream.
Some products contain both of these ingredients, so, in that case, this would be one conjoined step.
Using a cream that contains both hyaluronic acid and retinol is definitely convenient.
5. Sun Protection
When using retinol, sunscreen is an essential part of your skin care, because retinoids, including retinoic acid and retinol, can make your skin more photo-sensitive.
Therefore, you need to put sunscreen or face cream with a high sun protection factor is a must.
Benefits Of Using Retinol With Hyaluronic Acid
Retinol is a form of vitamin A, which works great on your skin. It speeds up the skin’s cell renewal cycle.
That means, its use results in a new skin layer reaching the surface.
So, it will help you combat signs of premature aging skin, including fine lines and wrinkles. It will also help you with fading dark spots4.
However, retinol use does have some side effects. And this is where the hyaluronic acid jumps in.
Hyaluronic acid can help prevent or reduce those side effects, and that is why these two ingredients make it a perfect match5.
Hyaluronic acid is a great moisturizer. It hydrates your skin and locks in moisture wonderfully. It is even able to draw water into the skin’s protective barrier to keep it hydrated and healthy.
It will also help your skin protect itself from exposure to free radical damage, such as air pollution, or UV damage.
Using retinol with hyaluronic acid is proven to reduce signs of sun damage, wrinkles and dark spots6.
Who Should Use Hyaluronic Acid With Retinol?
Anyone who is using retinol products will benefit from hyaluronic acid. Retinol is a powerful ingredient, so it is especially important for those of you with sensitive skin types to incorporate hyaluronic acid into your retinol routine.
If your skin reacts, it is important to protect it and to reverse those side effects. Hyaluronic acid can help you with it.
Potential Side Effects Of Pairing Retinol With Hyaluronic Acid
Any skincare ingredient can have side effects. In most cases, there is some risk of irritation. Skin irritation is more likely to be caused by retinol use than hyaluronic acid.
Also, it is important to bear in mind that skin irritation or any other skin reaction is not caused by pairing these two ingredients. In fact, there is no specific side effect related to this combination.
Side effects are most likely to be caused by retinol itself. That is why it is advisable to perform a patch test before utilizing retinol in your everyday skincare.
Everything You Need To Know About Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a hydrating skin ingredient that moisturizes your skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It also speeds wound healing.
HA hydrates your skin and transfers water from the environment to the surface skin layer. In that way, it reduces dry, scaly skin.
Benefits Of Hyaluronic Acid
- It hydrates your skin. Hyaluronic acid is excellent at retaining water. It locks in moisture and gives you hydrated skin7.
- It improves skin flexibility. Hyaluronic acid helps your skin stretch and flex. In that way, it reduces skin wrinkles and lines, providing you with younger-looking skin.
- It heals wounds and scars. Hyaluronic acid is also proven to help wounds heal faster and can reduce scarring.
Does Hyaluronic Acid Have Any Side Effects?
Hyaluronic acid itself is actually very safe. Any reactions or adverse effects from it are rare, and it’s safe to use if you’re pregnant or nursing.
What Not To Mix With Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is compatible with most other ingredients and is well tolerated with them. It is a very gentle ingredient that works well with almost everything!
Because it is primarily a moisturizing and soothing agent, it’s good to mix it with other, harsher ingredients to help reduce the irritation.
Everything You Need To Know About Retinol
Retinol is a form of vitamin A. It improves your skin tone and skin health in general.
Furthermore, it has antioxidant properties, increases cell turnover, boosts collagen production, and regulates oil production, making it a great skin treatment.
Benefits Of Using Retinol
- It helps you with anti-aging. It increases skin cell turnover and boosts collagen production. Therefore, it makes a new skin layer on the surface, which makes retinol a great anti-aging agent, as it reduces the appearance of wrinkles8.
- It fights dark spots. Again, due to increased cell turnover, it helps you fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
- It reduces acne. Retinol helps keep pores clear and unclogged by reducing the buildup of skin cells. Furthermore, it may block inflammation pathways in the skin.
Does Retinol Have Any Side Effects?
Retinol is a powerful agent that does have some side effects, primarily skin irritation, itchiness, redness, or allergic reactions. However, the risk of side effects is very low.
Also, retinoids in general, including retinol, aren’t recommended if you’re pregnant or nursing.
Oral retinoid use may cause birth defects. Although retinol is much weaker, and topical retinoids are generally less “dangerous”, you should be aware that it is not safe to use it during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Also if you have sensitive, dry skin, rosacea, or eczema – be careful. I would suggest you consult a dermatologist in these cases.
What Should You Not Mix With Retinol?
Don’t use retinol with benzoyl peroxide, and alpha and beta hydroxy acids (AHA/BHA). Otherwise, they may oppose each other, or give you unwanted effects.
However, you may use vitamin C with retinol – just apply them at opposite times of the day or alternate days.
Which Is Better: Hyaluronic Acid Or Retinol?
It is difficult to choose which of these two ingredients: hyaluronic acid or retinol is better – as they are not the same. If you have dry skin, you would benefit more from hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid, as it is a well-known hydrating ingredient.
On the other hand, if you have oily skin or acne-prone skin, you would benefit more from retinol.
I would recommend you using these two together for the best results. If you read the article with care, you will see that these two ingredients combined together may do miracles to your skin!
The purpose of this article is informative and entertaining. It’s not a substitute for medical consultation or medical care. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Safety should be your priority.
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