Can I Mix This? Ingredient Combinations to Always Avoid

By August 25, 2017Blog Regular

Whether you’re planning on layering on an additional product to your skin care regime, or starting a new one altogether, we know how challenging it can be to understand exactly how every product fits together.

As much as we’d love to sit here and tell you exactly what to use, and when to use it, a one-size-fits-all formula just doesn’t exist in the world of beauty.  So instead, we’ve provided a short list of mix and match rules to steer clear of when on the hunt for new beauty buys.

  1. Retinoids +AHAs = Redness & Irritation

Retinol on its own can already be harsh on your skin, mixing it with an AHA will make it that much worse. Common AHA actives to look out for include glycolic acid, citric acid, malic acid and mandelic acid. These AHA’s have exfoliating properties that add an extra layer of sensitivity to your retinoid, and will very likely cause skin redness and irritation.

  1. Retinoids +BHAs = Dry, Flaky, and Peeling Skin

Retinol and BHA’s like salicylic acid both work at the inner layer of your skin to promote skin cell renewal. Fighting for your skin’s affection, they overlap and over exert, causing extreme dryness, flaking, and peeling.

  1. Retinoids +Benzoyl Peroxide = Cancel Out

On their own, these two ingredients are praised for their acne-depleting and anti-aging abilities, but when layered simultaneously onto the skin, they lose their powerful benefits. This is because benzoyl peroxide increases retinols sensitivity to light, so much so that even a light bulb has the ability to oxidize and breakdown the retinol. So unless you’re lights off, straight to bed, immediately after application, combining these two ingredients is more or less ineffective.

  1. Vitamin C +AHAs = Cancel Out

Vitamin C is very PH dependent, meaning it must be acidic enough to penetrate the skin and provide actual results. AHA’s can disrupt the PH of vitamin c, throwing it off its target range. This will make your vitamin c relatively ineffective in performing benefits, as it won’t be acidic enough to properly penetrate the skin.


Rather than completely avoiding these gold star ingredients, we recommend rotating between them, either day and night or every other day. That way you can safely and effectively enjoy the amazing benefits that these ingredients have to offer.

In the end, just remember to always do a patch test before applying to your face and when in doubt, ask a professional rather than risking your skin.


  • Matthew Young says:

    Hello. Very happy and satisfied customer here; been using a range of products from Indeed as they are good quality and much more reasonably priced then other products–especially for men.
    I’m hoping you might be able to help me out with my question relating to this topic; which of your products shouldn’t be used together or at the same time? Or if some items can’t be used at the same time, can they be staggered into categories to be used at the morning and the conflicting ones at night? I’m confused by the chemical compositions in your article and don’t want to be using conflicting products if I can avoid it to use them properly.

    Products currently using: Retinol, Vitamin C, Snoxin II, Eyesix II, Hydraluronic Acid (Most products), Defense, Q10 Serum.


    • Holly Ewing says:

      Hi Matthew! We’re so happy that you are enjoying our products, thank you for sharing your positive feedback! As a rule of thumb, we always advise our customers to avoid using our Vitamin C24 and our Retinol Reface at the same time. Vitamin C24 can be used in the AM and Retinol Reface can be used in the PM, however, it is important that they are not used in conjunction with one another.

      • Matthew Young says:

        Hi Holly Thank you for the advice; luckily I haven’t been doing that anyway; typically i put the Retinol on at night to encourage repar. — I plan on expanding some of the products I use with my partner as well. Are there other Indeed products you don’t recommend using together just for future reference? Thanks!!

        • Indeed Labs says:

          That’s great! All of our other products are fine to use together. If you’re ever interested in learning how to put your products into a regime you can email and we’d be happy to help 🙂

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