As a formulator, you have to be aware of how every skin active that you use is beneficial for your client’s skin. Every skin type reacts differently to each skin active. Using a combination of skin actives may achieve synergy when it works on skin, or make things go haywire.
Simply put, some actives are best friends when combined and they work together perfectly, others are a disaster. You have to be aware what you can combine with what, and what you should not use together.
Actives that work well together:
- Salicylic acid +Mandelic acid
- Niacinamide +NAG
- Niacinamide + Zinc PCA
- Vitamin C + Tranexamic
When you make serums with these different combination you can be sure of an effective formulation that your clients will love and keep coming back for more.
Actives that Do Not Work well together:
Here is a few examples of skin actives that are not that great when combined.
- Retinol + Salicylic acid
- Benzoyl peroxide + Tretinoin
- AHAs + BHAs + Vit C
- Vit C + Retinol
- Vit C + Niacinamide
Also have in mind which skin active works best for every skin type. The frequency of use of the product also determines the overall effectiveness of the actives.
When making chemical skin exfoliants using (Alpha Hydroxy acids)AHAs and (Beta Hydroxy Acids) BHAs, you have to be careful on how you advise the clients to use the products altogether.
For Dry Skin Type: Lactic acid once a week
For Oily Skin Type: Salicylic Acid and Glycolic acid 3 times a week
For Sensitive Skin Type: Mandelic Acid once a week
For Normal Skin Type: Any Exfoliant, two times a week