Just like mixing and matching certain fabrics and patterns is considered a faux pas in fashion, so is mixing and matching products when it comes to skincare.
If you combine incompatible products, there’s a high likelihood you won’t get the benefits you want. Sometimes the ingredients in different products counteract each other, so you won’t experience the intended benefits of either product. You may experience “tandem irritation.” This means that if you were to use either of the products independently, your skin would be fine, but when you use them together, your skin experiences irritation. When layering different products on your skin, you also may experience “product incompatibility,” which you can easily test for by rubbing your face after a product has dried. If it peels, balls, or curdles, there is product incompatibility. To get the most from your skincare, you should use a regimen that works synergistically to deliver measurable results.
The order in which you use products can also be important. One product may create an environment on your skin that enhances penetration of subsequent products, while another may actually block products or ingredients from penetrating skin. Here’s a great rule of thumb to keep in mind: When layering products, go from the thinnest formulation to the thickest. So after cleansing and toning, use liquids and serums first, then gels, then lotions and then creams or balms.
When using your products, also keep in mind that rushing through your regimen and skipping steps because you woke up late or are feeling lazy before bed is one more faux pas you want to avoid. Not only do you miss out on the benefits of the product you skipped, you’re missing out on the maximum benefits of the products you did use.
Using products consistently and as directed will go a long toward ensuring that your skin looks great for a lifetime—and that’s one fashion statement that’s always in style.