It has probably been almost a year since your last visit to the dermatologist, so you may or may not have taken it upon yourself to experiment with different products to solve your skin woes. But before you get too excited, here's a quick reminder: More is not always better. You have to be strategic when it comes layering your skincare ingredients, so you can address your concerns instead of potentially making them worse.
Want to find your dream cocktail? Below, we run down seven skincare active combos that could give you the glowing skin of your dreams. Some of our go-to beauty YouTubers like Hyram and the hosts of Beauty Within swear by these, too!
1. Azelaic acid + Vitamin C (AM Routine)
Azelaic acid has antibacterial properties and is said to promote skin rejuvenation and regeneration. It targets issues like pigmentation, inflammation, acne, and scarring. When paired vitamin C, the two work together in achieving a brighter, more even skin tone!
Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%, P800, THE ORDINARY, Beautymnl; Vitamin C Serum, P1190, WILDLEAF, Beautymnl
2. Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C (AM Routine)
If you're frequently out in the sun, vitamin C is an ingredient you should start to incorporate in your routine. It promotes elastin and collagen production, and contains antioxidant properties to shield us from oxidative stress (a.k.a sun exposure). Meanwhile, hyaluronic acid is a humectant that hydrates the skin by seeping moisture from the environment and into inner layers of your skin. Together, this duo will target issues such as wrinkles, discoloration, dehydrated skin, and dullness without the risk of overexfoliation.
Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence, P1000, COSRX, Lazada; Pure Vitamin C Serum, P995, PURITO, Beautymnl
3. Retinol + Niacinamide (PM Routine)
If you’re looking for an all-around ingredient to nurse all your skin issues, niacinamide is one you should check out. Its anti-inflammatory properties have been proven to be an effective solution for enlarged pores, excessive sebum production, aging, and discolouration for all skin types–even sensitive ones! Retinol, on the other hand, is known to prevent aging by repairing the skin from the inside and increasing the rate of cell turnover. Though this ingredient is recommended for those in their late 20s or 30s and above because of its potency and sensitizing effects, combining niacinamide with a retinol-infused product can control, stabilize and buffer its intensity. Together, they increase ceramide production to keep the skin strong and youthful!
Age Reverse Serum Vitamin A 2.5%, P499, LUXE ORGANIX, Lazada; Niacinamide Serum, P650, THE INKEY LIST, Beauty Bar
4. Niacinamide + Vitamin C (AM Routine)
As mentioned above, both niacinamide and vitamin C are all-rounders that do wonders for the skin. They already work well on their own, but they're also great to use together! This combo is amazing for diminishing the appearance of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and post-acne scarring.
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, P1199, THE ORDINARY, Beautymnl; Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C, P2150, CLINIQUE, Rustan's
5. Niacinamide + Beta Hydroxy Acid/Salicylic Acid (AM or PM Routine)
BHAs are every acne-prone person's best friend. You'll often find it in skincare in the form of salicylic acid, an oil-soluble chemical exfoliator that penetrates deeply into the pores to dissolve acne-causing bacteria and excess sebum. Exfoliating your skin with it improves overall cell renewal, so you keep breakouts at bay. Alongside niacinamide's perks, you can target clogged pores, oiliness, redness, and discoloration.
Beta Hydroxy Acid, P790, THE INKEY LIST, Sephora.ph; Niacinamide Serum, P375, GOOD MOLECULES, Beautymnl
6. Vitamin C + Vitamin E + Ferulic acid (AM Routine)
Vitamin C is known to be unstable, so products that contain it as an active tend to oxidize or lose potency quite fast. That said, when it's combined with vitamin E and ferulic, the three support each other, resulting into a more stable and powerful trio. In fact, you'd usually find these three ingredients together in one product! Overall, this trifecta of ingredients provide antioxidant properties and promote collagen production to prevent fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and more.
Potent-C Power Serum, P5890, PETER THOMAS ROTH, Sephora.ph
7. AHA + BHA (PM Routine, once to twice a week)
Chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs are the ultimate combo if you want to give your skin a deep clean. AHAs (like glycolic acid) exfoliate dead skin cells on the surface by cutting the bonds that hold them together. Simultaneously, it acts as a humectant that boosts your skin's moisture levels. Meanwhile, BHA helps in removing excess sebum in your pores and preventing unwanted breakouts. Though it's not always recommended to use them together, the key is to use products with tolerable percentages of the actives or to limit use to once or twice a week.
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, P780, THE ORDINARY, Beautymnl