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How to Use Retinol and BHD in a Skincare Routine in 2022


Mahlagha Homayouni


November 16, 2021


Mixing Ingredients

So, you’re fresh to the world of skincare. Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to step up your skincare routine and use more than just a cleanser and moisturizer. In any case, you’ve done your homework, read some internet reviews, and stocked up on things within your price range that will address your key concerns. In this article, we are going to show that when you are allowed use retinol and bha at the same time.

Retinol and bha

Now all you have to do is see if the components in all of these creams, serums, and masks are compatible. Mixing substances without first understanding how they operate and what other components they could interact with is not just a waste of money, but also a waste of time. It might also lead to disappointment if the outcomes aren’t as good as expected.

Another important issue to consider while designing your skincare routine’s product array is skin irritation. To avoid over-drying, over-exfoliating, or irritating the skin, your skincare routine should contain products that compliment each other.

We’ve put up a thorough overview of the dos and don’ts of mixing and combining the most common skincare compounds found in products, retinol and bha, with the advice of dermatologists.

skin assessment

Chapter 1


Dermatologists love to promote retinol as one of the most respected skincare substances. What makes retinol, also known as vitamin A, so beneficial is that it accelerates skin cell turnover, which may assist with fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin texture, dark spots, and acne. The only snag? Retinol might cause a lot of irritation. Retinol is a powerful anti-aging component, but it can also make your skin dry.

Retinol should be used with hydrating substances like as hyaluronic acid and ceramides, as well as SPF. Make sure to hydrate; humectant substances such as hyaluronic acid can attract and hold water molecules to your skin’s surface layers, while oil-based emollient compounds assist seal in moisture.

It’s also worth noting that retinol might increase your sensitivity to the sun. SPF should be used every day of the year, not just to protect against skin cancer, wrinkles, and sun spots, but also because many other substances we use on our skin, such as retinol and retinoids, can make our skin more sun sensitive.

Retinol and bha

Retinol should not be used with vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, or AHA/BHA acids. If your skincare routine already includes retinol, AHA and BHA acids are exfoliating, which can dry your skin and create irritation. Benzoyl peroxide and retinol, on the other hand, cancel each other out. Benzoyl peroxide and retinoids should not be used together since they might cancel each other out, making them less effective. Finally, because vitamin C protects skin from environmental aggressors while retinol heals and rebuilds skin, it’s ideal to utilize both at different times of the day.

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What is a retinoid and why do we need it?

Retinoid, also known as retinol, is dermatology’s gold standard topical medication for preventing and treating early indications of aging. It is a class of natural and synthetic versions of vitamin A. It has a lengthy history of use in the treatment of acne, photoaging, hyperpigmentation, and minor acne scarring. The retinoid family encompasses retinols and other vitamin A derivatives; however, the term retinol has come to refer to over-the-counter retinoids, whereas the term’retinoid’ now mostly refers to prescription-strength retinoids such as retinoic acid (tretinoin), adapalene (formerly prescription only), and tazarotene.

Chapter 2


Salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acids are all exfoliants that help enhance skin texture and tone, as well as cure acne in the case of SA. All three of these acids, however, can dry and irritate skin. The bottom line: Use a moisturizing product after utilizing AHA or BHA acid-based treatments. Do combine AHA/BHA acids with moisturizers and SPF. After using AHA and BHA, it’s critical to moisturize to avoid irritation. Ceramides, petrolatum, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin are hydrating and soothing ingredients to look for. Exfoliating and unclogging pores with a solution that contains numerous low-level AHA and BHA acids can be quite effective.

AHA/BHA acids, like retinol, can induce sun sensitivity. While you should apply sunscreen every day regardless of what products you use in your skincare routine, it’s especially vital while utilizing these chemicals.

Retinol and bha

Retinol should not be used with AHA/BHA acids. Dermatologists warn people who take retinoids for acne or anti-aging that combining them with acids can cause skin irritation, redness, and sensitivity. In fact, using AHA and BHA with retinoids on the same day is not recommended. Combine multiple acids, as well as physical and chemical exfoliants, with caution, since this can cause irritation and even eczema.

Is it possible to combine retinol and bha?

Acids and retinol aren’t always compatible. However, you may use retinol and bha in your skincare routine if you apply them at the appropriate times and in the correct order to avoid irritation and obtain the greatest effects.

Retinol should only be used at night because it can degrade in light and make your skin more susceptible to sunburn. Use BHA in the morning to remove any dead skin cells left over from your retinol application the night before.

Cleansers, toners, moisturisers, scrubs, peels, and masks all include AHAs and BHAs. In most creams and serums, retinol is an active component. The effects of hydroxy acids and retinol can be balanced by using a mild moisturizer with hyaluronic acid.

You should always apply sunscreen every day while using any exfoliating product or retinol to avoid sun damage and pigmentation. It’s easy to overstimulate the skin with so many different at-home products accessible. Using too many items together may have the opposite impact of what you’re looking for. A skin therapist can examine your skin and help you develop a regular practice that will give you glowing skin.

Retinol and bha

The same rules that apply to retinol and BHA also apply to AHA and retinol. Some people, in fact, employ all three. However, it’s critical to remember to utilize them at various times during the day. This gives your skin time to absorb the product and renew before applying the next one.

When should I apply AHAs, retinol and BHA?

There is some evidence in the lab that using hydroxy acids and retinol at the same time may make them less effective. While it’s unclear if this neutralization holds true in the real world, utilizing various items at different times might help you get the most out of each.

Using hydroxy acids first thing in the morning can help eliminate dead skin cells and leave you with smooth, clean skin that’s ideal for makeup application. When exfoliating your skin, you should always use an SPF sunscreen to protect the new skin from the sun.

When you first begin using a new exfoliant, apply it every other day until your skin becomes accustomed to it. In sunlight, prescription-strength retinol can degrade, making the skin more susceptible to sunburn. Even while many over-the-counter retinol medications can be used with a high SPF sunscreen, stronger retinol formulations should always be used at night.

Using hydroxy acids and retinol on alternate evenings is one method to include them into your skincare routine. To avoid irritation, choose a routine that works for your skin and remember to give it a night off with only a moisturizer. If you have the time, utilize hydroxy acids and retinol in that order.

Wait 30 minutes after using an AHA or BHA product to allow your skin’s pH to return to normal before using a retinol product. If you find that hydroxy acids are too harsh for your skin, a chemical peel once a month or so may be beneficial.‍

How does one combine retinol and BHA?

Apply Retinol and Acids at various times of the day or on different days to make them operate together. For example, one day may be Acid(s) and the next might be Retinol. Apply a pea-sized quantity of BHA exfoliant to the oily parts and an AHA exfoliant to the dry areas, then apply the same amount of Retinol over it if your T-zone is oily but the rest of your skin is dry. It’s true that a little goes a long way! Always start with a light moisturizer if you have sensitive skin to offer a layer of moisture and to cushion minor discomfort.

Retinol and bha

Start with a lesser concentration of Retinol (0.01 percent) and progressively raise the dosage over time. Begin slowly and at a low level. Remember to take care of your neck and chest as well! There, too, AHA and BHA exfoliants can work their skin-renewing, texture-improving magic! If any discomfort lingers after adding vitamin A (Retinol) to your beauty routine, remember that it’s all “part of the process” and your skin will ultimately become acclimated to the substance, which takes around two weeks. If it doesn’t go away after a few days, or if you see swelling or a rash, wash it off immediately and seek medical attention.

When you first start taking Retinol and BHA, you must make a commitment to protect your skin from the sun every day, not just when you’re using the treatment. If you’re under the care of a dermatologist or using any prescription skin care medication, consult with them before utilizing any peel procedure. It might not be suitable for your skin.

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Chapter 3

Who should avoid taking retinol?

“Retinols can be good for most skin types, but they aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, People with sensitive skin diseases like rosacea cannot handle particularly powerful topicals like retinols,” says board-certified dermatologist Zenovia Gabriel, MD. Retinol should also be avoided if you plan on spending a lot of time in direct sunshine without adequate sun protection. Because retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, it’s critical to use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day, even if the weather is gloomy. Some retinoids are also contraindicated in women who are pregnant or nursing.

Some retinoids are also contraindicated in women who are pregnant or nursing. Always visit a dermatologist before beginning a high-strength retinol regimen or if you have any questions regarding the effects of retinol.

Retinol and bha

It’s important to remember that retinol isn’t a fast remedy. While prescription-strength retinoids can generate effects in a matter of weeks, OTC retinols can take up to 6 months to get the same benefits. After 12 weeks, you may notice an improvement in disorders like acne, but sun damage and symptoms of aging might take much longer to heal.

We suggest you read this article as well: What a Skin Care Routine Looks Like for Sensitive Skin Type

Chapter 4

6 Ingredient Combinations That Should Never Be Used on Your Face

The active elements in your skincare products may be more effective if you layer them. Certain skincare products, on the other hand, should never be combined—and when two substances clash, your skin suffers as a result.

Mixing the incorrect substances together might cause discomfort for several days, or even burns. When mixing skincare products, you should err on the side of caution, and depending on your skin type, you should never combine specific skincare compounds. When in doubt, use different skincare products every other night or day, or rotate each item every other night or day.

We consulted with dermatologists to make sure you’re never caught in the middle of a product stacking disaster. They provided us with all of the information we needed to know about the pairings to avoid at all costs.

BHA + Benzoyl Peroxide

When physical and chemical exfoliants are combined, there is a risk of decreased tolerability.

Beta hydroxy acids, such as salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide, which are both exfoliating chemicals, might irritate your skin. To avoid redness and peeling, keep the two apart.

It’s already debatable whether benzoyl peroxide is safe to use on its own; adding a stronger substance on top of it won’t help. When these chemicals, which all stimulate cell turnover and some degree of exfoliation, are combined, severe skin irritation results.

Retinol and bha

Vitamin C + AHA

Because antioxidants, such as vitamin C, are naturally unstable, you must keep an eye out for active ingredient neutralization while adding vitamin C. Vitamin C is pH sensitive, and combining it with AHAs reduces the amount of vitamin C delivered to the skin. It’s also possible that the combo can irritate your skin, especially if you’re sensitive to Vitamin C. The combination of these substances, which all stimulate cell turnover and some degree of exfoliation, would create significant skin irritation.

Vitamin C + Retinol

Vitamin C and retinols should not be taken together. When used simultaneously, they might irritate the skin. Dermatologists advise using vitamin C in the morning and retinols at night, with cleansing in between. Vitamin C works effectively when paired with sunscreen to counteract free radicals and photosensitivity, while retinol can make you photosensitive.

Retinol and bha

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BHA or AHA + Retinol

When mixing AHAs or BHAs with retinoids, according to dermatologists, a variety of difficulties arise. The first is the greatly increased risk of irritation when exfoliating acids (such as glycolic, lactic, and salicylic) are used with retinoids. There’s also the issue of ingredient deactivation to consider. Retinol, like vitamin C, may be a little unstable. As a result, you may (or will, if you’re sensitive to retinol) wind up with irritated skin that doesn’t benefit from your products.

Oil-based + Water-based Products

The consistency of your products should be the same. This implies that you shouldn’t use oil-based and water-based products on your face at the same time because their consistency is so different. If you do, it won’t be hazardous for you, but it will be a waste of time. [Avoiding the use of these items together] will guarantee optimal absorption. Because oil molecules are larger than those of water, they do not mix well, if at all. Both oil-based and water-based products will leave a sticky film on your skin if used together.

Retinol + Retinol

Don’t stack numerous retinols. This should go without saying, but we’ll mention it anyway. It’s not going to end nicely. Use only one at a time to avoid inflaming your skin. Applying a retinol serum followed by a retinol cream will do more damage than good. You can also end up with an irritated face for days. This includes using your retinol eye cream after your facial retinoids but before your retinol eye cream on the sensitive eye region. It’s easy to overdo it around the eyes, so pay attention to the active components in your eye creams.

Retinol and bha

Chapter 5

Always Be Careful While Using Retinol and BHA

Lastly, more isn’t necessarily better when it comes to skincare. We know how tempting it is to put on a million different creams in the hopes of making your skin seem brighter, smoother, and softer than before.

However, this might cause irritation, which is why some product combinations, like as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, aren’t often suggested. One pairing, on the other hand, can function really well together. Salicylic acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid, or BHA) and retinol may work wonders for your skin, and there’s never been a better time to combine the two – for a variety of reasons.

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Retinol and bha


Can you use retinol and salicylic acid together?

Retinoid or Retinol and Salicylic Acid But on its own, each can dry out the skin, so together they should be combined with caution. The risk is overdrying, which can lead to irritation and make the situation worse.

Can you use retinol and chemical exfoliant?

Research from 2015 also suggests that combining retinol and an AHA exfoliant together can be an effective combination for hyperpigmentation caused by acne. However, experts generally advise not using the two ingredients at the exact same time, since this can lead to dryness and irritation.

Should I use retinol or salicylic acid?

“At levels available over the counter, salicylic acid will give better anti-acne benefits than retinol.” However, he noted that prescription-strength retinols “are much more potent on the skin.”

Can I use BHA everyday?

Can retinol worsen acne?

Applying retinol is a long-term treatment which promotes fresh skin, fewer blemishes and reduction in acne breakouts. Whereas in the short term, it can lead to acne breakouts, skin peeling, dryness, and a range of other frustrating temporary outcomes. The purge phase usually lasts for two to six weeks.