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What You Really Should Know About Mixing Skin Care Brands

What You Really Should Know About Mixing Skin Care Brands

Ever wonder if it's okay to mix products from different skin care brands in your daily routine? You're not alone. This is actually a common question and, generally speaking, the answer is yes!

While some prefer or are more comfortable using products from one brand exclusively, and that's okay, it's not completely necessary for best skin health. There are many reasons why an individual may have a mix of skin care brands in their repertoire. Some simply enjoy exploring and trying new products regularly; masks and toners are great go-tos for those looking to shake up their routine. 

When I'm working with clients, it's sometimes advantageous to recommend products from multiple skin care lines, especially if it will further skin care goals, reduce skin irritation, or better suit their lifestyle. Another instance of skin care brand mixing often occurs when clients are transitioning from products purchased elsewhere to offerings from our shelves. Sometimes it happens when avoiding common skin care ingredients due to allergies, or when curating a skin care routine that targets a client's goals while meeting their budget. As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to mix skin care brands.

There are some instances when you shouldn't mix skin care brands. For example, if you are hypersensitive or are using medical-grade or prescribed products from your doctor (not "medical-grade" that some use as a sales tactic - learn more about the myths of medical-grade skin care from one of our favourite cosmetic chemists here). If you are doing a series of medi-spa or dermatological procedures, you may only be able to use a few carefully selected products during your treatment course. It's important to respect the process and follow the instruction of your treating physician or nurse.

Even though you're green-lit to mix skin care brands (barring the instances above), there are some ingredients that shouldn't be paired, mixed, or layered. Doing so could induce skin dysfunction or even trigger some underlying skin conditions. Avoid over-drying or over-exfoliating your skin, irritation, redness, sensitized skin, breakouts, and rashes with the following guide.

Products and Ingredients That Shouldn't be Paired

Vitamin C 🙅🏼 AHAs (ex. glycolic, lactic, malic, mandelic, tartaric acids)
Use vitamin C serums in the morning and AHA serums at night.

Vitamin C 🙅🏼 Retinol
Use vitamin C serums in the morning and retinol serums and moisturizers at night.

Retinol 🙅🏼 Acne Treatments
Mild over-the-counter acne treatments will likely be tolerated when used in the morning, with over-the-counter retinol being used at night.

Retinol 🙅🏼 Acids
Retinols and acids are usually applied at night, so it's not as simple as separating the application day and night. Some individuals are able to alternate evenings with these products, while others find the close pairing of these hardworking actives too much. For most, and the sake of simplicity, it's generally best to use a course of one exclusively each season.

Sunscreen 🙅🏼 Serum, Moisturizer, or Makeup
Never blend your sunscreen with other skin care products or cosmetics. Doing so reduces the amount of protection your skin needs and deserves. Always layer sunscreen on top of your skin care products and before your cosmetics.

3 Cross-Brand Routines We Recommend

For dry, rough skin that reddens easily:

Fitglow Beauty Cloud Ceramide Foam Cleanser + Veriphy Skincare Power Trip Facial Serum + Fitglow Beauty Cloud Ceramide Balm

Healthy aging support for skin without hyperpigmentation:

Schaf Revitalizing Serum + Fitglow Beauty Vita Youth Oil + Schaf Facial Scrub

To improve skin hydration, tone, and texture:

Cocoon Apothecary Nordic Boost Facial Serum + Consonant Skin+Care Maximum Glycolic Meta Serum + Artifact Skin Co. Bali Papaya Rice Masque

Use the Glycolic Meta Serum one month on and one month off. During your month off, use the Bali Papaya Rice Masque once a week.

Have questions about your routine or need a double check on your cross-brand pairings? Book a skin care consult or personal shopping appointment with me for personalized recommendations.


Melissa Menard is a certified aesthetician with over a decade of experience in the beauty industry. She enjoys all things French lifestyle, flowers, and a good lipstick (despite the mask mandate).

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