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Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol: How to Use Them Together

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Slather moisturizer and go is so passé; we’re now living the era of skincare cocktails, and ingredients mingling experiments. While that might turn into the best thing for your skin, some combinations can be a total fiasco. Hyaluronic acid and retinol are two of the main pillars of skincare, and not once the thought of mixing them might have passed through your mind. Welp, you have all the reasons to do so; whether is about wrinkles, acne, dehydration, lack of firmness, or elasticity, they both do great. Now, are you ready to take your skincare routine to the next level?

How retinol works

Retinol works to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by boosting blood flow to the skin while helping induce collagen production. Consequently, it thickens, softens, and smooths skin, while promoting elasticity, firmness, and an even tone.

But despite how far our love for retinol goes, it comes with a price: it’s irritating. When retinol penetrates the skin’s outer layer, it encourages new epidermal cells to migrate up to the skin’s surface. As the new skin cells are rapidly produced, they lack the necessary adhesion and lipid production to protect the skin, making us experience flaking, peeling, and irritation.

As such, to reduce the harsh exfoliating effects and irritations caused by retinol serum, you need to put in place a proper moisturizing regimen.

How hyaluronic acid works

As you know, hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the skin, and its role is to retain skin moisture and attract water molecules from the atmosphere or the inner skin layers to the surface. It’s the go-to gentle ingredient to smear on your face when you want to plump fine lines, counteract dehydration, balance sebum and speed up wound healing. More than that, hyaluronic acid has anti-inflammatory properties, and a lesser-known fact, it acts as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals.

Should I use retinol and hyaluronic acid together?

Yes, using retinol and hyaluronic acid together is entirely safe and actually, is the best thing to do to offset the possible irritating effects of retinol. More than that, it’s been shown that retinol can increase skin expression of hyaluronic acid. Do you see how these two ingredients are bound to each other? Again, hyaluronic acid and retinol are among the smartest combinations you can do for your skin.

Hyaluronic acid before or after retinol?

Layer retinol first, wait for 10 minutes to let it sink in the skin, then follow with hyaluronic acid for an instant boost of hydration. In this way, the chances of dryness and irritations caused by retinol are diminished.

Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana is a sociologist and feminist with a shared passion for literature, psychology, and skincare, the combo that made her determined to start Women's Concepts. With over five years of experience in dermatological research, she has now become a certified skincare consultant keen to convince others of the importance of a diligent routine. Her close relationships with dermatologists around the globe, along with years of researching, analyzing studies, and hand-testing products on a daily basis, made Ana one of the best persons you can get advice from.
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Women's Concepts relies on the latest scientific research to provide accurate, complete, and fact-based information in skincare, on which we're willing to stake our reputation. Our team includes skincare experts who are highly regarded in their fields and committed to upholding the best standards of research. We spend quality time vetting every single product we recommend and double-checking all the facts shared on Women's Concepts. We always stand on the side of inclusivity, and our mission is to help everyone fix their skin issues as they arise and leverage the products they buy to achieve their goals. You can view our expert review board and everything about our editorial guidelines here.
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