5 Ingredient Combinations To Optimize Targeted Skincare

Ketchup/fries, white-button down/blue jeans, and Chandler/Monica—all three have one thing in common! While great on their own, they’re even better when enjoyed together. So much so that they go down in pop culture and lifestyle as legendary combos. Ones that exist with each other in such harmony that dealing with them alone will leave you wanting more. Skincare is no different when it comes to ingredients, especially when you’re putting together a targeted routine to deal with specific skin concerns. The ‘two is better than one’ rule also applies to certain ingredients. These combos are known to work well with one another and elevate the other in terms of the benefits gained from regular use. Here are the top ingredient combinations you can also introduce into your routine.

PS consult your dermatologist before introducing a new ingredient into your routine, especially if they are actives; make sure to patch test as well!


1. Salicylic Acid + Niacinamide For Pore Care

Ingredient combinations for clear skin

A BHA (beta hydroxy acid), salicylic acid is a popular ingredient to treat acne and other forms of blemishes. The oil-soluble compound works by dissolving the debris clogged in your pores while targeting inflammation to make your zits disappear faster. However, even people without prominent acne issues swear by SA precisely for the above reason – it affords excellent pore care.

Focusing on pore care helps you maintain smooth and even-toned skin texture, even foreseeing whiteheads and blackheads to avoid having them pop up. This is where niacinamide comes into the picture. A vitamin B3 derivative, niacinamide, is a water-soluble compound that works to minimize the appearance of emlarged pores, in addition to multiple other benefits. But combined, SA and niacinamide can not only keep your pores clean but also tighten loose pores to improve the overall texture of your skin.

2. Retinoic + Hyaluronic Acid For Décolletage Fine Lines

Acid Combinations Fine Lines

The décolletage is often ignored in favor of the face and neck. But given that it is also prone to fine lines, you will need to pay attention to it. A combination that works like magic is retinoic and hyaluronic acid. Retinoids work on your skin by boosting collagen production, prompting the skin cells on the surface to turn over faster and speeding up new cell generation growth underneath. But given the potency of the ingredient, they can be quite drying. This is where hyaluronic acid, a potent humectant, comes in. HA hydrates the outer layers of the skin by holding on to the water content for a long time. The skin on the décolletage is thinner, so layering retinoic acid with HA will allow it to smoothen out without getting irritated or dry.

3. Vitamin C + Zinc Oxide (SPF) For Sun Damage

Ingredient Combination Scars

Doubling down on sun protection is key to even-toned, youthful-looking skin for people who see excessive sun exposure. No matter the SPF level, sunscreens only partially neutralize the free radical damage caused by UV exposure. As such, pairing your sunscreen and physical blockers as they are more responsive with a potent antioxidant like vitamin C will effectively optimise UV protection. Multiple studies have shown a statistical reduction of UVA/UVB-induced cell damage when topical vitamin C is combined with a broad-spectrum SPF. So if your goal is to improve sun protection daily, we recommend this yummy cocktail!

4. Benzoyl Peroxide + Adapalene For Oily Acne

Acid Combinations oily skin

Adapalene belongs to a class of drugs known as retinoids, which are vitamin A derivatives. The retinol, which is so popular on social media, is a form of retinoid. Adapalene also belongs to that class, but it is mainly used for acne because of its exfoliating properties. In contrast, retinol is used more as an anti-aging ingredient. When combined with Benzoyl peroxide, a potent anti-bacterial agent, oily, comedonal acne can be kept in check effectively. Do note that bot adapalene and benzoyl peroxide are strong and lead to dryness, so consult your dermatologist before including them in your skincare routine.

5. Ceramides + Fatty Acids For Barrier Build

Ingredient Combinations Dry Skin

The popularity of actives in cosmetics has also led to an uptick in misuse. And the effect of this trend has been the harshest on moisture barriers that are often disturbed or destroyed by improper use of acids. The barrier also suffers due to factors like smoking, pollution and improper diet. A nourishing blend that works on re-building the skin’s barrier and fortifying it are ceramides and fatty acids. While ceramides are easily spotted on labels, look for ingredients like linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid and oleic acid to cover the requirements of fatty acids in skincare.

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