This week we catch up with Tiff, Glow Hub founder, to get *the* expert comment on some frequently asked skin_care questions. Product innovation expert, brand founder + skincare lover, she shares her insights into some of the trickier Q's we're frequently asked…
Q. What can go with vitamin c and what can’t?
A. Brightening, regenerating and skin protecting. I love using vitamin C, but you’re going to see even better results when it’s paired with certain ingredients (and kept away from others.
Vitamin C is incredibly versatile and is going to help brighten, encourage cell regeneration and protect skin from external aggressors, whatever your skin type. By itself Vitamin C is a powerhouse, but there are some ingredients that work exceptionally well when paired with Vitamin C…
Tranexamic Acid – Vitamin C and Tranexamic Acid are the Paris and Nicole of the Acid world… The Vit C maximises the brightening abilities of Tranexamic Acid, helping to tackle hyperpigmentation and even the skin tone. This is why I created The Scar Slayer. A pigmentation busting, scar slaying, skin brightening dream duo, that takes two steps and combines them into one ultra-effective serum.
Hyaluronic Acid – the duo for optimal skin health, by combining vitamin C and hyaluronic acid you’re making for a great all-in-one skin care step to hydrate, protect and repair.
Niacinamide – smoothing, skin tone evening and redness reducing, when used with Vitamin C the two have synergistic effect to help even skin tone, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and smooth and brighten the skin.
Vitamin E – Another dream team, Vitamin E + Vitamin C. When layered together, Vitamin E makes the skin-loving powers of Vit C 4 times stronger. Together they’re going to increase protection for your skin and limit UV ray–induced damage.
However, there are some ingredients that aren’t fully compatible with Vitamin C. See below some skincare ingredients you want to avoid laying with Vit C.
Benzoyl Peroxide, an ingredient sometimes used in acne-targeting skincare, if you layer benzoyl peroxide with Vit C, it’s actually going to oxidize it, pretty much making your Vitamin C product redundant. If you want the acne fighting benefits of benzoyl peroxide and the brightening bonus of Vitamin C, use your Vit C in the AM and benzoyl peroxide in the evenings, or simply use them on different days.
Retinol – using these two together at the same time is a no go… it can result in peeling, redness, irritation and increase the risk of UV damage. However, using both as part of your wider skincare routine is going to do wonders for you skin. If you are going to use retinol (I’d recommend it for ages 25+) it’s best to use retinol in your evening routine (no more than 3 times per week) and your Vitamin C in the morning (daily.)
AHAs - (think, glycolic acid, lactic acid.) AHA’s are chemical exfoliants that help to resurface the skin. Want to glow? These are for you. However, when layered with Vitamin C they can cause irritation. You can use both of these ingredients in the same routine but take it slow and build up your skin’s tolerance. Again, you could also use your Vit C in the morning and your AHA in the evening to keep things simple.
Why do some new products break you out when you start using them?
Q. We’ve probably all been there at some point or other, we buy a new skincare product, are super excited to use it, slather it on straight away but then a few days later your skin freaks out, breaks outs, or shows signs of redness and irritation. When this happens there’s a few things that might be going on.
A. Firstly, skin purging (in the form of new breakouts). This sounds way scarier than it is and can actually be a good thing. This is your skin’s reaction to the active ingredients in a new product which has prompted cell turnover, bringing any congestion to the surface of your skin. The good news, purging is only temporary and is usually a sign that the products are working. The best way to tackle this is to slowly introduce new products into your routine, giving your skin time to adjust. With time those breakouts should subside, and you’ll start to see the benefits of the product. If they don’t, you may want to remove the product from your routine.
Your skin isn’t used to the new ingredient – certain ingredients take your skin a little more time to adapt to. Think salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid. These are all chemical exfoliators that resurface your skin. The first few times using these might result in a little redness. You need to build skin’s tolerance up slowly by first using the product one a week, then twice, then three times and so on, until you have your desired level of usage.
Pay careful attention to the INCI list – some ingredients just don’t work well together and can actually cause irritation, redness and breakouts. When introducing a new product into your routine, check what’s in the product and the ingredients in the products you’re already using to make sure they don’t clash. Unsure about using 2 products together? The Glow Hub DM’s are always open!Q. Why should you only use exfoliator twice a week?
A. I love an exfoliator as much as anyone to smooth, renew and boost my glow. Humans lose 500 million skin cells every day, meaning dead skin can build up pretty quickly. So, to have a glowing complexion exfoliation is key, whether that’s physical (actual grains) or chemical (AHA’s, BHA’s enzymes, etc.) helping to clean and purify clogged pores, slough away dead skin cells, help your skincare products penetrate deeper and even your skin tone.
However, if you exfoliate too often you can strip your skin of its natural oils, damaging your skin barrier and making it hard for your skin to regulate its own oil production. You’re going to want to exfoliate your skin 2-3 times per week. If you’re on the sensitive side, try exfoliating once or twice a week and building up your tolerance.