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5 Ingredient Combinations to Avoid for Clearer Skin

5 Ingredient Combinations to Avoid for Clearer Skin

5 Ingredient Combinations to Avoid for Clearer Skin

Acne, a common skin condition, can be exacerbated by certain ingredient combinations in skincare products. While many ingredients offer individual benefits, some combinations can trigger irritation, redness, and even worsen acne. Here are five pairs to avoid:

1. Retinol and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid)

Individually, retinol and BHA (such as salicylic acid) are potent acne-fighting ingredients. Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, promotes skin cell turnover and unclogs pores, while BHA penetrates the pores to dissolve oil and debris. However, when used together, their combined exfoliating power can overwhelm the skin, leading to increased sensitivity, redness, and flakiness. This duo might strip the skin’s natural oils, disrupting its barrier function and triggering more breakouts. It’s advisable to introduce these ingredients into your skincare routine gradually and on alternate days to prevent over-exfoliation and irritation.

2. Vitamin C and Benzoyl Peroxide

The combination of Vitamin C and Benzoyl Peroxide can lead to potential issues. Vitamin C is known for its skin-brightening and antioxidant qualities, while Benzoyl Peroxide is effective against acne-causing bacteria. However, using them together might lead to the oxidation of Vitamin C by Benzoyl Peroxide, potentially reducing its effectiveness and causing skin irritation. Additionally, this combination could result in excessive dryness or peeling, particularly for individuals with sensitive skin. To avoid this, consider using them at different times of the day or on alternating days to reap their individual benefits without causing skin distress.

3. AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and Salicylic Acid

AHAs, such as glycolic acid and lactic acid, are recognized for their surface skin exfoliation and cell turnover properties. Salicylic acid, a BHA, works deeper within pores to clear blockages effectively. However, when these strong exfoliants are used together, they might become overly aggressive for the skin, resulting in irritation, redness, and heightened sensitivity. Excessive exfoliation can weaken the skin’s protective barrier, increasing vulnerability to bacterial infections and potential exacerbation of acne. It’s advisable to alternate between AHAs and BHAs in your routine or use them on separate days to avoid overloading the skin.

4. Niacinamide and Vitamin C

Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, is known for its multiple skincare benefits, including regulating oil production and improving skin texture. Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is prized for its antioxidant properties and ability to brighten skin tone. While both are excellent standalone ingredients, using them simultaneously might lead to skin flushing or redness. Some studies suggest that very high concentrations of niacinamide might potentially reduce the efficacy of vitamin C. To prevent any adverse reactions, consider using niacinamide in the morning and vitamin C in the evening, allowing each ingredient ample time to work without interference.

5. Exfoliants with physical scrubs

Mixing chemical exfoliants like AHAs or BHAs with physical exfoliants like scrubs can cause too much exfoliation. Chemical exfoliants dissolve dead skin cells, while physical exfoliants physically remove these cells. However, using both together can upset the skin’s natural balance, causing irritation, redness, and tiny tears in the skin. This can weaken the skin’s protective layer, making it easier for inflammation and future acne breakouts to occur. Thus, it is recommended that you choose one method of exfoliation and incorporate it gently into your routine, avoiding aggressive scrubbing or overuse to maintain skin health.


Maintaining clear skin involves being mindful of ingredient interactions in your skincare routine. Consulting with a dermatologist or skincare professional from a reputable aesthetic clinic can help personalize a regimen that suits your skin type and addresses acne concerns effectively.

Tailored acne treatments with The Clifford Clinic

For professional advice and tailored acne treatment in Singapore, consider reaching out to The Clifford Clinic. Our specialized services and expertise can help you achieve clear, blemish-free skin.

Discover our highly sought-after treatments designed to tackle various acne concerns:

1. AGNES Acne Treatment

Our renowned AGNES Acne Treatment is a meticulous process tailored to provide lasting relief from acne. Beginning with a thorough examination of affected pores using high-resolution microscopy, our skilled doctors employ a delicate wire to deliver precise, low-frequency electric currents to oil-producing glands. This technique effectively reduces gland size and regulates excessive oil production, targeting the root cause of acne by eliminating blockages caused by excess sebum. Remarkably, AGNES Acne Treatment has successfully resolved over 83% of non-inflamed acne cases and more than 93% of inflamed cases with just three treatments spaced across a year. Even after the final treatment, treated pores remained clear and free of recurrence for a full year.

2. Gold Photothermal Therapy Treatment (PTT)

Embrace innovation with our Gold Photothermal Therapy Treatment. This cutting-edge solution utilizes advanced gold nanoparticles that deeply penetrate pores and follicles. When activated by light, these nanoparticles induce a photothermal effect, significantly reducing sebum production within pores and follicles. This transformative treatment is particularly beneficial for mild to cystic acne cases, offering a novel approach to address diverse acne concerns.

3. PlaSon Therapy

Our PlaSon Therapy harnesses the power of plasma and ultrasonic technology to rejuvenate the skin. The use of plasma technology reduces skin inflammation and combats acne by eliminating bacteria and chemicals. At the same time, ultrasonic technology stimulates collagen and fibroblast production, promoting overall skin vitality and rejuvenation.

4. V Beam Laser Treatment

FDA-approved for reducing redness and thickness of scars, the V Beam Laser Treatment is a game-changer for aesthetic improvements. This treatment precisely targets and eliminates the P.acnes bacteria responsible for acne while effectively controlling excessive oil production, resulting in fewer breakouts. It’s a promising solution for improving skin texture, minimizing scarring, and managing acne-related concerns.

5. Q-Switch Laser Treatment

The Q-Switch Laser Treatment offers a non-invasive approach to common skin concerns like acne scars, sun freckles, and age spots. This advanced laser treatment delivers high-energy pulses at a specific wavelength to the targeted area, breaking down pigments into smaller fragments. These fragments are naturally expelled by the body, enhancing overall skin appearance and reducing the visibility of blemishes and imperfections.

To learn more, do not hesitate to contact us today!