can you use retinol with salicylic acid?

can you use retinol with salicylic acid?


Yes! But proceed with caution. Here’s why.

 

story highlights

  • • Retinol helps reduce visible skin aging while Salicylic Acid clears up breakouts, but using them at the same time can cause irritation.
  • • Truth is, you CAN use them together – if you use the right product and follow our expert tips.

 


 

Yes! Contrary to popular belief, you can use Retinol with Salicylic Acid to treat breakouts and help reduce the appearance of skin aging without causing irritation. But proceed with caution when you’re using a leave-on treatment.

 

retinol vs. salicylic acid

If you’re dealing with the ups and downs of adult acne, you likely want the best ingredients available in your skin care arsenal: Retinol is the gold standard for reducing the appearance of skin aging, while Salicylic Acid is one of acne’s greatest enemies. In theory, this dynamic duo is exactly what you need to beat adult acne. But traditional Retinol and Salicylic Acid formulas can irritate skin when used together – forcing you to complicate your skin care regimen by applying them at different times of day or sacrifice one skin care benefit for another. Here’s why:

 

how retinol works on skin

Retinol works by going into the follicle and communicating with cell receptors to help stimulate skin renewal and increase cell turnover. This helps reduce visible signs of skin aging.

 

how salicylic acid works

Salicylic Acid removes skin cells superficially (on the skin’s surface), and helps kill breakout-causing bacteria. It is an extremely effective Beta Hydroxy Acid that helps clear blockage in follicles, such as excess oil and debris.

 

how to use retinol and salicylic acid together

Traditional Retinol formulas can be extremely unstable: they break down upon exposure to light. Furthermore, they don’t play well with Salicylic Acid on skin because the combined effect can be too harsh (think redness, dryness and flaking). To get around this problem, most skin experts recommend using acids only during the day if you’re using Retinol at night. But with Dermalogica’s new Retinol Clearing Oil, we’ve cracked the code.

 

You now have two options to treat adult acne + premature skin aging:

One is Retinol Clearing Oil. It has a soothing oil base, and combines the benefits of both powerhouse ingredients while helping keep irritation at bay. The oil base also mimics skin lipids, helping to deliver actives deeper into the skin’s surface and trap moisture. This makes it ideal for breakout-prone adult skin, which is often susceptible to dryness and sensitivity.

Or, you can continue to use separate Retinol and Salicylic Acid products. If you choose this route, try not to apply them at the same time. Use Salicylic Acid in the morning and Retinol at night. Those with more sensitive skin may need to use these products on alternate days, or reduce Salicylic Acid use to once a week or on an as-needed basis.

Last but not least: Retinol and Salicylic Acid can both increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so always wear sunscreen. If your current sunscreen feels like it’s generating too much heat (i.e. if you feel a burning sensation), switch to a physical or mineral-based sunscreen.

Dermalogica's commitment to excellence is personified through the expert advice provided by professional skin therapists. Professional product prescription and tailor-made professional facial treatments (called skin treatments), together with in-depth knowledge and training are critical in order for skin therapists to be able to address a vast variety of skin concerns and conditions. How we ensure that you - our loyal customer - experience this excellence is through equipping therapists with sufficient training, ensuring that dermalogica trained professional skin therapists are the best in the business. 

Dermalogica ranks our professional skin care therapists’ level of expertise, together with the degree of advice they can offer. This enables you, the client, to make a consultation or skin treatment booking with a skin care therapist that holds at least a certified status that matches your specific skin concern or skin treatment requirement. This is particularly important when it comes to treating acne scarring or signs of ageing with advanced level chemical peels. As a result, dermalogica will always ensure that the skin care therapist caring for your skin has - without a doubt - the dermalogica standard of knowledge, expertise and training to do so. 

Our skin care therapists are certified and classed according to training, education and experience as follows:

 

Our skin care therapists are certified and classed according to training, education and experience as follows:

 

A qualified professional skin care therapist with a certified status will be able to assist you with a Face Mapping® skin analysis, recommend the best skin care product prescription and offer passionate skincare advice. She will also be able to perform Dermalogica’s basic professional facial treatments. A total of 32 hours of post-graduate training were invested by your therapist to reach certified status.
   
A qualified professional skin care therapist with a specialist status will be able to assist you with a Face Mapping® skin analysis, in-depth skin care advice and provide the best skin care product prescription available. She will also be able to perform Dermalogica’s skin concern specific (ageing, pigmentation, sensitisation and acne) advanced facial treatments. She has undergone a rigorous assessment process in order to share in-depth skin knowledge and product details with you. A total of 64 hours of post-graduate training were invested by your therapist to reach specialist status.
   
A qualified professional skincare therapist with an expert status will be able to assist you with a Face Mapping® skin analysis, make an advanced product prescription and offer the best expert skincare advice. She will also be able to perform Dermalogica’s advanced treatments for specific skin needs and tailor-make a treatment programme for you. These treatments include advanced chemical peels and professional level exfoliations. A total of 96 hours of post-graduate training were invested by your therapist to reach expert status.
   
dermalogica masters badge A qualified professional skincare therapist with a professional status has achieved the highest level in the Dermalogica training programme for skincare professionals. She has undergone an intensive assessment process and will be able to assist you with all of your skincare needs and answer all of your questions about Dermalogica products and treatments. She is the best of the best and will approach your skin health with thorough research and planning. A total of 128 hours of post-graduate training were invested by your therapist to reach master status.
 

 

Annual refresher education on our existing products and treatments, as well as training on new product launches, is mandatory in order for skin therapists to maintain their respective certified status level, so as to ensure that you as a consumer continuously receive premium service, advice and treatment at all times.

A qualified professional skin care therapist with a certified status will be able to assist you with a Face Mapping® skin analysis, recommend the best skin care product prescription and offer passionate skincare advice. She will also be able to perform Dermalogica’s basic professional facial treatments. A total of 32 hours of post-graduate training were invested by your therapist to reach certified status.
A qualified professional skin care therapist with a specialist status will be able to assist you with a Face Mapping® skin analysis, in-depth skin care advice and provide the best skin care product prescription available. She will also be able to perform Dermalogica’s skin concern specific (ageing, pigmentation, sensitisation and acne) advanced facial treatments. She has undergone a rigorous assessment process in order to share in-depth skin knowledge and product details with you. A total of 64 hours of post-graduate training were invested by your therapist to reach specialist status.
A qualified professional skin care therapist with an expert status will be able to assist you with a Face Mapping® skin analysis, make an advanced product prescription and offer the best expert skincare advice. She will also be able to perform Dermalogica’s advanced treatments for specific skin needs and tailor make a treatment programme for you. These treatments include advanced chemical peels and professional level exfoliations. A total of 96 hours of post-graduate training were invested by your therapist to reach expert status.
A qualified professional skin care therapist with a professional status has achieved the highest level in the Dermalogica training programme for skin care professionals. She has undergone an intensive assessment process and will be able to assist you with all of your skin care needs and answer all of your questions about Dermalogica products and treatments. She is the best of the best and will approach your skin health with thorough research and planning. A total of 128 hours of post-graduate training were invested by your therapist to reach master status.

Annual refresher education on our existing products and treatments, as well as training on new product launches, is mandatory in order for skin therapists to maintain their respective certified status level, so as to ensure that you as a consumer continuously receive premium service, advice and treatment at all times.