Categories: Beauty

What is skin care cocktailing?

If you’ve ever found yourself aimlessly scrolling through social media, there’s a good chance you’ve come across a post or video on skin care cocktailing. This involves mixing several products together to shorten your routine and eliminate the step-by-step process. Time-saving as it may seem, however, board-certified dermatologist and 456 Skin co-founder Dr Carlos Charles advises against it. Keep reading to find out why.

Turn Down the Cocktail

Multi-step skin care routines are par for the course these days. While some people’s routines involve simple systems (cleanse, moisturise, and protect with SPF in the morning), others take pride in their lengthy 10-plus-step regimens. Whichever camp you fall into, Dr Charles says that his patients are often looking for ways to streamline their routines without sacrificing a more-involved regimens’ benefits. “So the question I’m often asked is, ‘Is it okay to mix several products, and if so, how do I do it?'” he explains. In short, he says not to: “Skin care products have several ingredients that make them work well, and the active component is just one piece of the puzzle; its other additives are factors, too,” he explains. “When blending products together, you run the risk of disturbing the balance of the ingredients in each product, which can potentially lead to undesired outcomes.”

Lots of Layers

Credit: Ron Lach/Pexels

Irritation is less likely to happen when you take a layered, as opposed to a mixed, approach. “Using products that work well together is a good way to achieve your skin care goals,” Dr Charles says, noting that sticking to an effective application sequence is infinitely more impactful than blending all your serums and moisturisers.

Pairing Up

While Dr Charles doesn’t recommend mixing any products together and applying them as one, he does note that certain formulas layer particularly nicely. “Antioxidants such as vitamin C and a daily broad-spectrum sunscreen layer well,” he shares. “In fact, this is the morning routine for several of my patients. It is an excellent way to both protect against the deleterious effects of the sun, while also taking advantage of the antioxidant, which can help mitigate the effects of free radical damage from UV light and general environmental pollution.” As for another layered combination that Dr Charles recommends? A topical retinoid followed by a simple ceramide-rich emollient cream. “The moisturiser will help to offset any of the potential irritation that may occur as a result of the retinoid,” he says.

This story first appeared on

(Main and Feature Image Credit: Sitthiphong / Getty Images)

© 2021 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Licensed from and published with permission of Meredith Corporation. Reproduction in any manner in any language in whole or in part without prior written permission is prohibited.

Ailing Tsai

Digital editor   Email:

Recent Posts

Chinese New Year 2022: Restaurants to book and order from for your reunion

In Chinese culture, the annual reunion dinner is an all-important event where family and friends…

January 18, 2022

Style in the Metaverse: The Rise of Fashion NFTs

We explore the rise of fashion NFTs, and the possibilities of digital wardrobes and blockchain…

January 18, 2022

How major champagne makers are going green

Sustainable development is the hot topic of the moment in Champagne, France where the area…

January 18, 2022

What are the luckiest colours for the Year of the Water Tiger in 2022?

A new year sets the stage to start things afresh and with a clean slate.…

January 17, 2022

Celebratory lobster noodles: Susan Peh shares her recipe

For Chinese New Year dishes that are sure to impress guests, Nafeesa Saini looks to…

January 17, 2022

Rolls-Royce entices new generation of bold non-conformists with the Black Badge Ghost

The much-anticipated Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost recently made its Southeast Asian debut in Singapore at…

January 17, 2022