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Combining Actives: Customize Your Skincare Regimen Like A Pro

First, some basics.

IS MORE…MORE?

YES AND NO.

Combining different actives in one regimen can give you multiple benefits but you up the risk of irritation and you can definitely over-treat. If you’re going to combine, keep the following in mind:

  1. Hypoallergenic: Choose products with minimal or no allergens to up the safety factor.
  2. Sensitive Should Simplify: For sensitive skin, less is more, period. Use fewer products and choose gentle but multi-beneficial ones.
  3. Date wisely. If you’re going to increase the risk of irritation by adding actives, add what’s proven to be good and reliable. Sexy, sci-fi-sounding claims that seem too good to be true probably are — big talk and broken promises are never fun. Stick to what’s backed up by studies published in peer-reviewed journals.

DO I NEED A TONER? 

NOT NECESSARILY

WHY: Not all skin types should use a toner. Very dry skin and sensitive conditions like rosacea, eczema and psoriasis do better with less cleansing overall.

CAN I USE MULTIPLE ACTIVES IF I HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN?

IT DEPENDS ON THE ACTIVES

WHY:  “Active ingredient” is often an alpha- or beta-hydroxy acid, another type of microscopic exfoliant (hastens the shedding of old cells), or a drug (like an antibiotic). While effective, too much of these good things can be too much for sensitive skin. There are excellent actives that are less irritating and some that are even anti-inflammatory such as virgin coconut oil (anti-aging, barrier repair, antimicrobial); monolaurin (anti-acne, antimicrobial), and green tea (antioxidant). As long as the rest of the ingredients in your products are free of allergens, combining anti-inflammatory actives may not only be ok but beneficial.

How to Combine Actives the Right Way

Think: Extra Slow, Extra Gentle. Protect.

1) GO SLOW. With any active product, start with once-a-week applications, then twice-a-week, very slowly increasing frequency to three times a week and so on until you achieve once- or twice-a-day usage, which should be no earlier than eight weeks after your first application.

Get to once- or twice-a-day usage of one active product before starting another. Do this for each new active product that you add. That’s eight weeks or more per new active product — for example, you would only be using three active products together by week 24, at the earliest.

2) BE GENTLE. It is crucial to use a pH-lowered cleanser (such as Id, Illuminants+, Re-Everything) to prevent irritations. Active treatments are more acidic, which the skin can easily adjust to (the skin’s natural pH is slightly acidic) but low-pH active treatments plus a high-pH cleanser can spell disaster.

3) PROTECT: Actives tend to make the skin more sensitive to sun and light. It is important to use an Armada Sun + Light Screen every day, indoors and outdoors, even if actives have not been applied on a given day.


4 MOST COMMON COMBOS

Can I combine Id and Illuminants+ for my acne and dark spots? What about a Pore Minimizer? Presenting our most popular “how-do-I-combine…” regimens at VMV Hypoallergenics:

CommonRegimenCombo IdIlluminants InSKINvol11No1072015 20150729

ID + ILLUMINANTS
acne, dark spots

CLEANSE: Id Skin-Buffing Cleansing Scrub
ACNE: Id Anti-Acne Toner
DARK SPOTS: Illuminants Cream Primary Brilliance Treatment
MATTIFY/ACNE: Id Monolaurin Gel
SPOT TREAT: Red Better Spot Corrector
PROTECT/LIGHTEN: Armada Post-Procedure Barrier Cream 50+ or any Armada Sun + Light Screen or another Armada Sun and Light Screen of your choice.

CommonRegimenCombo SuperSkinIdIlluminants InSKINvol11No1072015 20150729

SUPERSKIN + ID + ILLUMINANTS
aging, acne, dark spots

CLEANSE: Id Skin-Buffing Cleansing Scrub or Illuminants Cleansing Cream
ACNE/AGING/BRIGHTENING: Superskin 2 Monolaurin and Mandelic Acid Toner
DARK SPOTS/AGING: Illuminants Cream Primary Brilliance Treatment
MATTIFY/ACNE: Id Monolaurin Gel
SPOT TREAT: Red Better Spot Corrector
PROTECT/LIGHTEN: Armada Post-Procedure Barrier Cream 50+ or any Armada Sun + Light Screen or another Armada Sun and Light Screen of your choice.

CommonRegimenCombo SuperSkinFineFinish InSKINvol11No1072015 20150729

SUPERSKIN CARE + FINE FINISH
aging, acne, dark spots, mattify

CLEANSE: Spring Cleaning Oil-Control Antibacterial Scrub for Oily Skin
ACNE/AGING/BRIGHTENING: Superskin 2 Monolaurin and Mandelic Acid Toner
MINIMIZE PORES/MATTIFY: Fine Finish Pore Minimizing Skin Mattifier
SPOT TREAT: Red Better Spot Corrector
PROTECT/LIGHTEN: Armada Post-Procedure Barrier Cream 50+ or any Armada Sun + Light Screen or another Armada Sun and Light Screen of your choice.

CommonRegimenCombo AnyWOilEyeSerum InSKINvol11No1072015 20150729

VIRGIN COCONUT OIL + EYE SERUM
added onto any regimen

CLEANSE: Your choice of cleanser
TREAT & TONE: Your choice of treatment toner
TREAT & NOURISH: Your choice of moisturizer or treatment moisturizer
EYE SERUM: Re-Everything Eye Serum
MATTIFY/ACNE/SPOT TREAT: Id Monolaurin Gel or Red Better Spot Corrector (if needed)
BARRIER REPAIR/MOISTURIZE/ANTI-AGING OIL: Know-It-Oil or Oil’s Well
PROTECT/LIGHTEN: Armada Post-Procedure Barrier Cream 50+ or any Armada Sun + Light Screen or another Armada Sun and Light Screen of your choice.

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