By Sara M, Founder

Can I use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol Together?

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol Together?


Many of us dream of smooth, youthful-looking skin. As we age, the skin loses its elasticity and hydration, leading to fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness.


Fortunately, there are effective ingredients that can help counteract these signs of aging. Two powerhouse ingredients that work exceptionally well together are hyaluronic acid and retinol



Hyaluronic  acid is a molecule that occurs naturally in the skin. It has an outstanding capacity to retain water, up to 1000 times its own weight! Skin filled with hyaluronic acid appears very plump and also supple. However, our bodies produce less hyaluronic acid as we get older. HA starts decreasing as early as twenty years of age, and by age 40, the hyaluronic acid levels decrease by roughly 50%.


Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, boosts collagen production and speeds up the cell turnover. This helps to smooth the fine lines and improve the skin tone and texture. Retinol also unclogs the pores and stimulates new blood vessel growth. Together, hyaluronic acid provides intense hydration while retinol retextures the skin.


Most dermatologists recommend retinol to reduce the signs of aging. And one study, published in the National Library of Medicine found that applying hyaluronic acid twice daily for two months increased skin hydration by a remarkable 96%!


The science and the experts agree that hyaluronic acid and retinol may turn back the clock on aging skin. Now, let’s learn how to use them together for optimal benefits.


How Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol Together?


Research shows that with the right application method and formula, hyaluronic acid and retinol can complement each other beautifully. One study published in the Journal of MDPI in 2021 found that applying hyaluronic acid under retinol can boost the hydration levels in the skin and minimize dryness and irritation, which are common side effects of retinol face serums and other products.


The key is to use them properly by layering lighter, hydrating products like hyaluronic acid serums before heavier and more active ingredients like retinol.


This helps provide a buffer that prevents direct contact between the two. Starting slow with lower concentrations and building up the frequency gradually also allows your skin to adjust.


With thoughtful care in your routine, you can harness the combined power of the hyaluronic acid’s hydration and retinol’s renewal.


Use them together to achieve glowy, youthful skin over the span of time. Consult your dermatologist if you have any concerns about using these ingredients together.



What Is Retenization?


It is possible that retinol irritation, or ‘retinization’, will occur when you initially opt for retinol.


The common manifestations of Retinization are marked burning, irritation, and erythema, severe dryness of skin, pain as it flakes or becomes scaley in appearance, peel, or discoloration.


Topical application of retinol, tretinoin, or other retinoids can also lead to tretinoin purge, that is increased acne breakouts during the initial weeks of treatment.


Benefits of Using Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol Together


While Hyaluronic acid acts as a moisture magnet, Retinol boosts collagen production and speeds up cell turnover to reveal brighter, smoother skin. Using hyaluronic acid and retinol together provides both short-term and also long-term perks. Let’s find out in detail!




Hyaluronic Acid Soothes While Retinol Renews the Skin

The pairing works because the hydrating hyaluronic acid can offset the dryness and irritation sometimes caused by the intensive cellular turnover. One study found that hyaluronic acid reduced the signs of retinol irritation or, as already mentioned, “Retenization” by 42% in the test subjects. By cushioning the skin, hyaluronic acid allows the higher concentrations of retinol to be better tolerated, so your skin gets more anti-aging benefits with less redness.


Plumping Hydration for a Younger Texture


Pairing retinol with hydrating hyaluronic acid facilitates that plumping effect even further so that the skin looks truly supple.




Powerful Pigmentation Fading


Retinol is the holy grail ingredient for addressing the various signs of aging, including dark spots and uneven pigmentation. Hyaluronic acid helps to stabilize retinol on the skin's surface, boosting its ability to fade the hyperpigmentation. Slower skin cell turnover combined with hyaluronic acid hydration can also help to stop new pigment cells from developing.


Double Your Defenses


By tackling the free radicals and collagen loss at the same time, the two act as a dynamic duo to preserve the youthfulness and vigor in the skin. Research shows that this one-two-punch approach activates the new cell turnover and fortifies the antioxidant defenses, two key mechanisms for promoting younger and healthier-looking skin.


Step by Step Guide on How to Use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol Together Safely


Hyaluronic acid and retinol are both incredibly beneficial skincare ingredients that can help to improve skin hydration, firmness, texture, and also more. However, there are some very important things to consider when using them together in your skincare routine. This step-by-step guide will walk you through how to safely and effectively layer hyaluronic acid and retinol.


How Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol Together with a Premixed Serum?


With the right application method and formula, hyaluronic acid and retinol can complement each other beautifully. Applying hyaluronic acid and retinol can boost the hydration levels in the skin and minimize dryness and irritation, which are common side effects of retinol face serums.


When using a premixed serum containing both hyaluronic acid and retinol, such as Retinol with vitamin E & hyaluronic acid serum, the application method differs slightly. Since the serum already contains both ingredients in optimal proportions, there's no need to layer separate products.


Here's how to incorporate Retinol with vitamin E & hyaluronic acid serum into your skincare routine:


Cleanse Your Skin

  • Start with a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt, oil, and impurities from your skin.


Wait Before Applying the Retinol & Hyaluronic Acid Serum

  • It's very important to let your face dry before applying retinol products, otherwise your skin is at risk for higher irritation.
  • Apply Retinol with vitamin E & hyaluronic acid serum: After cleansing, apply a pea-sized amount of Retinol with vitamin E & hyaluronic acid serum onto your face and neck. Massage it gently into your skin using upward motions until fully absorbed.


Use Retinol At Night

  • Retinol breaks down in sunlight, so it's recommended to only apply it in your evening routine.
  • After letting your hyaluronic acid serum absorb, smooth a pea-sized amount of a retinol cream or serum over your face and neck.


Moisturize & SPF In The Morning

  • In the mornings, after using retinol (with or without hyaluronic acid), it is crucial to moisturize and then apply SPF 30+.
  • Hyaluronic acid can be used again in the morning before your moisturizer and SPF to boost hydration.
  • This helps to combat any dryness effects of the retinol and protects the skin.


Listen To Your Skin

  • When first starting out with new active ingredients, go slow and pay attention to how your skin reacts.
  • If you experience irritation, redness, or peeling, try using retinol only 2-3 times a week instead of daily.


Be Consistent

  • It takes time to see the results from hyaluronic acid and retinol, aim to use them consistently.
  • Stick to a routine for at least 6-8 weeks before you assess if you’re getting your desired effects.


Final Takeaway


When it comes to skincare, using the right formulation of ingredients is obviously very important. Hyaluronic acid and retinol both offer absolutely amazing benefits for the skin, but when used together they can provide even better results.


By simply following a few simple steps and listening to your skin, you can safely and effectively incorporate hyaluronic acid and retinol into your skincare routine. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to seeing results, so be patient and give your skin time to reap the benefits of this powerful duo.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can I Use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol Together?


Yes, you can use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol together. Hyaluronic Acid provides hydration and moisture to the skin, while Retinol helps with anti-aging and improving skin texture. Hyaluronic Acid also counteracts some of the downsides of using retinol such as dryness, sensitivity, peeling, and flaking. It's important to note that everyone's skin is different, so it's advisable to start with a lower concentration of Retinol and gradually increase it to avoid any potential irritation.


What Should You Not Mix with Hyaluronic Acid Serum?


Actually, Hyaluronic acid is mixable with almost everything. Hyaluronic Acid is known for its gentle nature and compatibility with a wide range of skincare ingredients. Due to its moisturizing and soothing properties, Hyaluronic Acid can effectively mitigate irritation when combined with more aggressive ingredients, making it an ideal companion for harsher formulas.


Can I Use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol at Night?


Yes, you can use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol at night. Since Retinol can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight, it's advisable to apply it in the evening. Remember to complement your daytime routine with a moisturizer containing SPF 30 or higher to safeguard your skin from sun exposure.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published