Did you know you can actually use Vitamin C and Retinol together?

Contrary to what’s frequently cited in the blogosphere, combining these two ingredients will not compromise their effectiveness, or ‘cancel each other out’. It can even be beneficial for your skin!

Recent studies have shown that combining Retinol with Vitamin C actually help with stability. In other words, Vitamin C can prevent Retinol from oxidizing, thereby preserving its anti-ageing powers. A great product which contains both ingredients is Jumiso’s All Day Vitamin Brightening & Balancing Serum (and if that isn’t enough, it also packs in Vitamins B, D, E and K!).

The only time you should avoid mixing or layering the two is when you have sensitive skin: Vitamin C and Retinol are both powerful ingredients, and using them in tandem might further irritate your skin. In that case, apply a gentle Vitamin C product in the morning (like SVR’s Radiance Serum or Klairs’ Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop, followed by SPF. Slowly introduce a retinol product in the evenings, increasing the frequency according to what your skin can handle. A great ‘starter’ retinol treatment is the Retinol Expert 0.1% from IOPE.



Sadly, pores are not doors. They can’t open and close, nor does steaming let them ‘breathe’. With that said, pores can dilate and stretch (after all, it’s just skin), and steaming tends to soften the gunk inside blocked pores. This makes it easier to remove. Cleaner pores also diminish its appearance to the naked eye, which is why many skincare products focus on blackhead removal and purification.

What stretches pores? The number one factor is clogging, or the skin losing some of its structural support due to ageing or sun damage.  Wearing an SPF religiously will help protect your pores from sun damage and enlarging.

What shrinks pores? Vitamin A (retinol) in prescriptive doses can help shrink the oil gland underneath the pores, thereby reducing pore size. Keeping them clean by using the occasional chemical exfoliant and blackhead-targeting skincare will also reduce its appearance. We love the entire Sebiaclear range from SVR for this purpose, or using an oil-soaking clay mask with AHAs twice a week like this one from Innisfree.

Of course, a big part of pore size is genetics: and skincare can’t turn that on its head! But don’t stress - the bottom line is that visible pores are a reality of having normal, healthy skin. The airbrushed images we see on social media are simply not reality.  Also, pores serve an important purpose – it allows your natural oil (sebum) to be secreted to your skin’s surface, thereby protecting your skin, and keeping it youthful and supple. See? Pores are a good thing!


Myth #3: It doesn’t matter when you use a moisturizer after cleansing – as long as you use one

Wrong. Waiting a few minutes between drying your face completely and applying creams can actually dehydrate your surface cells, making it harder to moisturize. The gold standard is to apply your moisturizer when your skin is still slightly damp (not completely wet, mind you).

This is especially true for any serum containing hyaluronic acid. Have you ever wondered why your skin feels drier after using a hyaluronic serum? It’s because hyaluronic acid needs moisture to work – especially if you live in a dry climate. When applied to skin in dry conditions, it may pull moisture from your skin rather than the air, making you feel even more dehydrated! You don't have to live in a rainforest to use it, but the best practice is to apply on damp skin, so that it can absorb and hold the surface moisture.

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