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Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol Together?

Retinol and hyaluronic acid have maintained their status as two of the most buzz-worthy skincare ingredients. But can you use these powerhouses at the same time? We’re breaking down everything you need to know about using hyaluronic acid and retinol in your routine. 

Hyaluronic Acid vs Retinol

Retinol and hyaluronic acid serve two very different purposes. Retinol is a multi-tasking ingredient that is primarily known for its ability to tackle signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, and a loss of firmness and elasticity. It also helps unclog pores for a clearer complexion, and can fade discoloration. 

Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, is all about hydration. This humectant attracts water to the skin and locks it in, promoting a softer and more supple complexion. 

Can Hyaluronic Acid & Retinol Be Used Together?

Short answer: yes, hyaluronic acid and retinol can absolutely be used together. In fact, this is a winning combination! One of the most common side effects people experience when using retinol is dryness. By combining it with hyaluronic acid, you’re ensuring the skin is getting extra hydration support to counteract these effects. 

The Right Way to Use Them Together

Retinol and hyaluronic acid can be layered in a few different ways, depending on your skin type and goals, as well as the types of formulas you are using. It’s typically recommended that people follow a thinnest to thickest rule when applying their serums and treatments. For example, if your retinol is more lightweight, you’ll apply that first to clean, dry skin. After letting it absorb for at least 10 minutes, you can follow up with your hyaluronic acid serum, and then a moisturizer.

That said, you can also apply hyaluronic acid first, even if it’s thicker. This is especially beneficial for those with dry or sensitive skin, as the hyaluronic acid can serve as a buffer to reduce the negative side effects of retinol. 


Hyaluronic Pure Boost Serum

Potential Side Effects & Sensitivities

Hyaluronic acid is a gentle ingredient that has virtually no side effects. That said, some people – especially those with sensitive skin – should patch test their hyaluronic acid product first to ensure they won’t experience any negative reactions. 

In addition to causing dryness, retinol can also aggravate the skin – especially when used too frequently or when using a potent formula that your skin hasn’t adjusted to.  The key to reducing your risk of experiencing these side effects is to gradually work retinol into your routine. You may start by using it just once a week for a few weeks, and then working up your usage from there (if it seems suitable for your skin). Doing this will allow your skin to adjust to the treatment, minimizing your risk of a negative reaction. 

Considerations for Different Skin Types

As mentioned, hyaluronic acid is a super gentle ingredient that is suitable for everyone. The key is finding a high-quality formula that doesn’t contain any additional ingredients that may irritate the skin. This is especially important for sensitive skin types. 

The  Hyaluronic Pure Boost Serum has a short and sweet ingredient list, allowing the hyaluronic acid to do its best work. This formula is thoughtfully made without fragrances or other irritants, making it a great choice for all skin types.

Retinol, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated, since it can irritate and dry out the skin. As noted above, this means it needs to be used with caution. 

When choosing a retinol product, it’s smart to seek out a formula that will work best for your skin type. Someone with dry skin, for example, might look for a low concentration retinol cream to help reduce the drying effects. On the other hand, someone with oily skin may be able to tolerate a more lightweight formula with a higher concentration of retinol.