By Lucy Kuper, Biologi Dermal Specialist

K Beauty and 10-step skincare routines have encouraged the practice of layering skincare products however unfortunately most people don’t understand ingredients well enough to do this effectively and safely. If you don’t have a science degree, then chances are you might not truly understand how skincare ingredients work together. Thankfully, there are some basic rules that can be easily avoided to ensure that your skincare products actually work together and to avoid any harsh reactions on the skin.  

“Stripping back an overly complicated skincare routine and moving away from layering products can not only be liberating, but it is incredibly healthy for the skin. There are many factors that can interfere with the delicate balance of the skin’s acid mantle – from washing our faces too much, through to the products we use and our lifestyle choices such as sun exposure or smoking. Almost everything that comes in contact with our skin can contribute to the breaking down of the acid mantle and disrupting the skin’s ability to protect itself. So, by trying to minimise the overexposure of the things we can change, we’re allowing our skin to go back to basics (the way nature intended).” Biologi Dermal Specialist Lucy Kuper


It’s basic science that can tell us that oil and water don’t mix. In fact, oil actually repels water, so using an oil-based product will leave a film on your skin which then prevents any water-based formulas from actually absorbing. So, it’s literally sitting on top of your skin not doing anything! If you feel like you want to use an oil based product combined with a water based product, apply the water based product first and allow it to soak in before applying the oil based.  


Many people aren’t aware that certain ingredients can cancel each other out. For example, using Vitamin C and layering it with AHAs or BHAs destabilises the Vitamin C and renders it useless. Be sure to do thorough research before you layer any products.

“Active ingredients are the things in your skincare that give you the benefits, but some of these ingredients can react with other active ingredients. A great example is applying Vitamin C in conjunction with AHAs or BHAs – Vitamin C is really unstable, so any acids you layer it with will destabilise the pH balance and render it completely useless (or aka a total waste of time and money)!” Biologi Dermal Specialist Lucy Kuper


Many active ingredients don’t actually ‘like’ each other, and if you layer these on top of your skin, it can result in a negative reaction like redness or peeling. An example of this is when applying a Glycolic Acid to remove dead skin cells, then applying a product with Salicylic Acid – This can cause major reactions to the skin by stripping the epidermis. Another common example is applying retinol and hydroxy acids together – they also both possess potentially irritating side effects when used on their own, but especially when combined. Both retinols and hydroxy acids are incredibly harsh on the skin, so they cause even more detriment when used together.


Another thing to be aware of is that our skin cells can actually retain toxins and if you’re applying several different synthetic ingredients on your skin, you can get a toxic build up over time. This can then cause skin sensitisation which can reveal itself in the form of inflammation, dermatitis, eczema or even acne. The good news is that Biologi’s serums have the unique ability to penetrate the skin cells to remove any toxic build up, then get to work on rejuvenating the cell naturally.