Skin Care Mixology Hacks: How to Mix and Match Beauty Products

Cleansing cocktails.

As children we were all wizards and potion masters, baristas and bartenders. Old bottles of soap, shampoo, and bubble bath with the dregs stuck at the bottom became test tubes and vials for our mad scientist experiments. As we grow up, we swap out the bubble cocktails for liquor ones but the fun of mixology remains the same. Skin care allows adults to combine the childhood urge to experiment and mix with the adulthood urge for proper effects. When used in tandem, these lotions and potions increase the effectiveness and luxurious skin-feel of the individual products.

The Do’s and Don’t’s

Unfortunately, there is not endless cocktail potential to skincare products. It is not a strange alchemy that creates the products we use, it is a carefully considered list of chemicals, and they do not all mix well. Some people have more adverse reactions to mixing products than others depending on skin type but the general rules are as follows: mixing salicylic acid and glycolic acid will strip the skin; do not mix retinol with vitamin C or salicylic/glycolic acids if you have sensitive skin because it can be irritating; water based before oil based not the other way around; you don’t need an exfoliant and a brightening product, they will make your skin more photosensitive and increase dark spots.

Combining Cleansers

By now, everyone knows the importance of the double cleanse, but for those who aren’t a fan of the heavy Instagram makeup or who simply don’t have the time to wash their face twice, there are a few things you can do. At the very least, spend 30 seconds minimum working the product into your face before rinsing it off but ideally there are products you can combine to do the job of the double cleanse. You can also mix two parts of a foaming cleanser with one part of a hydrating cleansing milk for effectively cleansed and cashmere soft skin. Alternatively, Etiket aesthetician Emmanuelle Vollant advises that you apply a multipurpose facial oil to prep the skin and then use a cleaner to get the most out of the exfoliation.


Masks and Oil

For a deeply purifying and cleansing effect, you can combine a cleansing oil (2-3 pumps/drops) with a small amount (1/2 pea size) of a purifying mask and lather with water until it emulsifies. Massage on to the skin and then rinse off for an effective breakout treatment and a deeper cleanse. You can also calm extremely dry and irritated skin by adding a few drops of a recovery oil to a moisturizing mask. Mix them in your hands and apply to clean, dry skin and wait for 20 minutes before rinsing for dewier skin. If you half the amounts of each product you can also use it as an overnight mask.

Masks and Toner

Combining a purifying clay from a mask like the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask with a toner that contains salicylic acid can create an intense pore cleansing treatment. Mix half a teaspoon of toner in a bowl with 1-2 pea sized amounts of a detoxifying mask and apply to the face for 7-15 minutes (depending on how thick a layer you apply) before rinsing off.


Clarins created a range of boosters to be used with a carrier product—usually a moisturizer or serum—for relief of temporary flair ups and dullness. Boosters as a product are always good to have on hand for an extra defense when your ongoing daily routine isn’t cutting it. Similar to how one would use a spot treatment on a as-needed basis, a booster can be added to almost any product (remember the rules above) when required. Mix a booster in to your reusable sheet mask concoction for incredible potency.

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