Am I canceling out all the benefits of one?
August 23, 2007 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Lotion Filter: What order to you put on face stuff?

Say you wash your face then you have an benzoyl peroixde spot treatment, a retinol lotion and a sunscreen to put on. Does it matter what order you put them on in? It seems like some of them would cancel out the other ones.

Same thing with say baby oil, retinol, and a sunscreen.
posted by stormygrey to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I hope the baby oil is not for your face!

Your sunscreen has to go on last, regardless, but do: benzoyl, retinol, sunscreen.
posted by tristeza at 6:56 AM on August 23, 2007

Don't use benzoyl peroxide and retinol simultaneously. They're contraindicated, and will cancel each other out. I prefer to use retinol at night, since it increases your sun sensitivity, but if you use one at night and one in the morning, everything should be fine.

Oh, and don't use retinol or Px retinoids if you're pregnant; the increased amounts of Vitamin A could cause birth defects.

Sunscreen should always be the last thing you put on your face before makeup. But I'd be concerned about combining baby oil and a sunscreen -- I think the mineral oil would break down the sunscreen and cause it to wear off faster.
posted by junkbox at 6:57 AM on August 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

No, ha!, baby oil and a mild retinol/sunscreen lotion is for the body.
posted by stormygrey at 6:59 AM on August 23, 2007

Benzoyl goes on after you wash your face as it's the stuff that's treating acne or preventing pimples and sunscreen goes on last. It might be better to get a moisturizer with sunscreen in it though as that might save you a step.
posted by thelongcon at 7:01 AM on August 23, 2007

junxbox is right; you shouldn't be putting on benzoyl and retinol on your face at the same time. And I always put stuff on my face before I put it on my body, because I don't want any residue from the body stuff on my face (and you definitely do not want baby oil on your face). If I'm reading the combination of things you use correctly, it sounds like you should be doing this:

Morning: Benzoyl on face, body lotion, body sunscreen
Night: Retional on face, baby oil on body, body sunscreen(are you putting on sunscreen at night?)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:22 AM on August 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't purposefully put on sunscreen at night, but the lotion I like that has a good mild retinol base just happens to have a sunscreen as well. I am just trying to avoid having 30 bottles of different kinds of lotion.
posted by stormygrey at 7:33 AM on August 23, 2007

Why? Having 30 bottles of lotion is one of life's great joys.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:52 AM on August 23, 2007 [4 favorites]

Having your retinol + moisturizer + suncreen in one product is kind of problematic, because it's hard to avoid combining it with the BP. Plus you end up wearing the sunscreen at night.

If you could have one moisturizing retinol product for night, and a moisturizer + sunscreen for day (after the BP), then that's only one more bottle than you currently have and your problems are solved.
posted by junkbox at 8:05 AM on August 23, 2007

Benzoyl peroxide, then moisturizer/sunscreen OR retinol, then moisturizer. More info here.

Also, generally put things with thinner textures (more liquid) on first, followed by thicker products.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:12 AM on August 23, 2007

I always heard that you should apply the benzoyl peroxide, wait 5 minutes or so for it to soak in/dry/whatever it does, and then apply lotions, sunscreens, makeup, etc. This is especially true if you're spot-treating with the BP, because immediate application of other products will just spread the little bit of cream all over your face, leaving much less on the spots you wanted to treat.
posted by vytae at 9:44 AM on August 23, 2007

Here is a great article on how to layer your products.

At the bottom of the article she notes that Vitamin A and Benzoyl peroxide do not play well with others. You should be using those alone.
posted by 26.2 at 10:17 AM on August 23, 2007

I always put BP on before bed, with or without a little moisturizer. It can bleach linens, though.
posted by moonlet at 10:53 AM on August 23, 2007

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