Are Hybrid Skincare Products as Effective as Single-Purpose Products? We Investigate

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In the skincare world, it feels like our daily regimens are getting more complex by the day. Knowing what active ingredients are right for your skin and then figuring out the best way to slot them into your routine can feel overwhelming. And if you’re someone who’s dealing with sensitive or acne-prone skin, finding the right products can feel like a minefield. 

Keeping it simple can be particularly helpful when trying to keep your skin calm and happy, and finding a routine that not only works for you but is one that you can actually stick to, is paramount. According to dermatologist, Dr. Brendan Camp, a good basic skincare routine involves cleansing twice a day and using a moisturiser with SPF in the morning and a moisturiser in the evening. This is also particularly good news for anyone who knows exactly what their skin needs but doesn’t have the time to carefully layer multiple products.

Sounds simple, right? It is! But simple’s not to be confused with ineffective, and another tip Camp offered to help you establish a solid foundation is to take advantage of well-formulated hybrid skincare products. Ahead, we’re explaining exactly what that means. 

What Is a Hybrid Skincare Product?

Simply put, hybrid skincare products are multi-use items that serve more than one purpose at once. “[These products] have become popular because they help pare down the number of steps involved in a skincare routine,” Camp tells POPSUGAR Australia. “Rather than layering on multiple different products, hybrid products offer the convenience and efficacy of using one product to accomplish two or three tasks.”

Hybrid skincare products are often associated with leave-on topicals, but according to Camp, cleansers are also an example of multi-purpose products. “For example, adding hyaluronic acid to a cleanser may help prevent the skin from drying out as hyaluronic acid acts as a humectant, helping draw moisture to the skin,” he says. “Other cleansers may contain acne ingredients, like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, that clean the skin and treat acne at the same time.”

Can Hybrid Skincare Products Be as Effective as Single-Purpose Skincare?

Depending on the product or formulation, multi-purpose skincare products can be extremely effective — particularly if it helps people who often forget to do their regimen (or feel overwhelmed by all the options) use efficacious products regularly or time-poor beauty lovers get the benefit of using multiple skincare products in one step. 

“People who are not as consistent with using skincare products are a great audience for hybrid skincare products,” says Camp. “[They can] save time by streamlining the skincare routine and may also increase the likelihood that someone sticks to the routine over time — and consistency is very important in seeing results.”

Camp also explains that the potency of active ingredients can be as high as in single-purpose products, but it can also be lower. “For example, if a retinol product is marketed for use on the eyelid skin and the face, one may presume that the concentration of retinol is low enough to not be too irritating to the eyelid skin, which tends to be more sensitive,” he says. 

Are There Any Active Skincare Ingredients That Shouldn’t Be Combined?

Cutting back on the number of steps in your skincare routine while still getting results is a dream situation that’s definitely achievable. But it’s also important to cast a critical eye over the products you’re using and remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it just might be. 

Basically, there are active ingredient combinations that play nicely together, and others that don’t. “Some ingredients may not combine easily because one can influence the stability of the other and alter its efficacy,” Camp says. “Some ingredients don’t go well together because they can be too irritating, for example, a retinol and alpha- or beta-hydroxy acid.” 

Camp explains that, on the flip side, ingredients like vitamins C and E are often paired together because vitamin E helps to stabilise the vitamin C, as is the case with the Garnier Green Labs Pinea-C Brightening Serum Cream SPF15, where vitamin C and pineapple tocopherol (vitamin E) are presumably paired for this reason.

SPF is another consideration when looking at multi-purpose ingredients. SPF is an extremely common addition to skincare products, particularly in a country like Australia where the importance of sun protection is particularly important. That said, reapplication is key, and The Cancer Council recommends reapplication every two hours when outdoors, or after swimming, sweating, or towel drying.

If you want to check out the range of Garnier Green Labs serum creams in the range, head to the Garnier website. 

Editor’s note: Dr. Brendan Camp is an independent dermatologist and is not contracted to Garnier Green Labs in any capacity.
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