Question: Is it okay to use a BHA or AHA with my retinoid?


It's okay to use a BHA or AHA treatment with a retinoid, but it depends on how your skin handles the combination of products.

If your skin can tolerate the BHA or AHA with the retinoid and not get red, irritated, and flaky, then it’s fine to use them together. If you are already experiencing irritation with retinoid use alone, it's best to avoid combining the retinoid with any additional acids or harsh exfoliants.

To use a BHA or AHA with retinoids, you can apply the BHA or AHA in the morning and the retinoid at night. Alternatively, you could use the BHA or AHA before applying the retinoid. Depending on the formulation of the BHA or AHA, it could help enhance penetration of the retinoid, making it stronger. For more information about the order of which to apply products, check here.

It's generally better to not exfoliate when you are already using retinoids on your skin, but if your skin can tolerate it, it's okay to gently exfoliate.

Last updated: September 27, 2012

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