Stretching your Stash: Mixing Skincare

Sometimes, whether you're bored of what you own, or you have some idea of an ideal product in your head, you just need to mix things up. Literally. I love to mix and match skincare items I own to blend their textures and ingredients and get new and different benefits in my routine. I wanted to write about some of my absolute favorite combos!

Best. Sleeping Pack. Ever.

I discovered this superb combination when I was desperate for a heavy sleeping pack. Something more protective and occlusive than my gel-textured Asian packs, but with a less-greasy feel than the classic "layer of Vaseline" technique. The silicones and small amount of water-based goodness within this mostly wax/oil based formula create a slippery, non-sticky heaviness that's delightful. Used alone, the Healing Ointment is incredibly heavy in a good way, but it does have a bit of a greaseball finish. It's not as bad as Vaseline but eh...not too elegant a finish.

The Cerave Moisturizing Cream is a light-medium moisturizer. It's lightly hydrating, moderately occlusive, and not too emollient (oily.) This velvety light texture makes it an ideal "carrier" for something a bit greasy like the Ointment.

The Ointment provides a heavy "grip" and protective surface that the cream alone lacks. The Cream provides a vehicle for the ointment to fully absorb and sink in without disappearing.These two are a match made in heaven.

This trick can be performed with any moderately heavy moisturizing cream and an ointment such as Vaseline, Aquaphor, pure lanolin, etc. However, the silicone content in the Cerave Ointment makes it uniquely perfect. The results with the other ointments are not as lovely, sad to say.

Try this if you...have a damaged moisture barrier, prefer heavy sleeping packs, use A/C or heating while you sleep.

Daytime Priming Moisturizer

I discovered the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Pro Recovery Accelerator while googling reviews for its more famous sister the Cicaplast Baume B5. While the Baume is a richer nighttime cream with a white cast, the Accelerator is a silicone gel with the same zinc and panthenol but a much lighter, transparent texture. Like the Baume, the zinc in the Accelerator can be ever so slightly drying. It makes it ideal for oily and acneic skin as the zinc does help heal active acne and prevent new breakouts.

I find that the two mixed together make an amazing addition to any day cream or used alone when prepping the skin for foundation application. They form a moisturizing but non-greasy barrier that simultaneously stops the water from escaping my skin and stops oils from breaking down my face makeup. I have noticed better wear time with less cracking and more comfort on days I wear this combo under makeup. The majority of makeup primers (expressly marketed and priced as such) are silicone-based yet they tend to sit on top of the skin and mess with subsequent layers. I find this particular combo conforms to and sinks into my skin's surface, yielding an unobtrusive layer that doesn't need to be worked around.

While I commonly use this as a thin final step before sunscreen, I will also sometimes mix this combo in with some Cerave Cream and use it as an all-in-one morning step.

Try this if you...have dehydrated skin and wear makeup, find your makeup cracking near the end of the day, need something soothing and protective when covering your acne.

Moisturizing Honey Mask (Yes Another One!)

If you haven't already read my DIY hydrating honey mask post then go do that now. I was used to the honey/toner mask technique when I decided one day I wanted something a bit heavier and more creamy. My favorite creamy mask is the Avène Soothing Moisture Mask, which somehow calms and smooths the skin while also doing a great job of relieving my irritation. I slather it on the night after I have a bad day of skin-picking and it allows me to wake up looking human.

When I want something with a bit of gentle acne-fighting power, but I'd like an added nourishing component, I mix the Avène mask with a dollop of honey. The nice thing is the honey does not drip at all. It eventually dries to the point where I feel a slight film on my face, un-sticky but noticeable, that dissolves when rinsed. When I use the Avène mask alone, I allow it to sink in and I do not rinse. But with the honey component it does require washing off before you go to sleep. If you are just laying around, it's a fabulous mask to wear for a few hours to reap the benefits of honey without getting it allover.

Try this if you...suffer from irritation and acne, need a gentle way to soothe your skin.

I hope these mixes work as well for you as they did for me. If you don't own the specific products above, you can still easily apply these principles. Some combinations will turn out poorly, but if you don't try, you'll never know!


  1. This is great! I'm another skincare cocktailer. I particularly like mixing facial oil in with moisturizer, especially at night or in the winter. While you obviously don't do this, I do think it's important to point out that mixing SPF with anything will reduce its effectiveness as a sunscreen, and that you shouldn't store your skincare cocktails. Mix fresh each time.

    1. Hey TeaLeaves! I recognize your handle from /r/AB :)

      I wanted to keep this post simple- the one I made on AB does specify NO STORING your mixes. Very bad idea every time. SPF mixing is always a no-go. I'm probably doing a master SPF post soon enough. I'll make sure to mention that as it's one of the more egregious mistakes I see newbies making.

  2. I just wanted to thank you for freeing my mind and mixing my aloe gel with my raw honey masks. Most evenings during this weather transition stage I can be found with various mask mixes on my face, a bit of DL Panthenol mixed with the aloe first and well just thank you.

    1. Wonderful idea there- I actually have some plain aloe lying around I rarely use and I think that mixing it in with my honey for a springtime/summer mask would be fabulous. I actually rarely apply anything "neat" nowadays, I am mixing and matching like a mofo most days.


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