Main content


When it comes to advanced anti-ageing skincare, peptides are a highly efficacious ingredient option. Found in creams, lotions, facial gels and serums, peptides can work synergistically with other skincare ingredients for mature skin to help ensure optimal benefits. However, it’s also important to be aware of the fact that not all skincare ingredients mix well with peptides. Some may render peptides less efficacious, while some combinations may be too much for the skin.


That’s why we’ve created this overall guide on what skincare ingredients to mix with peptides. Keep reading to learn about how peptides may interact with the other ingredients present in your skincare routine, including advice on peptides and vitamin C, as well as peptides and retinol. We’ll also provide some suggested peptide and other product combinations from the SkinCeuticals range.


Put simply, you can think of peptides as the building blocks of different proteins that are found within the skin. These proteins include elastin, collagen and keratin. In more technical terms, peptides can be defined as short amino acid chains. They are smaller than the proteins themselves and therefore more easily absorbed into your skin.

In practice, peptides are known for promoting lifting and firmness when used as part of a consistent daily skincare routine. It follows that peptides are a favourable option for those looking to target wrinkles, sagging skin and a loss of firmness. Read our guide to What You Need to Know About Peptides in Skincare for a more detailed explanation of how peptides work within the skin.


While many skincare ingredients work well together with peptides, there are also those that should be avoided. Let’s look at two commonly used hydroxy acids that shouldn’t be mixed with peptides.

Salicylic acid
Extracted from the bark of willow trees, this beta-hydroxy acid is well-suited to skin prone to mild acne. However, peptides and salicylic acid should not be used at the same time, because salicylic acid can make peptides less efficacious.

Glycolic acid
Found in sugar cane, beetroots and fruits, glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid known for its antibacterial and brightening properties. However, AHAs including glycolic acid can also hinder the efficacy of peptides. For that reason, mixing  peptides and glycolic acid is not recommended.

Why shouldn’t these acids be mixed with peptides?
The reason peptides and salicylic acid as well as peptides and glycolic acid aren’t efficacious ingredient combinations is because peptides are susceptible to hydrolysis when exposed to acids. This means the bonds in the amino acid chains may break, converting the peptides into individual amino acids and lowering efficacy.


Now that we’ve discussed ingredients to avoid mixing with peptides, let’s move on to some favourable combinations like peptides and niacinamide or vitamin C serums. Read on for more details.


Peptides and vitamin C are a classic ingredient combination for good reason, as their anti-ageing benefits can complement each other. But should you use peptides or vitamin C first? Whether it’s copper peptides and vitamin C you’re mixing or another type of peptides, we always recommend applying on your vitamin C first.

Try applying our C E Ferulic Vitamin C Serum, waiting a few mintues for it to absorb, then following up with our peptide-enriched Metacell Renewal Skin Tightening Cream.


Copper peptides and retinol are another complementary ingredient combination. Retinol also works well with other types of peptides, too. In terms of whether to use products with peptides or retinol first, apply retinol to skin first.

You can mix peptides and retinol together, or opt for a retinol cream with peptides included in the formula. For example, our Tripeptide-R Retinol Neck Repair Cream features tripeptide concentrate and 0.2 per cent pure retinol to target crepiness on the neck. These two powerful ingredients work together to help visibly lift and smooth skin in this delicate area.


Peptides and niacinamide are also two skincare ingredients that work in harmony on your complexion. If using two separate products, we recommend layering niacinamide on first before applying your peptide product – like our Body Tightening and Firming Concentrate.

However, these two ingredients are often found within the same product formula. Our Metacell Renewal Skin Tightening Cream contains both niacinamide and peptides to simultaneously comfort and firm the skin. Niacinamide comforts sensitive skin or skin prone to redness, while peptides firm and tighten your complexion.


Last but not least, peptides and hyaluronic acid are yet another ingredient combination that can be used together for maximal skin benefits. So, should you use peptides or hyaluronic acid first? Hyaluronic acid works by drawing moisture from the atmosphere directly into the skin’s surface, so we recommend using your hyaluronic acid serum first on slightly damp skin.

If you have sensitive skin or skin prone to reactions, start with our Phyto Corrective Gel Soothing Serum. If your skin is lacking moisture or in need of plumping, we recommend starting with our HA Intensifier Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

Once your hyaluronic acid serum has had a moment to settle, follow up with our peptide-enriched Redness Neutralizer Cream. This comforting formula contains Palmitoyl tripeptide-8, a biometric peptide that comforts the skin by helping reduce increases in skin temperature. Glycerin further hydrates the skin, while bisabolol from the chamomile plant helps provide additional comfort.

Overall, peptides and hyaluronic acid ensure that the skin is boosted with essential proteins and adequate hydration, to allow your complexion to gain a more youthful look.

Now that you’ve absorbed everything you need to know about what skincare ingredients to mix with peptides, why not learn about our daily anti-ageing skincare routine for mature skin?




Find a skincare
near you

Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device