Product Cocktailing: The CliffsNotes Version of Your Skincare Routine

Because sometimes ain't nobody actually do got time for that.
Publish date:
February 26, 2016
masks, essence, cleansers, serums, Mario Badescu, Kiehl's, Laneige, missha, nude, Glossier, scrubs, face cream, CosRx, Cocktailing

I'll be the first person to tout a comprehensive skincare regimen. I am also the person who hits snooze at least twice and is constantly mind-bargaining how much I can actually put off until tomorrow. The two attitudes are kind of mutually exclusive to the point where at times, I'll cut corners if I'm really tired (a sin akin to sleeping in makeup, but possibly worse because I'm already taking it off but in a half-assed manner).

Rather than just skip a skincare step (since I'm neurotic enough about that, I'll convince myself upon waking up that having not used a serum is the reason my skin looks dull in the a.m.), I'll find myself occasionally joining two like-functioned products to team up in the application process.

So far, I'm into the results. I wouldn't say it's necessarily the best way to make your products super-efficient, since most beauty products need to be emulsified together via machines and stuff. But it's a way to get more products on your face quicker.

I use a bit more of each when I do this since, in my mind, I feel like the combination may diminish some efficacy from both if they're battling for absorption real estate on my face.

However, skincare cocktailing isn't a terrible idea in that it hasn't made anything worse, from what I've seen.

I got the idea to try it after getting a facial at Mario Badescu's salon on the Upper East Side and my facialist, Irina, mixed their Botanical Exfoliating Scrub with a bit of a their Cleansing Milk to form a super-gentle and hydrating exfoliant. My skin felt like literal velvet afterwards, which was dashed as soon as the extraction segment began, but I remembered it well. Irina was super-casual about it, like she did it all the time (which is likely does) and with all sorts of products.

It got me thinking...

Generally, what I've taken away from the whole multi-masking trend and even the shampoo-cocktailing trend (which is really another form of spot-targeting with different products) is that if I use products that are similar in function and consistency, they'll mingle well enough to absorb relatively cohesively.

In imitating Irina, I mixed a bit of a dry powder cleanser, NUDE Skincare Detox Brightening Fizzy Power Wash with a few squirts of Glossier Milky Jelly cleanser and rubbed it around my face until the powdered bits are no more (they dissolve eventually when in contact with liquid). It gave the Milky Jelly cleanser, generally a super gentle gel-like cleanser, a bit of teeth to really scrape off my makeup and emulsify it for removal. Two thumbs up.

Another successful(-feeling) combo was this double snail cocktail — it's a snail supreme!

I squirted a bit of CosRx Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence into some of Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream. It's like a super-charged serum-moisturizer hybrid now. They both have a gel-like consistency, so they mixed together really well. The essence is thicker than most essences, so I think it really got a chance to sit on my skin, possibly trapped in the gooey Snail Cream consistency, which leaves a fairly heavy sheen on my face. And that's why I only do this at night.

Another good idea: combine your nighttime skincare products. I tend to use facial oils at night because they look oily on my skin — even the ones that absorb really well. There's still a wee bit of an oily sheen. But since my nighttime products are on the heavier side anyway, I figured they could help each other out.

A few drops mixed in with a gel-like sleeping mask made it less sticky and bit silkier feeling. A few drops of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate with Laneige Water Sleeping Mask made for a double dose of hydration, with the added benefit of the serum's repairing benefits.

Not necessarily EVERYTHING is great to just throw together, though. For instance, I wouldn't mix any acids together, no vitamin C products with retinols, no harsh acids (AHAs, BHAs, etc) should be combined since you can way too easily go overboard on that. I wouldn't necessarily mix your sunscreen with anything since it'll probably just end up diluting your sun protection, unless it's like a BB cream with SPF and an SPF... but that's just getting redundant. You can, however, add a few drops of foundation to your moisturizer to make it into a tinted moisturizer.

I'm not reinventing the wheel here, but the concept of getting all chem lab on your beauty products can save you some time and encourage you to take how and what you put on your skin into greater consideration, which isn't a bad thing.

Do you guys already cocktail your skincare products together? How's that going for you?