Sit Down with Skin Scientist, Terri Vinson Jones

Our founder and formulator, Terri answers five of our most frequently asked questions on skincare routines, ingredients, and must-have products from Synergie Skin.

What are your must-haves in a skincare routine?

Let’s keep it simple with our A, B, C, D, and Z. There isn’t one person who wouldn’t benefit from using these ingredients and Synergie products topically:

  • Vitamin A: Stabilised Retinol or Hydroxypinacolone retinoate [HPR] found in Acceler-A
  • Vitamin B3: Niacinamide (and our award-winning vitamin B has 13%!)
  • Vitamin C: L-ascorbic Acid or Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate [ATIP] – try Effica C
  • Dermiotic: Pre and Postbiotics (the microbiome balancers) 
  • Zinc Oxide: Physical sunscreen (in the form of a moisturiser like ÜberZinc or mineral makeup i.e. Synergie Minerals)


Can you explain your philosophy of the ‘ABC of Skincare’?

This is a phrase I coined 20 years ago! Vitamins A, B3 and C perform in very different ways but work in perfect synergy to create optimal skin health and appearance. These are my skincare staples!


Always include daily skin vitamins in your skincare routine: A, B, and C. These essential ingredients are recommended for all skin types.


  • Vitamin A (retinoids such as stabilised retinol and Hydroxypinacolone retinoate) regulates skin turnover and major skin processes
  • Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) maximises hydration, controls oil and pigmentation, improves skin immunity, builds collagen and creates a healthier skin barrier
  • Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid/ATIP ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate) is the essential antioxidant to neutralise free radical damage created by UV rays and environmental pollutants


In the morning, I recommend vitamin C as your essential daily free radical protector. It partners perfectly with your Zinc oxide physical sunscreen for solar protection. For the evening, apply your active serums containing vitamin A and vitamin B3 for overnight cell repair and regeneration.

Why is it so important to always wear sunscreen?

This is your insurance policy against ageing! Even though SPF measures UVB (burning) rays, ageing and deeply penetrating UVA rays are insidious, cancer-producing, and can even penetrate glass and clouds. UVA is the invisible  'solar ninja' responsible for solar ageing and skin cancers, so it is important to use a broad-spectrum sun protection moisturiser (to protect against both UVA and UVB) or mineral makeup containing high levels of zinc oxide and iron oxide pigments. Preferably choose a product with a minimum of 20% zinc oxide to give optimal UV protection during the day. Natural iron oxide pigments present in quality mineral makeup also protect against damaging blue light which can cause pigmentation issues. Sun protection is the essential ingredient and your number-one insurance policy against ageing and skin damage.

What is your favourite ingredient/product of all time?

Vitamin B serum is hands-down the product that would put me into a state of anxiety if I were without it for a day! The superhero ingredient niacinamide is my personal favourite, for several reasons. It’s a dream to work with as a formulator – it’s stable, has a very low molecular size so it penetrates the skin easily to reach those target cells, and is gentle on almost every skin type. Niacinamide has so many amazing skin benefits, including:


  • Improving the skin’s barrier function
  • Promoting better skin immunity to fight off environmental aggression
  • Improving tone and texture
  • Increasing hydration levels through increasing ceramide production
  • Enhancing collagen production to reduce fine lines and increase skin firmness

What are some ingredients that don’t mix well together and why? 

  • Vitamin A in the form of retinol should not be mixed with products containing an acidic pH. (e.g. AHA/BHA serums or L-ascorbic acid crystals mixed with water to a pH of less than 4 ). These can neutralise the effectiveness of retinol. Remember, it's the final pH of the product rather than the presence of acids themselves that impacts retinol. 
  • Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) shouldn’t be mixed with acidic products that have a pH below 4 (e.g. glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid or L-ascorbic acid serums). This causes the niacinamide to undergo a chemical reaction that changes the structure of the molecule. It will not be as effective and may cause facial flushing. Always try and use for acidic products at a separate time of day to your niacinamide and retinol. 
    • Note: This rule does not necessarily apply to retinoids such as Hydroxypinacolone retinoate, of other ester forms of vitamin C such as ATIP.
  • This is why we avoid mixing L-ascorbic acid-based vitamin C in the morning with both vitamin A and B serums at night. Vitamin C, your daily antioxidant is always best used in the morning to fight those environmental and solar free radicals.
  • In closing, you’ll note that Terri emphasises the importance of straightforward skincare routines and science-backed ingredients for radiant skin. If you’re looking to start your skincare journey with Synergie Skin today, take our skin quiz to find a personalised routine for your concerns. 

[Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not replace professional skincare advice. Consult a dermatologist or skincare specialist for personalised recommendations.]