Should You Use Retinol in the Daytime?

According to the fundamental rules of skin care, people are supposed to apply retinoids before going to sleep. It’s necessary to boost their effectiveness and minimize the sensitivity of the skin to UV rays. But with the advent of innovative formulations that can boast greater stability, selected dermatology experts state that it’s possible to wear retinoid or retinol when the sun is high (as well as after dark). The most important condition is to combine them with sunblock and moisturizer.

What does science say about applying retinol from sunrise to sunset? And how to do it correctly? In this article, we shed much-needed light on this often puzzling issue and get to the bottom of the problem.

Let’s start with the basic facts on retinol and retinoids. All the latter, as dermatologists say, are varieties of vitamin A. They’re divided into retinol, retinoic acid, retinyl esters and aldehydes. Human skin converts retinyls and retinol to be able to benefit from them — but it’s not the case with prescription retinoic acid. Only specific skin types require retinoids — and it’s time for retinol to enter the limelight. This is the usual over-the-counter product. It provokes less irritation and you can combine it with other components for extra benefits.

For many years, dermatology experts have been promoting the advantages of retinoids. They’re still considered to be top ingredients for the prevention of acne and acne scars. Plus, they enable the skin to produce collagen that eliminates wrinkles. These components won’t cause the skin to burn in the sun if you apply them until dusk. But they will be less effective during daylight hours.

Is it possible to use retinoids when the sun is high?

In a nutshell, yes. But you need to understand how to do it correctly.

Only selected skin types can withstand the use of retinoids at any time of the day. It depends on the chosen substances and your skin’s tolerance to them. Many of the original retinoids weren’t stabilized and used to decompose under the influence of UV radiation.

Modern retinoids and retinol provide greater UV stabilization, which facilitates their daytime application. One example of a sun-resistant retinoid is adapalene contained in the Differin gel. Altreno with tretinoin remains stable under UV rays and is risk-free for use before sunset as well.

Although it may seem like a superb idea to use retinoids while the sun is high, it all comes down to your existing problems. If you’re a young girl with oily skin who treats pimples, acne and enlarged pores, your dermatologist may recommend that you use retinoids twice per day. If retinol or retinoid is used for thin mature skin, it would probably be better to use these products only before going to sleep.

If the skin tolerates retinoids twice per day, it’s ok to combine them with SPF. Before applying them, make sure that any retinol or retinoid is safe for use before sunset. All ingredients in this class can make you sensitive to UV rays, so protection is mandatory.

Sunrise to sunset, or the other way round, or both?

As doctors say, the stability of all retinoids applied in the daytime is a vital factor. It’s recommended to start with a minimal concentration (think of 0.25%) and watch how the skin reacts. As soon as the skin gets used to them, gradually increase the dose to twice per day, if necessary.

Proper application is crucial. Dermatologists recommend you should start by washing your face with a mild cleanser. Wait for twenty minutes. Apply a pea-sized amount of retinoid to your face and finalize the ritual by applying SPF 30. This should prevent irritation or dryness. The sensitivity of the outer layer of the skin goes up as a result of applying retinoids. This may boost the probability of burns — so SPF is essential.

Be careful when combining substances derived from vitamin A with other skin care components. For example, substances like benzoyl peroxide lead to retinol deactivation, so it doesn’t make sense to mix them. Thus, with a reasonable approach, you may well use retinol during daylight hours. Yet the frequency of application and combination with other products depends on your skin’s reaction and needs.

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