When it comes to skincare superheroes, Retinol takes the crown. Renowned for its remarkable ability to improve skin texture, boost collagen production and combat signs of ageing, Retinol has become a staple ingredient in countless skincare routines. However, many individuals are hesitant to incorporate Retinol into their summer skincare regimen due to concerns about sun sensitivity. Fear not! In this blog post, we will discuss how to use Retinol safely during the summer months, ensuring your skin remains healthy, radiant and protected.
Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A and is a potent ingredient that aids in skin cell turnover and stimulates collagen production. It offers a plethora of benefits, such as reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. However, it can also cause sensitivity, redness and dryness especially when used improperly or without adequate sun protection.
- Gradual Introduction: If you’re new to Retinol, it’s important to introduce it gradually into your skincare routine, regardless of the season. Start by using it once or twice a week, only at night and observe how your skin reacts. Slowly increase the frequency over several weeks until your skin adjusts to it and you are using it every evening.
- SPF Is Non-Negotiable: Sun protection is paramount when using Retinol, especially during the summer. Retinol can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, making it more prone to sunburn and damage. Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher during the day, even if you spend most of your time indoors! Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re outdoors or engaging in water activities.
- Time It Right: To minimise the risk of sun sensitivity, always apply Retinol at night. This allows your skin to undergo its rejuvenating process while you sleep and it reduces the likelihood of sun exposure immediately after application. Cleanse your face thoroughly before applying a pea-sized amount of Retinol to the entire face, avoiding the eye area. For sensitive skin, consider buffering the Retinol by applying a moisturiser first, allowing it to fully absorb, and then layering the Retinol on top. AlumierMD Retinol products have been designed to drip feed into the skin over an 8 hour period, this acclimatises your skin to this product and allows controlled delivery.
- Hydration Is Key: Retinol can cause dryness and flakiness, this is when the build up of dead skin is shedding (which is what we want). However, maintaining a well-hydrated skin barrier by using a serum or moisturiser suitable for your skin type will help to ease that dry feeling. Look for products containing Sodium Hyaluronate (the salt version of hyaluronic acid) or ceramides, as they help retain moisture and restore the skin’s natural balance.
- Skip Exfoliation: While exfoliation is an essential part of a skincare routine, it’s best to avoid harsh physical scrubs or chemical exfoliants when using Retinol during the summer. Retinol itself acts as an exfoliant, promoting cell turnover and combining it with aggressive exfoliation methods can lead to increased sensitivity and sore, irritated skin. Opt for gentle cleansing methods and avoid scrubs or peels that might compromise your skin’s barrier function.
- Listen to Your Skin: Each individuals skin is unique and the response to Retinol may vary. If you experience excessive redness, peeling, or discomfort, it’s crucial to listen to your skin and adjust your Retinol usage accordingly, if you are finding these results it does not mean you’re having a reaction. Consider decreasing the frequency or concentration of Retinol or taking a short break to allow your skin to recover.
- Don’t Take it on Holiday: For ultimate protection, we advise not to take your Retinol product with you on hot, sunny holidays. The chances of protecting our skin fully are small, especially when we’re busy by the pool or beach all day and not remembering to reapply sunscreen. Leave your Retinol at home and gently return to usage after sun exposure.
Retinol is a powerful skincare ingredient that can revolutionise your skincare routine. By following these guidelines and adopting a well informed approach, you can safely enjoy the incredible benefits Retinol offers while protecting your skin from sun damage. Remember, consistency, patience and sun protection are the keys to achieving healthy, glowing skin all year round.