When the sun is out, as it turns out, using certain ingredients at the wrong time could lead to even bigger problems, especially when exposed to the sun. Think dark spots, redness and irritation and even premature signs of aging. Yikes! When it comes to skin care, knowing which ingredients work best with your skin (and why) is key. But another equally important factor that you may sometimes forget to consider is when they should be applied.

Follow along to find out if your go-to morning moisturizer should be saved for after-hours instead.

Retinol Structure in 3D

#1 Retinol

This vitamin A derivative is universally hailed as an anti-aging superstar, thanks to its tiny molecular structure and antioxidant and exfoliating properties that help accelerate cell turnover, rebuild collagen and reduce dark spots, fine lines and creases. With enough sunscreen protection, newer formulations of retinol can be safely used during the day, but experts still advise limiting its use to night-time especially for those who have sensitive skin.

A well-known adverse effect associated with retinoid use is sun sensitivity, which is thought mainly to be due to a thinning of the outermost dead layer of skin cells. Retinol is extremely unstable and easily degraded to biologically inactive forms upon exposure to light and air.

Hydroquinone Structure in 3D

#2 Hydroquinone 

A lightening agent that delivers quick results, hydroquinone is typically relied on when looking to refine age spots, hormonally induced pigmentation or melasma and acne or pimple marks. It works by inhibiting the production of melanin, which can make skin more susceptible to sun damage. Although hydroquinone is stable in sunlight, it’s not advisable to use it during the day as the sun’s skin-darkening effects are stronger than hydroquinone’s bleaching effect. On the other hand, while you can use hydroquinone during the day, it “needs very strict sun avoidance and high UVA/UVB protection as it will definitely make your [skin] more sensitive in the sun.”

#3 Citrus Oils

Citrus essential oils—like bergamot, grapefruit and lemon, to name a few—are often found in face and body care products like lotions and moisturizers and are known for their antioxidant, anti-acne and nourishing benefits. However, they can also be phototoxic, which means that when exposed to ultraviolet light, these oils can cause redness, inflammation and discoloration on your skin. They may accelerate burns and cause phytophotodermatitis.

#4 AHAs/BHAs

Light chemical exfoliators like AHAs and BHAs are essential in keeping your pores clog-free and refining wrinkles and dark spots. They help encourage cell turnover, allow for better absorption of products by getting rid of your skin’s dead and damaged cells and are best known as the saviours of acne-prone skin. But if you’re thinking a quick peel before stepping out of the house in the morning couldn’t hurt, experts say you may need to proceed with caution.

These acids exfoliate, thereby shedding top layers of skin and revealing skin underneath, making it more sensitive to sunlight. You can use them during the day, but it is essential to avoid the sun and use daily sunscreen—particularly physical sunscreens—to block UV light from reaching your skin.

So guys, it is always important to read labels on skincare to be safe. That is why Shaklee Youth skincare supplies its customers with a regimen card to educate their users. Want to look younger, longer? Contact Mommy J for a free consultation and best price for Youth Starter sets and get 10% discount and a free lifetime membership and so much more!

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