You should use retinoids (e.g., retinoic acid or tretinoin) all year long, including the summer season. Retinoids can temporarily make your skin more sensitive to the sun due to the fact that tretinoin pulls oil and dry skin cells away from the skin. Luckily, sunscreen easily prevents any excess sun sensitivity. And bonus — sunscreen is a fantastic way to protect and promote healthy skin anyways.
It’s also important to know that tretinoin actually protects your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and the cell damage that goes along with that. Therefore, using tretinoin during the summer helps to prevent photodamage for long-lasting healthy skin. In addition to prevention, retinoids treat sun and dark spots, fine lines, and uneven texture caused by photodamage from the sun.
How to use retinoids during summer
For summertime use of tretinoin, the tried and true retinoid to treat photoaging, it is important to do the following three things:
- Wear a high SPF (at least over 30) sunscreen every day and reapply every 1-2 hours. It is recommended with or without tretinoin use. Zinc and titanium oxide products are ideal.
- Apply only a pea-sized amount of tretinoin on clean, dry skin at nighttime.
- Apply a moisturizer 15-20 minutes after applying tretinoin to immediately replenish the cells.
Optional: Mix a pea-sized amount of tretinoin with a pea-sized amount of a clean, neutral moisturizer and apply for a 2-in-1 treatment. If you find that this slows down skin improvement, you can increase the frequency of application.
For best results, use retinoic acid all year long and always wear sunscreen! Retinoids are an amazing way to get healthy, glowing skin and should be used consistently to achieve the best effects.