Absolutely! Retinoids (e.g., tretinoin) can be used all year long, including during the summer season. Retinoids do temporarily make the skin more sun sensitive, but luckily sunscreen can easily prevent any excess sun sensitivity – and sunscreen is a fantastic way to protect and promote healthy skin anyways. Sensitivity is due to the fact that tretinoin wicks away oil and dry cells from the skin, which means the skin may get more red and dry but also leaves the skin looking bright and healthy.
It’s also important to remember that tretinoin actually protects your skin from ultraviolet rays and the cell damage that goes along with that. Using tretinoin during the summer can help to prevent photo damage for long lasting healthy skin. Retinoids are an amazing way to get healthy, glowing skin and are best used year round and consistently to get the best effects.
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, which is recommended with or without tretinoin use. Zinc and titanium oxide products are ideal.
- Apply only a pea sized amount of tretinoin at nighttime. Apply it on clean, dry skin.
- Apply moisturizer 15-20 minutes after applying tretinoin to immediately replenish the cells.
Optional: Consider mixing a pea sized amount of tretinoin with a pea sized amount of a clean, neutral moisturizer and applying for a 2-in-1 treatment. Although it will slow down skin improvement, consider using tretinoin for fewer days a week.