Can You Use Retinol If You Use Sunbeds?

Can You Use Retinol If You Use Sunbeds?

It is advised by skincare experts that if you are using ingredients in your routine that exfoliate the skin, you are making your skin more susceptible to sunburn and potential long-term sun damage to the skin.

There is a common misconception surrounding retinol and how it works on the skin. Quite often many believe retinol, and other retinoid ingredients act as an exfoliants, which in fact is not the case. The way the potent form of vitamin A works on the skin is by increasing the speed of the skin cell turnover. This basically means fresh, new skin cells are pushed to the surface of the skin quicker, leaving you with a brighter, more vibrant complexion.

With this in mind, we are answering the question today of can you use retinol if you use sunbeds? So, without further a due, let’s find out more about using this powerful, anti-ageing ingredient whilst exposed to UV light. If you are wanting to know about retinol and more specifically its skincare benefits, check out our dedicated blog post over on The Beauty Insiders.

Can you use retinol if you use sunbeds?

Technically yes, this is due to retinol not necessarily changing how the skin reacts when it’s exposed to sun light. What you will find is that retinol is sensitive to UV exposure and becomes completely useless, which is why it is considered most effective when applied during your evening skincare routine. As for using retinol if you use sunbeds, this is something can feel a little counter intuitive since retinol is one of the most potent age combating ingredients. Therefore, if you are wanting to reduce the signs of premature ageing, you should probably try your best to avoid sunbeds all together. If you are wanting to continue using sunbeds, it is best to prevent your face from being exposed to too much UV light whilst on a sunbed and always wear a daily SPF of 50, even on days that look overcast.

Does retinol remove suntan?

Yes, it is known for retinol to remove areas of suntan. This is because a natural suntan is a result of an increase of melanin making its way to the surface and changing the overall tone of the skin. Scientifically speaking, suntan is technically sun damage which is one of the main concerns combated by retinoids. Hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and acne scarring are all treated by topical retinols. You may find that after continuing to use retinol products whilst away on holiday you’ll find your face may not get as tanned as you expected or can appear to look uneven in skin tone. It is vital to apply a daily SPF every day and if sunbathing to continue to reapply throughout the day, better still avoid staying out in the sun for prolonged amounts of time.

What happens if you go into the sun with retinol?

You’ll find that if you go into the sun with retinol on the face, your skin will become increasingly irritated, potentially itchy and red. This is because retinol can increase the photosensitivity of the skin to exposure to daily UV rays. As I have already said, you will also find that the effectiveness of retinol is decreased with exposure to the sun meaning there is no value to using it during your morning routine. It is best to apply retinol in the evening and apply an SPF the following morning to ensure the skin is fully protected from further sun damage.

Should I stop using retinol in the summer?

No, there is no need to stop using retinol during the summer, if it is used in the correct way. By now you understand there is no need to use retinol during the day, instead it should be applied during the last stages of your evening routine. When used in the evening, you’ll find that it is able to work uninterrupted by free radicals your skin usually encounters during the day, such as pollution and harsh climates. You’ll find you will be able to reap the rewards whilst you catch up on your beauty sleep.

Does retinol ruin fake tan?

Yes, retinol is known for ruining fake tan. Because of how it works on the skin surface and its ability to kill off dead skin cells you’ll find that if you apply fake tan products or have a spray tan, your face will fade a lot quicker than the rest of your body. It is not just retinol that can cause your tan to fade, other ingredients, such as chemical exfoliates like glycolic acid, lactic acid and vitamin C are also known for sloughing away dead skin cells and removing the results of whichever products tanning product you use.

If you are wanting to prolong the results of fake tan, it is considered best to switch your skincare routine for products containing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and other nourishing formulas to help prolong your desired colour.

What cannot be applied with retinol?

There are a few ingredients that should not be applied to the skin with retinol. These are, vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and AHAs/BHAs, such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid. It is best for those with avoid mixing any of these with retinol because of the variety of pH levels each of these ingredients contain. Unbeknownst for many, when there is an imbalance in the pH levels quite often it will result in a flare-up in redness, itchiness, flaking, and tightness to the skin.

This does not mean you should avoid using these ingredients in your routine if you also use retinol. It is just a case of applying them during different times of the day or alternate days entirely. Once you have established a routine that works for you, you can expect to benefit from all the actives without the worry of any allergic reactions or irritation.

Remember if you have any concerns with trying out a new ingredient or product on the skin, consult with a doctor or dermatologist for the peace of mind you are using the best formulas for you and your skin. Don’t forget to come and follow us on Instagram for new product launches, exclusive discounts, and skincare expert tips.


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