When trying to devise a skincare routine, which ingredients work best with your skin is essential. It's also important to know which ingredients do or do not work well together, but we sometimes forget to consider the time of day these ingredients should be applied. This is especially important for those who live in areas where the sun's always out (like our Ollie Belle headquarters in California!). Sun exposure mixed with sun-sensitive ingredients can cause sun spots, irritation and sensitivity among others.
We have a few ingredients found in common skincare products that you should save for nighttime.
Hydroquinone is used as a topical application in skin whitening to reduce the color of skin. It works by inhibiting activity of tyrosinase (the enzyme that controls the synthesis of melanin) and by increasing the cytoxocity of cells that produce melanin. While using hydroquinone as a lightening agent can be effective with proper use, it can also cause skin sensitivity.
Other agents, such as kojic acid, azelaic acid, niacinamide, and licorice extract are alternatives for hydroquinone.
Chemical exfoliators like AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) are helpful in keeping your pores clog-free and refining wrinkles and dark spots by encouraging cell turnover and allowing better absorption of products. These acids exfoliate, which sheds top layers of skin and reveals skin underneath. This process makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it is best to avoid the sun immediately after and always sunscreen when leaving the house for the following days.
Retinol is an effective exfoliant that helps accelerate cell turnover, reduce dark spots, creases and fine line. A vitamin A derivative, retinol exposes new, delicate skin which can be more sensitive to the sun.