With summer fast approaching, that means longer days, more sunshine and more time spent outdoors. It’s no surprise, then, that this is one of the top questions skincare professionals ask themselves at this time of year: can I still use acids in the summer? “We’re often asked if we would recommend acids in skincare during this time,” says Terrie Absher, licensed medical esthetician, founder of Total Glow. “The answer is yes, you can, but since exposure to UVA and UVB rays makes our skin vulnerable to photodamage such as hyperpigmentation and photoaging, it’s important to use acids correctly, in the right amount. and the right application for your skin type and level of sun exposure, which can vary greatly.
So no, you don’t have to stop using acids altogether, as they have many benefits for the skin when used correctly, but here are some tips to consider so you can incorporate them into your routine safely.
Consider the type of acids you use
Not all acids contain photosensitizing properties (meaning they don’t make your skin more sensitive to the sun). For example, hyaluronic acid has “acid” in its name, but it’s virtually the opposite of a resurfacing acid like glycolic acid in terms of the benefits it provides to the skin: hydration and plumping. The purest form of vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) is also one of a kind. “L-ascorbic acid is an incredibly powerful antioxidant that every skincare routine needs,” says Absher. It also pairs well with sunscreen when layered underneath, providing extra free radical defense against UV damage. “Lactic acid is the one we recommend to keep using throughout the summer, as it helps keep skin hydrated and plump, which is something we love in the summer months when we show our skin,” Absher adds. “I use it daily on my face and body.” Two NewBeauty Award-winning lactic acid-infused formulas we love are Shani Darden Lactic Acid Serum (for face) and Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion (for body).
Get the Advantages of Acids via your cleanser instead
“A safe and gentle way to incorporate acids into your summer routine is to use them as a cleanser,” says Tam Lamarre, Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner at SkinSpirit NYC. “Cleansers only stay on the skin for a short period of time and then rinse off, rather than a serum or cream that stays on the skin all day or night.”
Stay out of the sun
To avoid damaging your skin, be careful of sun exposure and high UV levels in the summer. “It really applies year-round when we can sometimes slip into a false sense of security about how much sun exposure we’re getting,” says Absher. “We all love being outdoors, but we need to follow a tailored, beneficial and protective skincare routine. It never hurts to cultivate a hat habit too. Sun hats used to be a problem for the fashion-conscious, but that’s a thing of the past. Find a hat with a brim wide enough to protect your face. Sun-protective clothing has also come a long way. Find a long-sleeved lightweight cover-up that works for your time outdoors.Those beautiful windows in your home, and other places you’re away, can also expose you to lots of sun rays, so make it a habit to apply sunscreen first thing in the morning. during the summer months.
Avoid Retinoic Acid Unless…
Boston facial plastic surgeon Jaimie DeRosa, MD says her recommendation is “to avoid retinoic acid and retinols in the summer unless you are vigilant about sun protection – wear sunscreen, avoid tanning and wear hats that cover your face – usually a 3” or wider brim and sunglasses. The reason for this is that these acids increase the risk of sunburn because they increase cell turnover, so “new skin is vulnerable to sunlight. I suggest a physical sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Most good sunscreens these days use micronized minerals, so they do not leave a thick white cast on your skin.
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