Monday, November 22, 2021

Which Facial Products Are Best Used When?

If you read about skin care, there is always some new ingredient being touted as "the" current one.  After a while, it fades being replaced by a new one.  You read about all it's great benefits but the one thing you seldom see is when one should apply it.   Even with some of the standard industry ingredients, its not clear  about morning or night application or even why. 

Let's start with the most obvious items first.  Since the last item used in your routine is the sunscreen, that should be the last thing put on in the morning.  On the other hand, if you include retinol in your routine, it should be used at night because retinol degrades when exposed to UV rays.

Now, if you are a regular user of products that contain Vitamin C, it is better to use it during the day because Vitamin C is classified as antioxidant which protects you from UV damage.  For the most part this is true but if your Vitamin C preparation is a non water based solution, then it should not be used during the day due to the silicone content. Furthermore, it doesn't work well with sunscreen. 

Another ingredient, Niacinamide or Vitamin B is great for fighting pigmentation and found in so many products.  This is one that can be used both during the day or at night. Although it can be easily used with concentrations of up to 20 percent, it is most effective in the 3 to 5 percent range. Another ingredient is Vitamin E which is often found in small concentrations with Vitamin C but this one can be used at night or during the day easily.

If you read the ingredients on most products, you'll find hyaluronic acid in them.  Hyaluronic acid is great for boosting the moisture in your skin and it can be used either during the day or at night. This ingredient is designed to sit on top of the skin where it forms a layer of hydration. This layer disappears when you wash your face so it has to be reapplied frequently. 

As mentioned before there is retinol or Vitamin A which is often found in over the counter or acne products. In general, the retinol in over the counter products tend to break down when exposed to sunlight. and this causes the product to be less efficient.  On the other hand, if you use a prescription acne product that contains retinol, it can be used during the day due to its form being photostable.

When your skin product glycolic acid also known as alpha hydroxy acids or AHA's, you do have to be careful.  Although it is a great exfoliator,  it is best to use these at nights because it can increase the possibility of a sunburn during the day.  In fact, it makes it so it takes less time for the sunburn to occur and the effect continues for up to one week after you quit using it.  If you want to use glycolic acid during the day be sure to wear a good efficient sunscreen but I'd strongly recommend using it only at night. Another great AHA product is Lactic Acid and since its an AHA, it is best to use it at night due to the same issues.

If you have acne, salicylic acid is something you are quite familiar with. Salicylic acid is classified as a Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA. BHA's do not cause increased photosensitivity like AHA's and so it can be used in both in the morning and at night but one needs to still use a good sunscreen.

Finally, comes the peptides. These short chain amino acids are great for helping your skin produce collagen, elastin, and keratins and can be used at either at night or during the day.  No matter what you use during the day always finish it with a good sunscreen, even during the winter.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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