Skincare Ingredients: What Should You Not Wear In The Sun?

Skincare Ingredients What Products Should You Not Wear In The Sun

At this point, we all know that one of the best skincare products your money can buy is a good sunscreen. The sun is the number one cause of premature ageing, not to mention the fastest way to accumulate pigmentation. In short, you’ll want to wear an SPF of at least 30 every single day. However, while sunscreen is something you can’t face UV rays without. Did you know there are certain products and skincare ingredients you shouldn’t wear in the sun? To help you out, we’ve made a list of cosmetics that are best suited to bedtime.


Skincare ingredients to watch out for


When it comes to wrinkle-busting active ingredients, retinol is still the gold standard. It does a great job of stimulating collagen production. This helps keep your skin looking firmer and less wrinkled for longer. Better yet, it encourages your skin cells to regenerate at a faster rate. Revealing fresher, more evenly-toned skin. Still, because it’s essentially unveiling new, baby-soft skin. It can make you more sensitive to sunburn and increase your risk of sun damage, ironically one of many things it’s used to repair. Also, as retinol breaks down in the presence of light, wearing in the sun makes it less effective in terms of how it can benefit your skin.

The smarter way to roll? Stick to using retinol in the evening or before bed and choose sun-safe collagen encouragers like peptides.


Exfoliating acids

Physical scrubs aren’t the smartest option when it comes to exfoliating. Many of them simply aren’t ‘scrubby’ enough to truly shift dead skin cells or they’re too harsh and can cause micro-tears in your skin. Your safest bet is to choose a chemical exfoliator.

instead, one that contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or enzymes that can gently dissolve the bonds between your skin cells, causing them to slough away in a much more natural fashion.


Again, because you’re peeling and revealing similarly to retinol, you’re increasing your skin’s sun sensitivity. For this reason, use products containing acids and enzymes in the evening.

Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a brilliant antibacterial ingredient that can penetrate through oil and get deep into your pores to kill acne-causing bacteria while reducing inflammation. Like everything else we’ve mentioned, it can also cause sun sensitivity so it’s yet another active ingredient you need to use carefully. If you’re going to apply it to a lone pimple and wear it in the office, that’s fine. Slathering it all over your face and then setting off on a hike, however, is begging for a sunburn.

Skincare ingredients, the bottom line

Certain skincare ingredients such as retinol, exfoliating acids and benzoyl peroxide shouldn’t be worn in the sunshine. Also, even if you’re only using them regularly at night, you’re still increasing your skin’s sun sensitivity, so you must wear a high protection factor. While there once was a time when sunscreen’s texture could best be described as ‘gloop’, formulations have come a long, long way, so now there’s no excuse not to wear them. They’re also your skin’s best defence against the primary cause of premature ageing, the sun, so if you’ve yet to meet your SPF BFF, now’s the time to meet your match.



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  1. Jackie Halgryn

    Good morning!

    I have recently read some articles stating that using a moisturizer with SPF is not recommended, although better than wearing no SPF at all. What is recommended, according to some articles, is a moisturizer and seperate sunscreen. However, a lot of moisturizer already have a SPF in it.

    What would you recommend?

    Kind regards,

    • Beauty desk

      Hi Jackie

      It is true that we prefer a sunblock and moisturiser to be seperate. A moisturiser is designed to penetrate the skin, whilst a sun block is designed to sit on the surface of the skin. This alone makes it a difficult mix. Yes, there are many combined products but often these have limited active ingredients and mainly serve as a protective layer for this reason.

      What many other articles are referring to is that sunblock is said to block Vitamin D absorption. However the body only requires 20 mins exposure to moderate sunshine (not heat off the day) in order to get the correct Vitamin D production. This can be exposure of gentle sun in the late afternoon, we even get it by just sitting in the traffic and being exposed to the sun. It simply is not true, you would also need to reapply obsessively. What is important the quality of sunblock, whether it prevents against damage at a DNA level and has no “harmful” ingredients.

      We prefer our clients use a moisturiser with active ingredients, allow time for absorption and then an application of sunscreen to protect. I would highly recommend you speak to your skin doctor/ skin care therapist for a recommendation and remember you can supplement Vitamin D but it is a lot harder to reverse sun damage and skin cancer. I hope that helps.