Susan Stevens Tanne, MD
The right skincare can make a huge difference in your skin’s appearance. A great daily routine needs three ingredients.
Retinol in Summer?
Yes, but the sun's UV rays, and retinol together are tough on skin. Two reasons to keep away from sunlight when using retinol. One, retinol breaks down in sunlight, and two, it makes your skin more prone to sun damage.
If you are careful about sun exposure, you may not need to change anything. Use gentle cleansers and deeply hydrating moisturizers containing ceramides and hyaluronic acid, both of which are great to pair with retinol. Apply retinol only at night and go heavy on mineral sunscreen in the morning. If you are more irritated using retinol in the summer, try a lower strength or use on alternate nights until your skin adapts.
Summer can be the best time to use retinol. Your skin is usually less dry and sensitive than in winter. Summer humidity provides more moisture, which is extremely helpful when using retinol.
What is a good summer routine?
I divide skincare into two regimens – morning and night - for use all year. Protect in the morning and repair at night.
Morning is when you want to prepare your skin for facing the world and all the environmental issues you will face.
Wash you face with a gentle cleanser like our Plush.md Daily Cleanse. Stay away from scrubs and other exfoliating products, which can be irritating, drying and cause retinols to be less effective.
Then apply a high potency Vitamin C treatment. I love our Plush.md CE MAX - a highly effective antioxidant serum, protecting you from sun and other environmental damage.
If you are still very dry, add a layer of moisture such as Plush.md Quench, a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum.
Finally, and most importantly, apply a mineral based sunscreen as your shield against summer sun damage. I love EltaMD sunscreens. Their newest is UV Sheer Broad\Spectrum SPF 50+. This lightweight formula contains an amazing 15% zinc oxide, the highest I have seen in any sunscreen where you won’t look like the lifeguard!
Notice that I didn’t say anything about retinol during the day! Save this for your nighttime routine.
Night is the time to give your skin the nourishing products it needs overnight to repair and rejuvenate.
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, then apply retinol on dry skin. I love our Plush.md Retinol MAX Serum 5! Apply generously all over your face or use sparingly if irritated.
If you are dry, a layer of moisture can go over the retinol. I love our Plush.md Enriched Night Defense Cream.
Don’t forget the eye area. Use products specifically formulated for this delicate area, such as ultra-moisturizing Plush.md Eye Perfection.
All Day - Be safe in the sun! Apply sunscreen liberally every morning and re-apply as needed. You may love a fresh summer tan, but sun exposure is extremely damaging. Try a spray tan, self-tanner, bronzing powder, or gel to get that sun-kissed look. Protect your skin now and look fabulous all year.