Is my skincare making me more photosensitive?

Hey besties, it feels like we’re all getting into the swing of elevating our skincare routine, right? Educating ourselves on all the active ingredients that make our skin glow and ensuring we’re feeling our best self. Making sure we make the right choice of products with the active ingredients that will work hard for our cash. Active ingredients are the elements that work to deliver benefits to the skin. However, the strong power of some of these ingredients can come at a cost, especially if they are overused. One of the most common side effects of high-octane skincare products is photosensitivity.

What is photosensitivity?

Now, you may be asking yourself, WTF is photosensitivity?! Well it isn’t about not liking selfies!

You’ve been hustling with your skincare routine but now it’s actually having negative effects on your natural skin barrier?

Well, photosensitivity is heightened skin sensitivity or an unusual reaction when your skin is exposed to UV radiation from sunlight. Photosensitivity reduces your skin's natural defences and elevates your risk of damage from harmful rays.

As a result, your skin can appear to look like eczema or sunburn. In more serious cases, skin can become blistered and may be hot and painful.

The signs or symptoms that your skin may be photosensitive show up in as little as 5 minutes to 5 days after sun exposure. Symptoms can go away in as little as 24 hours or it can last for around a week.  Given the well documented and potentially harmful effects of the suns rays, this is definitely something we need to be aware of.

 What skincare will make me more photosensitive?

So now that we know what photosensitivity is, it’s time to explore which active ingredients may be making you more photosensitive.

The first one is retinol. We love using retinol as it’s the holy grail for flawless skin however, it can also make your skin more sensitive to UV rays.

Like retinol and other exfoliating  active ingredients they encourage skin cell turnover, when you remove dead skin cells and expose the new, delicate skin underneath which makes your skin more susceptible to damage.

AHAs and BHAs can also leave your skin more sensitive. In addition to this, brightening ingredients like hydroquinone work by reducing the melanin in your skin and as a result, reduce the skin's natural defense against UV rays.

What can I do to stop this?

If you’ve incorporated active ingredients like retinol and AHAs and BHAs into your routine, you’ve taken a great step in keeping your skin condition tip top. The next step is ensuring you are protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays and ensuring you factor in any increased photosensitivity.

🌈Only use products that increase photosensitivity at night time

Doing this will reduce the risk of increased photosensitivity. Retinol is actually rendered less effective in sunlight so it makes it even more important to use it when you are not near UV rays. Gradually incorporate these products into your routine so your skin gets accustomed to the active ingredients and increase use over time. Shop our night time Retinol and CBD Moisturiser.

☀️Sun protection routine

We all know that a sun protection routine is the 101 of skincare. However, if you are using products that increase photosensitivity it is non-negotiable to wear SPF during the day or when you are in contact with UV rays. Pop it in your bag when you are out so you can top up throughout the day. Shop our Screen Time SPF Moisturiser for a light SPF moisturiser that also doubles up as a primer. Coupled with our Retinol and CBD Moisturiser, these two products make the perfect morning and nightime routine. In addition to SPF, ensure you’ve got some cute sunnies in your bag, a hat if necessary and a body SPF and always stay out of the sun when it's at its hottest.
Date: 05 May 2023

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