Can I Use Tretinoin in the Summer?

Ella By Ella Location: 4 min read3.5K views


Hey beauties! One of the most searched questions on Google is, “Can I use tretinoin in the summer?” If you’re wondering the same thing, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about using tretinoin during those hot, sunny months. Spoiler alert: Yes, you can use it, but there are some essential tips and tricks to keep in mind.

Understanding Tretinoin What Does It Do?

First of all, let’s clarify what tretinoin is and what it does. Tretinoin, a form of vitamin A, is a powerful ingredient often found in skincare products for its anti-aging and acne-fighting properties. It promotes cell turnover, reduces fine lines, and helps with hyperpigmentation. However, its potency means it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, which is why many people question its use during summer.

Tretinoin vs. Retinol What's the Difference?

Before we go further, it’s crucial to understand the difference between tretinoin and retinol. Both are retinoids, but tretinoin is much stronger and requires a prescription, whereas retinol is milder and available over-the-counter. So, when comparing them, remember that tretinoin works faster and is more effective, but it can also be harsher on the skin.

How to Use Tretinoin in the Summer

Always Wear Sunscreen

First and foremost, if you’re using it in the summer, you must wear sunscreen daily. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. This step is non-negotiable as tretinoin makes your skin more susceptible to sunburn and UV damage. One of my favorite brands is Elta MD. I prefer to use the tinted one in the summer which gives me a perfect coverage while protecting my skin. Also, I selected some other popular Korean sunscreen options here. 

best sunscreen

Gradually Introduce Tretinoin

If you’re new, start slow. Use it once or twice a week and gradually increase the frequency as your skin builds tolerance. This approach helps minimize irritation and allows your skin to adjust.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate Your Skin

Summer can be drying for your skin, especially with tretinoin. Keep your skin well-hydrated by using a good moisturizer. Products with hyaluronic acid can be particularly effective in retaining moisture.

Nighttime Application

Apply tretinoin at night to reduce the risk of sun sensitivity. Cleanse your face, let it dry completely, then apply a pea-sized amount. Follow up with your favorite moisturizer.

Be Consistent with Your Skincare Routine

Consistency is key. Stick to your routine, and don’t skip applications. Over time, your skin will thank you with improved texture and tone.

Cream Options

Now, let’s talk about some options. The strength of tretinoin creams can vary, with common formulations being 0.025 and 0.05. Consult with your dermatologist to determine the best strength for your skin type and concerns.

Tretinoin Cream 0.025

This is a lower concentration that’s great for beginners. It’s effective yet less likely to cause severe irritation, making it a good starting point.

Tretinoin Cream 0.05

For those with more significant skin concerns or who have built up tolerance, the 0.05 concentration offers a stronger solution. It’s excellent for tackling deeper wrinkles and more stubborn acne.

In conclusion, using tretinoin in the summer is entirely possible with the right precautions. Remember to wear sunscreen religiously, start slowly, and keep your skin hydrated. Consistency and care are essential. So, enjoy the benefits while soaking up the summer sun safely!