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Skincare Ingredients that Increase Sun Sensitivity

Are your skincare products making your skin more sensitive to the sun? Look out for products with the following ingredients. 


Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid and lactic acid are acids derived from natural sources. However, natural doesn’t necessarily mean gentle. AHAs exfoliate the surface of the skin to fight acne and brighten the complexion. This makes them an effective ingredient in many skin products and chemical peel treatments.  When used continuously, your skin will still be more sensitive to sunlight up to a day after your last application. This is because AHAs are chemical exfoliants that work to continuously exfoliate the skin after they are applied.

Retinol is a form of vitamin A that can be found in creams and serums for its acne-clearing and anti-aging properties. It works by promoting the growth of new skin cells. However, this new skin is delicate and more susceptible to sun damage. 


Hydroquinone is an ingredient that fights discoloration in the skin. It stops the production of excess melanin that contributes to hyperpigmentation, melasma and dark spots on the skin. Since melanin protects your skin from UV damage, having less of it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. Leaving your skin unprotected while using hydroquinone can lead to sun damage that will make skin discoloration more prominent. Hydroquinone should only be used in small amounts and after consulting a dermatologist.

All of these ingredients can be very beneficial to your skin, but only if they are used with caution. Use your skincare products as directed, and as always, protect your skin with sunscreen.

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