Skincare Ingredients You Should Avoid in Your AM Routine

Certain ingredients in your skincare products like cleansers, moisturizers, and serums work wonders for your skin but are you sure they deliver maximum benefits to your skin—and are also safe? It may sound a little more complicated—particularly when they provide many benefits to the skin. 

Did you know that UV exposure and heat can wreak havoc on your skincare products? This is why some powerhouse ingredients are safe and effective only when you leave them in your night regime. Here are some examples. 

1. Retinol, Vitamin A derivative

As people age, skin cell turnover and collagen production slow down. Retinol, aka vitamin A derivative, is a popular anti-aging ingredient that helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. Retinol brings additional benefits like fading age spots and softening rough patches of skin, too. But when exposed to sunlight, retinoids are broken down, easily degraded, and less effective. While it’s not clear yet, retinol can increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. Skincare experts still suggest avoiding it in a morning routine because it compromises the efficacy of the product. 

2. Citrus Oils

Along with its properties such as antioxidant, anti-acne, and nourishing benefits, you may have some skincare with citric oils like bergamot, grapefruit, and lemon on your beauty shelf. However, under sun exposure, it can cause skin irritation, inflammation, and discoloration. Since a chemical compound, furanocoumarins, contained in citrus oils, can greatly increase UV sensitivity, it is not safe for your daytime use. A basic level of exposure can cause redness while long exposure may even require hospitalization. Leaving for the nighttime, just let your citrus oil work its magic.

Bonus! If you have no idea what you should pick instead for your morning routine, try niacinamide. It’s the ever so promising skincare ingredient, which works wonders on lightening, anti-aging, and skin barrier–building while protecting your skin from sun damage.


While Glycolic Acid AHA is typically derived from sugar cane, Betaine Salicylate BHA is a fatty acid derived from the sugar beet plant. They both are essential in keeping your pores clog-free, refining wrinkles, and brightening dark spots, and improving skin texture. Once applied, these acids work as exfoliators, penetrating the deeper layer of the skin to get rid of dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production. On the other hand, exfoliation makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight by revealing the skin underneath, it can increase your risks of getting a sunburn.

Due to these negative impacts, skincare professionals recommend using these powerhouse ingredients in your PM routine.

4. Vitamin C

We’re not suggesting you avoid using vitamin C in the daytime; it’s all about how you should store it properly. Vitamin C, aka L-ascorbic acid, is a superhero ingredient with its inherent antioxidant properties, which encourage collagen formation and skin firming. It is also well-known for fading hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Even though a sunscreen with Vitamin C can protect the skin from further photodamage caused by UV rays, the ingredient is super sensitive to sunlight and heat. Many vitamin C products can even change in color or smell when it is blistering hot. So, if you have your pricey vitamin C skincare products near a window or in strong sunlight, we suggest you move them to a cool, dark place.

When you know these essential properties of powerful ingredients, you don't run the risk of damaging your skincare products, which in turn makes your skin happier.

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