We’ve all heard the rumours that vitamin A use should be halted during the summer months. But is it true? In reality, it is completely safe to continue using vitamin A throughout the hotter months, as long as you’re using it carefully…

One of vitamin A’s main benefits for the skin is that it speeds up the way the skin cells renew themselves. It boosts cell turnover; encouraging fresh new cells to rise up to the surface of the skin. This is often why you might get some mild exfoliation when you first start using a vitamin A. It’s just a sign that your body is trying to keep up with the faster than normal cell turnover. However, these fresh cells are often more vulnerable to the sun’s damaging rays than the older ones, and this means they need more protection.

The key to using vitamin A safely in the summer is sunscreen. Lots and lots of sunscreen. Think of vitamin A and sunscreen as best friends. Make sure to use at least a quarter teaspoon for your whole face (about a large almond-size amount), and reapply liberally throughout the day if you are in direct sunlight. Written on all of our vitamin A products you will see the statement ‘Contains vitamin A that may increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Wear sunscreen during the day while using this product and for a week afterwards.’ We mean it.

Advanced Day Total Protect is a great option with SPF 30, 5* UVA sun protection, in a nourishing moisturiser format. After applying your vitamin A the previous evening, apply the sunscreen liberally throughout the day to get the optimal level of sun protection, alongside environmental protection against infrared and blue light.

Thankfully, the enhanced sun sensitivity and thinning of the skin is only a temporary side effect of vitamin A use. In fact, over time, vitamin A actually thickens your skin structure and enhances your natural protection. But sunscreen must always be used alongside vitamin A; both to protect the skin from damage and to prevent reversing the wonderful effects of vitamin A.

So why are we so against you using vitamin A during the daylight hours, you ask? Well, most vitamin As are pesky little molecules, and they degrade very quickly in the sunlight. Yes, sunscreen can partially protect the vitamin A, but degradation can still occur. This degradation means one thing; you don’t get the amazing benefits from vitamin A. Therefore, vitamin As should only be applied during the twilight hours.

As with all rules though, there is one exception. Retinyl retinoate is one of the only forms of vitamin A proven to be photostable so you can use it during the day, and at night. This means you get round the clock benefits of this exceptional molecule on the skin. Not only that, but it is the perfect form of vitamin A for use on more sensitive skin, and proven to be 8x stronger than retinol.[1] What more could you need? You can find it throughout our r-Retinoate range.

As with every form of vitamin A, you must always use your SPF every single morning, without fail. And of course, if you’re following our effortless CSA Philosophy, all of your skin needs will be covered.


[1] Kim et al., Synthesis and in vitro biological activity of retinyl retinoate, a novel hybrid retinoid derivative., Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 2008, 16, pp 6387-6393