Combining Retinol and Sunbeds: What Are The Risks?

What is Retinol?

As a potent type of retinoid (vitamin A), retinol is an antioxidant that stimulates collagen and elastin production. It is an ingredient that encourages a clearer complexion, but unfortunately, some people mix retinol and sunbeds together, which can destroy the skin.

Retinol can’t be applied directly, instead it converts to retinoic acid when applied to the skin which has a ton of anti-aging benefits:

  • It balances uneven skin tone – Your skin discolours over time for several reasons, including too much sun exposure. Retinol sheds dead skin cells and promotes skin cell turnover.
  • Helps with acne breakouts – Inflamed skin caused by environmental stressors, smoking and the natural aging process heightens acne breakouts. Retinol not only soothes inflammation by clearing dead skin cells, but keeps pores unclogged and reduces excess oil.
  • Removes fine lines and wrinkles – Skin cells that lose collagen will cause fine lines and wrinkles, which are one of the most prominent signs of aging. Retinol stimulates collagen to keep your skin looking fresh and plump.

Why You Should Use Retinol Products

Retinol products are becoming an ever-increasing part of people’s skincare routine. This is because the body does not naturally produce vitamin A, making retinol skincare products an ideal way to boost your antioxidant intake.

However, not all retinol formulas are created equally. Despite them having skin protective ingredients, some prescription retinoids fail to maximise their anti-aging benefits.

We at Dermoi use liposomal delivery in our retinol products, including our skin-brightening serums. Liposomes are an effective way to maximise the penetration of retinol and work with all skin types. They’re especially good for sensitive skin.

However, as discussed below, combining retinol and sunbeds will actually aggravate skin problems instead of solving them.

The Dangers Of Using Retinol And Sunbeds

Excessive sun exposure is the leading cause of sun damage, and is also one of the main causes of skin pigmentation. However, some people use tanning beds as a way to darken the skin and give the semblance of a glowy complexion.

Mixing retinol and sunbeds is a big no-no when it comes to the skin’s texture. The prolonged use of sunbeds however has many long term damaging effects on the skin:

  • Skin cancer – Sunbeds emit UV rays at a close distance to stimulate melanin production. But because the beds are so strong and close compared to normal sunlight, it heightens the risk of skin cancers like malignant melanoma and non-malignant melanoma.
  • Premature aging – Light exposure aggravates the signs of aging, in particular photoaging. The UV ray’s close proximity damages the skin's structure, destroying the elastin fibres and collagen proteins that normally keep the skin firm.
  • Sunburn – Sunbeds increase the likelihood of getting sunburn and this can be especially bad where sensitive skin is concerned. This extremely close burn causes peeling skin and can also lead to discolouration and pigmentation.

The Best Products to Combine with Retinol for Sun Protection

Not everyone can avoid sun exposure, nor is it healthy to avoid the sun! We get vitamin D from sunlight which has many roles in the body and it’s essential for optimal health. But we must be careful as too much sun exposure without proper protection can damage our skin.

Dermoi offers products that have the best sun protection formulas on the market. Heliocare, in particular, is one of, if not the best, sun protection brand out there.

Here are some of their best products:

Air Gel SPF50

This ultra-light SPF Gel gives astounding protection against UVA, UVB and infrared radiation.

Air Gel not only contains 2 powerful technologies to prevent sun damage, but also includes vitamin C and E to control melanin levels and brighten the skin.

Mineral Tolerance Fluid SPF50+

This potent formula not only prevents free-radical damage with vitamin C and E, but with the help of ferulic acid, it provides the best protection from UVA and UVB radiation.

Mineral Tolerance Fluid also prevents photoaging spots caused by long exposure to the sun.

Heliocare 360: Water Gel SPF50

SPF skincare products are the best way to protect your skin from sun damage. Heliocare 360: Water Gel however is more than a sunscreen – it’s a powerful hydrating gel that keeps the skin feeling smooth and fresh.

Fenrblock is an active antioxidant that protects cellular DNA from sun damage, transforming Water Gel into an intelligent product to give your skin the protection you need. It it ideal for those with dry skin.

Fluid Cream SPF50+

This nifty sunscreen uses a patented technology called Heliocare 360° BioShield System of Fractional Biomimetic Melanin and Pro­‐Taurine.

It provides biological protection against infrared-A radiation by neutralising the light’s effect on the skin.

Gel Oil-Free SPF50

Using a patented photo-immunoprotection system, Gel Oil-Free is the perfect solution for sun protection.

The BioShield System uses the latest technology to shield the skin from UVA, UVB and infrared radiation. Since it is oil-free, the skin absorbs more of the ingredients and therefore maximises their benefits.

Check out Heliocare and their SPF products which can be used to target your specific skin concern(s).

Author: Naeem Ali


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  2. Cheung, S., 2013. Skin cancer: prevention is better than cure. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 106(2), pp.40-40.
  3. Gonzalez, S., Gilaberte, Y., Philips, N. and Juarranz, A., 2011. Fernblock, a Nutriceutical with Photoprotective Properties and Potential Preventive Agent for Skin Photoaging and Photoinduced Skin Cancers. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 12(12), pp.8466-8475.
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