Worst Skin Care Products


The WORST skin care products to use (especially during the summer) are skin care products that can increase photosensitivity to the skin. Long term, they can increase fine lines , wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.

During the summer, when the sun is closest to the earth, the suns rays are even stronger and it will take less time to penetrate the skin and can cause more skin damage. When using ingredients that are known to make the skin more photosensitive, these are the worst skin care products to use during the summer.

Here are some EXAMPLES of the worst skin care products to use during the summer:

**NOTE***Although some of these are NOT bad products , they are products that you should DEFINITELY be avoiding during the summer. They are so many other options in products that are more beneficial to your skin . During the summer , look for more hydrating and anti inflammatory ingredients.

Summer Skin Care Routine – 6 TIPS


The Worst skin care products to use:

  1. LEAVE ON EXFOLIANTS: These are products that have a low pH so they are quite acidic to increase skin cell turnover rate. These exfoliating products are applied and then you would leave it on and NOT rinse off.

Examples of these types of products:

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution- According to the directions, this is a toner you would apply this with a cotton ball. This has a pH range of 3.5-3.7. This is a very low pH to use during the summer . Glycolic Acid is the smallest molecule of the AHA family so it can penetrate deeper. It is effective in increasing the skin cell turnover rate .

This is a leave on product that will make the skin more photosensitive to sun, and more prone in reactions with the skin and other skin care products during the summer.

Pixl Retinol Tonic: This is also a toner that you apply with a cotton ball or cotton pad. Instead of using Glycolic Acid as the main exfoliating ingredient, they are using Retinol. Retinol also can make the skin more photosensitive and can increase sun burn and sun damage.

What is concerning is that NOWHERE on the website and not that I could tell on the labelling, they have no sunburn alert or warning to alert the user that this can make your skin more photosensitive and it is recommended to wear a sunscreen.

Bolden Brightening Glycolic Acid Toner: This is another toner that I would avoid during the summer. Instead of using Retinol, this company uses glycolic acid as an exfoliating ingredient. BOTH can photo sensitize the skin, that can lead to easier sun damage of the skin.

PROS of the Bolden Glycolic Acid Toner:

Niacinimide- helps with hyperpigmentation/antioxidant/boosts the efficacy of Vitamin A,C and E

4 different humectants

CONS of the Bolden Skin Brightening Toner:

2 types of Lemon Fruit Extract (one higher on the list after glycolic acid)

Citrus Oils are commonly used in many many different skin and hair care products. These scents are make the product smell fresh and most people like the scent of citrus.

There is a fairly common skin condition called “Phytophotodermatitis” which is caused by the skin coming into contact by some citrus essential oils or other plant oils that contain furocoumarins. When the skin is exposed to these oils and UV exposure, the skin can develop irritation such as rashes, blisters and burning. This can also induce a type of hyperpigmentation when exposed for an extended period of time.

***This won’t happen if the essential oil are safely diluted so in the case of most skin and hair care products, if you look at the ingredients list, just make sure that the citrus essential oils (lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, orange, etc) are towards the bottom of the list.

Also if you are using products that have these oils, avoid exposing your skin to UV rays at least 12-18 hours after application. This also includes some household cleaning items.


The Bolden Skin care line seems to be targeting darker skinned women who typically do not “sun burn”. However, they still can be damaged by the photosensitization of the sun by using these types of products and going out into the sun. It may not be common to experience a sunburn , however, hyperpigmentation is a very common problem.


Look for a toner that will increase hydration on the skin. Look for a SPRAY TONER instead of one with a cotton ball. Spraying the toner with give a more even application without wasting the product, and while the skin is wet, if you apply moisturizer, the humectants in the toner and lotion will bind to the skin.

Look for a toner that has some form of anti inflammatory ingredient. Almost all skin will experience some low level inflammation just because of increased exposure to the sun during the summer.

Here are some example of toner:

Anti Aging All Purpose Toner


SCRUBBING EXFOLIATING PADS: These are pads that are typically soaked in an acidic solution. The solution is typically acidic and may have glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or any other acids to help exfoliate the skin. These skin care products are typically labelled to market as Anti Aging products or Acne Fighting products.

Use This Instead:

Instead of using a leave on exfoliator, look for exfoliating products you can rinse off instead of having to leave it on.

Use them in the evening and use the exfoliating product less during the summer.

ACID PEELS: The Ordinary AHA 30% and BHA 2% Peeling Solution

Acid Peels were performed exclusively by professionals who were trained on what types of acids to use, for what skin types and the correct way to layer them with other acids.

Now, more and more aggressive skin care products are being marketing to the customer who has no idea what they are doing.

Recently, I had done 3 online consultations in which they all used The Ordinary 30% AHA and BHA 2% Peeling solution. They all came to me because they had started for form hyperpigmentation recently.

One of the women who had used this product, actually received glycolic acid burns. She informed me that since it seemed to work a little, she decided to layer the product on and leave it on longer.

On The Ordinary Skin Care website, it explicitly states that this should be only used by someone who has had experience using acid peels and is NOT recommended for sensitive skin types.

It also states: If irritation occurs, CONSULT A PHYSICIAN. This is pretty serious if it is clearly stating this.

What average person has had experience using acid peels besides professionals?!

Do This Instead:

Acid Peels are some of the worst skin care products to use during the summer. Consider using these during the Fall and especially winter when the suns is furthest away from the earth.

Although it is ALWAYS best use sunscreen all throughout the year, remember, sunscreen DOES NOT protect your skin from ALL of the suns rays.


***PRO TIP***: You do NOT need to use a leave on exfoliating product for effective exfoliation. Leave those products in the medicine cabinet for the summer and bring them out in the winter time.

Over the long haul, your skin will thank you for saving it during the summer and by avoiding the worst skin care products to use during the summer.

If you minimize sensitization you minimize inflammation.

Prolonged inflammation (whether low grade) or chronic inflammation can trigger:


-Chronic Dehydration

-Premature Aging

Due to:

Trans epidermal water loss



Here are some more tips to overcome common skin problems during the summer:

How to Treat Dry and Dehydrated Skin: Do this ONE THING

Worst Sunscreens to Use

The TRUTH Behind HIGH SPF Sunscreens

Stay tuned when we talk about the most common type of aging: “Inflammaging”.

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