Why you should really only be using retinol in winter

According to Lucy Boynton’s facialist

BeautyCrew Beauty Editor / July 01 2019

Retinol has been hailed as one of the best anti-ageing ingredients around, so naturally we’ve all been slathering it on our skin every day of the year. But according to celebrity aesthetician Cynthia Franco (personal facialist to Lucy Boynton, Amber Heard and Salma Hayek), due to retinol’s ability to make your skin hypersensitive to sun damage, you really should only be using it (as well as other powerful actives like AHAs and BHAs) during the winter months when the risk of direct sunlight is minimised. “Save these until the shorter cooler months," she said in an interview with Who What Wear.

Instead, Franco suggests opting for more sun-friendly anti-ageing options such as EGF (otherwise known as epidermal growth factor), which, like retinol, helps to speed up the turnover of skin cells to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, only it does so without the added risk of photosensitivity. EGF, unlike retinol, is incredibly gentle on skin and can even be used on sensitive or reactive skin due to its strengthening and nourishing qualities.

Want to make the switch from retinol to EGF products? Here are our product picks for formulas that are packed full of plant-derived growth factors: Bioeffect SerumMesoestetic Stem Cell Active Growth Factor, and Hydropeptide Power Serum.


mesoestetic Stem Cell Active Growth Factor

HydroPeptide Power Serum

Want to know more about retinol before you start incorporating it into your winter skin care routine? Here’s a rundown of everything you’ve always wanted to know about the anti-ageing ingredient.

Have you tried incorporating EGF into your skin care routine? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

Main image credit: Getty

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).