The choice of products you apply to your skin is one thing. But when you apply them is a whole other story. Truth bomb: using the right formulas at the wrong time can make your skin worse, not better. We’re talking irritation, dark spots, and even premature wrinkles.

Don’t know which ones we’re talking about? Below is a breakdown of 5 skincare ingredients you should use at night only.

RETINOL

This potent ingredient is found in most anti-agers. It helps accelerate cell turnover, resulting in soft, youthful skin for years to come. Unfortunately, retinol can have the opposite effect in the daytime. It makes your skin vulnerable to UV damage, which ultimately leads to fine lines (and then some). That should be enough reason to use it only at night.

PICTURED: Pond’s Age Miracle Wrinkle Corrector Night Cream (10g), P99

ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS

These acids work by removing old, damaged cells and making way for new, healthy ones. But when they come into contact with the sun, AHAs can lead to painful burns, pigmentation, and skin that’s sensitive to the touch. In short, it might be best to leave them on your shelf for after-hours. You’ll appreciate the results more this way!

PICTURED: CosRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid, now on sale at P810 (limited time only)

SALICYLIC ACID

This acne fighter is highly effective against pimples. But while its exfoliating power leaves your skin spotless, it can also make you more susceptible to burns and sensitivity. Some might say pairing salicylic acid with an SPF 30 sunscreen is enough to keep the harmful effects at bay. But better safe than sorry, right? As much as possible, use this ingredient in the PM only.

PICTURED: Innisfree No Sebum Toner (200ml), P670

CITRIC OILS

You’ll find this ingredient in almost everything: moisturizers, serums, even sunscreen! Sure, citric oil content calms skin irritations and treats acne. But it can also accelerate the sun’s negative effects on the skin, like sunburn and dark spots. So if you’re thinking about using it during the day, maybe think again.

PICTURED: V&M Naturals CPC+G Oil (30ml), now on sale at P263 (limited time only)

HYDROQUINONE

We love this for more reasons than one. Its benefits include lightening pigmentation and leaving behind a glow. But because it reduces melanin production, it can also make the skin feel ultra-sensitive. So if you’re thinking of using hydroquinone in the morning, proceed with caution. And of course, don’t forget to layer on the SPF!

PICTURED: Yllume Cream, P1,950

Rest assured, these products are all awesome and necessary—they simply work better with the lights down low.

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