A dermatologist’s #1 tip is always going to be: wear sunscreen. Dr. Joshua Zeichner is no exception. We thought we would dedicate this episode to taking care of your skin during the summer months. We adore soaking up the sun, looking tan, but, at the same time, we take our skin seriously. We deep dive into SPF, sunburns, natural remedies, how to care for inflammation, and so much more. The old “don’t sit in the sun” might sound obvious but it goes much further than that—we’re exposed to UV rays at every turn. It’s time we get “sun-smart.” Thanks for that one, Dr. Z.
“It’s super easy. Wear your sunscreen! It doesn’t make a difference what brand you choose and it doesn’t matter if it’s in a cream, lotion, stick, or spray form. Find a sunscreen you like and put it on every single morning. The ingredients are the same for both face and body sunscreens, but facial sunscreens tend to be more expensive since they include skin tints and anti-aging ingredients. For your face, you should be using a quarter sized dollop of SPF that has at least SPF 30 protection daily. I am a big fan of chemical sunscreen, but don’t let the “chemical” part of it scare you. Both chemical and mineral based sunscreens contain ingredients that block UV rays, however the ingredients in the chemical based sunscreens are organic molecules, meaning they absorb the UV light, convert it into heat, and prevent it from penetrating into the skin. Both mineral and chemical based sunscreens are safe and effective. It all comes down to finding a product that you like and that is right for you.”
“Incidental UV light exposure from walking around all day, even when we are SPF protected, is enough sunlight for our bodies to make all of the vitamin D it needs. UV light penetrates through glass, so we are being exposed when we are in the car or on the treadmill. I’m not saying to not go outside and have fun in the sun during the summer, you just want to be sun-smart. We all do our best to prevent sunburns, but they still happen. When they do, the goal is to reduce the inflammation on the skin from the outside in. To do this, apply light lotions like La Roche Posay Cicaplast or Avene Cicalfate that help soothe the skin and repair its barrier. Another way you can keep your skin hydrated is by making a cool compress from skim milk and ice cubes. Aloe vera is also a great option, but beware of false marketing. Some sunburn products that claim aloe is an ingredient do not contain any aloe.”
“The best thing to do is to stand in front of your bathroom mirror and look at yourself. If you come across a mole that looks new or different, get it checked out to make sure it’s not skin-cancer or melanoma. If the mole is asymmetric with different looking left and right sides, get it checked out. It is also alarming if the border is jagged, not smooth, and if the mole is different colors. Any moles over six millimeters should be looked at, especially if you can tell it’s expanding. In the summer months, it is also important to take care of your preexisting skin conditions like hyperpigmentation and melasma. The number one rule is to wear sunscreen, but you should also incorporate vitamin C into your skincare routine. Think of vitamin C as an insurance policy on your sunscreen due to its three main benefits: it neutralizes free radicals, blocks the production of abnormal pigmentation, and is an essential cofactor in the production of collagen which is needed for a healthy skin foundation.”