Living in Southern California, we all tend to spend our fair share of time outdoors – our team at Art of Skin MD included. Hiking, biking, swimming, beach time – it’s part of why we live in such a beautiful place that feels like summer most of the year! With that in mind, it is SO important to be sure we protect our skin from the sun while we are out enjoying this amazing place we call home. No matter if the sun is shining or if it’s cloudy, the sun’s rays are still harmful! Dr. Palm is definitely an expert when it comes to sun protection as well as sun damage and here, she shares her tips and tricks with you.
Choose Your Sun Protection
Choosing the right sun protection can seem overwhelming as there are many choices out there. Dr. Palm recommends looking for a broad band sunscreen (covering UVA and UVB) that has a physical blocking agent – preferably zinc oxide – as an active ingredient. This means that it will reflect light rather than converting the light energy into heat, which is what chemical sunscreens do. There are also UPF protective clothing options available, including one of our local favorites, GracedByGrit, that can help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
If you really want to go an extra step in preventing aging of your skin, you can apply a separate preparation with a good antioxidant, or find a sunscreen that already incorporates one. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C can help fight free radicals, brighten complexion and support healthy collagen production.
Reapplication Is A Must
For reapplication, which is important to do every two hours and immediately after any water activities, Dr. Palm highly recommends the Colorescience Mineral Sunscreenence Sunforgettable brushes – they come in both SPF 30 and SPF 50, a variety of shades and are all water resistant! They go on easily (whether or not you’re wearing makeup), are great for applying to the scalp and hairline (non-greasy powder) and are compact enough to keep in your car or bag, making them perfect for on-the-go reapplications!
What To Do After A Sunburn
In the occasion that a sunburn happens, look for antioxidants, emollients and skin-calming treatments as well as Red LED light technology treatments as options for treating sunburned skin. Antioxidants, such as green tea and resveratrol, repair sunburn cells and damage on the skin while reducing redness from sun exposure. Emollients, such as ceramides and hyaluronic acids, help moisturize the skin. Combine these with skin-calming treatments such as a colloidal oatmeal bath, aloe vera or a DIY skin-soothing mask made of yogurt and cucumbers. Treating with pure aloe plucked right from a plant is fantastic! If this isn’t readily available to you, using pure aloe gel from an over-the-counter vendor is an excellent option as well. Dr. Palm doesn’t have a particular favorite, but health food stores such as Jimbo’s and Whole Foods are great places to find a pure aloe gel. Just take a look at the ingredients to be sure that there aren’t added fragrances, excessive preservatives or dye/coloring as these are all more likely to cause irritation or a contact dermatitis on the skin.
Treat Long-Term Sun Damage
Now to touch on something that so many people struggle with – sun damage. This can show up as sun spots, broken blood vessels and skin textural changes. Here at Art of Skin MD, we offer a variety of treatments for sun damage, as we know that there is not one universal fix that fits everyone’s lifestyle or skin type.
For an instant fix, we offer Colorescience Even Up Clinical Pigment Perfector SPF 50 – which helps correct hyperpigmentation while concealing and priming the skin under makeup. This can be used in conjunction with our Art of Skin MD Antioxidant Brightening Pads, which Dr. Palm sometimes prescribes combined with Hydroquinone to help treat hyperpigmentation while brightening the skin.
For a quick, no-downtime fix, a series of Intense Pulsed Light or IPL (photofacials) can make a huge difference in clearing freckling, sun spots, telangiectasias, improving rosacea and stimulating collagen growth to reduce pore size and improve skin texture. For a minimal-downtime procedure with a big return, a nonablative laser, such as ResurFX by Lumenis, immediately following an IPL treatment is a favorite among patients here. The IPL tackles the discoloration – both red and brown – and the ResurFX improves skin texture, minimizes fine lines, pore size and even improves mild scarring. The downtime includes redness and mild swelling for 3-5 days. Patients can wear makeup immediately following ResurFX, so this helps improve the downtime. Lastly, another minimal-downtime treatment is to have a series of glycolic peels, which improve sun damage by helping to lighten pigmentation and improving skin texture. One thing Dr. Palm stresses is that IPL should be avoided for patients with melasma, as it may worsen it. Melasma is different from sun damage and she recommends a completely different treatment plan, often including a topical regimen.
If you are noticing sun damage or would like to start now in preventing sun damage, call us today at 858-792-SKIN (7546) to schedule a consultation for more information on what can help you meet your aesthetic goals.