Every time it heats up we’re tempted to bare all: high-octane vitamin D is a glorious side effect, but wrinkles and dark spots are not. Who better to ask for a guide to protecting our summer skin than dermatologist Dr. Julie Russak? Her Manhattan practice specializes in skin cancer screenings, and they’re our go-to for mole checks (among many other things). Brush up on the summer basics (SPF, SPF, and SPF), here.
Does how you protect your skin change leading into the summer?
Dr. Russak: Damaging UV rays are present all year round, but in the summer the sun hits us more directly, making it more intense. Daily sunscreen use is key for preventing skin cancer and blocking those harmful UV rays. In the summer, the days are longer and you’re more likely to be outside enjoying them, so it is very important to keep the sunscreen on hand, and reapply every 2 hours. Also, keep in mind that there is no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen. Some sunscreens are water-resistant, but none are truly waterproof, so reapplying after swimming or sweating is essential.
How should we transition into a summer routine?
Dr. Russak: Daily sunscreen use is key—if you know you’re going to be outside, you should be wearing SPF. There are an overwhelmingly large number of choices when it comes to sunscreen, so choose one that’s broad spectrum, at least SPF 30, and contains mineral blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. As long as your sunscreen has these, you’ll be protected.
What are your fave skincare and sunscreen products this summer?
Dr. Russak: All of us in the office love Skin Ceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50– it contains both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, two physical blockers that give you the best sun protection possible because they last longer on the skin. Also the tinted version is truly skin-tone universal, and prevents any kind of white-cast you usually get from a sunscreen with zinc. Lightweight, SPF 50, and a little tint: can’t get much better than that! Another great product is a chic broad-rimmed hat—a little shade goes a long way.
Using an antioxidant serum can also help your skin repair the damage caused by UVA and UVB rays. Vitamin C serums, like SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, block free radicals and further protect your skin from premature aging and other environmentally derived damage. This serum also helps inhibit UV-induced skin discolorations, like sun spots and melasma, from developing or becoming more pronounced.
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