Dermatologist Advice: Sun Protection
Sunscreen is one of the most important skincare products, especially for helping to prevent and fight visible signs of aging. But fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone aren’t the only side effects of unprotected sun exposure—UV rays can contribute to skin cancer as well. The ideal sunscreen for protecting your skin depends on a variety of factors, including skin type, season, and even how much time you have to spare in the morning.
Southlake, Texas dermatologist Angela Bowers, MD knows skin—and how to keep it looking healthy and youthful. Here, she shares her advice for finding the perfect sunscreen but she says there’s one thing that everyone should look for on the bottle: broad spectrum. This ensures your skin is protected from both “aging” UVA rays well as “burning” UVB rays.
How to: Incorporate sun protection into your daily skincare routine
Dermatologist Advice: “Multitasking products are important for today’s busy woman,” says Dr. Bowers, and she recommends a variety of ways to combine several skincare steps without sacrificing adequate sun protection. “A makeup primer or foundation with sunscreen or a moisturizer with an adequate SPF are time-saving options, and a BB cream with sun protection is great for everyday use when you’re not being exposed to intense sun.”
Recommended: La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum with Sunscreen, La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Daily Tone Correcting Tinted Primer, Vichy Aqualia Thermal Hydrating Lotion SPF 25, Vichy Idéalia BB Cream SPF 25, and Vichy Dermafinish Corrective Fluid Foundation SPF 30.
How to: Choose the right sunscreen for your skin type
Dermatologist Advice: According to Dr. Bowers, dry and sensitive skin types need a creamy, hydrating sunscreen, while a lightweight fluid formulation is ideal for oily skin. Those with acne-prone skin should opt for oil-free products formulated with ingredients like perlite to help minimize shine.
Recommended: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dry Touch Clear Skin Sunscreen SPF 60, La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, Vichy Idéal Capital Soleil SPF 45 Silkscreen Dry-Finish Lotion, and Vichy Idéal Capital Soleil SPF 50 Ultra Light Sunscreen.
How to: Improve the appearance of sun damage
Dermatologist Advice: To improve early signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles caused by the sun, look for targeted treatments with powerful ingredients such as retinol or rhamnose. Dr. Bowers is a proponent of products that reduce the appearance of dark spots to help reduce the uneven skin tone caused by sun exposure. “If you live in the southern states or a high-altitude climate, I recommend a daily anti-pigment product along with sunscreen,” she says. Those who live in more temperate regions may only need these products after the summer or other times of increased sun exposure.
Recommended: Vichy ProEven Daily Dark Spot Corrector, Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Supreme, La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Dark Spot Serum, and La Roche-Posay Redermic R Anti-Aging Concentrate Intensive.
How to: Update your skincare routine for warmer weather
Dermatologist Advice: When the time comes to update your wardrobe for warmer weather, it’s important to reassess your skincare routine as well. If your winter routine includes a creamy cleanser you can switch to a lighter lotion or gel, and heavier moisturizers can be swapped for lotions or serums once spring arrives.
Recommended:Vichy Aqualia Thermal Power Serum, Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Cleansing Micellar Solution, La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar SPF 30 moisturizer, and La Roche-Posay Mela-D Cleanser.
Check your skin for beauty spots
Dermatologist Advice: 90% of melanoma cases can be treated effectively if diagnosed early enough, so it’s important to get annual skin checks. It’s also important to learn how to perform skin checks yourself so you know what to look for and where to look. If you care for somebody, check their beauty spots.
Recommended: Checking for beauty spots is as easy as A B C D E – to help you identify suspicious spots with the naked eye, look for signs of Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter and Evolution. Make sure to look behind the ears, on the scalp, under the breasts, between the toes, and under the arms.
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Anti-aging skincare has come a long way, and it seems like there’s a lotion or potion for every beauty issue under the sun. What’s the trick to finding the best treatments for your skin? Enlist the help of a dermatologist who can point you to the right ingredients and products that target your main concerns. Columbia, Maryland dermatologist Melanie Adams, MD, PA shares her advice for the most effective ways to improve the age-related changes that are standing between you and the healthy, youthful-looking skin you crave.
How to: Improve the appearance of pores and skin texture
Dermatologist Advice: The pores are hair follicles that are associated with sebaceous glands that produce oil in an effort to moisturize the skin. Dr. Adams says that when pores become clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells, they can appear darker and larger. The best way to minimize the appearance of pores—and to smooth surface texture—is to look for ingredients such as hydroxy acids that gently exfoliate to reveal fresh, healthy skin.
Recommended: Vichy Idéalia Life Serum, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Serum.
How to: Soften deeper wrinkles
Dermatologist Advice: Deep wrinkles are generally caused by loss of facial fat, whether due to weight loss or the natural aging process. Dr. Adams explains that scientific research has shown that retinol is effective for improving these particular signs of aging. Retinol works by slowing down the breakdown of collagen and elastin and promoting cellular turnover, which smoothes skin texture and delivers an overall refreshed complexion.
Recommended: La Roche-Posay Redermic R with pure retinol, Vichy LiftActiv Retinol Concentrate, Vichy LiftActiv Retinol Night.
How to: Improve skin elasticity and firmness
Dermatologist Advice: According to Dr. Adams, sagging skin is a result of the natural aging process. Over time the skin loses the collagen and elastin that give young skin its plump, firm look and feel, and external factors like sun exposure, gravity, and weight loss accelerate the process. In addition to daily hydration, look for ingredients that boost the skin’s natural rejuvenation process and improve skin sagging, such as Rhamnose and hyaluronic acid.
Recommended: Vichy LiftActiv Supreme, Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10, La Roche-Posay Redermic C.
How to: Minimize dark circles
Dermatologist Advice: According to Dr. Adams, darkness around the eyes can be caused by a few factors. Dark circles can be inherited or caused by the aging process, allergies, fatigue, and medications that cause the blood vessels to dilate. The most effective ingredients for improving these eye-area concerns quickly are pigment-reducing Phe-Resorcinol, caffeine (which helps increase circulation) and light-reflecting pigments, which provide instant results by scattering light.
Recommended: La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eyes with Phe-Resorcinol and caffeine, Vichy Idéalia Eyes, Vichy ProEven Eyes.
Advice provided by La Roche-Posay – a skin care brand recommended by over 25,000 dermatologists worldwide
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Why Visit a Dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating conditions that affect the skin, hair and nails. Dermatologists are the most qualified in these fields because after earning a medical degree and completing an internship, a dermatologist receives three more years of specialty medical training, becoming an expert dedicated to skin. A dermatologist is the ultimate resource for you and will help diagnose skin, hair and nail conditions and find a treatment or regimen that is appropriate for your optimal care. Whether you have a chronic skin condition, are looking to schedule an annual skin cancer screening, or improving the appearance or health of your skin, there are many reasons to visit a dermatologist and it’s never too early to start.
What Should You Look For When Selecting a Dermatologist?
- Board Certification: Look for a Board Certified Dermatologist which guarantees that the doctor has completed the appropriate three year medical school training on disorders of the skin, hair and nails and passed the “board exam” given by the American Board of Dermatology. You can verify board certification on aad.org. Dermatologists who are board certified will have “FAAD” by their name.
- Expertise: Verify the doctor’s area of expertise. While most dermatologists can handle most skin issues, some have extra certifications in specialty areas, such as Pediatric Dermatology, and Dermatopathology. Dermatologists can also concentrate on areas of dermatology that are especially interesting to them such as allergies, skin cancer, severe acne or even cosmetic procedures like injectables or lasers.
- Accessibility: Depending on the reason for your visit, the frequency may vary from 3-6 months for skin condition treatments, to annual for skin cancer screenings. Be sure to ask office staff if the doctor has a specialty or interest in your particular skin concern and the hours your Dermatologist is available for appointments.
- Cost: Your insurance may cover the medical care costs and/or prescription medications from a dermatologist visit. Make sure to review your insurance plan for information about co-payments required for office visits and medications. There are some procedures such as hair removal or wrinkle treatments that are not covered. When you call to make your appointment you can ask for an estimate to find an option that is right for your needs.
- Fit: make sure the office hours and treatment options are a fit with your overall plan for your health. Your dermatologist should be a partner in helping you meet your goals for optional health.
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