Summer is here so what do you need to do differently? Hot humid weather with plenty of sunny activities can make summertime skincare difficult. It is also the most important season to protect your skin from damage. We ask Dr. Swann what are the most useful tips we can use going into summer?
1. Know your skin type & minimize inflammation. Inflammation leads to hyperpigmentation. If you put it on your skin and it burns, avoid it. Your skin is more open in the summertime humidity and is also turning over more rapidly due to sun exposure. That means you can become more irritated by products, including cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens and prescriptions. Dr. Swann recommends letting up on your turnover products in the summer. If you are using prescription tretinoin, maybe lighten up to a retinol-based regimen or even glycolic or salacylic acid in a cleanser. Use sunscreens that don't have chemicals, which tend to be irritatnts. Use a synthetic cleanser, such as cetaphil or dove, which doesn't cleanse as well, but doesn't stay on the skin.
2. Sunscreen as a Morning Habit. Particularly in the summer, if you are just applying your sunscreen before you walk onto the first tee or while you are poolside or getting on the boat, you have already failed. The first 30 min your sunscreen is important to let it bind to the skin. If you are hot when you put it on, it doesn't bind well and you end up sweating it right off. Put sunscreen on after you wash your face or shave in the morning. Use a physical sunscreen without chemicals and reapply if you are going to have prolonged exposure.
3. Lighten your moisture. If you are used to using a heavier night cream, consider lightening to a lotion. For daytime, you may get away with serum and sunscreen instead of a dedicated lotion. This will lead to fewer milia or follicular imperfections.
4. Treatments to get rid of summer damage. Even with a great skin regimen, you can end up with discolorations leftover from sun damage after a season of summer fun. Dr. Swann says there is no substitute for commitment to a great skin care regimen, but there are therapies that can target seasonal damage and get you back into shape faster. "I think of skin care like working out. You can't build a sculpted body in a couple of weeks. But there are therapies like peels or laser treatments that can target specific issues in the skin." Our team loves to combine a solid skin care regimen with a series of peels and even prescriptions if necessary to idealize your glow and get you back on track fast! We are particularly excited about Swann Dermatology's Reveal Peel that works really well in conjunction with an HQ-based regimen to brighten and unify skin tones, removing the signs of summer quickly. We sometimes combine this with a fractionated laser peel in the fall to really boost results.
Our team believes in individualized skin care for best results and there is no cookie-cutter method that gets everyone their best regimen. We know skin and are here to help you look great in your skin!
Mike Swann, MD