Tips for rescuing summer skin

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Summertime on Hilton Head is often spent on the beach, on weekend waterway excursions, and chilling and grilling out with friends and family by the pool. All these activities nourish our souls, but not our skin. From the sun worshiper who was born to bask to the on-the-go adventurer who simply forgot to reapply, let’s shine some good news down upon you. Thanks to Tanya Hagedorn, FACES DaySpa’s lead aesthetician and assistant spa manager, and Beth Barlet, MHS, PA-C, of Georgia Skin and Cancer Clinic, we’ve got some skincare tips for rescuing summer skin.

According to Barlet, there are two ways to recover from skin damage: “You want to consider cosmetic and medical approaches,” she says. “The sun can cause both sun damage and hyperpigmentation. To turn over skin cells and get them exfoliating again, a good skincare regimen is important.”

Barlet recommends using SkinMedica’s AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser twice a day for normal skin and once a day for sensitive skin, and investing in a quality toner so that products like moisturizer absorb better into the skin.

summer skin2“Vitamin C is also great,” she says. “It is a potent antioxidant that prevents DNA damage from free radicals while lightening dark spots. And vitamin A or retinol can be used every other night. Between the ages of 20 to 50, you lose 50 percent of your hyaluronic acid production, but vitamin A can replenish it.”

Of course, no skincare lineup is complete without sunscreen, and Hagedorn points out an important distinction to note when selecting a product.

“There are two different types of sunscreen — chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreen absorbs into the skin and then blocks UV rays, but physical sunscreen contains either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, sits on the surface of the skin, and reflects UV rays,” Hagedorn says. “Chemicals coming into the skin can cause inflammation, and as we all know inflammation is the root of aging so I recommend a good physical sunscreen.”

Looking for a good sunscreen or new skincare products?
Hagedorn says FACES DaySpa carries its own line of high-quality products and also sells Eminence Organic Skin Care.

shutterstock 237287761From a medical standpoint, Barlet encourages her patients to have a full-body skin exam every year — or every six months if you have a history of skin cancer. “I also believe in being preventative versus just catching up,” she says. This might mean using a topical chemotherapy cream like fluorouracil, which destroys sun-damaged skin cells, pre-cancerous cells and early types of some skin cancers. Barlet also shared a 2015 report from the Skin Cancer Foundation that stated, “Australian researchers recently released a study abstract revealing that nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, significantly reduces the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers among people who have had a previous basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.”

Regardless of the season, Barlet and Hagedorn say to be proactive. Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen year-round and choose accessories and clothing that protect against sun exposure.

“Seventy-five percent of sun damage is from incidental exposure,” Hagedorn says.

Becca Edwards is a wellness professional, freelance writer, owner of b.e.WELL+b.e.CREATIVE (bewellbecreative.com) and a graduate of the Clemson Master Gardener program.