Here are some tips from renowned dermatologist Dr. Fran Cook-Bolden about protecting skin in the sun and preserving it for the future:
“When going out into the sun, always use a sunscreen formulated with SPF 30 or higher,” Dr. Cook-Bolden instructs. “For normal skin types with no tendency toward heat reactions, SPF 30 is sufficient; however, for those with pre-existing skin conditions or sun sensitivity, a higher SPF is preferable. I recommend Skin Medica Environmental Defense Sunscreen™ SPF 30—the formula protects against UV rays, environmental pollutants and free radical damage. Micronized zinc oxide provides maximum UVA and UVB protection in a single transparent ingredient, while Parsol® MCX provides superior UVB absorption to prevent sun damage. For those with sun sensitivity, Vanicream for Sensitive Skin SPF 60 is recommended. Vanicream™ Sunscreen SPF 60 is a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects your skin throughout the UVA and UVB rays. Vanicream™ Sunscreen SPF 60 contains zinc oxide, an ingredient that offers additional protection from the UVA rays which may contribute to skin damage and premature aging of the skin.
“To avoid a sunburn, don’t exfoliate skin before heading into the sun, as exfoliation speeds up cell turnover and makes sun damage more likely,” explains Dr. Cook-Bolden. “Be sure to avoid Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (found in chemical peels) as well, as this will increase the severity of sunburns. Instead, exfoliate at night to reduce sunburn and inflammation, use an exfoliator formulated with Vitamin C or Retinoids to correct sun damage overnight.
“To treat a sunburn, use creams containing tea tree oil, chamomile or peppermint to help reduce inflammation,” Dr. Cook-Bolden recommends. “ For severe burns, visit a dermatologist for Biafine, a prescription-grade treatment that heals skin after sunburns and reduces scarring.”
“If you have existing signs of sun damage, use a Feruelic Acid treatment,” advises Dr. Cook-Bolden. “Feruelic Acid features antioxidant-rich coffeeberry, which helps break up pigment in sun spots.”