One of the most common questions I’m asked in my office, on social media, and by my friends and family is: which sunscreen do I recommend? There are so many options on the market it is information overload! How do you know what is safe? How do you know what is effective? Does price matter and how about SPF number?

Here’s some quick information at your fingertips to make this much clearer:

My Picks:

I always say, the best sunscreen is the one you will actually use!!!!  Here are some of my favorites:

Lotions: For years, I have used and recommended La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60 because it is smooth, not greasy, and it just plain works. Other great options I have been using lately are Equate (Walmart) Sport Lotion SPF 50 and Coppertone Ultra Guard Lotion SPF 70. For my daughter, I usually opt for Coppertone WaterBabies Lotion SPF 50 or Pure Sun Defense Disney Frozen Lotion SPF 50.

Sprays: Some of my patients prefer a spray to a lotion because it’s so easy to apply. My favorites include Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50, Banana Boat SunComfort Clear UltraMist Spray SPF 50+ and Equate (Walmart) Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30. Here’s an important safety tip when using spray- never spray directly into your face. It’s not a good idea to inhale spray sunscreens. Instead, spray it into your hands and then rub your hands over your face. Personally, I use spray on my body and opt for lotions or sticks for my face.

Sticks: Two of my top sunscreen sticks are Up & Up (Target) Kids Sunscreen Stick SPF 55 and Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection Stick SPF 50+. For my daughter, I often also opt for Coppertone’s Kids Sunscreen Stick SPF 55. I usually use the stick to apply sunscreen to my face and to my daughter’s face. It’s just so easy not to irritate the eye area using a sunscreen stick. But, make sure to blend in the sunscreen because it’s equally easy not to cover your entire face properly using a stick.

How Can You Tell What to Buy:

When it comes to sunscreen, there are multiple factors which can make a product fail to protect your skin adequately:

  1. You may not be using enough. I always tell my patients you need a shot glass full of sunscreen to properly cover your face and exposed areas!
  2. You may not be applying it properly. If you go in the water, reapply. If you are out in the sun for two hours, reapply. If you are going outside, apply 15 minutes before you are in the sun.
  3. The packaging might not be entirely accurate. While the Food and Drug Administration requires manufacturers to test their products, the agency doesn’t do its own independent testing to verify claims. For this reason, I like to rely on studies done by Consumer Reports which are the result of lots of testing to actually verify that the product works as advertised. Some sunscreens which say right on the bottle they are SPF 50 can test as SPF 10
  4. It could be expired. Check the date on your sunscreen! Also, if you left your sunscreen in a hot car or on the hot beach last year, throw it out. It won’t work effectively any more. Invest in your skin and buy a new bottle. Many of the best rated options are very affordable!
  5. Most “Natural” options aren’t holding up to testing as well as their chemical counterparts. Natural or mineral sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, but don’t contain any chemicals, haven’t performed as well. Yes, you can burn through these, and so can your children! If you have very, very sensitive skin and only can tolerate all natural, my current pick is California Kids Supersensitive Lotion SPF 30+.

I will be sharing all kinds of information on this hot subject with you guys over the next few weeks. Check back in for updates! This is such a key subject matter and it shouldn’t be confusing or overwhelming. I am here to help keep you informed and covered so that you practice safe sun this summer!

Xoxo,

Dr. Whitney

There are so many popular myths about Melasma! I am here to help you get the FACTS you need to keep your Melasma under control.

FIRST, no lemon juice.  If you google “home remedies for Melasma” you will find pages of home remedies listing lemon juice as one of the key ingredients. this is a MYTH!!! Do NOT use lemon juice on your Melasma!  Citrus fruits can irritate the skin, which can make Melasma worse.  AND lemons in particular actually make your skin much more vulnerable to the sun. I’ve seen these remedies make Melasma 10x worse in just 24 hours.

SECOND, no heat! Anything that causes too much heat or irritation in the skin can make Melasma worse! When it comes to Melasma, your doctor has to be gentle and you have to be patient. Trying to rush that process will only set you back. This means:

  • NO Hot yoga
  • NO saunas
  • NO steam rooms
  • NO sunbathing
  • NO tanning salons

THIRD, what should you look for: look for serums, lotions and creams that contain Vitamin C, kojic acid, licorice, or soy. Those are brightening ingredients that have been shown to gently lighten Melasma patches over time.

FOURTH, sun protection!! This is critical to your Melasma treatment!

FIFTH: I wanted to share the regimen that I provided to Ginger to treat her Melasma for your ready reference:

Morning:

  • cleanse with a gentle cleanser (Purpose, Dove, Cetaphil all good) fingertips only
  • pat dry using a clean towel
  • put a few drops of SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic antioxidant serum into La Roche Posay sunscreen
  • rub all over face and neck.  CE ferulic has Vit C (skin brightener) AND acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that are thought to trigger Melasma.

Day:

HAT– wear a hat when outside!!!  I’m serious

NIGHT:

I mixed a Melasma Emulsion for Ginger. Less is more to start. I recommended that she use it every other night for the dark areas ONLY. Key ingredients here are Hydroquinone (which acts to block the enzyme that makes melanin and is the MOST powerful depigmenting topical ingredient for Melasma) and Tretinoin (prescription strength vit A) which increases skin cell turnover, bringing the stained cells to the surface where they ultimately slough off.

Alternate nights: dr. brandt DNA Night Cream (loaded with antioxidants) or a gentle moisturizer like Cetaphil or CeraVe.

4 nights before each PEEL: STOP the Melasma emulsion.

Check out the segment right here:

Share your thoughts and questions about Melasma with me on social media! My handle is @drwhitneybowe on FB, TW, and IG!

XOXO,

Dr. Whitney

I had so much fun working with my Good Morning America family this morning and sharing some of my go-to, DIY facial masks for glowing, healthy skin. I’ve had a lot of requests for more information on the masks we featured, so here you go!

DEPUFFING AND EXFOLIATING: Coffee and Yogurt Mask

  • Coffee: The caffeine in coffee grounds helps to reduce swelling and puffiness.
  • Yogurt: Soothing, emollient
  • To make: Combine 3 tablespoons of greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons of finely ground coffee and mix together (using a fork) until you have a paste. Apply to face using gentle, circular motions. Rinse off after 20 minutes with warm water and a soft wash cloth. Pat dry!

COMBAT REDNESS: Green Tea and Honey Mask

  • Green Tea: Soothing, removes impurities, reduces inflammation
  • Honey: Antibacterial, soothing
  • To make: Cut open 2 green tea bags and empty contents into mixing bowl. Add a few drops of water and mix with fork just to dampen. Then, mix in 3 tablespoons of honey (I use a fork to mix, which seems to work better than a spoon). Apply mask to face. Rinse off after 15 -20 minutes with warm water and a soft wash cloth. Pat dry!

The harsh and cold winter air can leave your skin feeling so chapped. These easy masks with ingredients you can find right in your kitchen are a quick fix to rehydrate and nourish your skin!

xoxo,

Dr. Whitney

As I discussed today on Good Morning America, nighttime is the perfect time for your skin to heal itself from any damage sustained during the day (including environmental stressors like UV rays and pollution). When we sleep, our stress hormone (cortisol) goes down and our sleep hormone (melatonin) goes up. Our body, and our skin, are in repair mode. In fact, studies show that new skin cells grow faster while you sleep!

I encourage my patients to take advantage of this period of skin renewal and restoration by giving their skin some nighttime pampering! Here are some of my tips and fave products to get the most out of your beauty sleep:

First, try to sleep on your back! If you tend to sleep on your side or plant your face in your pillow, then you are prone to develop what are called sleep lines- they are creases on your face that ultimately form permanent wrinkles. If you just can’t get comfy on your back or want to get fancy, there are more sophisticated pillows that are designed to keep the face off of the pillow, even if you roll onto your side. One of my favorites is the JuveRest Sleep Wrinkle Pillow with cover ($160 at Amazon.com),

Second, as I discussed on air, skin is prone to dehydration at night because your skin metabolism rises as it works hard to renew itself and you lose hydration as a result. Drink a glass of water before bed, invest in a cool mist humidifier and layer your skin with a serum first and then, a richer night cream for added moisture. One of my favorite serums for night is dr. brandt’s GLOW Overnight Resurfacing Serum. This serum contains retinol which stimulates skin renewal and works in harmony with your skin’s natural nighttime repair process ($86 at Sephora.com). **SEE DETAILS BELOW TO WIN THIS PRODUCT!!

Third, I use a copper infused eye mask when I sleep. Copper oxide is clinically proven to have anti-wrinkle properties! One of my faves is the sleep mask by Iluminage ($25 at Amazon.com).

**CONTEST DETAILS**

To enter for a chance to WIN dr. brandt’s GLOW Overnight Resurfacing Serum, (1) tell me one thing you do to unwind at night and (2) tag a friend!

BE SURE TO COMMENT UNDER THIS POST on either my IG (@drwhitneybowe) OR on my professional FB page, starting at NOON EST on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. I will announce the winner on WEDNESDAY, May 1, 2016 at 8:30 PM EST.

**This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be announced on my FB, Instagram, and Twitter pages and notified via FB Message or Instagram Message. The winner will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

I Love My Turkey Neck [Said No One Ever]!

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, I wanted to dedicate this blog post to the turkey neck (or double chin) and how I can help make it go away forever, as I discussed on Good Morning America.

The turkey neck, or double chin (which is medically referred to as “submental fullness” or “submental fat”) is an equal opportunity issue. It presents in men, women, thin people, and heavier individuals alike and I have yet to meet a patient who would like to keep it. In fact, even apart from the undesirable aesthetic of a turkey neck, many of my male patients have sought out this procedure due to the daily discomfort and feeling of suffocation created by having submental fullness and having to wear a shirt and tie every day for work.

Thankfully, the FDA has approved Kybella (deoxycholic acid) as a permanent treatment for the turkey neck. Deoxycholic acid is naturally produced by our bodies and helps to absorb fats. Kybella is a drug which is identical to this naturally occurring acid. When injected into our “submental fat”, Kybella physically destroys and permanently dissolves the fat cells which create the double chin.

 

Your Virtual Kybella Appointment:

Before we begin the Kybella injection treatment, I clean and numb the area underneath your chin.

I then apply a treatment “grid”, which is like a temporary tattoo, to act as an injection guide. I inject Kybella next to each “dot” on the grid. You will feel a slight prick and a burning sensation as the medication is melting the fat away.

The entire procedure takes approximately 15 minutes.

The most significant side effect of this procedure is the substantial swelling which occurs afterwards and can last up to two weeks. However, even with this side effect, my Kybella patients all agree that the procedure was well worth it and they would do it again without hesitation. I tell my patients that winter is the perfect time to have Kybella because you can camouflage the swelling by wearing turtlenecks or scarves.

Other common side effects of Kybella include some bruising, redness, and sensitivity or numbness in the treatment area, all of which are temporary.

Typically, to achieve my patients’ desired results, we need 2 to 4 treatments approximately 6 to 8 weeks apart. This aspect of the procedure is customized.

And finally, the result is PERMANENT!! Your turkey neck is gone forever and I promise you won’t miss it!

Stay tuned for cost-saving alternatives to this treatment! New blog post to follow soon!

@DrWhitneyBowe

Check out my latest blog post for all the answers to your questions about facial oils! #thatboweglow #facialoil… https://t.co/OLSS85sCg7

@DrWhitneyBowe

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