When I was very little, my mom and sister used to wake me up every July 4th to watch fireworks over the golf course behind our house. It is still one of my favorite memories.

My mom, my sister and I still always get together for the July 4th holiday – now with our daughters – to spend time relaxing at the beach, playing at the pool, and watching the fireworks as a family. It’s one of my favorite holidays and I’m so excited it’s almost here!

As I’m prepping for my holiday weekend, I wanted to share some of my beach essentials with you, to help keep your skin healthy and sun-safe. So, here are my top 4 tips for the 4th:

  1. The Perfect Faux Glow: I love to rock a golden glow throughout summer. I don’t even want to be tempted to consider tanning, so I make sure that I use self-tanner a day or two before I’m going to be at the beach. Sometimes I opt for a spray tan because it looks so even and beautiful, but if I’m tight on time and just need something quick, I have been loving Sun Bum Self Tanning Towlettes (in Fair to Medium Skin Tones). They contain Vitamin E which helps to moisturize dry skin (our legs are very prone to dry skin due to the absence of oil glands), aloe which is naturally healing and hydrating, and are paraben free. They do have a subtle tropical coconut scent, which I find relaxing and transporting! Be sure to use the wipe in circular motions on dry skin so that you don’t have any streaking and of course, wash your hands after using.
  2. Moisture wicking workout gear: When I’m on vacation, I slow down my pace and relax with my family. We are a really active family, even on vacation, so I always make sure to pack some workout gear. During summer and in this heat, it’s key to have breathable fabric that’s moisture wicking. Most of my workout gear for summer is made of UPF fabric so that it also doubles as sunscreen for the areas of my skin that are covered. Some of my fave brands include Mott50, Athleta, and Nike.
  3. Sun protection, of course: I always have my packable, broad-rimmed hat, my sunglasses, my sunscreen, my UPF swimsuit, and of course, my favorite sunscreens. I am asked for sunscreen recommendations all the time. As I mentioned on Good Morning America, product testing by neutral third parties like Consumer Reports is something I value a lot as a dermatologist. I like to see product efficacy studies to support product claims. For that reason, I always have La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Melt in Milk in UPF 60 with me (consistently ranks first in these studies). I have also been loving Coola’s SPF50 Sport Classic Sunscreen in Fresh Mango scent, which is a certified organic option containing avocado oil to help nourish your skin. I also am very mindful of our environment when it comes to sunscreen use, so I alternate (for myself and my daughter) between using the chemical blockers which test most effective and the physical blockers which do not contain chemicals like oxybenzone or avobenzone. One of my new favorites is Pacifica’s Mineral Sunscreen Coconut Probiotic SPF30 which is free of chemical UV absorbers, PABA, octisalate, octinoxate, and oxybenzone.
  4. Hydrating Remedies for Post-Sun Skincare: Growing up, we always had an aloe plant in our house so that we could use fresh aloe on our skin as needed. I do the same with my family and so does my sister. In addition to having fresh aloe on hand (which we cut and refrigerate for post-sun skincare), I love to nurture and pamper my skin a little after a day at the beach. One of my favorite new products is Naturopathica’s Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm made with probiotics and peptides. The scent alone of the Manuka honey is such a relaxing and restorative experience and, the cleansing balm as a first step in cleansing my skin is very hydrating and moisturizing. It feels like you’ve been to a spa, which is perfect at the end of a sun-drenched, wonderful summer day.

Happy July 4th and enjoy the fireworks!!

xoxo Dr. Whitney

In this video, I focus on an ingredient called oxybenzone. Look for it in your sunscreen — I bet it’s there. You might also see it listed as an ingredient in some of your hair sprays, nail polish, fragrances, and makeup foundations with SPF. There’s been a lot of discussion and concern over whether oxybenzone is safe – not just for us, but also for our environment. The research in this field is truly fascinating and very important – so check it out!

I love attending and presenting at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Beauty Breakthroughs Events in NYC because it is like a think tank for cutting edge information in my field. One of the hot topics presented at this year’s event by my esteemed colleague and friend, Dr. Chris Adigun, was the safety of gel manicures, especially in view of the LED and UV lamps used to cure gel polish.

I wanted to share some of the latest information available on this topic because it is something so many of us do without giving it a second thought!

We know why we all love gel polish. It lasts up to three weeks without a single chip and is more glossy and shiny than any other type of polish I’ve seen. But, there is always the question of safety when you place your hands under the lamp to cure the polish. Your salon either uses a UV lamp (if you wait for two minutes for the polish to cure, this is a UV lamp) or an LED lamp (if you wait for between 5 and 45 seconds for your polish to cure, this is an LED lamp) as a necessary step in curing gel polish. BOTH UV and LED lamps emit UV radiation. Many people think the LED lamp is safer, but in reality, it is just a shorter, intense periods of exposure to UVA rays, which are linked to skin aging and skin cancer.

But don’t despair. There are some safety precautions that you can take before placing your hands under the lamps. Either apply UVA/UVB sunscreen to your hands 20 minutes prior to placing them under the lamps or use anti-UV gloves, which are available online or possibly at your salon.

Another option which doesn’t require a UV or LED Lamp is Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, which is a part lacquer and part gel polish. The Color Coat and Top Coat formulas both contain an oligomer (a molecule), and the Top Coat also contains a photoinitiator (a chemical compound). The photoinitiator activates a bond between the Color and Top Coat, thus curing the formula in natural light without the need of an LED/UV lamp. I’ve tried it and it looks like a gel manicure from the salon and lasted about the same amount of time. Always good to have options!

Enjoy your beautiful manicures and, most importantly, your healthy skin!

@DrWhitneyBowe

Is Infrared #yoga bad for your skin? What does this hot yoga trend mean for your skin’s health?… https://t.co/Z1uW5GSM3e

@DrWhitneyBowe

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