It’s mid-August – right about the time when my patients (and my family) start to realize that their skin has gotten more sun exposure than might have been ideal. This is the perfect time to start healing your skin – getting a little more shady — and taking steps to reverse that fun in the sun damage you won’t want to bring with you into the fall. So, let’s hold on to summer while starting to heal your damaged summer skin!

Healthy Home Remedies to Save Your Skin:

Let’s start with some fresh basics and build from there! All summer long, my sister and I both keep aloe plants in our homes. Fresh aloe is incredibly healing on sunburned and irritated skin – all of which comes with long, relaxing days at the beach and pool. We have both found that nothing beats having the real deal on hand. I sometimes keep a piece in the fridge so that it’s nice and cool when we come home from the beach. Here’s a video from my Instagram channel where I demo how I cut my fresh aloe at home: Aloe How-To Video

I also share a Probiotic Power Mask with jojoba oil and honey in my book, The Beauty of Dirty Skin. This is a soothing, healing mask for sunburned skin. Here’s how you make it:

You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 2-3 capsules of probiotics (check out p. 104 for my recommendations)
  • 1 teaspoon raw organic honey

To make:

First, you want to combine the jojoba oil and honey in a bowl. Next, open your probiotic capsules and empty the contents into your bowl and mix everything well. Make sure you have washed your skin with a gentle cleanser and then pat dry. Apply your mixture to your clean skin and set a timer for 15 minutes. I love to use my iphone stopwatch because it’s so easy. When your timer goes off, rinse with warm (not hot!) water and a soft, baby wash cloth. Pat dry very gently. Finally, moisturize your skin to lock in restorative, healthy moisture by using a skin-balancing oil like rose-hip-seed oil.

Why it works:Honey is soothing and moisturizing and is also antibacterial to help prevent infection. Jojoba oil is anti-inflammatory to help calm sunburned skin. And, your probiotics will add an extra healing boost when applied topically.

Affordable Products that Save Your Skin:

Naturopathica’s Aloe Replenishing Mask: I keep this mask in my fridge for some serious soothing. It’s very light and is made with hydrating and healing aloe, prickly pear cactus stem extract, hyaluronic acid, and gotu kola extract. During summer, I use this mask twice per week to help revitalize and hydrate my skin. Check it out here: Naturopathica Aloe Replenishing Mask

I also love Aleavia Restore Soothing Mist during summer and my patients have been loving this product as well! To learn more about it, check out my Dr. Whitney’s Picks page discussion all about it.

Aleavia Restore Soothing Mist

And, a fun new aloe product that I tried recently is Clarins’ Water Lip Stain, made with aloe vera extract, raspberry water and white tea. I found that the color stayed on while my lips were hydrated and baby soft. Check it out here: Aloe WaterLip Stain

In Office Treatment Options:

Microneedling:

Microneedling (also called “collagen induction therapy”) is a procedure based on the use of tiny needles which create tiny, controlled wounds to the skin. Your body reacts by naturally healing your skin and, in the process, building new collagen and elastin in the dermis. More collagen = younger, firmer skin. It is ideal for smoothing the surface of the skin minimizing acne scars and pores, photo-aging, crepey texture, dull skin, poor texture, stretch marks and body scars. It can help with fine lines and wrinkles; in fact, a recent study showed that medical Microneedling can increase epidermal thickness by 140%, while increasing and thickening collagen bundles in the dermis.

Microneedling also allows for serums, topical gels, and creams to penetrate or infuse more deeply into your skin, allowing the products to be more effective. The needle punctures create micro-channels, allowing enhanced penetration of topical products. Serums, for example, are packed with powerful ingredients to benefit your skin. This procedure allows the viscous serums to be absorbed more effectively into your skin, thereby allowing them to achieve accelerated results. Microneedling also does not involve heat, so there is a much lower likelihood of post inflammation pigmentation, which can result from certain laser treatments.

Learn more here: Microneedling Info

FRAXEL:

FRAXEL (Fractional Laser Resurfacing Treatments), which I also offer at my office, resurfaces and rejuvenates your skin while actually decreasing your risk of skin cancer, resulting in fresh, glowing, smooth skin. It’s also excellent for brightening those sun spots (aka lentigos) that appear after years of sun exposure.  This is a laser treatment which I recommend after summer – once you will not be spending much time in the sun. This is a great option beginning in September to truly reverse so much of the damage your skin incurred during the sunny, summer months. This is a patient favorite in terms of RESULTS!

Learn more here: Fraxel Info

Dr. Whitney

When I was a little kid, my hair was a very white-blonde color. My mom loved to squeeze lemon juice into my hair to lighten it even more when we were at the beach. Little did she know that she was exposing her skin to a condition called phytophotodermatitis, which can result in severe chemical burns on your skin. All you need is the juice of a lemon or a lime, a bergamot orange – all seemingly innocuous citrus fruits – and sunlight. The juice reacts with sunlight and can seriously burn your skin, ranging from redness and blisters all the way to second degree burns. Even if your skin does not burn, you may wind up with substantial, lasting, skin discoloration which presents as darkened patches on the skin.

4 Ingredients that Can Cause Severe Sun Damage

So, if you use a hair lightener at the beach – like Sun In or  Sun Bum Hair Lightener, these typically include lemon juice or extract. Be careful not to leave any of this spray on your skin if you are using it on your hair.

If your child has a lemonade stand, be mindful of whether she is squeezing lemons and then exposing her skin to the sun. This is something very few parents think about, but the rashes and burns which can result are actually very real.

Other products which cause photosensitivity which can result in irritation, redness, dark spots, burns, and sun damage include:

These Essential Oils are Photosensitive

 

Certain Essential Oils: So many of my patients swear by their essential oils. They can be energizing, relaxing, and everything in between. But, if you’re going to spend the day in the sun, don’t expose your skin to: bergamot, bitter orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, verbena, and several others. Be sure to check the information which accompanies your essential oils, as many are labeled photosensitive!

Reminder: Why Retinol Invites Burning

Retinol: I always recommend that my patients use their skin renewing retinol products at night. If you use retinol in the morning and head out into the bright sunshine, you will not have happy, healthy skin. This is a nighttime product because it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.

Have you Heard of Hydroquinone?

Hydroquinone: This skin brightening ingredient — which helps limit the skin from producing an excess amount of melanin (which is what gives our skin its pigment and, in cases of excess production, causes brown patches and hyperpigmentation) — is also a common culprit in terms of photosensitivity. Check your labels before you use your skin cream and head out to the beach or pool!

Have a wonderful time in the sun, wear your sunscreen, and watch out for those sneaky citrus fruits!

Dr. Whitney

 

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

A few months ago, I posted about this innovative new technology which was on the horizon and now, it’s here!!

As I discussed on Good Morning America today, sunscreen brand La Roche-Posay has developed the “MY UV Patch” which you wear on your skin. The patch is like a little sticker and it’s about ½ the thickness of a human hair, but it’s a very smart sticker!  The sticker and its accompanying App monitor the amount of UV exposure you’re getting in real time.

In my practice, I see so many patients who have a tan or sun spots and swear “but I’m NEVER in the sun!” I think this patch will help educate people on how easy it is to accumulate UV exposure even on shady days. It will help you learn when you’re getting the most rays– on your way to work?  During your lunch break?  Sitting next to the office window at your desk?  I think you’ll be surprised!

It will also help you determine WHERE you are getting those rays. People wear products with sunscreen plus makeup on their faces, but often neglect their chests and the tops of their hands, which speeds up aging on those skin surfaces.

As I discussed on air, the patch is water resistant so you can shower and swim with it, exercise with it, and even apply sunscreen directly on it. One really cool aspect of the patch is that you can see how well your sunscreen or SPF makeup is performing at screening out UV rays by monitoring your patch. Burning through your sunscreen?  Test your sunscreen on top of the patch and see if it truly delivers. Your makeup says it has SPF 30 in it?  Apply it to your patch and see if your patch agrees! So, it will help you figure out which products actually live up to their claims.

Knowledge is power, and this is one more very innovative tool to raise awareness when it comes to sun exposure!

@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

Instagram

Become a Bowe Glow Insider! Sign up to have exclusive news, VIP product giveaways and events, and early access to glowing skin tips and videos!

This site offers health, wellness, fitness and nutritional information for educational purposes only. The information on this website is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

© 2018 - Dr. Whitney Bowe

Terms of Use

Join my email community

Become a Bowe Glow Insider! Sign up to have access to exclusive news, VIP product giveaways and events, and early access to glowing skin tips and videos!

Become a Bowe Glow Insider! Sign up to have exclusive news, VIP product giveaways and events, and early access to glowing skin tips and videos!