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

Which sunscreens are ranked at the top of Consumer Reports 2018? Did your sunscreen make the list? I share the new Consumer Reports favorites for summer 2018 on Good Morning America.

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!

On my social media channels, you guys asked about the safety of chemicals in sunscreen, why certain sunscreens make you look like a ghost, what’s the best type of sunscreen for kids, and how often you should reapply!

In this video, I will answer your questions and more!

To start, I explain the difference between chemical blockers and physical or mineral blockers.

Next, I share which sunscreen choices I make for myself and for my 5 year old daughter who is a fair skinned redhead and therefore, burns easily. As a dermatologist mom, I want to give my daughter the most safe and effective options for sun protection and I love sharing this information with you and your family!

Finally, I share my five key tips about sun protection.

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

@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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