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

  1. NO FORMALDEHYDE: Never. Ever. Make sure there is no formaldehyde in the glue which is used to secure the lash extensions. It can be dangerous for your eyes. Ask – and if there is any question, strongly consider running!
  2. TAKE A BREAK: Your lashes need a break between applications of extensions, so schedule it in. It’s important. Take care of your own lashes! The glue can cause damage and breakage, so make sure you make time for some lash R&R in btw your glam sessions.
  3. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP: Do your research before you take the plunge! Make sure you go to someone experienced and reputable! We are talking about your eyes. If extensions aren’t attached properly, they can swing down and scratch your cornea. Be informed!
  4. LET YOUR BODY DO THE TALKING: Does it hurt? Does it burn? If so, don’t ignore it and soldier on in the name of beauty. This is your body telling you that you are having an allergic reaction or some other reaction to one of the ingredients involved in the process. Stop and talk to your technician, who should be trained in handling this!
  5. KNOW YOUR TOOLS: Use a gentle eye makeup remover with a cleansing wipe instead of cotton balls or Q-tips which can lead to fibers sticking in your extensions! Stay away from oil based makeup removers which could impact the glue! Talk to your technician and check out the best tools to keep your lashes gorgeous and your eyes healthy!

 

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

The New Year is the perfect time to try new things! One of my favorite, power-packed antioxidant masks is so simple and easy to make, but will leave your skin feeling refreshed, radiant and renewed! Here’s what you need:

CRANBERRY-APPLE ANTIOXIDANT POWER MASK

Three Simple Ingredients:

1 grated apple

½ cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) cranberries)

1 tbsp. almond oil

To Make:

Blend all ingredients in a blender until you have a paste consistency- should be a bit thick.

Spread on clean skin, leave on for three to five minutes, then rinse off with warm water.

Key Ingredients to Nourish your Skin:

Cranberries and apples are rich in wrinkle fighting antioxidants, including Vitamin C which helps collagen production and strengthens your hair and nails.

Almond Oil is packed with Vitamin E and softens and smooths the skin, improves tone and complexion and has been shown to slow down the visible signs of aging.

In the New Year, I’m so excited to incorporate new things that I love into my routine! One of my favorite hairstyles entering the New Year is this awesome bun by Gianna of @Glambar_NY!

Here’s Gianna’s step by step tutorial so you can try it at home:

  1. First take a diagonal section of hair in the front. The reason I prefer a diagonal rather than a square section is because it makes it easier to hide a harsh part line.
  2.  Braid that section of hair, secure it with an elastic band and save that piece for later :
  3.  Next pull all the rest of the hair into a high pony tail – at this point you can pull some pieces of hair out in the front if you’re going for a more tousled look.  Once you get the desired height of the ponytail, make sure you secure it tightly with a hair tie. Don’t be scared to loosen up the back and sides by lightly pulling on some hair to create some texture.
  4.  Next, take hair and loosely twist once and then turn around the ponytail until the ends can be tucked and hidden in the back. Secure bun with bobby pins around the base with giant bobby pins. You can use the smaller bobby pins to tuck and secure any pieces that are falling out.
  5. Finally, take the braided piece (for more volume you can pull and feather the plaits in the braid) then wrap it around the base of the bun, securing it in the back with a large bobby pin. Finish your style with your favorite medium hold hairspray and viola!

I love to wear this look with a choker and an off the shoulder top, which really accentuate the neckline!

Happy New Year!!

xoxo,

Dr. Whitney

Happy November 1st! I wanted to share this quick VIDEO BLOG of the hottest in-office procedures for fall!

Fall is the perfect time to reverse summer damage and to reveal refreshed, smooth, glowing skin!

Enjoy!

xoxo,

Dr. Whitney

Hair loss and hair thinning are very real issues for so many of my patients – men and women, of all different ethnic backgrounds.

Most of my patients are not interested in surgery and its accompanying extensive recovery times. This is why I am so excited to announce that I am now offering an in-office, cutting edge, NON-SURGICAL treatment called Selphyl, which makes your hair thicker and fuller and prevents further hair loss.

The Technology:

The Selphyl procedure is based on “Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy” or “PRP.” I take a small sample of your own blood from your arm and then I place the blood sample in a centrifuge. The centrifuge works to separate the platelet rich plasma or “PRP” from the remaining blood.

The yellow plasma I remove from the centrifuge is rich in growth factors that will stimulate your hair to grow. In fact, each shaft of hair gets thicker as a result of the treatment, more hairs grow in for increased density, AND less hair falls out!

 

This treatment works equally effectively for men and women and for all ethnicities!

Your Virtual Appointment:

Our first step will be to assess whether you are a candidate for Selphyl.

I will advise you not to take Aspirin or Ibuprofen for ten days before your procedure and tell you that you should not drink alcohol for two days prior to the procedure.

The day of your procedure, you will want to come to the office well hydrated after having a light meal (without caffeine – don’t worry, keep reading). One of my awesome assistants will draw about 2 tsp (read: just a little bit) of blood from your arm, and then you can either go grab a coffee (phew!) or wait while we centrifuge the blood in order to separate the platelet and growth factor-rich plasma from the rest of the blood components.

I then clean the scalp in the areas where the hair is thinning with alcohol and use a tiny needle to inject little bits of this activated plasma into the area of the scalp where hair follicles grow.

After your appointment, I will give you specific care instructions for your hair including: (1) do not wash your hair for 24 hours, (2) do not swim for 3 days and (3) do not sit in a sauna, hot tub or Jacuzzi for 3 days following your treatment.

Although each patient is different based upon their goals and needs, I typically recommend a series of three treatments. These treatments are spaced out by one month intervals. After the third treatment, we wait for 8 weeks to assess whether any additional treatments are needed.

Cost: Approximately $1200 per treatment.

Side effects: The most common side effects are very mild! Because we are using your own blood, we minimize the risk of an allergic or adverse reaction. The most common side effects are mild irritation, swelling, bruising, itching, discoloration or tenderness at the injection sites which resolve after two days.

If you are experiencing hair loss or thinning and don’t want to have surgery, this might be an ideal treatment for you. The results have been very impressive and with such minimal downtime, you can get back to your life right away!

I love to be on the pulse of technology both for in-office and at-home use! When a product works well, I want you to know about it. I also look for opportunities to provide cost efficient – but also EFFECTIVE – product recommendations.

My patients and I have been impressed with at-home results from an FDA cleared, hand-held, anti-aging device called the “Truth Vitality Lux Renew.” The device costs $279.

Here’s how it works:

The device combines ultrasound technology with red and blue LED light therapy.

Ultrasound: improves the skin’s elasticity and firmness. There are five settings on this particular device.

Red LED Light: Smooths wrinkles, helps the body to generate new collagen, helps reduce the appearance of rosacea and broken veins.

Blue LED Light: Destroy acne-causing bacteria.

How to use it:

You apply a serum first.

Then, you set the timer for a full 19 minute-session or for a 4 minute per treatment session.

You use it 3-5 times per week on your target area (for example, “angry 11s” on your forehead or “marionette lines” around your mouth).

The clinical trial results for this device are excellent! After twelve weeks of use, 60 participants experienced the following:

100% showed improvement in skin firmness

89.7% showed improvement in overall appearance of the skin

86.2% showed improvement in facial lines and wrinkles

79.3% showed improvement in forehead lines, wrinkles, and radiance.

My recommendation:

If you are needle-phobic or not quite ready to take the plunge for injections, this is a great option! I also recommend it to my patients for use in between our appointments to maximize their results from in-office procedures! It can complement procedures for tightening (Ultherapy, Thermage), redness (V-beam) or acne (Peels and Theraclear), allowing you to get more out of each treatment and extending the results so you can space those treatments farther apart. For a cost-saving option, this is one of the better products I’ve tested!

Today, we are all about empowerment.

We work out to tone our muscles, to strengthen our hearts and bodies, and to feel empowered and strong. We eat clean, healthy diets rich in nutrients to nourish and cleanse our bodies. We do yoga and meditate to quiet our minds and to focus our energy.

So why should we sit by, idly and powerlessly, and watch as our skin ages, wrinkles, sags, and loses its youthful glow? Why fight to keep our bodies young and helplessly submit to letting our skin age? And, why is the act of being proactive about our visual aging supposed to be a secretive act or even taboo?

I firmly and unequivocally believe that aging is a GIFT. But, aging skin is squarely within our control. We now have the tools to empower ourselves to keep our skin healthy, firm, glowing and smooth well into our golden years.

We have such a wide range of products and available treatments that this process can be completely personalized to meet your needs, your goals, your aesthetic, your concept of beauty.

Whether you want to exclusively use DIY, home based remedies and essential oils, OR you want a full celebrity in-office treatment including injections and lasers, OR you fall somewhere in between, you have a WEALTH OF OPTIONS to look and feel your best and to control the visual aging process to the degree that suits YOU.

Here are some examples of key information at your fingertips:

*My team of Bowe’s Angels and I provide weekly fruit infused DETOX WATERS to our patients and post them on our social media. We provide hot tips on the many skin benefits derived from nutrient and antioxidant rich fruits.

*Coconut oil is a very inexpensive way to smooth fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes and mouth while a DIY Avocado and Honey mask will hydrate and smooth your skin naturally.

*Microneedling, which I offer at my office, is a painless, minimally invasive procedure that permits your potent serums to penetrate deeper into your skin, making them even more effective so you get the most out of your skincare products. [to learn more about Microneedling, click here: https://drwhitneybowe.com/microneedling/]

*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.

-and-

*We do not have to chase wrinkles! Instead, proactively getting botulinum toxin injections BEFORE you have deep wrinkles can actually keep those deep wrinkles from forming for decades and keep your skin tight and youthful well into your sixties and beyond.

This brings me to my FIVE RULES FOR PROACTIVE AGING:

(1) STOP feeling guilty or ashamed of wanting to look and feel your best, inside and out! Taking care of YOURSELF TOO is a gift to you and to your family. I am at my best when I feel my best and I bet the same is true of you. My patients and I discuss guilt a lot. Let’s free ourselves to take care of ourselves.

(2) STOP equating negative aspects of vanity with taking care of yourself and your skin. My patients don’t live in front of a magnifying mirror. They are positive DO-ers, taking control of their destination (and they’re also very successful and cool!)

(3) STOP being so quick to judge others when it comes to PROACTIVE AGING. It is a personal experience – you just need to be comfortable with your own experience.

(4) START understanding that PROACTIVE AGING is within your control and in your hands!

– AND-

(5) START empowering yourself with knowledge. This blog is a great place to start.

Xoxo,

Dr. Whitney

@DrWhitneyBowe

Such an exciting week so far! I’ve had some wonderful meetings to introduce key ideas in my… https://t.co/UQi2fPjMRk

@DrWhitneyBowe

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