Summer left—and took your good skin with it. How to get it back (with Dr. David Bank)
Oh, Summer, how we love thee when you give our skin a golden glow with rosy cheeks—but you are fickle! When you slip away, you often take our nice skin with you, leaving us with sun spots, rashes, bug bites that leave long-lasting discoloration, and dry, dull skin.
Luckily, there are solutions for post-summer skin troubles—many we can take care of ourselves in our homes, and others we might need a doctor to treat.
If you read magazines like Elle, Allure, Vogue, Glamour, you might have seen New York dermatologist Dr. David Bank’s name on the pages because he is often the go-to doctor when editors have skin questions. Also, (shameless plug ahead) as the technical advisor of my book, The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin, he is the dermatologist I call on for articles like this one.
SUN DAMAGE, BUG BITE SCARS, ROSACEA:
Did you forget to use daily sunscreen and now you have splotches of darker skin on your face (also known as melasma or hyper-pigmentation)? And bug bites that have left dark spots, too? Fix it at home! “Using glycolic acid products, Retin-A and retinols, hydroquinone and other fade creams can be used at home to fade spots and discoloration,” said Dr. Bank. “For more persistent dark spots, we use lasers in the office to great effect.” (For a list of some at-home sun-damage fixing products, see below).
“It’s important to use sunscreen daily to prevent skin discoloration,” Dr. Bank continued. “In fact, we have learned that even indoor artificial light from lamps and computers can aggravate melasma.” And, once you have gotten rid of your dark spots, they will return quickly if you fail to use sunscreen—so making it a daily habit is a good idea. (Take a look at the Cotz sunscreen products).
But you really want to look tan? “Self-tanners are a safe alternative,” said Dr. Bank. “Just be sure to exfoliate your skin first for a nice, even result. If you go somewhere for a spray-on tan, consider using a mask so you don’t inhale the spray.”
For people with psoriasis, eczema, acne and rosacea: In some cases the sun helps those conditions and in other cases, the condition will be made worse. “If you find your condition improves with exposure to sun, it is still a good idea to limit your exposure to a few minutes at a time,” said Dr. Bank. “As for rosacea, heat alone can worsen the condition, so try to stay cool and use cooling products on your skin. If you have broken blood vessels, there are lasers that help reduce or eliminate them.” If you have a great deal of broken capillaries, you might like to try adding copper peptides into your regimen. Copper can help to strengthen the capillary formation, and will help to prevent more breakage in the long run. The sooner you begin this the better.
One of the most common and annoying types of summer rashes is a simple heat rash. “This is, as the name says, caused by heat and sun. We are hotter and sweat more in the summer and this can cause clogged pores and sometimes a sort of allergic reaction to the sun,” said Dr. Bank. “The cure is to cool off. Take cool baths with Aveeno or oatmeal-based products and using powders like Gold Bond to help absorb summer sweat. “
It’s also a good idea to wash really well during the summer, exfoliate your complete body to keep the pores open. To read about the best ways to do that at home, check out this blog post on Detoxing Your Skin, Head to Toe.
And as for moisturizers you usually use—lighten up in the summertime with lighter moisturizers to keep your pores unclogged. Vitamin B Complex is a perfect cream for this. It will help to combat dermatitis, eczema and can even reduce acne by 50% after 8 weeks of use.
“Other rashes can be caused by an allergy or bad reaction to some sunscreens,” said Dr. Bank. “Try experimenting with different brands, but be sure they are zinc and titanium dioxide based in order to be effective.”
Perhaps you got a strange rash because you are taking a medication that makes you more sensitive to the sun. Dr. Bank said, “Some antibiotics, Accutane, and even sometimes simple Ibuprofen like what you find in Advil can give you an adverse sun reaction. And you should know that some people have a bad reaction after applying topical Benadryl and exposure to the sun.”
Maybe the sun has left you with an odd rash on your shoulders or chest, or in your private areas? It could be yeast! I had a strange rash around my mouth for a long time on summer, and various rash creams didn’t help. I’d heard about skin yeast infections, so I used—believe it or not—over-the-counter Monistat Cream on my face. Yes, the same cream women use for vaginal yeast infections cured my facial yeast rash in less than a week! When I told this to Dr. Bank he said, “If you suspect a yeast-based rash, there’s no harm in trying what you did, or if more wide-spread, try washing your body with Head and Shoulders shampoo, followed by drying off and using an anti-fungal powder like Gold Bond or Tinactin.”
Another great thing to try for general rashes is L’il Ones Rash Cream with Jojoba Esters. Not just for kids—adults love it, too.
DRY, DULL SKIN
The glow is gone and you are left with dry, dull skin? Bummer—but not for long. The same exfoliating products that help fade skin-discoloration (peels and glycolic acids for instance) will do wonders to give your skin new life, so see below for some suggestions. Additionally, you want to replace the moisture the sun sucked out of your skin, so go back to your heavier moisturizers and try a great moisturizing mask, such as the Apple Stem Cell Caviar Extract Hydration Mask.
Special thank you to Dr. Bank—check out his website: TheCenterforDerm.com.
SOME PRODUCTS TO FIX SUN DAMAGE
To fade dark spots/melasma and get better skin overall, here are a few products to try.
Fade, Bright, Lightening with Kojic acid and other great ingredients to fade hyper-pigmentation.
Glycolic Hyaluronic Serum for fading, exfoliation, better skin quality overall.
1-4-All Peel for super-exfoliation (layer-able so you can decide how strong you want it to be, from mild to strong).
High Octane Vitamin C Serum to help brighten and even the complexion.
Triple Treat 25% Acid Body Lotion to improve pigmentation all over the body.
Where can I buy Dana's Book?
The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin, available as a Kindle download or Buy paperback to buy your paperback copy from Platinum Skin Care. You can also read the first chapter--FREE--by click here to read 1st chapter.
Don't forget to check out our sister website, TheSkinRegime.
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