The summer is here, and unfortunately so is the higher risk for skin damage and aging that comes with direct sun exposure.
During the summer, I recommend that patients be more careful with their skin, especially if they are taking certain medications or topical skincare products such as retinols and hydroquinone.
Due to the constant cellular turnover and exfoliation that occurs with retinol, the skin is more susceptible to burning and damage. Hydroquinone can also cause skin sensitivity with the sun. Generally, I recommend reducing the use of retinol during the summertime to two-three times a week.
For patients with pigmentation issues and who are on hydroquinone, I recommend stopping for the summer months and using other skin-brightening alternatives, such as products with niacinamide, kojic acid, vitamin C, and lactic acid.
One of my favorite products, which is hydroquinone-free, is DistinctBright by LeReve Skin. There is also a skin-brightening package from a new skin line called Alkeme Rx. They have a full skincare kit for anti-aging and hyperpigmentation that is safe to use all year, with no hydroquinone yet offering powerful skin brightening and antioxidants.
And once again, SPF is the most important and most basic anti-aging measure you can take to prevent sun damage and skin aging.
After the summer, a customized chemical peel at a doctor’s office is a great treatment to rejuvenate the skin and remove summer sun damage.
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