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Skin Solutions: Sun Protection

Practice safe sun this season!

Dr. Jacqueline So, MD, a dermatologist we consulted at Skin Inc., gives us the lowdown on our beauty issues.

Question: Can you recommend a good skincare regimen we can follow, especially for the hot summer months?

Dr. So: Use sunblock—the higher the SPF, the better it is. The key to using sunblock is to apply it often and regularly. Apply it 30 minutes before leaving the house and reapply throughout the day, since we tend to sweat it off.

What I usually tell patients is to use a foundation that contains SPF. Take note: Even though you’re wearing sunblock, it doesn’t mean that you can go out in the sun and sunbathe. It doesn’t totally protect you, and your skin will still get darker.

There are several kinds of sunblock. Some sunblocks are chemical sunscreens, and some are physical sunscreens. We dermatologists prefer physical sunblocks, which contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, because they rest on top of your skin and give you more protection. On the other hand, chemical sunscreens have a tendency to react to sunlight and give you allergies upon sun exposure. I would advise you to use a physical sun block.

Moisturize often. Have the right diet. Rest often. Get enough exercise. Overall, if your body is fit and healthy, it’ll show on your skin. Your hair will look better, too!

Maintenance is also important. You can use a tretinoin product every night before you go to bed. That will keep your skin clear. It is also anti-aging. It will help delay the appearance of wrinkles.

For food, protein helps improve your skin. You need protein to make more skin. For example, patients with psoriasis have low protein levels because their skin sheds really fast. You need protein to replenish the loss. It’s not totally bad to have fat. Eat omega-3 fatty acids. Antioxidants are good. Vitamins A, C,  E, and zinc are also important. Fruits rich in Vitamin C and fiber are equally helpful.

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