As a dermatologist, it’s not only about cosmetic beauty, much of my practice as a doctor involves the medical treatment of detection and prevention of skin cancer.
I’ve completed extensive skin cancer research, including a number of clinical studies conducted at the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. I’m also a Board Member for the Skin Cancer Foundation and a collaborating member of the American Cancer Society.
What does this all mean? I’m serious about sun protection. I cannot stress this enough to my patients. I’ve listed a few quick tips that will help you stay smart, shelter your skin and think twice when lounging pool side.
- Improve your technique.
Temples, hairline and ears are the main areas of the face forgotten. Apply sunscreen to the corners of the entire face. Poor application technique can lead to skin cancer and pre-cancers occurring in those areas.
- Sunglasses can prevent crow’s feet.
Wear sunglasses that completely cover the eye, preventing you from squinting. This, plus sunscreen, works best to prevent wrinkles in this tell-all area of the face.
- Pucker up.
It’s important to always apply sunscreen on the lips, since the lips have no ability to tan. Daily application of SPF 15 or higher aides in prevention of skin cancer on the lips.
- The greatest anti-ager is sunscreen.
Rain or shine, sunscreen should be applied 365 days a year. The key is finding a sunscreen that is easy to use and a texture you love. If you don’t like how it feels, the bottom line is you won’t want use it. It is a misconception that all sunscreens clog pores and leave a sticky residue.
- Avoid pink, even before red.
Skin pinkness is actually the early signs of a little burn. Skin that is chronically pinkened by the sun may also be undergoing a mutation to its DNA, which is associated with all types of skin cancers.
- Layer it before make-up.
It is not necessary to use a different formula for face vs. body. Sun protection should be applied before any other product (except a liquid: remember to always apply thinnest to thickest products). Its defensive ingredients need to cling directly to skin in order to be most effective.
Be sun smart, I can’t stress the importance of it. Not only as an anti-aging measure, but also as a healthy lifestyle decision.
Dr. Dennis Gross