Imagine being stranded on a deserted island. It does not matter which island, one with white-sand beaches in the Pacific or one made of ice near Antarctica. For some, it would be paradise, especially those on the island in the Pacific who love to soak up the sun and get their tan! For those on an iceberg in Antarctica, you are unique, but this advice applies to you as well!
For us that work in dermatology, we have our days where we imagine ourselves stranded on an island, but only if we had a few things with us to protect our skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays.
Here is a recommended list of must-haves:
1. A Broad-Spectrum, Mineral-Based Sunscreen
An all-time favorite for my face is SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50. It has a universal tint, so it works well on any skin color. It is a light-weight liquid formulation that is easy to apply and not heavy on your skin. It is my go-to sunscreen for my face. It does not run in my eyes or cause burning. I use it every morning and again as needed throughout the day. Excellent formulations are available from several lines, including Isdin, Epionce, EltaMD, Neutrogena, and Aveeno.
2. A Broad-Spectrum Body Sunscreen
I use a sunscreen that is SPF 50 or higher, preferably with a mineral base. Knowing that I will need approximately one shot glass full (30ml) for one body application, with re-applying every 2-3 hours, I will go through at least one bottle (120ml) on a typical day. I am going to have to pack a lot!
3. Night-Time Retinoid
Contrary to popular belief, you should not stop using your Retin-A/tretinoin in the summer months. It prevents the breakdown of collagen. Collagen has many essential functions, including providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones.
4. Topical Vitamin C, E, and Ferulic Acid Serum
Vitamin C, E, and Ferulic acid is a combo serum that provides environmental protection and neutralizes free radicals “which are formed from things like the sun, pollution, stress, and smoking, damage the DNA of the cell, which can lead to premature aging and skin cancer.”
5. Heliocare With Fernblock Capsules
Heliocare with Fernblock capsules is an oral supplement containing fern native to Central and South America that provides antioxidant properties that help the skin’s ability to protect itself from the damaging and aging effects of free radicals—taken daily along with regular sunscreen use.
Now, the great thing about all of these recommendations is that you don’t have to wait until you are stranded to use them– you can purchase them from Dilworth Dermatology and Laser or order them online through the manufacturer or various retailers.