Bonjour, my lovelies! Did we all have a super-fab Memo Day Weekend? Did we binge-watch the French Open and the entire first season of Empire, spliced with frolicking in the backyard and pool with the tot-lette and thwacking tennis balls with Hubby?
Hmmm…guess that was my last four days, not yours…
So let’s get straight to you, you, you – and how you can make a few easy tweaks to your skincare routine as the weather heats up, and look like a cool cat all summer.
To get the best intel, I plagued Gotham-based dermatologist Bruce Katz with several hard-hitting Qs.
Dr. Katz is Clinical Professor of Dermatology at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Director of the Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Clinic at Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Director of the Juva Skin & Laser Center in New York. In addition to multiple appearances on New York Magazine’s “best doctors” list, Dr. Katz’s publicists tell me he is renowned for a rejuvenation technique called “the Madonna lift.”
Sidebar: Dude, I soooo want to know about this ‘Madonna lift’, don’t you? She’s pushing 60 and her bod is bangin. I’ll find out and report back to you.
Okay, on to the Q + A. On y va, alley-y, let’s go!
1. As the summer approaches, which skincare layers need to go? Which need to stay?
DR. KATZ: Cleanser, toner and SPF need to stay. Following your morning face wash with a toner will help regular oil production and shine. Your sunscreen should be applied right after toner so that it does not lose any efficacy when layered over other ingredients. You can skip a lotion or moisturizer and go right to your foundation. Don’t rely on foundation with SPF (you still need that sunscreen layer) because it is notoriously unreliable.
2. Can you still use Rx retin or a high-end retinol during the summer? Or should you shelve it until it gets cooler again, and aren’t in the sun as much?
DR. KATZ: Retin A and Retinol do make your skin more susceptible to sunburn, but as long as you are diligent about sunscreen application you should be fine to continue use in the summer. For people who are very sporty or sweat a lot, it’s probably better to hold off on prescription strength retinoids until fall when it gets cooler and you won’t be sweating off your SPF as frequently. Alternatively, you can use a low percentage retinol that won’t make you are sun sensitive.
3. I’m actually a fan of physical sunblocks rather than chemical. Any layering guidelines re: physical blocks? They’re pretty opaque.
DR. KATZ: Apply right after toner so that the formula is best able to absorb into skin.
4. Besides not wearing enough sunscreen, what are some other common “summer mistakes” your patients make?
DR. KATZ: You shouldn’t rely on SPF alone. You also need to cover up with protective clothing and hats. Another major mistake we see is patients who’ve been drinking libations with lime. If you splash lime on skin it can become toxic and can causes berloque dermatitis (dark blisters). Lime juice becomes toxic when exposed to sun and can react negatively with skin.
5. Do you generally advise your patients to streamline their skincare regimens for the summer and use fewer products?
DR. KATZ: We recommend not only using fewer products, but lighter products. Switch from creams and lotions to gels, which are lighter and less occlusive. They are more comfortable in the heat and when sweating.
6. What do you like for treating bug bites? Anything that can reduce redness and short-circuit swelling?
DR. KATZ: Start with OTC hydrocortisone and use 3-4 times a day. Cold soaks for baths and aspirin can also help with itching.