Summertime Skincare

The Skin Group Reviews Proper Maintenance During The Hottest Season

Story and photos by Mariah Kline

Members of the Skin Group staff. Photo by Kathryn Harrington.

As the sun finally emerges and outdoor activities resume, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of warm weather and all it entails. However, every individual should be cognizant of caring for their skin this time of year and avoiding sun damage. To learn more, The Skin Group’s Victoria Faulconer, PA-C and Practice Manager Lisa Zax recently shared how to maintain healthy skin during the summer.

People who struggle with dark spots or melasma (discoloration) tend to see a worsening of their conditions in the summertime, but thankfully, laser treatments done over the course of three months can be incredibly effective.

“A little bit of sun exposure right now and just being outside for a few minutes can make brown spots flare up,” says Faulconer. “A lot of women especially are affected right now since it involves estrogen. One of the best things you can do for it is the laser (treatment). It destroys the pigment, and then you maintain it with hydroquinone for eight weeks.”

“It’s best if you combine hydroquinone with tretinoin,” Zax concurs. “Hydroquinone bleaches it and tretinoin exfoliates, so you really make it work. The laser is your aggressive step and then you maintain it with those. If you do the laser and don’t maintain, those spots will come back.”

Even for those who don’t necessarily develop spots or see significant sun damage, the main priorities in the summer should be using sunscreen and moisturizer. The Skin Group’s practitioners recommend sunscreens that have 30 or 50 SPF (any number over 50 makes so little difference that it’s not worth purchasing) and moisturizing with creams rather than lotions, which are alcohol based and don’t provide as much moisture. The most important part of maintaining healthy skin is consistency, so everyone should apply sunscreen and moisturizer every single day.

As for the products they recommend, Faulconer and Zax agree that most over-the-counter purchases from a drug or beauty supply store are not worth the money. In fact, buying several of these items over the course of the year annually costs consumers much more, and they are better off finding one quality product recommended by their doctor, even if it means spending more money on one single item.

“I also encourage people not to buy online through Amazon because oftentimes you don’t know if it’s counterfeit or not,” Faulconer cautions. “You have to know who you’re buying from. That’s why we try to work with other doctors offices, so it goes straight from the producer to the doctors to the consumer.”

The type of skincare and ingredients involved makes a massive difference as well. Faulconer and Zax urge patients to look for hypoallergenic and fragrance-free formulas as much as possible.

“We see a lot of problems with oversensitized skin, and it’s due to multiple chemicals used in products,” Faulconer explains. “The more smell it has, the worse it is for your skin. If it smells good, that means it has another ingredient in there that you don’t need that can be substituted with an active ingredient that you really do need.”

The Skin Group mainly focuses on the aesthetics and health of the face, but they implore people to not forget the rest of the skin on their bodies. It is the largest organ we possess, and taking care of it over the course of our lives requires dedication and consistency.

“The skin is a six-pound organ that keeps all of our organs together, so we need to keep it working and keep it healthy,” says Faulconer.

While each age group requires different care, the main priority across the board should not just be about looking younger but looking healthy. To maintain healthy and better looking skin, consult with a physician to find what will work best.

“When you’re in your 20s, you shouldn’t use a lot of products because you can actually do more damage,” says Faulconer. “When you get older, you can change and modify. You need to seek professional help when deciding what’s good for you and what you should do.” VT

The Skin Group

444 S. First St., Ste. 100

502.583.6647

skingroup.org