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Protect Your Skin Now, and All Summer Long with These Tips

In honor of National Melanoma Awareness Day, dermatologist Dr. Karyn Grossman, weighs in with tips to help protect your skin from the sun this summer, and all year ‘round.


I've spoken openly
about losing my brother Dino to melanoma at the age of 30, and his
loss is still very present with everyone in my family, even over a decade later. That's why it's important to me to be diligent about skin protection all year 'round, and especially as we approach the warmer months when our skin is more exposed. My good friend, Julie Morgan, turned me on to a great SPF 50 tinted moisturizer from dermatologist Dr. Karyn Grossman, and it quickly quickly become one of my go-to's for daytime protection. We asked Dr. Grossman for a few more tips (and products!) to help you protect your skin all summer long:


GDL: What are your non-negotiables when it comes to skin protection?




Dr. Karyn Grossman: Spring and summer are fast approaching and protecting one's skin tends to come to mind. While you should be wearing SPF all year, it is even more important to do so during the warm months when the UV index climbs and sun exposure tends to be greater. So, there are two main things to do to protect your skin. Cover up and use SPF on all non-covered areas. 




GDL: Sunscreen aside, what products can people invest in to help stay protected and covered?


DKG: If outside, make sure to wear a broad brimmed hat, 2 inches all the way around, like this one from Helen Kaminski.  If you are participating in sport activities that preclude this, at least wear a baseball cap. Visors leave the top of the head unprotected. If you are on vacation, lounging, etc., 3 inches is better. 




Wear UV rated sunglasses to protect your eyes and the delicate skin in this area. Both Rayban or Persol make great options; a large lens is the best to cover the eye area.




As much as possible, cover up with clothes. When participating in sport activities, choose super breathable and wickable fabrics, and use long sleeved tops - and even better - one with a zip up collar. Long pants, or even capris/basketball shorts, are better than shorter shorts.  Many people are concerned that this will make them hot, but these fabrics are designed to help to keep you cool. If you have one hand in the sun and one in the shade which is cooler? Keeping the sun's rays off your skin will actually help to keep your cooler.  And these fabrics promote sweat evaporation, which is how your body cools down.  At the beach/pool/lake/water park, use rash guards or the new trendy long sleeved one piece suits for women.  On hot days, the wet fabric actually keeps you cooler!  But beware that as evening approaches, it may keep you too cool, so keep a dry one or cover up on hand.




If you are at the pool or beach, stay in the shade.  Umbrellas (we like these from Sunday Supply) and pop-up tents are easy to use. Remember the shade does not replace SPF or covering up, but is an extra layer of protection.




Any areas not covered by clothing should have sunscreen on it.




GDL: What ingredients should people be on the lookout for when buying sunscreen?




DKG: Many people are concerned about SPF ingredients. While some believe that they can harm people as they may act as hormone modulators, other data has also recently come to light about possible damage to coral reefs. In fact, Hawaii is considering banning SPFs with certain chemicals in attempt to help to protect their reefs. So, my general rule is this: the more you are covered, the less areas that need SPF, and the less exposure to chemicals that you will have.  In general, I tend to prefer physical blocks - zinc and titanium.  These ingredients can be challenging as they can cause a white or grey cast on some darker skin tones, especially higher number SPFs.  So, for the most part, use physical blocks daily, and limit your use of chemical-based products when needed.  My children and I use the Karyng SPF daily, but on beach vacations we cover up and use Neutrogena 100 spray.  If you have oily skin, Neutrogena Hydro Boost SPF 50 is also a great option. 


I would rather have a few days of chemical exposure than skin cancer.




GDL: How often should you apply sunscreen, where, and how often?




DKG: Many studies show that people do not apply enough sunscreen often enough.  You should apply one ounce, a shot glass full, to a bathing suit covered body for an average person. And, you should reapply every 1-2 hours when you are outside, and after each water or sweat exposure - even with water resistant products!  During activities when you would be exposed to water or sweat, make sure to use a water resistant product. For daily use, most can use an SPF containing moisturizer.  The big trick is to apply, and reapply. I often tell people to set an alarm on their phone while on vacation to remind themselves to reapply.  Don't forget areas such as toes, ears, the back of your neck, hands and your scalp




GDL: Can you tell us a bit about the KARYNG line and about 90% natural and 10% science and why that's important?




DKG: I created the Karyng line because so many of my patients wanted products that were natural, didn't contain harmful ingredients, but work!  I came up with this formulation to provide patients safe products that would give the results of more high tech formulations. The 10% Science are ingredients to super-charge the efficacy of the products. We also use BPA free packaging and sustainable forested cartons.




The line was developed for people who want a comprehensive anti-aging program, without the hassle of too many products. Most of my patients tell me Korean skin care is fun for a bit, but then they are ready to return to "normal life" and want a more streamlined program.




The cleanser is a gentle cleanser which does not strip the skin and can be used to remove makeup as well. The SPF is so much more than just an SPF. It does not contain chemical ingredients - only physical - and due to the tint can often be used on darker skin tones without ashing.  It contains our patented anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidants and effective moisturizers.  It also is a great makeup base or can be used alone to help even out skin tone.

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