Do you usually bring sun damaged skin back as a winter vacation souvenir?
As a dermatologist I’m determined to protect my skin from the sun and I just came back from a warm and sunny winter getaway. There’s a lot of peer pressure to show off a tan when you’re fortunate enough to getaway from cold weather for a while-but it’s a bad idea! In my dermatology practice I see some of the worst sun damaged skin on my patients who seasonally follow the sun. Don’t let this happen to you. The next time you fly south to escape the cold, be prepared to take good care of your skin. Pack the right skin care products and sun protective clothing and resist the temptation to come home with a tan.
What’s in a dermatologist’s cosmetic bag on a sunny winter getaway
- Mineral Sunscreens: I packed my trusty mineral sun protection products which are Citrix (for when I’m not swimming) and Solbar Zinc (when I need water resistant sun protection). I also use LipCotz because it gives me the best mineral sun protection possible for my lips and lip skin is vulnerable.
- Antioxidant Facial Skin Care Products: Antioxidants help minimize damage from the sun’s rays by neutralize DNA damaging free radicals that form when sun impacts skin. The most effective antioxidant skin care products, in my opinion, contain green tea (Replenix is the best and I brought Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy – Replenix Power of Three Cream and Replenix Eye Repair Cream) and high concentration vitamin C products (Professional Cell Repair Serum).
- Sunless Tanner. My favorite is Avene Self Tanning Lotion. Peer pressure for a tan is intense and a sunless tanner helps give a little bronze glow to skin so that I don’t look so out of place on a tropical vacation. It’s so much smarter to get skin color from a sunless tanner than a sun tan.
- Moisturizer: I always use Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Dry to Normal Skin on the areas of my facial skin that run a little dry. It works nicely with my sunscreens and is compatible with the antioxidant products.
What sun protective clothing did I bring for a cruise vacation with intense sun exposure
- Sun Protective Swim Wear: I packed my Coolibar swim tights and my Billibong Swim Shirt.
- Sun Protective Clothing: I brought a ventilated long sleeved sun shirt from REI and used Sun Guard to turn my other long sleeved shirts into sun protective shirts. I use pareos, pants and skirts to protect the skin of my legs.
- Broad Brimmed Hat: I sell sun hats and so I have a great collection. I always have the right hat for play, dress up etc. Always chose a full 3 to 5 inch brim hat that has complete scalp protection. On a trip make sure your hats are packable.
- Collapsible Sun Umbrella: This trip I brought my Coolibar umbrella that doubles as a rain umbrella. Believe me, it’s a lot cooler under an umbrella that standing in the direct sun.
I think packing for any trip is tricky but when you’re going on a sunny vacation, be sure you bring everything you need to protect your skin. Don’t bring home wrinkles and a lifetime’s supply of skin cancers that will keep you well acquainted with your dermatologist.
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