Summer Skin with Dr. Shah

Taking care of your skin is so important. I wish when I was younger that I took better care. Especially when it came to sun skin care. Yes a tan always looks nice but is it really worth the risk? Also it is also beneficial to be knowledgeable on buying the right sunscreen and skincare for your skin. Thanks to Dr. Anil Shah of Shah Facial Plastics here in Chicago we can all learn to how to take better care of our skin this summer.

What are some key tips to taking care of one’s skin during the summer? What are some must have products?
The key to summer is protection and replenishment. To protect your skin, you need to have a spot-on sunscreen. I prefer sunscreens that not only protect, but also repair from the ravages of the sun. If your sunscreen doesn’t offer repair, think about layering a product underneath the sunscreen to help. Look for products without toxic additives and offer antioxidants, Vitamin C, or other reparative factors. For an all in one solution, I like Difensa il Viso.

Knowing that keeping your skin protected while being in the sun is important, what are some things to look for when looking for the right sunscreen?

It is important to look for sunscreens that not only have the right ingredients, but also AVOID toxic ingredients. These toxic ingredients, such as oxybenzone, are often found in chemical sunscreens and can theoretically promote breast cancer and other hormone based cancers. I prefer sunscreens that block UVA and UVB rays without the harmful additives.

For those who already have some sun damage, what are some products and treatments one can use or do to help reverse the damage?

Never before have we had so many solutions for all hues of skin. For lighter skin types, consider Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) lasers to help erase brown spots and reds. Make sure patients choose a newer IPL system such as BBL or Lumecca which have shown to reverse aging on a molecular level. For darker skin types, patients should consider the use of the Pico laser. Pico lasers treat darker skin safely because they’re faster than conventional lasers (think 1 trillionth of a second vs 1 billionth), so melanocytes don’t hyperpigment. Patients with these newer treatments have little to no downtime.

What are some tips to establishing and maintaining a skincare routine?
Keep it simple. Choose one or two go-to products as your work horses.  The 10 step processes of the 80s and 90s are very passe. Patients should put potent active ingredients on their skin without all of the unnecessary additives such as scents, perfumes and preservatives.

What are some products that one should have in their skincare routine?
I think of two products that are especially outstanding. First, retinols are evidence based products which improve cell turnover and make patients look better over time. Second, growth factors, such as those found in Bioserum, can actually stimulate your skin to a more youthful state. When we’re old, our skin becomes more like a desert and less like the dense forest it once was. Growth factors will actually stimulate oil again (by the way it’s a good thing!) and thicken skin.

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