Q: I am leaving in one week for Florida for spring break. Can I still enjoy the sun without wrecking my skin? Shellie, Leesburg
A. Most definitely, Shellie! The last thing I would want for you is to spend your well-deserved vacation time like a hermit. As you, and most of our county, will soon head south to escape this never-ending winter weather, I would like to offer you a few suggestions that will help you enjoy your vacation while still keeping your skin safe and youthful.
I may sound like a broken record, but there is no such thing as a safe tan. A base tan will not protect you from a sun burn, sun damage, brown spots, wrinkles or skin cancer. Any tan is a sign of injury; your skin is literally crying out that is has been burned and is trying to repair itself. If you want to look tanner in your swimsuit, get a spray tan or use sunless tanner.
jane iredale makes a great one called Tantasia that won’t you leave orange or streaky.
By now, most people are pretty good about applying sunscreen in the morning before they go down to the pool. Where they run into trouble is reapplication. Did you know your sunscreen is ineffective after two hours? It is imperative to reapply a shot glass full of broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher every two hours you are outside – more often if you have been swimming or sweating. Today’s medical sunscreens are weightless and will not leave you feeling like a greasy mess. Most patients think of them like a moisturizer. Don’t forget sunscreen for your lips too!
3. Limit Your Routine
You are on vacation to relax. I recommend all of my patients keep their medical skin care routine pared down while they are away. Not only will it prevent you from losing all of your skin care products at the airport, but many skin care products can make you more sensitive to the sun. Take a cleanser and lots of sunscreen and pick up the rest of your routine when you return home.
You probably have a new swimsuit and maybe a new dress and shorts all packed and ready for the Sunshine State. Consider packing a wide-brimmed sun hat as well. They look super chic and offer additional protection for your face and scalp too. Also, don’t forget your sunglasses! They offer protection for your crow’s feet and frown lines caused by squinting in the sun as well as cancer and cataracts with your eyes.
Old Navy has a great floppy straw sun hat for only $19.94.
Shellie, with a little sun smarts you can be sun safe this spring break. Have a wonderful vacation outside in the sun! Please bring back some of that weather with you to Indiana! If you have any questions about sunscreen or your skin care routine, be sure to consult with a medical professional.
Jennifer Kauffman is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, practicing in Warsaw and Ft. Wayne. She is a sought after speaker at medical conferences such as the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. Jennifer is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. She received her Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from Goshen College, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on Botox, fillers and sclerotherapy.
Do you have a question for Jennifer, about this article or another cosmetic skin care issue? Please call Vein Institute & Medi Spa at 574-267-1900 to have your questions answered and considered for future columns. Questions can also be submitted online at www.veinmedicalspa.com