Ask a Dermatologist – The latest information on sun protection.
Cosmetics Magazine: To start, can you tell us if there has been any new research on sun protection in the last 12 months?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: There is more interest in sun products that not only protect but also help to reverse skin damage done by the sun. You’ll see new multi-benefit sun products on shelves this summer. More evidence-based medicine is needed to further investigate this, but it is definitely an industry trend.
Cosmetics: The chief reason Canadians don’t wear sunscreen is that they say they don’t like the thick lotions. Ho do you respond to that? Are there any ways to wear sunscreen that me it more comfortable?
Dr. Kellett: Transparent spray SPF 30 sunblocks are the best, most innovative formulations that have come to the market now. They are easier to apply, have a great finish on the skin (ie dry, not greasy), and are great for people who want invisible protection. They are good for men, good for hair areas and good for all skin types including those prone to breakouts. I highly recommend them to my patients.
Cosmetics: There are some beauty brands claiming their sun products can reverse sun damage. Is that true?
Dr. Kellett: We are definitely starting to see such claims, but as a dermatologist, I have to say it is difficult tot ell yet. More scientific studies need to be done to prove these claims.
Cosmetics: Do you still have to wear sunscreen if you stay in the shade?
Dr. Kellett: This is a great question. Many clients believe that if they aren’t in direct sunlight, they don’t have to apply sunblock. But that is completely false. You absolutely need to wear sunblock at all times. Here’s why: UV rays can be reflected off of water, sidewalks, windows, etc., which means your skin is still being bombarded by potentially damaging rays.
Cosmetics: Is there such a thing as a safe tan? So many of us were raised to think that a brown glow makes you like healthy.
Dr. Kellett: NO! There is no such thing as a safe tan. You can only get brown safely by using fake tanner or makeup.
Cosmetics: People are still visiting tanning salons to get their skin ready for summer tanning? How do you respond to that?
Dr. Kellett: Tanning salons are unsafe, period.
Cosmetics: Does age affect how sun reacts with skin?
Dr. Kellett: Yes, infants and the elderly can be more susceptible to sun damage.
Cosmetics: We’re hearing lots of reports on the need for Vitamin D. Do we need a little unprotected sun exposure for our health?
Dr. Kellett: If lack of Vitamin D is a concern I suggest oral supplementation.
Cosmetics: What happened when a cline comes to you with melanoma? What is the process for dealing with it?
Dr. Kellett: Usually excision… as fast as possible. This might be followed by sentinel lymph node biopsy. The depth or thickness of the melanoma determines the prognosis. The deeper it is the worse the prognosis.
Cosmetics: Do you need to take special care to cleanse your face when you’ve been wearing sunblock? Can it clog pores if not removed?
Dr. Kellett: The wrong sunblock for your skin type can cause breakouts. If you are wearing the appropriate sunblock then you shouldn’t have a problem.