After a long and grueling winter the excitement for the Hamptons summer season is stronger than ever. But no amount of zeal can justify letting skincare fall to the wayside. We spoke with Mattituck dermatologist Dr. Antoinette Notaro to find out what we should be paying particularly close attention to in order to protect ourselves as we play, and about some of the best products on the market.
What are your top tips for safe sunning?
The best way to keep yourself safe in the sun is to follow the ABCs.
A. Avoid being in the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
B. Block-sunblock every day everywhere you’re exposed—what’s not covered by clothing.
C. Cover with clothing especially a tight knit fabric. The new ultraviolet protective clothing is also very useful. It can be found in several catalogs as well as at L.L. Bean and other outdoor clothing manufacturers such as Columbia.
When shopping for sunscreen, what are the most important things to look for?
When looking for sunscreens, be sure to get an SPF of 30 or higher. The best ingredients are reflective sunscreens such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
What are the most overlooked areas when it comes to applying sunscreen?
The ears, the neck and the back of the feet.
Can you highlight some of your favorite suncare products and brands?
I like products that contain a tint and physical sunscreen such as Elta MD SPF 30, MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Cream SPF 30, and Neutrogena Baby Sunscreen SPF 30. People who don’t like a tint or a moisturizer might like MDSolarSciences Quick Dry Body Spray SPF 40. With sprays, however, you must be sure to rub them in afterwards or you’ll be spotted at the end of the day. Also, put them on your hands before you rub them on your face. If you are prone to breaking out, be sure to look for products that say “noncomedogenic,” which means that they won’t clog your pores.
Speaking of acne, does it tend to get worse in the warm weather?
Acne in the summer can be a problem for many people. Sometimes it flares with the heat but many people also improve with the light exposure. There’s actually a treatment for acne involving blue light, which is used locally. This seems to improve acne or at least makes it look less obvious as red spots are less visible on tan skin.
What are some things people can do to keep their acne under control in the heat?
Acne often will get worse when people are sweating, so I recommend washing immediately after you’ve worked out or have been in the heat and an over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide cream can help the face stay less greasy. This also may help with acne because it can reduce the bacterial count on the skin.
As people gear up for summer, what are some treatments they should consider?
IPL (intense pulsed light), which can be used for brown spots, red spots and irregular pigmentation, especially on the face and hands. Neuromodulator such as Botox or Dysport can also be helpful so you don’t wind up with tan accentuating wrinkles. Fillers such as Juvéderm can work to reduce wrinkling before you’re going out to the beach. Annual skin cancer check-ups at your dermatologist are great to remember this time of year also.
What’s your best skincare advice?
Use sunscreen every day and to keep hydrated by drinking water.
What’s the skincare myth that drives you nuts?
People think they only need sunscreen at the beach. Remember the sun is out every day, 365 days a year and the ultraviolet light which causes skin cancer is there with it. The second myth is that excessively cleaning skin is a good thing. Especially with acne, this can often cause irritation and redness.
What’s your ideal day in the Hamptons?
A day at the beach with the beautiful sand and water in front of me sitting in my beach chair with a good book, under an umbrella with plenty of sunscreen, in my sun-protective wide-brimmed hat, shirt, skirt, and sunglasses!