Sunscreen isn’t the only secret weapon against sun damage. Philadelphia skincare experts weigh in on the top treatments to try this summer.
Back to basics: Summer skincare starts with two simple tenets—hydration and sunscreen.
Forget sleek sandals or a luxe beach tote; a tube of sunscreen—the highest SPF you can handle—reigns as summer’s ultimate investment piece. Meticulous sunscreen use is de rigueur for warding off wrinkles, sun spots, burns, and other skin pitfalls. But sunscreen alone can’t turn back the clock. Your best summer skin, the kind that’s well hydrated, glowing, and looks younger than your years, takes slightly more effort. Thanks to cutting-edge facial treatments, transformative topical ingredients, and a few smart strategies from local in-the-know pros, we have the roadmap to achieving a flawless complexion that will stick around long past Labor Day.
Sweat may be dripping off your brow, but up close, the surface of your summer skin is as parched as the Sahara Desert. Boosting hydration could be the single best—and easiest—way to keep your skin in optimal shape this season. “Skin cells are about 70 percent water, and when they lose moisture, they actually become more susceptible to free radical damage,” says Naomi Fenlin, owner of About Face Skin Care (1015 Chestnut St., 215-923-5001). Fenlin recommends an inside/outside approach to maintaining dewy skin. Look for a moisturizer with hydration-boosting hyaluronic acid, and drink plenty of chilled fluids to cool your body and draw heat away from the surface of your skin, where excess heat can also cause redness and visible capillaries.
But simply adding moisturizer or sticky sunscreen to already-dry skin won’t necessarily achieve a smooth complexion. Sloughing off the buildup of dead cells on your skin’s surface is essential in restoring silkiness and allowing your moisturizers and serums to penetrate more deeply and work more effectively. This year, the hottest summer skin treatments are ultra-customized and promise both exfoliation and healing. The DermaSweep treatment, available in several local medical spas and cosmetic surgery centers, mixes brushed microdermabrasion with a light chemical peel and a tailored infusion of skincare ingredients, from kojic acid to target dark spots to lactic and hyaluronic acids to improve hydration. Jill Ranoia, clinical aesthetician at Rumer Cosmetic Surgery (105 Ardmore Ave., Ardmore, 855-782-5665), says that her DermaSweep clients “leave with a nice, pink glow to their skin, and there’s no downtime. This won’t make you sun-sensitive.”
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE LEFT: Revision Skincare Vitamin C Lotion 30% ($95) contains THD ascorbate, the most powerful form of vitamin C, for a more even and bright skin tone. Rumer Cosmetic Surgery, 105 Ardmore Ave., Ardmore, 855-782-5665. Guinot Hydrazone Day and Night Cream ($78) is formulated with hydrocyte liposomes to fight dehydrated skin and enhance complexion radiance. Oggi Salon & Spa, 1700 Locust St., 215-735-0707. Apply Dermaquest’s Essential B5 Hydrating Serum ($69) immediately after cleansing for instant hydration and more luminous skin. Oggi Salon & Spa, SEE ABOVE
Debra Pellegrino, aesthetician at Oggi Salon & Spa (1700 Locust St., 215-735-0707), credits Oggi’s Hydradermie facial with reviving parched skin and healing post-vacation damage. “This facial uses aloe vera gel-based products tailored for many different skin conditions and activities, and a galvanic current enhances the ingredient penetration.”
Seeking more intensive options? During the summer, it’s best to avoid sun-sensitizing treatments like deep peels and laser resurfacing that heighten the risk for discoloration and other additional damage, says Dr. Joseph F. Sobanko, a dermatologic surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania (3400 Civic Center Blvd., 215-662-6534), especially if beach vacations and tropical cruises are also on your calendar. “It’s challenging to do a resurfacing procedure on tan skin without increasing the risk for hyper-pigmentation.”
In the summer months, we relax our routines, and too often that means abandoning skincare regimens. Make no mistake, a strategic anti-aging routine can be a secret weapon for youthful skin, since the right ingredients prevent and even reverse summer damage. If you add just one topical ingredient to your regimen this summer, make it retinoids, says Sobanko. Dr. Timothy M. Greco (2 Bala Plaza, Bala Cynwyd, 610-664-8830) explains that these transformative anti-aging compounds are proven to “help with exfoliation of the skin and penetrate skin cells, leading to the formation of collagen and elastin fibers.” Heard that retinoids cause photosensitivity? That’s a misconception, says Sobanko, who recommends seeking prescription-strength retinoids from a dermatologist for the best results.
Topical vitamin C also tops the list of anti-aging summer must-haves. “Vitamin C helps decrease inflammation of the skin post-sun and helps your sunscreen work better,” says Greco, who recommends applying vitamin C under your sunscreen. Pellegrino also names peptides as a skincare ingredient to seek out, one that preserves texture and firmness and prevents wrinkling and discoloration from UV exposure.
On your way out the door to upgrade your routine? Grab your water bottle, toss on a hat, and please don’t forget the SPF.