Derm Dr.Gendler Talks Pimples, Ingrown Hairs And Sunscreen

Rachel Adler

While we’re baring our skin in the hot summer sun, one of our main priorities (besides achieving that desirable level of tan) is clear, gorgeous skin. Keeping it this way though isn’t such an easy job, especially when we’re constantly piling on sunscreen, body lotion, self-tanner and whatever else is sitting on our bathroom counter.

Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Gendler fills us in on the best ways to keep our skin clear, healthy and glowing during the summer months — and even how to keep that bikini line in tip top shape too!

What is the best skincare regime for the summer months?

Everyone’s skin is different, and the best regimen will differ by individual. The general rule of thumb though is to use sunscreen every day when you’re going outside.

How can you find the right type of sunscreen for your skin?
The best sunscreen is a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protectant one. If you have oily skin, use a lighter “fluid” rather than a cream. Typically, sunscreens made for your face are lighter formulations. Spray sunscreens, while convenient, don’t give as complete an application, so I’d stick with the lotions.

What are the best ways to protect your skin from sun damage during the summer?
The best way to protect against sun damage is to use sunscreen and wear a hat at all times when outside and to avoid the sun during the peak hours of the day. Sit under an umbrella if at the beach, or walk on the shady side of the street.

With the use of so many skin care products during summer (sunscreen, moisturizer, etc.) how can we prevent breakouts?
I’d recommend minimizing the number of products you use, especially if you are prone to breakouts the more products you use, the more likely you are to have clogging of the pores. For example, use a moisturizer with sunscreen, instead of applying two different products. Make sure to wash your face each day and night thoroughly, and use a toner with a low level of salicylic acid in the evening.

What is the fastest and most effective way to get rid of a pimple?
If a pimple is filled with pus or if it is an inflamed cyst, it should be opened and drained by a dermatologist in order to go away quickly and avoid potential scarring. If it is just a little blemish, a benzoyl peroxide gel should help it dry up quickly.

As often as we’re told not to pick at our face, we do anyways and end up with scars. How can we get rid of, or fade these scars?
Scars aren’t easy to get rid of, but you can help minimize the appearance of them. Massaging the affected area with oil or an emollient cream to help flatten a raised scar. I’d also recommend trying a silicone patch on the scar to help flatten it and minimize the appearance. Other methods can include bleaching creams or lasers, but it depends on the type of scar you have. Regardless, try to not pick!

What skincare tips can you share to help maintain healthy skin and a good complexion?
It’s obvious, but so important keep sun damage to a minimum. Don’t overdo moisturizers they can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Don’t scrub too hard when you wash your face, because this can lead to irritation and more discomfort.

For other parts of your body besides your face, protect your skin from possible irritation that can occur from shaving. It’s a common myth that men’s razors are better for women, but it’s actually not true. Your skin is so much different from a man’s face and so are the curves. Women need razors that have features like a head that pivots to help navigate tricky areas and an ergonomic handle for more control.

When prepping our bikini line for bikini season, it’s hard to get it perfect. Many of us end up with ingrown hairs-how can we get rid of them? Or rather, what’s the best way to wax or shave to not get these in-growns?
Waxing is the most likely way to get ingrown hairs. I don’t recommend it if you are prone to them. When ingrown, the hairs need to be extracted by a professional or you could end up with cysts and scars there. Shaving is less likely to lead to ingrown hairs and my preferred method of hair removal because it’s the least irritating to skin. I like Venus’ ProSkin MoistureRich, which has shave gel bars that protect the skin. However, with any method of hair removal, don’t overdo it because irritated areas can lead to more ingrown hairs.

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