The Summer Skincare Cheat Sheet

Long, warm sunny days are a wonderful thing. They allow us to linger outside, stretch out on the beach or lounge by the pool. But the sun’s rays can cause serious damage, ranging from early signs of aging to skin cancer, which 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with during their lifetimes. Taking good care of your skin at an early age is the biggest advice any dermatologist or physician can give. As’s resident doctor, I thought I’d share four skincare tips to carry in your mental beach bag. 

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Rally for Retinol

Retinol, found in creams from Sephora to drug store aisles, is one of the very few FDA approved substances that is clinically shown to reduce signs of aging, wrinkles, dark spots and fine lines. It affects the cell growth and differentiation of skin cells, ultimately leading newer cells rapidly replacing older ones. One note for those who are of childbearing age: Make sure to confirm usage of retinol with a dermatologist before using the cream.

Good Eats 

Research has shown that a heavy glycemic or refined carbohydrate diet may contribute to “bad or acne-ridden skin.” Any food that rapidly increases the amount a person’s sugar intake can increase the chance of inflammation within the body and therefore within skin cells. In turn, this can create more pimples or blackheads. To keep from looking like you did in your 7th grade school picture, opt for whole grains or complex carbohydrates. Reach for fresh fruits and water instead of sugary snacks and soft drinks to clean out carbs and sugar and enjoy skin that is clearer than the summer sky. 

Easy Does It

Being gentle on your skin overall will help it in the long run. Simple tips like completely removing all traces of makeup before going to bed prevents residue buildup overnight. Using gentle circular hand motions with a hypoallergenic soap to clean your face every night prevents tugging of the skin and breakage of skin cells.

Don’t Forget the Basics

Sunscreen should be a fixture in your beach bag this summer. Apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours.

dr. uruj kamal

dr. uruj kamal

Dr. Uruj Kamal is Chief Resident of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center-University of Massachusetts Medical School. A Stony Brook native, she enjoys combining her knowledge of mental health with healthy living. Dr. Kamal has a special interest in outpatient adult psychiatry.