Protect Your Skin and Hair from Summer Sun

July 20, 2009 1. Why you don't want to get sunburned?

-damages skin cells DNA which causes wrinkles and skin cancer later
-causes blotchy brown spots and red veins
-it hurts and ruins your vacation!

2. Sunscreen product recommendations:

- Vanicream 30 for sensitive skin
- Coppertone Waterbabies SPF 50
- Dermaquest ZinClear SPF 30 (18% zinc)
-SkinCeuticals Active UV Defense SPF 15 with Mexoryl
- Colorscience Sunforgettable brush on powder mineral SPF 30 (12% zinc/12%titanium)

3. How to treat a sunburn?

- cool compresses
-anti-inflammatories (Biafine cream, Hydrocortisone)

4. Summer Sun and Hair

- block UV -protect from salt and chlorine
- Recommended products: Aveda Protective Hair Veil and Ultraswim Chlorine Removal Shampoo

5. Tanning beds are not safe; try self-tanning alternatives.

- Exfoliate first. Recommended products: Olay Smooth Skin exfoliating scrub with microbeads, plus body brush or loofah
- Recommended self-tanning creams: Giesee Sun Self Tanning Lotion and Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer

6. What to do about sun damage after summer fun

-Antioxidants, vitamin A creams, peels or laser treatment
-Recommended products: SkinMedica Vitamin C, SkinCeuticals C & E Phloretin, and Renova

Dr. Irwin does not represent any cosmetic companies or device makers and has no financial ties to them. She gives honest, unbiased expert information on anti-aging treatments and products. Her website,, offers a "virtual" cosmetic skin care consultation.

Dr. Irwin founded the Madison Skin & Laser Center in Seattle and continues to practice there:


All You Need to Know for Great Skin and a Younger Face

The Fountain of Youth may be a dream, but Brandith Irwin's new book, The Surgery-Free Makeover: All You Need to Know for Great Skin and a Younger Face (Da Capo Press), is a must-have reference for any person who wants to reduce the signs of aging. Cosmetic companies, spending millions of dollars, bombard us with ads promoting the latest skin-care products, lasers, peels, injectibles, and new technologies. Dr. Irwin cuts through the hype to explain what really works and what is worth the cost, and she is a consumer advocate who has no affiliation or financial tie to any of the companies.

The average woman has dozens of products cluttering her bathroom drawers. Surgery-Free Makeover demystifies the product confusion and details a daily skin care routine that goes beyond cleansers and moisturizers, starting with sunscreen, the most important product you can use on your skin every day, and what ingredients it must contain. Dr. Irwin explains antioxidants and repair creams – the only products that have been proven to reduce wrinkles (including the vitamin-A cousins, Retin-A, Renova, and Tazorac) – and how to use them on a daily basis.

Beyond the creams, there is a thorough description of Botox, fillers (like Juvederm and Restylane), lasers and other cosmetic treatments, and what results you can reasonably expect. Dr. Irwin draws on her many years of experience with patients by taking readers through a personal skin consultation to:

1. Determine the areas "you'd most like to change about your face" (for example, frown lines, sagging at the jaw line, or age spots).
2. Develop a working list of what can be done about each individual problem (for instance, for wrinkles around the eyes, options range from eye creams to Botox to CosmoDerm).
3. Keep track of what it will cost to correct each area; solutions vary depending on budget (so you can be cost effective in line with your goals).
4. Create a timeline for addressing each area (with special emphasis on a short time frame to prepare for a big event, like a wedding or class reunion).

Developed for women with any timeline and every budget, The Surgery-Free Makeover gives the reader the professional advice necessary to improve their facial flaws and rediscover the youthful glow within.

Dr. Brandith Irwin is Director of the Madison Skin & Laser Center in Seattle, Washington ( She holds board certification in both internal medicine and dermatology and is a member of the International Society of Laser Surgeons, the American Academy of Dermatology and other professional associations. She has been a clinical faculty member at the University of Washington, and Seattle Magazine has three times named her one of Seattle's best dermatologists based on a poll of 2,500-area doctors.

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