Dr. Vince Afsahi, one of Newport Beach’s top dermatologists and founder of the South Coast Dermatology Institute, shares his tips for summer skin care and keeping a youthful radiance year-round.
By Sautra Yazdanian
The season we’ve been waiting for is here—with temperatures rising, the beach is calling our names. But though we may be eager to hit the sand, the alluring Southern California sun can be deceiving. While a glowing, tan complexion is what we strive for in the summer, the act of sitting in the sun accelerates skin damage, including wrinkles and age spots. To ensure that our skin is prepped for the heat ahead, we sat down with South Coast Dermatology Institute founder Dr. Vince Afsahi, to get his recommendations for protecting skin this season.
Newport Beach Magazine: What is your top tip for keeping skin healthy during the summer?
Dr. Vince Afsahi: A big myth is that you can get a base tan and you are good for the entire summer, and that this will not cause any sun damage. Unfortunately, the reality is that the sun, even in small doses, can have prolonged effects on your skin. This is why it’s so important to wear sunscreen. The advances in sunscreen have been tremendous and offer great protection without compromising ourselves cosmetically. Basically, no more “white clown face.”
NBM: What should be considered when purchasing a sunblock?
VA: The issue with sunblock is that we can get carried away with the numbers in terms of SPF, but studies have shown that if you apply anything with an SPF 30, you will be protected. My advice is don’t get carried away by the numbers; instead focus on the ingredients. If your sunblock has zinc or titanium dioxide, those are physical blockers that block out both UVA and UVB light and will provide the most protection.
NBM: Do you have any specific tips for sunscreen application?
VA: I would say the key is [that] if you are outside, you have to reapply every two hours no matter how strong your SPF is and even more frequently if you are going in the water. As far as application goes, don’t forget the ears and neck, and be sure to also throw on a wide-brimmed hat—a baseball hat isn’t going to cut it for a full day out.
NBM: Is there anything that men and women should be doing differently to protect their skin?
VA: Women tend to need more hydration and require products that are more lightweight and hydrating on the skin. I would, however, caution women who think that because their makeup has SPF in it—usually SPF 15—that this is enough protection for their skin. I encourage women to supplement with additional SPF from another source.
NBM: What walk-in procedures do you recommend for treating redness and brown spots from the sun?
VA: The most general procedure that anyone can benefit from is a microdermabrasion. In the summertime, we tend to sweat more, which causes more breakouts. The microdermabrasion can help to exfoliate and clean up the dead [skin]. It can also address sunspots and freckles. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes and has no downtime. The second procedure is a light chemical peel. For those individuals with more oily skin, this can help with dark spots and redness. A popular treatment at the end of summer is an IPL (intense pulsed light) treatment. This targets abnormal colors like excessive redness and brown spots. IPL has a couple of days [of] downtime post treatment.
Add these skin care must-haves to your beauty arsenal
during the dog days of summer.
Long days spent beach-side or poolside are what summer is made for. That being said, don’t let your love affair with the sun get the best of you. Here are a few products for protecting and nourishing your skin.
Ideal for acne-prone skin, EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Sunscreen contains niacinamide (vitamin B3) and transparent zinc oxide, which calms and protects, $30, at Forever Ageless Inc. (949-553-0260; foreveragelessinc.com)
EltaMD UV Daily moisturizer does double duty with its sheer, lightweight formula that contains hyaluronic acid to increase skin hydration and SPF 40 to protect against UV damage, $28, at South Coast Dermatology Institute. (949-644-1434; south coastdermatology.com)