Dr. Dana Stern Shares TEN Top Tips For Healthy Glowing Summer Skin


Summer may be the most beautiful season in the Hamptons, but it should also come with a warning label when it comes to taking care of your skin.  KDHamptons chats with Dr. Dana Stern (above) for her top tips on getting that healthy glow without the sun damage.  Stern is a board certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She practices dermatology in New York City and Southampton, specializes in medical, pediatric and cosmetic dermatology, is considered internationally to be a nail expert, and enjoys having a more general focus in her practice here on the East End.

KDHamptons: What are the most common skin concerns with your Hamptons patients?
Dr. Stern: So many of us east enders are outdoor enthusiasts and whether we are surfing, gardening, or taking long walks on the beach we are all super exposed to the sun and so skin cancer is a huge concern amongst my Hamptons patients. I am fortunate to have an extremely skilled and competent Mohs surgeon as an associate, Dr. Elliot Weiss. By providing an extremely detailed and thorough skin check I am able to diagnose many skin cancers and they are then expertly removed by Dr. Weiss. Our office takes pride in being able to provide the highest level of care to our local community.

KDHamptons: Share three tips to get our skin looking fresh & pretty right now?
Dr. Stern: Warmer weather means higher humidity and therefore the thick heavy products that you were using in winter are no longer going to be ideal for your skin. This doesn’t mean that you need to do a product overhaul because many products come in a variety of vehicles. For summer, switch to a lighter vehicle – lotions or gels for example and save the rich creams, oils and ointments for cold weather months.

Chemical exfoliation is essential for deep cleaning the skin and removing dirt and dead skin cells and is especially important as the weather gets warmer and you are sweating more. Regular physician strength in office Glycolic peels are a great way to keep skin looking, fresh, and glowing but you can also achieve great results with at-home strength glycolic acid.

Reevaluate your makeup. That ultra-creamy full coverage liquid foundation that you have been using all winter is probably too heavy for summer. Chances are that you will benefit from switching to something more lightweight and perhaps a matte formula will be ideal. Use this time to clean out your beauty drawer and throw away samples and products that you don’t use.

KDHamptons: What is your favorite sunscreen and skin care line right now?
Dr. Stern: For me, it’s all about zinc oxide for the best and safest broad spectrum protection. Zinc is an ingredient that has been around for decades. In fact, zinc has been used to protect baby bottoms for ages. It is truly tried and true! As it relates to sun protection, Zinc protects your skin from both UVB rays that cause sunburns and UVA rays that are responsible for wrinkles and brown spots. I tend to be very prone to lentigos (brown spots) and melasma and so I am very careful when I’m active outdoors or at the beach.

My routine: I like to use Blue Lizard Sensitive Skin and I layer Anthelios sunscreen on top. The Blue Lizard active is Zinc Oxide and the Anthelios is formulated with a chemical called Mexoryl. I use Blue Lizard for my body as well and it’s great for the kids too. For everyday facial protection under makeup I like the MD Creme Mineral Beauty Balm by MDSolarSciences as it has the perfect amount of tint with a matte finish. Anthelios tint is also a personal favorite. The little bit of color prevents the need for foundation.

My favorite skincare line is SkinMedica and I particularly love the SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum because it it is loaded with high quality antioxidants to protect from sun and pollution but it also contains human-derived growth factors proven to stimulate skin repair and collagen production. I like to apply this to my face and neck every night and when I’m feeling in need I will put it on under my sunscreen in the morning too. I tell patients that if they are going to invest in a serum, this is the one. Although it’s not free of dyes and fragrances, it is the standard for now.

KDHamptons: Can we all enjoy a “healthy” tan if we use sunscreen? Or is there no such thing?
Dr. Stern: No tan is a good tan. Anytime your skin is red or tan it means that you have had ultraviolet exposure at the level of the DNA in your skin. When DNA get mutated from UV radiation that is the beginning of skin cancer. If you are going to get tan a gradual tan is always better than a blistering sun burn. But the answer on the test is “no such thing as a healthy tan.”

KDHamptons: Any other cautionary tips we should all know about?
Dr. Stern: Laser hair removal is nothing new but is such a wonderful way to prep for summer and should be done on non-tanned skin. We see a lot of burns and ineffective results from people who are getting hair removal done in spa settings where non-MDs are treating. People don’t realize that lasers can have significant adverse effects to the skin if they are not used correctly.

*To book an appointment with Dr. Stern contact: Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York® East at 325 Meeting House Lane, Bldg. 1, Ste. C, Southampton; (631) 287-7307