We spoke with a top celebrity dermatologist to find out everything you need to know.
By Kayla Greaves
Thankfully, there are a plethora of amazing products and ingredients to help soothe your skin in those trying times—and top celebrity dermatologist Dr. Rose Ingleton, founder of Rose Ingleton MD skincare is here to tell us everything we need to know.
What are some of the most effective ingredients when it comes to after-sun care? How do each of them work to nourish the skin?
Aloe is a go-to for a reason. It contains anti-inflammatory compounds that calm skin while also alleviating pain. It also helps with wound healing. Soy, allantoin, and colloidal oatmeal are also soothing and helpful.
You also want to look for hydrating ingredients, since sun exposure compromises your skin barrier and causes dryness and flaking. Hyaluronic acid and glycerin are good ingredients to look for.
My Calming Hydration Booster takes advantage of soothing ingredients like green tea, chamomile, and Caribbean sea whip extract, which is a unique ingredient with the ability to halt irritation preventatively via topical application.
If you have a sunburn, what is the best way to treat it?
If you’ve gotten too much sun, the first thing you want to do is cool your skin as much as possible, so taking a cold shower or colloidal oatmeal bath is helpful. Aspirin can help with inflammation and also relieve pain. Keep 100% aloe vera gel in the fridge and apply it through the day. Don’t wear rough clothing. And if you get blistering, you might want calamine lotion.
How about when the skin starts to peel?
Hydration, hydration, hydration. Use a bland moisturizer with lots of ceramides throughout the day.
What are some ingredients that help to improve the appearance of dark spots, age spots, and melasma caused, or worsened, by sun exposure?
Brightening ingredients like vitamin C, tranexemic acid, kojic acid, alpha arbutin, niacinamide, and licorice root extract can help to inhibit discoloration. My Complexion Brightening Booster is a great option. Also, I know there’s a lot of controversy around hydroquinone but it’s still the gold standard. I just recommend that you only use it while supervised by a dermatologist.
It’s also helpful to use an AHA exfoliator that fades dark, discolored cells, like the SuperFruit Exfoliating Tonic, but you need to make sure to use SPF daily when using exfoliators. Retinoids can also be very helpful. [Editor’s Note: If you have a sunburn, only use these ingredients after the skin has fully healed.]
What are some ingredients, general products, and treatments people should be avoiding after excessive sun exposure?
If your skin is very irritated and sensitized, then you really want to avoid strong actives like AHA/BHAs and retinoids and stick to a very basic skincare routine that’s focused on calming and moisturizing. Definitely no physical exfoliation, even if your skin is flaking.
Most in-office cosmetic procedures need to be delayed after excessive sun exposure, including chemical peels, most laser procedures, microneedling, etc. However, Botox and fillers are OK.