summer skincare

We've spent our fair share of time baking in the sun this summer despite our better judgement. But now that it's almost fall, we are desperate to combat it!

Good news--there are ways to help fight the damage you cause to your skin this summer. Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, shares her tips for repairing your skin.

What's the best way to get rid of freckles and brown spots? Can they be removed without treatments using any creams?

Remove some of that damaged skin with a series of light at-home glycolic acid peels. Bliss makes a good one called Incredi-peel, or better yet, get to the derm to do medical-strength ones.

Are there any creams we can use at home to help?

The best non-hydroquinone topical product is called Elure, used twice daily. The active lightening ingredient in this formula is based on a mushroom extract. My favorite procedure is a combination Intense Pulsed Light treatment (IPL) followed by a light chemical peel. It's a great combination done on the same day to really clean up the summer sun-damage. I get them myself!

How do we know which types of products to use in our skincare regime?

The number of products available is intimidating to most people, so my recommendation is to keep it simple! Three steps in the morning and three steps at night are all that's required (1. Cleanse 2. Treat 3. Protect).

First, cleanse with a product for your skin type. Choose a creamy cleanser for dry skin, a gel cleanser for oily/acne-prone skin types and a gentle foaming cleanser for combination skin. In the morning, treat skin with an anti-oxidant serum with Vitamin C or DNA repair and then moisturize with an SPF to protect.

At night, cleanse and then follow with a retinol or product containing glycolic acid to treat sun damage, and then top with a moisturizer to protect and lock in hydration. Ceramides, hyaluronic acid and shea butter are good ingredients to look for in a night cream, depending on skin type.

What's your number one tip to share for glowing, young-looking skin?

Stay out of the sun and get enough sleep! No amount of product or treatment can offset bad habits.