The best sunblock for sensitive skin, pigmentation problems and everything in-between – this is what you wanted to ask our skincare specialist.

We know that summer comes with all kinds of skin and beauty issues. Who better to address your issues than Dr Maureen Allem. She’s the founder and Medical Director of the Renewal Institute who’s been looking after skin for more than 15 years.

Here are some of your summer skincare questions and Dr Allem’s thoughtful responses. We learned a lot from her really insightful answers and we think you will too!

  1. When it comes to sunblock for your face, specifically dry, sensitive skin, which affordable drugstore brands do you recommend?

If you have dry, sensitive skin, it is very important to look for a mineral or physical sunblock. Unlike a chemical sunblock, a physical sunblock does not penetrate the skin, but rather lies on top of the skin’s surface and reflects the sun’s harmful rays.

I recommend Heliocare 360 sunblock. Not only does it protect you against the sun’s harmful rays, it also contains potent antioxidants.

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  1. How can I remove pigmentation on my face?

It’s very difficult to tell what type of pigmentation you have without seeing your skin. Is the pigmentation in patches? Is it from a rash or acne? There are different types of pigmentation, including sun-induced pigmentation, hormonal pigmentation and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, to name but a few.

Depending on the type of pigmentation, suitable homecare as well as treatments can be prescribed. From a treatment perspective, treatments that will increase cellular turnover and exfoliate the skin will be beneficial. This includes chemical peels and certain laser and light treatments. Regarding homecare products, it is very important to prevent more pigment from forming. Using a pigment suppressor every day will help with this. Many creams and serums contain ingredients that can suppress new pigment from forming.

You also need to use an SPF every day and limit sun exposure as much as possible. The Lamelle Luminesce range is an innovative range designed to treat and prevent pigmentation on the facial area.

  1. Are there any treatments you should avoid in summer?

Summer is not the time to do any extreme treatments. Some medical skincare treatments can make your skin more sun sensitive, and you may actually have to avoid the sun completely before and after treatments. I recommend delaying all deep chemical peels, such as trichloroacetic acid peels, as well as all fractional laser resurfacing until autumn or winter.

I recommend delaying all deep chemical peels, such as trichloroacetic acid peels, as well as all fractional laser resurfacing until autumn or winter.

  1. My skin is smooth and dewy when I wake up… but the moment I step out in the sun pimples, bumps or a rash appear. Why do I react to the sun?

You might find that your skin is just very sensitive to heat, not necessarily the sun. I would start using an antioxidant daily with your SPF. Remember to keep hydrated if you are out in the sun often.

  1. My skin has become incredibly thin, especially from the knee down. Every little knock causes bleeding under the skin and then leaves ugly marks. I have tried everything to get rid of the marks. They also itch very badly too and scratching leaves terrible scars. Can you help me?

Pigmentation caused by inflammation or trauma is known as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (or PIH) and it’s very common. The fact that you bleed easily can be due to various reasons, such as age and medication.

The fact that you bleed easily can be due to various reasons, such as age and medication.

We need to help build your skin and make it stronger. I recommend Lamelle Serra Body Lotion. It contains specialised peptides to help build the skin and restore the skin barrier function. It is also vital to use a sunblock on your legs when in the sun to prevent the pigment from becoming darker.

  1. I have a 14-year-old daughter and she has really bad stretch marks on her arms, legs and shoulders. What can you recommend? She also has acne on her face and it is leaving marks.

The best treatment for stretchmarks is a combination therapy that stimulates the collagen in that area. The best results are achieved when stretchmarks are still new and a pinkish purple colour. Once they have turned white, we can improve them, but might never be able to remove them completely. A combination of carboxytherapy, laser treatments and skin needling will be the best option.

With regard to the acne, it is important to put her on a skincare range for acne and a zinc supplement for healing as well as a supplement that will reduce internal inflammation. It is important for her to not ‘pick’ at her skin.  A diet where she cuts out inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy and sugar may also assist in preventing acne.

*If you don’t see your question answered, don’t worry! We’re going to be doing this every month with the doctors at Skin Renewal, so there’ll be plenty of chances to have a response to your burning beauty questions.

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