Dr. Lorea Bagazgoitia
Author of the “Blog of Dermatologia” since 2014 and extremely active on Social Media, Dr Lorea Bagazgoitia puts patient/consumer education at the center of her work, with a particular interest in Skin Cancer Prevention. A real passion that has driven her to become the co-founder and advisor of BEYOND Suncare ( an NGO involved with the care of albinism patient in Africa). Today, she tells us about consumers’ misconception about “Summer Glow”.
Behind The Woman
About your career and the people who inspired you:
I started studying Medicine with the idea of becoming a BioChemist but I ended up enjoying so much the first cycle at the university learning about biology and how the body works that I decided to pursue my career in the medical field. Skin & Dermatology became soon a fascinating field for me because skin can transmit so much about what is happening inside our body. I was fortunate to train at the well-established Ramón y Cajal University Hospital y Madrid with inspiring experts (like Dr Luis Rios and Dr Pedro Jaén) dealing with Psoriasis, Dermatologic Surgery and Skin cancer. I also had the chance to work and share my experience in Africa where I worked with African patients suffering from Albinism. These experiences have been extremely inspiring and have led me to put the patient at the center of all my preoccupations. In 2014, I created a blog and little by little started spending quite some time educating patients /consumers in my everyday practice as well as on social media . This is a part of my job that I enjoy a lot and that is making my job the perfect combination of pure medicine and communication.
Many of us enjoy getting a “summer Glow”. It makes us feel good on our return from vacation. Dr Bagazgoitia, does Summer Glow means Health Glow?
Absolutely not. This is a mis-conception and I am happy to have a chance to debunk this myth. There is a need for redefining Summer Glow in order to make sure it is not associated with Healthy Glow. Summer Glow is everything but healthy glow. Indeed, having this bronze tone, this sun kissed skin that looks like a healthy tone for the skin, might be good for the moral but is not good for your skin.
How does it work concretely? What is responsible in our skin for its “ Summer Glow” ?
Indeed, it is the tan, definitely and especially in fair skin people. Maybe not as much in darker skin. In fair skin people, I have experienced it myself….but today, I am quite responsible about this and I do not sun tan anymore. I use sunscreen every day as part of my skincare routine. When I was younger, during summer, I always wanted to get this tan, because it made me feel more beautiful. Today, the society still understands it that way, when people come from vacation, from the beach, they always tend to look like more beautiful. That’s the summer glow. It is coming from the tan that is evening out skin imperfections, bringing homogeneity to skin discolorations improving overall skin tone and texture. Summer Glow is actually very short term gratification.
Why do you say Summer Glow is not Healthy Skin?
This is quite simple. Tan makes the skin age quite faster. This is scientifically proven. It increases the risk of having wrinkles, skin discolorations. The cost of all the things that we do not want to have on our skin comes with the tan. If you find someone that at the end of summer has a pale, even skin, that should be summer glow. This is a person who’s been doing it properly and investing in the health of her/his skin for the future.
So, what can we do to get a Healthy Glow without tanning?
Number 1, it starts with sun protection EVERY DAY and you do not drop your sun protection because you are back from vacation. Sun protection is the best anti-aging ever. Use a daily facial moisturizer containing an SPF 50 every morning and reapply during the day if you spend quite some time outside.
Number 2, cleanse your skin morning and night.
Number 3, stimulate natural skin renewal with the use of Retinol and/or Alpha-Hydroxyacids. I usually recommend the use of Retinol and Alpha-hydroxyacids ( with a preference for Glycolic Acid) at night and recommend to my patients to use them alternatively every other night. Stimulating skin renewal is especially important to get a nice healthy glow as it helps remove dead cells that have accumulated at the surface of the skin during the summer and interfere with light reflection.
Number 4, always use a Vitamin C serum in the morning before applying your sun protection. The Vitamin C is a great antioxidant and it also contributes to illuminate the skin while helping minimize skin discolorations.
Now, if you really need the tan…, you can always add a few drops of a sunless tanning lotion in your daily moisturizer.
Among all these steps, which one is the most important?
Every single step of the skincare routine is important. Of course, I am going to say Sun Protection is the most important one but I would like to highlight the importance of cleansing, especially for patients living in big cities. Removing pollution helps keep the skin glowing. There are particles in the air pollution (particulate matters) that can get on our skin. If not properly removed, they can cause deep stress in the skin, generate free radicals and can also influence skin aging and of course skin health. So, don’t underestimate the role of cleansing in maintaining a Healthy Glow.
Are there any specific in-office treatments that you offer in your office for Healthy Glow?
During the summer and the beginning of fall, I often suggest to my patients some mesotherapy treatments using hyaluronic acid that is being injected very superficially in the skin. This provides a surge of hydratation to the skin which gives more light to the skin and brings back its natural radiancy. Sometimes, I complement in Fall with some Intense Pulsed Light or Laser treatment to remove spots that always show up after summer as result of sun exposure…
What is your definition of Healthy Skin?
Skin which is soft, even, non-wrinkled.