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Ready, Set, Summer


We checked in with four local experts on how to get gorgeous for San Diego’s finest season, whether you’re seeking a fabulous faux tan or professional help to get you get back in that itty-bitty bikini.

Melanie D. Palm, MD, MBA, Board Certified Dermatologist & Dermatologic Cosmetic Surgeon
Protect your skin
Ask any dermatologist. Daily sunscreen use is your best defense against aging. Palm recommends mineral sunscreens over the chemical ones typically found on drugstore shelves. “There are some really elegant cosmetic formulations that don’t turn you white,” she explains. Her favorite? EltaMD, which uses micronized zinc particles that appear clear when applied, making it ideal for use under makeup. Palm is also a fan of Color Science’s “Sunforgettable” line. “Whenever I’m in the car, I’ll dust some shimmery powder on the back of my hands,” she says. The product can also be used on the face, neck, and décolleté. There’s even a non-shimmery version for men. And don’t forget about the sensitive skin around your eyes and lips. “Just check with your dermatologist to make sure your sunscreen is safe for those areas.”

Bounce back from burns  
Don’t suffer unnecessarily if you happen to get a sunburn. Palm swears by Healite by Lutronic, a relatively new LED red-light source that calms inflammation and decreases redness. “It really helps over 24 hours,” she says. (858.792.7546, www.artofskinmd.com)

Carol Phillips, owner of Skinsational Spa
Fake a natural glow
“We’re huge proponents of spray tan,” says Phillips. “You get color with zero sun damage.” And by color, she doesn’t mean streaky or orange. “The technology is massively better than it used to be,” she explains, adding that Skinsational technicians hand-spray clients for better control. “We ask if want to look like you spent a day at the beach, a weekend, or a month. We can even give you sexy bikini lines.” She recommends the spa’s Buff and Tan package, which starts with a full-body exfoliation for more even color application.


Tweak your regimen as needed  Summer skin requires extra TLC, not less. “People tend to get lazier,” says Phillips. “But actually, you have inflammation and your skin gets thicker from sun damage, so we see a lot of acne outbreaks when that skin sloughs off in the fall. We work with our guests to prevent that and to clear it up if it happens.” (760.434.8118, www.skinsationalspa.com)

Jodi Sawyer, RN at MedSpaXL
Temporary tightening
For a pick-me-up without any downtime, Sawyer swears by TightenXL. Unlike most lasers, which target specific colors and put darker skin at risk of discoloration, TightenXL works off water to stimulate collagen growth. “You can see a lift instantly with no swelling,” says Sawyer, who recommends two treatments a month apart for face and neck. “Does it compare to surgery? Absolutely not! But it is great for a wedding or a reunion.” To smooth body bumps, Sawyer uses Velashape, a non-surgical cellulite treatment machine. “A lot of people will use it after a baby to get rid of that extra tummy or saddlebags,” she says. “Both these procedures are perfect if you’re not ready for a facelift or liposuction but want to look refreshed and rejuvenated.” (760.753.2050, www.medspaxl.com)

Dr. David L. Wolf, MD, FACS, Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon
Summer-friendly surgeries  
Some cosmetic surgeries require many weeks of swelling and healing, making them less than ideal for a busy (or fun!) summer. But don’t dismay if you were hoping to fit in a bit of nip and tuck before fall. Some procedures are a relatively fast fix. “Breast augmentation heals quickly with little discomfort or swelling,” Wolf says. “You’ll be bikini ready in a week to ten days.” Liposuction is another safe bet. “You have to wear a compression garment for ten days and bruising will be gone in two or three weeks. You won’t see final results immediately, but you’ll be fine in a bathing suit.” Face lifts without fat grafts also offer a quick bounce back. “I’ve had patients entertain a week after surgery without feeling self-conscious,” he says. “They look that good.” Just be sure to talk to your surgeon before frolicking in the water or sun after surgery, as both can affect the development of scar tissue. (858.450.1776, www.drdavidwolf.com)      ANNAMARIA STEPHENS


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