“It’s never too late to stop sun damage” ~ By Jessica Hollander
Growing up, I felt I was always fairly lucky with my skin. I didn’t get adolescent acne or break outs like a lot of my close friends. Besides some freckles that I loved, and attributed to my Austrian-Portuguese heritage, I had clear, bright, even skin.
I started seeing Dr. Humphrey in my late twenties for proactive Baby Botox. About a year in I went to Thailand for a solo adventure — my little Eat, Pray, Love moment. I can still picture the look on the nurse’s face when I walked into the clinic after my trip. Until then, they didn’t know my dirty little secret: I was a sun worshipper. I had spent my entire teens and twenties slathered in baby oil and using Sun-In Spray to lighten my locks (clearly aging myself now…).
In hindsight, the fact that I had such easy going skin led me to neglect it most of my life. Thanks to my heritage, I could get quite dark and loved being tanned (all year round…thank you tanning beds). I figured, since I never burned there must be nothing wrong with tanning. I didn’t really wear face makeup — not to mention sunscreen — so there was no barrier between my skin and the sun.
That day, after my Thailand trip, I received quite an ‘information education’ on sun protection. When the nurses used a machine to reveal the existing sun damage on my face, I was horrified. My whole face lit up — including my scalp, my lips, my eyelids. I made a decision on the spot: no more tanning.
The reassuring part was that Dr. Humphrey insisted it’s never too late to stop but also correct sun damage. We kicked off a series of IPL treatments and she got me on a personalized skincare regimen that included antioxidants, hydroquinone, and of course sunscreen. I started to realize that even those freckles I’d always loved were actually sun damage. With the plan in place, they’ve completely disappeared.
The whole experience really woke me up to my skin goals. I grew passionate about skin protection — I starting working at C&H and became an advocate for sun protection among my friends and family. What I feel is attractive and healthy looking has really done a 360. Luminous, healthy, hydrated skin is now what I aspire for.
A few years later, more skin karma caught up to me, and I developed melasma (blotches of pigment on my cheeks and forehead). This has forced me to be even more diligent about sun protection and sticking to my personalized plan. A few products are off the table right now since I’m 30+ weeks pregnant, but I use GrenZine Eye and Lytera 2.0 twice a day, SkinCeuitcals Retexturing Activator at night and of course sun protection throughout the day. I’m determined to treat my skin better at this stage of life.
For me, it all comes down to finding products I love, and that comes down to results. It was incredible to see what skincare could achieve when personally prescribed. Once Dr. Humphrey developed a program customized to my skin, my goals and my lifestyle, it was easy to commit.