Q&A with Dr. Lindsey Zubritsky Pollock
Welcome to Sun Schooling! We are starting Sun School to educate our Cabana Crew more on safe safety.
Cabana Life is passionate about sun protection, and to give you the best information, we reached out to experts in the field, our favorite dermatologists!
We are so excited to feature Dr. Lindsey Zubritsky Pollock, M.D. She is a Board Certified Dermatologist. She graduated with honors from Pennsylvania State University College Of Medicine in 2014.
You can find her on her Instagram account @dermguru.
What's the number one thing you wish people understood about sun protection? If you could give someone one sun protective tip, what would it be?
“Sun protection can be easy! Most people think of sun protection as a laborious process applying white, chalky, and sticky sunscreens. That is not the case. There are so many options to protect yourself from the sun, including wearing UPF clothing (which is now more fashionable than ever), wearing a hat and sunglasses, seeking shade, and looking for sunscreens that work for you. There are countless sunscreen options, many of which are cosmetically elegant, easy to apply, and effective.”
What's the difference between UPF & SPF? How much UV protection does normal clothing provide? What are the benefits of wearing sun protective clothing?
“SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It measures the amount of time it takes for sun-exposed skin to redden. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which measures the protective factor against UVA and UVB radiation in clothing fabrics. Not all clothing protects you from the sun. Clothing specifically labeled with UPF means it has been tested to confirm that it does indeed protect against ultraviolet radiation. All clothing offers some protection, but the degree of protection is highly variable. For example, a light cotton t-shirt only offers an SPF equivalent of 5!
UPF shirts do not actually contain sunscreen. They are treated or woven together tighter, leading to more protection.
You should ideally look for clothes with UPF of 50+. This means that the clothing allows only 1/50 of UV (or approx. 2%) to pass through clothing.
Opting to wear UPF clothing offers you an additional level of protection against UV rays on top of sunscreen. Plus, it's easy to put on, saves time, and isn't as messy as sunscreen!”
You're going to the pool or beach. What's your personal sun protection routine?
“I always make sure that I apply my sunscreen at least 15-30 minutes prior to going outside for the best efficacy. I look for an SPF with at least 30 and apply head to toe, making sure not to miss high risk areas like ears, back of the neck, back of the legs, and hands. I follow with a wide brim hat, sunglasses, and UPF clothing. I opt for a long sleeve breathable fabric with UPF 50. When I get to the beach or pool, I look for an umbrella or cabana. I try to avoid the sun during peak hours of 10 AM to 4 PM. This is when the pool and beach are crowded anyways, so win-win!”
What should someone look for when picking a sunscreen? Do you have any sunscreens you love and recommend?
“I always recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30+. If you have certain medical conditions or are taking a medication that makes you more susceptible to the sun, I recommend an even higher SPF. I prefer to use physical blocking agents in my sunscreen such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients reflect UV rays away from the skin.
The best sunscreen is the one that you like and actually use. If you hate the consistency, smell, or feel of a particular sunscreen, then you won't wear it. Find one that works for you. This should be easy since there are so many great options!
Here's a list of my favorite sunscreens:
EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46
EltaMD UV Active Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Face Lotion SPF 60 (I also love the tinted version, it dupes as a makeup too!)
Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 (great for reapplying sunscreen on your face, especially if you're wearing makeup)
Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Lotion SPF 50 (great for patients with rosacea)
Blue Lizard Sport Sunscreen Lotion - SPF 30 (the bottle even changes colors when exposed to UV light)
Coola Classic Liplux Organic Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30 (don't forget to protect your lips, this is a high risk area for skin cancers)”
Words of advice from Dr. Zubritsky Pollock:
Make sure that you get your skin checked at least once a year by a board certified dermatologist. I have discovered many skin cancers unexpectedly on patients who were in the office for a different, unrelated skin issue. You should get a total body skin examination more often if you are at a higher risk of getting skin cancers. Higher risk patients include those with a personal or family history of skin cancer, those with fair skin/light eyes/blonde or red hair, those living in places with higher UV exposure (higher altitudes, close to the equator), tanning bed exposure, immunosuppression, and older age.
For more dermatologist features, click here.