Five Essential Skincare Tips For a Safe Summer
Exhale Magazine, May 1, 2007

Summertime and the living is easy--but don't lower your guard.

by Dr. Michelle Copeland, D.M.D., M.D.

After a long hard winter, there is nothing more liberating and intoxicating than the bright sunshine of summer. But, as a plastic and cosmetic surgeon, I often see the negative side of summer?seriously damaged skin due to exposure to the sun.

There was a time when we did not fully realize the detrimental affects of sunbathing on our skin. But fortunately we now realize there is no such thing as safe sun. Obviously, it is critical for people to know about sun safety and to protect themselves and their children from the sun.

Luckily, there are easy and effective ways to protect yourself and your children.

Five Steps to Great Skin
Great skin is soft, supple and smooth. To achieve this, you need to constantly moisturize. Think of plants that dry up without water. Your skin gets dehydrated as well without moisture, whether it is the peak of summer or winter. Keep the skin hydrated continuously and then make sure it is protected.

Beautiful skin is really the result of good care. I recommend the following daily routine:

  • Cleanse and tone
  • Exfoliate
  • Activate (liven up your skin with anti-oxidants)
  • Moisturize
  • Protect (with sunscreen)

If you take these five simple steps every day, your skin will be beautiful. Sound too good to be true? As someone who sees people with serious sun damage virtually every day, you can trust me when I say—it isn't.

Michelle Copeland, D.M.D., M.D., is a board-certified diplomat of the National Board of Plastic Surgery and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She is the author of Change Your Looks, Change your Life (HarperCollins) and the just-released The Beautiful Skin Workout, published by St. Martin's Press. See her full skincare line, which she created and developed, at