St. Vincent Healthcare's Dr. Erica Bruen discusses over-the-counter skin care products

Click image below to watch Dr. Erica Bruen on Q2's Montana this Morning: 


Here's what you need to know about three different skin care products available over the counter:  

1. SUNSCREEN: People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily.

SPF >/=30

UVA/UVB blocking

Water resistant and reapply every 90 minutes

Use Cream/lotion as a base, apply Spray as maintenance

Do NOT use last year’s sunscreen, it expires and is not effective/reliable.

UVB blocking sunscreen also inhibits skin vitamin D synthesis so you must take vitamin D3 supplement to ensure adequate vitamin D stores in your body.

EVERYONE should use a sunscreen-containing face cream DAILY and YEAR-ROUND

2. ACNE: Less is often more- keep it simple!   At-home treatment requires 4-8 weeks to see improvement. Once acne clears, you must continue to treat the skin to prevent  breakouts. 

Topical benzoyl peroxide- daily wash- antibacterial. Watch for bleaching of towels/bedding.

Topical retinoid daily- prescription retinoid, or can try OTC retinol products, keep out of light and air.

Salicylic acid

Hormones a big factor in acne.  Diet probably NOT a big factor.


Use CREAM (Scoop or squeeze) asap after baths or showers daily

Avoid Lotions (squirt) as they contain alcohol and will dry out your skin

Ointments (scoop or squeeze) are the best barrier and can use at bedtime for very dry skin or cracked skin and cover with a cotton sock/mitten.  Example: petroleum  jelly product

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