Dr Derrick Phillips, Consultant Dermatologist & British Skin Foundation Spokesperson, Reveals His Top Tip For Healthy Skin

Dr Derrick Philips, Consultant Dermatologist & British Skin Foundation Spokesperson

Ever wished you could ask a leading dermatologist for their top tip for healthy skin? Wish no more, we've done it for you! Esteemed Consultant Dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, Dr Derrick Phillips, shares his ultimate top tip for healthy skin in today’s post, and you’ll never guess what it is…

Okay, so, if you’re a skincare devotee like us, or simply have a little knowledge about how to keep your skin healthy, then you’ve probably guessed the answer: the daily application of sunscreen.

Why Should You Wear A Sunscreen Every Day?

A good sunscreen has a place in every skincare routine and should be applied throughout the year, and not just during the summer months.

Daily sunscreens protect against harmful UV radiation that directly damages keratinocyte DNA and degrades key structural proteins in the skin. Chronic exposure to UVA induces hyperpigmentation, collagen breakdown, and is responsible for 80% of the signs of skin ageing.

With that in mind, a daily broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 50 with 5-star UVA protection) should be the last step in your morning routine and will provide a defensive shield against the development of skin cancer, and photoaging.

Worried About Skin Cancer?

Don't push those thoughts out of your mind. It's quick and easy to check your skin. Remember, most skin cancers can be cured if caught early, so if you’re ever in doubt, get it checked out!

How Should We Check Our Skin For Signs Of Skin Cancer And How Regularly Should We Do It?

Dr Derrick explains that skin checks should be performed after a bath or shower, in a well-lit room using a full-length mirror and handheld mirror. During the skin check, all moles should be reviewed and the skin should be assessed for any new or changing growths. (Check out our post on What Is Mole Mapping? How To Map Your Moles for more info on this).

“The ABCDE approach can be used to distinguish between normal moles and abnormal moles that require medical review.” Dr Derrick says.

woman with moles on chest

What Is The ABCDE Approach?

Asymmetry - the two halves of your mole should be symmetrical.

Borders - look for irregular or ragged outlines.

Colour - keep an eye out for changes in colour - especially if there are multiple tones within one mole.

Diameter - a mole of more than 6mm should be checked out as a precaution.

Evolution - it’s important to look for changes in shape, size, or colour.

But how often should we be checking? “How often skin checks are performed will be determined by the number of moles, skin type, history of UV exposure and skin cancer history.  Digital photography can be helpful for monitoring skin lesions.” Dr Derrick says.

Is This Advice The Same For All Skin Types?

Dr Derrick says that skin cancer is uncommon in individuals with skin of colour and unlikely to be related to UV exposure. When it does occur, it often affects non-sun exposed sites such as the nail bed, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. He reiterates, “people with skin of colour should keep these areas under review but should also see their GP or dermatologist if they notice an unusual skin growth on any part of their body.”

Are Some People At More Risk Than Others?

Dr Derrick say yes - the following groups are at increased risk of developing skin cancer:

  • Fair-skinned individuals with freckles who always burn with UV exposure (Fitzpatrick type I skin).
  • People with a history of excess UV exposure (e.g. sunbed use, foreign travel).
  • People taking strong immunosuppressant medications (e.g. organ transplant recipients).
  • People with a history of skin cancer.
  • Genetic conditions (e.g. xeroderma pigmentosa, Gorlin's syndrome).

When Should I Seek Help From A Professional?

“If you develop a new or changing skin lesion or have any concerns regarding an existing skin lesion.” Says Dr Derrick.

Is It Best To Go Straight To A Consultant Dermatologist Or My GP?

Dr Derrick explains that in the UK, all skin concerns are initially reviewed by a GP. They will refer you to a dermatologist if further investigations or treatment are required.

Making Sunscreen More Accessible

Face the Future are supporting Amy Callaghan MP's VAT Burn Campaign. alongside our own year-long campaign, 366 Days of SPF, to raise awareness on the importance of making sunscreen application a daily habit. To do our part, we're removing VAT* from our core sunscreens on site from 14th March to 31st May. 

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£12.00 £15.00 20% offsaving
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*Whilst VAT is legally required to be charged on all orders, we are discounting core sunscreens that are included in our VAT Burn campaign by 20% until the end of May to cover the cost of VAT.

Enjoyed our post and want to read more? Discover our VAT Burn Campaign With Amy Callaghan MP: The Fight For Sunscreen Accessibility.


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