A Maui Dermatologist Shares His Sun Protection Routine

“As a boy who grew up on the beaches of New Jersey, surfing, then moved to California, and then to Maui, where I’ve resided for the last 25 years, I carry with me chronic sun damage that has resulted in three basal cell skin cancers. So, I take sun protection very seriously.”

– Dr. George Martin, a board certified dermatologist who has been practicing clinical dermatology in Hawaii for over 20 years.


1. Sunscreen. “First and foremost is I use sunscreen on a daily basis when I find myself outdoors. On the weekends, I’m sure to put on really strong, water-resistant sunscreen.”

On how often he reapplies: “Depending on sunscreens, reapplication is fairly variable. If you’re just cruising around, once a day application of an SPF 30 sunscreen is really all you need because sunscreens are inherently photo stable and they don’t degrade in sunlight. They really only become ineffective if you wipe them off or wash them off.”

On the importance of water resistance: “I’m an avid surfer in Hawaii and there are certain sunscreens that are really water-resistant. One that I use, that I actually developed, is Doc Martin’s. Other sunscreens that are very effective and include Coppertone Sport and Neutrogena Sport. Those sunscreens have been found to be fairly water-resistant in rigorous conditions, such as the waters off the coast of Hawaii.”


1. Tretinoin “As far as sun damage, I think one of the best things is a 1-2 punch of sunscreen and tretinoin, which goes by various names, such as Retin-A. Using tretinoin can not only reverse sun damage and skin changes that I have, but there’s also fairly strong evidence that it reverses precancerous lesions.”

2. Moisturizer “Tretinoin depletes the skin of hydration, so you really need a good moisturizer. When I find myself traveling to cooler, dryer, less humid areas of the country, I make sure I pack a strong, heavy-duty moisturizer.”


Dr. Martin is founder and chairman of the internationally recognized dermatology meeting, “Maui Derm: Advances in Cosmetic and Medical Dermatology” and a contributing editor to the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.