Perhaps in preparation for the harsh winter months ahead, November is officially designated as National Healthy Skin Month in the US. All month long, people are encouraged to learn about the functions of skin and how to keep it healthy. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) first implemented November as healthy skin month in order to raise awareness about the importance of keeping skin fresh, hydrated and healthy all year round.
AAD features a skin knowledge and information network on their website, and people are encouraged to check it out for tips on sun protection, skin exams, eating healthy and other steps that can keep skin looking clear, smooth and youthful. There are many things people can do during National Skin Health Month, and all year long, to prevent skin damage, reduce signs of aging and protect one of the most vital organs of the body:
- Wear sunscreen: sunscreen needs to be applied year-round, not just during the summer months. While the sun’s rays are more powerful in summer, they can still be damaging even in the cloudy, cool conditions of winter. A heavy sunscreen may not be necessary, so apply a moisturizer with SPF.
- Eat a healthy diet: What we put in our mouths is just as influential to our skin’s health as what we apply externally. Eating a diet that’s rich in Omega 3s, whole grains and B Vitamins is essential to maintaining skin’s youthful glow. Be sure to incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins in your diet. Since skin is made of protein, the more we consume the better.
- Don’t forget your lips: Your lips need just as much protection as the rest of your skin, especially since they can get a lot of exposure to the sun. Carry lip balm with SPF with you and apply it generously, particularly in the dry winter months when lips can become very chapped and sore.
- Keep your cool: Stress is a huge contributor to skin problems like acne and wrinkles. Making time to relax during your hectic days can greatly improve the condition of your skin.
- Moisturize: Your skin needs to stay hydrated to stay healthy. Apply moisturizer to your whole body every morning and at night before going to bed. Keep moisturizer near you during the day so you can continue to moisturize your hands.
Along with these and many other helpful tips, you can keep your skin looking great all through the month of November and the rest of the year.
National Healthy Skin Month is not just about daily skincare tips, but it is also dedicated to keeping people well informed on serious skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and skin cancer. It’s a good idea to conduct monthly skin exams, checking skin for suspicious moles and other lesions that could become cancerous. Meeting with a skincare specialist is another important step you should take when keeping your skin healthy, especially if you suffer from painful or irritating skin problems.