November means cooler temperatures for most of the US. We’ll be seeing frost on the grass and turning on the heat … if you haven’t already.
And it’s only going to get worse before it gets better!
That cold outside air combined with dry, heated indoor air can wreak havoc on skin.
Maybe that’s why the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) designated November as National Healthy Skin Month.
We hear plenty about keeping our skin protected from the summer sun. But the healthy skin message gets much less obvious as fall and winter roll around.
But healthy skin is a year-round project!
So if you’ve been neglecting your skin now that you’re covering most of it up … it’s the time to rethink your approach.
Get in the spirit of National Healthy Skin Month and banish dry, rough, cracked skin.
Start with these tips.
Prevent dry, blotchy, itchy skin this winter.
That’s right, the sun’s rays can still damage your skin in cold weather. They’re not as strong in winter, but they’re still there.
Even on cloudy days (Up to 80% of UV rays go right through clouds).
They bounce off snow, too. So technically you can get a sunburn on a bright, sunny winter day!
Want an idea of how much UV you’re likely to be exposed to on any given day? Try one of these apps:
UV rays can also cause other skin problems, including:
Speaking of dry skin …
And it’s not just for your hands. Sure, they may need it more since they have fewer oil glands. And you wash them more often than the rest of your body.
But a good, oil-based moisturizer after your shower can help keep all your skin hydrated and soft. Oils create a protective barrier on your skin, keeping it hydrated longer.
If your skin is naturally oily, you may not need to do this every day. But pay attention to your skin, and if it’s less oily than usual, give it some love.
They need both moisturizer and SPF, too! Use a lip balm with SPF regularly.
You’ve probably heard this before. But many of us tend to forget.
Your skin isn’t just a covering for your bones and organs. It’s one of your organs—your largest organ, in fact! So your food choices affect how healthy it is. Just like the rest of your body.
General good nutrition—lots of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins—is good for your whole body, skin included. The protein is especially good for skin. After all, your skin is made of protein!
But skin also needs fat to stay soft and healthy. Good fats, of course. And most specifically, Omega 3s.
Smoking doesn’t just cause lung cancer, it’s also bad for your skin. When you smoke, less blood gets to your skin, which means fewer nutrients and oxygen gets to your skin. This damages the collagen (the stuff that keeps your skin plump), which can lead to wrinkling and aging of your skin.
Wash your face/shower with warm (not hot) water and a mild cleanser. Put on moisturizer right after drying off, so you seal in the remaining layer of water.
Be gentle when removing eye makeup, so you don’t damage the delicate skin around your eyes.
Scroll down for some ideas on celebrating this unofficially beautiful holiday.
Take some time this month to learn about keeping your skin healthy. Start with tips for November weather, whatever that may be where you live.
For many of us that means cold weather tips!
But don’t stop there. Learn how to maintain healthy skin as the seasons change.
And as we get older our skin-care needs change too. If you’re getting older—or you care for someone who is—read up on keeping aging skin healthy.
Do a skin check … or make an appointment with a dermatologist to get checked for suspicious spots. Ideally you should plan to check your skin monthly to look for any moles or other spots that have changed, or any new moles/suspicious lesions.
Keep track of your skin’s various imperfections on a Body Mole Map. (PDF)
If you have kids, help them understand how to take care of their skin, too.
Will you be taking better care of your skin this November and all year?