November is National Healthy Skin Month
No matter who you are, we all want great skin. Some seem to have been blessed with superhero genes and flawless skin that makes the world envy, but great skin is not just a matter of DNA. Our daily habits, environment, the foods we eat, and skincare routine all have a huge impact on the health and beauty of your skin. Instituted by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), November has been named National Healthy Skin Month. In honor of this, we’re devoting some time to raising awareness about skin, the body’s largest organ, and how to keep it healthy and beautiful.
Pay Attention to Your Skin
There are some important reasons to pay attention to your skin. You may not realize it, but your skin reveals a lot about your overall health. Itching or scratching could indicate a number of conditions, for example, such as an allergic reaction, infection, or autoimmune disease. Being aware of your skin’s condition under normal circumstances can allow you to quickly spot changes such as moles that could indicate a type of skin cancer.
The Internet is Helpful but Your Dermatologist is Better
Since it is so important, skin and skincare generate a lot of attention. It is possible to find endless amounts of information on websites, blogs, YouTube and other internet sources. While many of those sources are very helpful, it is even more important to see the recognized experts in skin, dermatologists. Skin isn’t just a beauty issue, it’s a health issue. Board-certified dermatologists can diagnose more than 3,000 skin, hair and nail diseases including skin cancer, acne, eczema, and psoriasis — and provide effective medical and surgical treatment. In addition to diagnosing and treating these and other serious skin conditions, board-certified dermatologists can safely perform cosmetic procedures to improve the skin’s appearance and provide advice to help people care for their skin at home. Dermatologists have the education, training, and experience to provide you with the best and most personalized advice and treatment.
You’ll Never Regret Wearing Sunscreen
It may sound like Skincare 101, but the best thing you can do to protect the health of your skin is to use sunscreen daily, year-round, not just in summer. Incidents of skin cancer, caused by increased exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light are on the rise. However, many incidents of skin cancer are completely preventable by using sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen daily decreases your risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of the disease.
Wearing sunscreen also helps prevent photoaging — damage to the skin caused by exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet light causing wrinkles, fine lines, and premature pigmentation. Responsible for 90 percent of visible changes to the skin, photoaging is a direct result of cumulative sun damage you’ve been exposed to throughout your life.
Develop a Skincare Routine
Skin is a biological material that reacts to different chemicals in different ways, so there is no one-size-fits-all list of products to support healthy skin. A skincare routine is necessarily unique to the person following it. There are, however, some basics in routines and products that are helpful to everyone. The AAD recommends using a mild cleanser for daily face washing, using an antiperspirant rather than deodorant, applying sunscreen, and moisturizing daily.
Eat for Healthy Skin
As scientists learn more about diet and the body, it is increasingly clear that diet is another key element in healthy skin. Doctors recommend diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring. Omega-3 fatty acids keep skin thick, supple, and moisturized. It also helps reduce inflammation which causes redness and acne. Foods like avocados, walnuts, as well as foods rich in beta-carotene functioning as provitamin A, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and spinach are all important to boosting skin health. Broccoli is full of many vitamins and minerals important for skin health, including zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C. It also contains lutein, a carotenoid that works like beta-carotene. Lutein protects your skin from oxidative damage, which can cause your skin to become dry and wrinkled. Perhaps most importantly, broccoli florets also pack a special compound called sulforaphane, which boasts some impressive potential benefits, including potentially helping to prevent skin cancer.
Healthy Skincare Advances
Technology and science, the engines that propel the skin-care industry, are moving faster than ever, as is demand, the third wheel driving skincare advances. Perhaps the most notable of recent advances is the rise of customized skincare products. Today, the skin-care industry is harnessing new technologies such as data-harvesting, facial recognition, and others to offer mix-and-match formulas and customized lines to target an individual’s specific skin type and problem. In an era when almost everything, from our entertainment to our coffee is an exercise in personalization, providing individually tailored skincare products could be the smartest avenue to tomorrow’s skin health.
For more information about how to keep your skin healthy, we highly recommend visiting the AAD website which features a skin knowledge and information network. 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.