November is associated with many things: cooler weather, Black Friday and no shave November; but it’s also known as National Healthy Skin Month. Thousands of products that claim to help your skin line store shelves — but do they really help? Read on to find some of the best ways to acquire and maintain healthy skin.
Everyone has different skin types and different skin needs — no two people are the same. Finding the best skincare routine for you will take practice and patience, but the Mayo Clinic gives a general outline on ways to keep your skin healthy:
- Sunscreen: Long-term exposure to sunlight can cause wrinkles, sun spots and increased visual aging. Protect yourself from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
- Smoking: Avoid smoking at all costs. Smoking causes your skin to wrinkle and age because it shrinks blood vessels, decreasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients that are vital to skin health. Smoking also increases the risk of skin and other cancers.
- Diet: What you eat matters. Eat lots of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Lean protein, fish oil and foods low in unhealthy fats — such as avocados, nuts and eggs — are also beneficial for your skin health. Plus, don’t forget to drink plenty of water, which is critical for keeping your skin healthy and hydrated.
- Stress: There is a link between stress and skin health. Acne breakouts may occur because of increased stress levels. To keep your skin looking healthy, make sure to get enough sleep and find exercise activities that you enjoy to help lower your stress.
- Skincare routine: When bathing or showering, keep the water warm rather than hot. Pat yourself dry rather than rubbing your skin with a towel, and make sure to moisturize afterwards.
Something else to consider are the new and unprecedented challenges that come with wearing a mask. With mandates for mask wearing, various designs and materials have become available over the last six months — and for good reason! However, masks can also cause acne (or “mascne”). Here are some suggestions for keeping your skin healthy while frequently wearing a mask:
- Wash your masks: If you are using a cotton mask, make sure to wash it frequently in gentle soap and hot water. This becomes increasingly important if you’re wearing said mask for several hours at a time.
- Wash your face: Wash your face and neck with a gentle cleanser after wearing your mask for an extended period of time. Pat dry and moisturize.
- Take breaks: If you’re working a long day and masks are required, utilize breaks and lunch periods to not only rest, but to give your face some relief as well. Whenever safe and possible, use these breaks to remove your mask, relax and let your skin breathe.
Healthy skin can be achieved by healthy living, but sometimes skin problems don’t go away just by living the suggestions described above. Doctors can help patients tackle even the most frustrating of skin problems — find a doctor today to get help.
This article first appeared in the November 2020 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.