Did you know that November is Healthy Skin Month? As the weather changes and harsher winds begin to take their toll on your skin, it becomes increasingly important to avoid behaviors that cause further damage and dryness and to make sure to actively preserve moisture and practice good habits for keeping skin healthy through the winter months. MoleSafe, a melanoma screening, and surveillance program headquartered in Millburn have put together a list of the top five ways to ensure skin remains its healthiest this winter.
Avoid tanning beds: Indoor UV tanners are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than individuals who do not tan inside, and if you really want to maintain that glowing tan during the winter months, try self-tanners, or a spray tan.
Skip hot showers: Keep your baths and showers short, and the temperature of the water warm, rather than hot. Though we all like to indulge in a long hot shower after a cold day, this practice is dangerous to your skin’s health. Hot water will strip the natural oils and protection away from your skin, and dry it out.
Cover your skin: Wearing clothing such as hats, scarves, gloves, long pants, jackets, and even ski masks can help protect skin that would otherwise be exposed in windy or overcast conditions. Extremely windy conditions can dry out the oils in your skin leaving it red and chapped. It’s also important to remember that you are just as susceptible to the sun’s UV rays on an overcast day as you are on a bright sunny day. If you don’t cover-up properly, you could find yourself with a nasty sunburn at night, even on the grayest of winter days.
Wash and exfoliate your face: You should wash your face at least twice a day to rid your skin of dirt, oils, and dead skin cells to help prevent acne and keep your face looking fresh. About once a week you should exfoliate your body with an oil-based scrub. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells uncovering fresh new ones, which will absorb more moisture and allow your skin to look fresh and stay healthy longer.
Moisturize: It is best to lather your skin with a rich cream multiple times per day, especially soon after you get out of the shower, to seal the water into your skin. Some key ingredients to look for are products that contain lactic acid, urea, lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum. When moisturizing, pay close attention to the areas that are most frequently exposed when outdoors, and don’t forget to apply a moisture-rich lip balm with SPF to protect your lips.