Taking care of our first defense against disease
Author’s Note: Research is credited to the National Day webpage and APDerm.com.
November is often the month that is merely a stepping stone to Christmas, with turkey and Pilgrims in between. In addition to the pumpkin pie and snow flurries, November is also National Healthy Skin Month, sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology.
Skincare is a pop culture trend currently, boosted by social media hacks and celebrity-endorsed skin care products. However, the history of the trend takes us back to over sixty years ago. Modern skincare dates back to 1959, when the first tanning lotion, called Man-Tan, was introduced to the U.S. market. This product allowed for tans without exposing skin to the sun.
For a more natural glow without being harmed by the sun, the 1960s brought in sunscreens with SPF that were produced and made popular by people from all walks of life. However, sun damage wasn’t fully understood for a few more decades. In the 1990s, UVA protection was beginning to gain awareness, which led to the understanding that protecting against the sun could help fight skin diseases and blemishes, as well as aging and cancers.
If your skincare is lacking, November is the perfect time to kick-start this new habit. Healthy skin doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is important.
According to AP Derm, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they reach age seventy. Melanoma is the most deadly form of cancer but is also highly treatable if detected early.
But prevention is the best medicine, and AP Derm also offers several tips to keep skin healthy and happy. Sleep, in fact, affects all aspects of your life, and that includes skin. Seven to nine hours allows your tissues to rebuild and heal. Hydration, like sleep, is valuable in every way. For skin, drinking water throughout the day flushes toxins and reduces swelling. Dehydrates, like alcohol, have the opposite effect.
Vitamin D is an important nutrient when it comes to skincare. Vitamin D comes from the sun, meaning sun exposure is important for healthy skin, as well as bones. This also means that catching rays needs to be done without causing damage to skin cells, which we all know puts one at risk for skin cancer.
Applying sunscreen and lip balm with at least SPF 30 adds protection against dangerous ultraviolet rays while also getting all the benefits from the sunshine. This can also apply to winter weather, as the sun is still powerful. Not only that, but the rays can reflect off the snow and magnify onto exposed skin.
Regular use of cleansing face masks, applying lotion, and keeping skin clean also help keep it healthy and smooth. Just washing your face every night greatly reduces acne and residue that builds up and can lead to eczema, dry skin, and/ or bacteria growth.
Skin is your body’s first protection against the outside world. It can quickly build up grime and bacteria, and without proper care, can cause cancer or other blemishes. Skin care is important, and even if you don’t see the results immediately, as we all get older, our bodies will thank us for taking care of them even now.