November is National Skincare Awareness Month! Throughout the year, our skin and bodies are exposed to all kinds of dirt, stress, and weather that, if we’re not careful, can lead to premature aging or a dull look. Here are a few tips to consider doing this month to keep your skin healthy and looking great.
Your skincare routine is your baseline maintenance that can mean the difference between clear and worn-out skin. The three basic steps of a skincare routine are cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. Washing your face regularly (but not too often!) helps control the buildup of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells, which can contribute to acne or wrinkles. Exfoliation helps even more with removing this buildup when an abrasive like a sponge or a washcloth is used to scrub off the dead outer layers of skin. This also evens out the skin’s texture and tone. Clean pores are able to absorb and hold moisture better, as well as absorb any products you use, like a moisturizer or face mask.
Our cabinets and shelves will pile up over time with skincare product purchases, so reviewing them from time to time is an important exercise. Check the labels for the use-by or freshness date to be sure your ingredients haven’t expired.
This is an opportunity to simplify your routine as well! If you have multiple steps for applying, removing, and reapplying different cleansers, toners, masks, and moisturizers, your skin can become over-dried, over-saturated, or clogged with too many surface products (especially those of us who wear makeup).
Make sure the products you’re using have a specific purpose and are right for your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, a strong exfoliant might do more harm than good. If you have dry skin, you may need extra moisture, and if you have oily skin, less is usually more. When you know what your skin needs and doesn’t, you can make the right product choices.
It’s important that all skin types regularly use sunscreen, even if it’s one that is built into your moisturizer. Sunlight can be damaging to skin, so having an SPF of at least 30 will offer protection from UV light that can cause age spots, wrinkles, or skin cancer.
Facials and chemical peels are professional treatments that perform nutrient delivery, moisturization, and/or deep exfoliation that is calibrated to your specific needs. When your dermatologist performs one of these, it can be as gentle as a home facial, but it can also reach deeper than over-the-counter products to lift layers of dead skin, whiteheads, and blackheads, as well as diminish wrinkles and some acne scars and age spots. The needs of someone’s skin are unique based on their personal history, exposure, and their own skincare routine.
After assessing your skincare routine, consider your regular dermatologist checkups. They can help you with a yearly skin cancer screening and can guide you about your skin type and its specific needs. Schedule an appointment today to talk about any concerns you might have for your skin, to see if there are any areas that need support or correction, and to learn what the best solutions could be for you.