In honor of National Healthy Skin Month, we’re sharing our 2 part series on how you can have healthy skin.

In part 1, we’re talking about skin care products to use and which ones to avoid. We’re also revealing one oral product that help reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Follow along this month for the best things you can do for your skin.

1. Wear sunscreen daily for healthy skin.

Sunscreen is your skin’s best friend. And wearing sunscreen is our dermatologist’s top healthy skin tip.

In fact, sunscreen should be worn throughout the year, not just during the summer. The sun’s rays can cause damage even during cold or wintery weather. That damage can lead to skin cancer, premature aging, and dry skin.

Dermatologists receommend wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 on any exposed skin.

Sun protective clothing, seeking shade, and wearing a hat are other ways to protect yourself from the sun.

2. Avoid tanning and tanning beds.

There is no such thing as a safe tan. Although it’s a common misconception that tanning beds are “safe”, they’re also harmful to the skin. Use of tanning beds increases your chances of developing the most common types of skin cancer.

Tanning beds can not only cause damage to the skin, they can also be harmful to the eyes. Amd they do not provide benefits like Vitamin D, as it commonly thought.

For more surprising facts about indoor tanning, visit the American Academy of Dermatology’s article on the topic.

3. Use a topical retinol nightly to prevent the signs of skin aging.

One of the most common questions our dermatologist and dermatology-trained nurse practitioners receive is “how do I achieve younger looking skin?” Who doesn’t want youthful looking skin after all?

One anti-aging skin care product we consistently recommend is retinol. Retinol products are one of the best ways to treat fine lines and wrinkles associated with aging.

Retinol promotes anti-aging by exfoliating skin and increasing collagen.

Retinol it can be found in a variety of products and in an array of strengths. Prescription strength retinol is available and can be obtained by seeing your dermatologist. It’s also available in lower doses through many over-the-counter products. These products come in a variety of prices as well.

4. Use an antioxidant and vitamin B serum for healthier skin.

While retinol is perhaps the most important anti-aging product, vitamin B and antioxidant serums are very beneficial for all ages.

Niacinamide is the specific vitamin B that is most beneficial. It reduces uneven coloring and the appearance of hyperpigmented spots. It also treats large pores and improves skin texture.

Vitamin B treats fine lines and wrinkles by strengthening the outermost layers of the skin as well. And it improves moisture retention in the skin, an added benefit for aging skin.

Facial creams that include other products, specifically Viamin B and E antioxidants, can prove helpful as well. Antioxidants also stimulate collagen production and help skin repair itself more effectively from normal damage.

5. Take vitamin B3 orally, especially if you’ve had a history of skin cancer.

New studies have shown that when taken orally, vitamin B3 has another very important benefit. The pill form of vitamin B3 has been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer by 20-30%.

Vitamin B3 can be purchased over the counter. It should ideally be taken twice a day in 500 mg tablets. It should be taken consistently for sustained benefits.

The vitamin is especially important for people who have had a personal or familial history of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Those with excessive sun damage should also consider taking B3 supplements.

6. Avoid harsh soaps, especially in the winter.

An easy way to help achieve healthy skin is by avoiding harsh soaps and cleansers. Harsh products can strip away natural oils, causing dry skin and irritation. They can also disrupt the natural pH balance of your skin.

Some of our favorites are Dove unscented bar soap, Oil of Olay unscented bar soap, Cetaphil soap, and Purpose brand soaps. These products contain fewer ingredients that are known to irrite skin.

Those with sensitive skin may also want to specifically avoid soaps with frangrance as scents can cause irritation as well.

Our board certified dermatologist and dermatology trained nurse practitioners are here to help you maintain healthy skin. Call our office at (304) 263-3933 or (240) 347-4937 to schedule your appointment.

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