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November is National Healthy Skin Month®

What is National Healthy Skin Month®?

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) designates each November as National Healthy Skin Month®

It’s a time to pay attention to your skin, learn about skin care, and adopt habits that can lead to a lifetime of healthier skin, hair, and nails.

Diverse group of smiling people

The AAD launched the first National Healthy Skin Month® in November 1997. Since then, it’s become an annual event in which the AAD and dermatologists:

  • Emphasize the importance of good skin care.

  • Share tips that can lead to healthier skin, hair, and nails.

  • Ask Americans to take time to pay attention to their skin and adopt healthy habits to care for their skin, hair, and nails.

Who can participate in National Healthy Skin Month®?

Everybody needs good skin care — from newborns to people more than 100 years old. That’s why National Healthy Skin Month is everyone’s awareness month.

This November, we’re sharing simple tips from seven dermatologists that you can do at home to keep your skin, hair, and nails healthy and looking their best.

7 tips to adopt this November for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair, and nails

  1. Reduce wrinkles. When it comes to wrinkles, sun damage and age are big culprits, but sleeping on your side or stomach may contribute to ‘sleep lines’ on your face and chest. If you can, sleep on your back. It’s a simple step that can reduce or prevent the formation of these lines.
    - Courtesy of: Kesha Buster, MD, FAAD

  2. Remove makeup while hydrating your eyelids. Petroleum jelly is an effective way to remove your eye makeup and rehydrate eyelid skin. To remove makeup, apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly and gently wipe it off with a tissue or cloth. Then gently spread any remaining jelly onto your eyelids, which will rehydrate your skin overnight.
    - Courtesy of: Roopal Kundu, MD, FAAD

  3. Minimize irritated skin when you start using a retinoid. When you first start using a retinoid, your skin can become excessively irritated and dry. To minimize these effects, try using the retinoid two to three times a week for a couple of weeks or so. If you don’t see any excessive irritation, then you can apply the product more often.
    - Courtesy of: Paul S. Yamauchi, MD, PhD, FAAD

    Slowly begin using a retinoid

    Dermatologists caution that you need to introduce your skin to retinoids slowly because they can irritate your skin if you haven’t developed a tolerance to them.

  4. Lessen irritation caused by a retinoid. Before you apply a retinoid to your face, dab a small amount of petroleum jelly or a hydrating moisturizer under your eyes, to the outer edges of your nose, and to the corners of your mouth as shown below.
    - Courtesy of: Marjon Vatanchi, MD, FAAD

    Is your skin sensitive to retinoids?

    You can lessen irritation by dabbing petroleum jelly or a hydrating moisturizer on these areas of your face before you apply your retinoid.

    Illustration shows where to apply moisturizer to reduce skin irritation caused by a retinoid

  5. Relieve dry hands and brittle nails. Have your hands and nails become very dry from repeated washing and using hand sanitizers? Apply a moisturizer that’s an ointment like petroleum jelly to your hands, nails, and cuticles after every handwashing. This can prevent dryness and brittle nails.
    - Courtesy of: Hassan I. Galadari, MD, FAAD

  6. Prevent nail fungus. Both athlete’s foot and sweating increase your risk of developing nail fungus, which can cause nails to thicken, lift, and turn yellow. Keeping your feet dry and treating athlete’s foot promptly may prevent these nail changes.
    - Courtesy of: Shari R. Lipner, MD, PhD, FAAD

  7. Have healthier hair. Getting your hair cut on a regular basis will make it healthier because cutting removes hair that would split. However, frequent haircuts will not make your hair grow faster. Hair growth occurs beneath the skin, so cutting it doesn’t affect how quickly hair grows.
    - Courtesy of: Rochelle R. Torgerson, MD, PhD, FAAD

National Healthy Skin Month® is for everybody, and this November is the perfect time to share these tips with everyone you care about. Small changes they make this month could help them have a lifetime of healthier skin, hair, and nails.

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Last updated: 11/1/22