2023 Healthy Skin Challenge Recap

31 Days to Healthy Skin Challenge

We encourage you to take a new approach to your skin health by committing to your skin’s needs every day. Our 2023 Healthy Skin Challenge has ended, but it’s not too late to participate on your own. 

Save the challenge story image below to track your progress each day on your phone or computer. Start the new year with the tools and knowledge to improve your skin health in 2023!

Read below for daily prompts in one of the following categories:

SPF Sunday
Melanoma Monday
Time to Schedule Tuesday
Hair and Nails Wednesday
Product Thursday
Cosmetic Friday
Self-Care Saturday

Day 1: With a new year brings new skincare products. Chances are your sunscreen from last summer may be expired or have changes in consistency, color or smell. It is best to err on the side of caution. 

For today’s challenge, check your sunscreen and throw away any potentially expired sunscreen. Start the year feeling confident that your sun protection is working at its best. 

Day 2: Early detection of skin cancer is the key to favorable outcomes. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends doing self-exams following the “ABCDEs of Melanoma,” a guide to help you recognize the warning signs of skin cancer.

A – Asymmetry
B – Border
C – Color
D – Diameter
E – Evolving

For today’s challenge, scroll through the images and learn the ABCDEs of skin cancer. This could help save a life.

Day 3: Full body skin examinations are a vital part of early detection for skin cancer. In addition to at-home self-skin checks, it is recommended that patients see a dermatology professional for an exam once a year, or more often if they are have a higher risk of skin cancer.

For today’s challenge, find out when you had your last full body skin exam.

Was it within the past year? Are you due for another? Do you have a new spot or concerns? Request an appointment today.

Day 4: Did you know that how you wash your hair can make or (literally) break the health of your hair?

For today’s challenge, read through the hair tips below and consider incorporating one into your next hair wash day.

Hair washing:
🔹For oily hair, wash more frequently or daily.
🔹For chemically treated hair, which is typically drier, you may want to wash less frequently.
🔹For textured hair, which tends to be more dry and prone to breakage, wash once per week or every two weeks.

🔹Use a shampoo formulated for your hair type.
🔹Apply the majority of the shampoo on your scalp, concentrating on the top and lathering down.

🔹Use a conditioner formulated for your hair needs.
🔹Applying the conditioner, concentrating on the ends which are the oldest and most fragile hair.

🔹Limit the number of times you wear your hair in a tight style like ponytails, with can cause breakage.
🔹Use a heat protectant when using hot tools.

Which healthy hair-washing tip will you try? Comment below.

Day 5: Did you know that your skincare products expire? Many people tend to keep the same products for several years, but they have a shelf life.

For today’s challenge, check your skincare products and makeup for expiration dates. Most have a specific date or a label that indicates how many months until they expire. Before starting your nighttime skincare routine, purge that cluttered bathroom cabinet and makeup bag. Start fresh for the new year. 

Day 6: The path to healthy skin is a holistic approach, including medical and cosmetic dermatology. Our dermatology professionals are experts in their field and are here to help you every step of the way.

Cosmetic dermatology procedures can be used to treat common skin conditions, such as rosacea, dark spots, and wrinkles. Cosmetic treatments may also help with scar reduction after surgical dermatology procedures.

For today’s challenge, it’s time to explore professional facial treatments. Please visit our website to schedule a consultation for our cosmetic treatment services.

Day 7: Healthy, glowing skin starts from within. Proper hydration is vital for your body’s overall health, and your skin is no exception. It is recommended that men drink about 15.5 cups and women drink about 11.5 cups of fluids per day. Drinking 8 glasses a day is another general recommendation that is an easy goal to remember.

For today’s challenge, track how much your drink today, and determine if you need to increase your water intake. Consider slowly increasing your water intake as needed.

Staying hydrated can lead to clearer, smoother skin with more elasticity. Drink up!

Day 8: Your skin is only as healthy as your sun protection, so it is important to know what to look for when selecting a sunscreen. Your sunscreen label should have these four essentials:

🔹Broad Spectrum – This means that your sunscreen protects from both UVA and UVB rays.

🔹SPF – Sun protection factor (SPF) measures how long someone can be in the sun before UVB rays begin to burn the skin. Your sunscreen should have a minimum of SPF 30.

🔹Water Resistant – The term “water-resistant” indicates whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes when you are swimming or sweating.

🔹Active Ingredients – The active ingredients, which are typically listed on the back of the bottle, work by absorbing or deflecting the UV rays. Look for absorbing or chemical ingredients like avobenzone and benzophenone, or deflecting or physical ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Some sunscreens may have a combination of both.

For today’s challenge, check your sunscreen and to learn how to read a sunscreen label using the guide.

Day 9: Early detection is the key to favorable outcomes with skin cancer. Now that you’ve learned the ABCDEs of skin cancer on day 2 of the challenge, it is time to apply that knowledge. Self-skin exams are one of the best ways to observe any possible signs of skin cancer.

For today’s challenge, perform a thorough self-skin exam before you get ready for bed.

In a well-lit room, using a full-length mirror, examine your skin. Follow the order of the steps listed in the graphic, moving from head to toe. Use a hand mirror to look at your skin more closely. For long hair, it may be helpful to use a blow dryer to move your hair to see your scalp. Jot down any findings or take photos for reference.

Create a habit of checking your skin. Remember, if you see anything NEW, CHANGING, or UNUSUAL, get checked by one of our dermatology professionals immediately.

Day 10: Just like your annual physical exam and dental cleanings, make your full body skin exam part of your annual healthcare services.

For today’s challenge, schedule your annual skin check with us.

If you discovered anything unusual during yesterday’s self skin check challenge, be sure to discuss those concerns with our dermatology team. It’s time to prioritize your healthy skin.

Day 11: Did you know that the state of our nails reflects our body’s overall health? It is essential to care for your nails just like your skin. Remember the following tips for nail care:

🔹Keep your nails clean and dry.
🔹Cut nails straight across. Use sharp nail scissors or clippers. Round the nails slightly at the tips for maximum strength.
🔹Keep nails shaped and smooth by filing with an emery board.
🔹Do not bite fingernails or remove the cuticle. Doing so can damage the nail.

For today’s challenge, give yourself an at-home manicure.

While using the tips above, pay special attention to the health of your nails. If you notice any unusual marks, swelling or pain, this may indicate a problem. Our dermatology team is here to help your nails remain healthy.

Day 12: Every skincare product routine is different based on an individual’s needs, but one thing is the same for everyone: the order in which products are applied. Applying products from the thinnest to the thickest consistency is best for maximum absorption and effectiveness.

Begin by cleansing the face. Add toner, serums, and eye cream as necessary for your skin. Then add moisturizer and finish with sunscreen.

For today’s challenge, arrange your skincare products in order.

For example, line up your products on your bathroom counter or vanity from thin to thick. This will help create a habit and ensure you get the most out of your products.

Our dermatology team is here to assist you if you have questions about the skincare products that are best for your unique skin needs. 

Day 13: Scarring is a very common skin concern. Surgery, injuries, and previous inflammation like acne can leave unsightly scars. Many people try ineffective over-the-counter treatments or assume they have to live with their scars because they do not know their available treatment options.

Effective scar removal options include laser treatments, microneedling, chemical peels, and medical-grade skincare products. Every scar is different and requires a customized treatment plan.

For today’s challenge, explore your scar removal options by scheduling a treatment consultation.

You do not have to live with your scars. Our cosmetic dermatology team offers consultations to determine which treatments and products are best for your skin. Contact us today. 

Day 14: One of the best-kept beauty secrets costs absolutely nothing! Sleep is one of the most effective “treatments” you can do, as it restores your skin every night. While medical experts recommend getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night, many people fall short of this goal, leading to a variety of skin issues over time. In addition to dark circles under the eyes, sleep deprivation contributes to collagen loss, wrinkle development, skin dehydration, inflammation, acne, sensitivity to allergens, loss of elasticity, and more. We need sleep!

For today’s challenge, arrange your schedule during the day to set yourself up for success to get a full night’s sleep.

Developing good sleep habits start in the morning. By arranging your daily activities and creating a good bedtime routine, you can train your body to get at least 8 hours of sleep. We hope you have a good night’s sleep and enjoy all the rejuvenating benefits that rest can provide for your skin.

Day 15: If you wear sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every day, you are already on the path to healthy skin! Unfortunately, many people do not use enough sunscreen to cover their skin completely. You need approximately 1 ounce of sunscreen to protect your entire body.

For today’s challenge, follow the “shot glass rule” by filling a 1-ounce shot glass or measuring cup with sunscreen.

Practice applying this amount of sunscreen to develop a habit of covering all of your skin correctly.

Day 16: Most normal moles on your body resemble one another. It’s important to check for irregularities (see our previous post for the ABCDEs of skin cancer), but also compare any concerning spots to the skin around it. The “Ugly Duckling” is a spot that looks different from its neighboring spots. They may be larger, smaller, lighter or darker, compared to surrounding moles. Isolated spots without surrounding moles for comparison are also considered ugly ducklings.

For today’s challenge, use our guide to learn the 3 examples of an ugly duckling.

Compare the images to your own skin. If you believe you may have an “ugly duckling,” call our office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. 

Day 17: Do your skincare products meet your skin’s needs? Your skin is unique, and your skincare routine should be, too.

For today’s challenge, schedule a consultation with our dermatology professionals to develop a personalized skincare product routine.

Day 18: There is nothing like a trip to the hair salon or barber to help you look and feel your best. In addition to maintaining healthy hair, did you know that a regular trim could possibly save your life? Hair stylists and barbers are uniquely positioned to notice changes on the scalp and see spots that are difficult to find during your at-home skin checks.

For today’s challenge, for healthier hair (and skin!), schedule your next trim.

Do not be afraid to ask your hairdresser to look at your scalp and tell you if you have any unusual spots. If you do, have them checked out promptly by a dermatology professional.

Day 19: Your skin is the body’s first line of defense, so it must remain healthy and hydrated daily.

For today’s challenge, protect your skin barrier and apply moisturizer.

Be sure to moisturize your face and body to protect your skin from head to toe.

Day 20: Did you know that the average person touches their face between 15 and 25 times per HOUR? One of the most common unconscious habits could be keeping you from having healthy skin. Touching your skin throughout the day transfers oil, dirt and bacteria to your face leading to clogged pores and breakouts. Even worse, picking at acne or inflamed skin can lead to irritation and scarring. This information alone should make someone stop cold turkey, but given how frequently a person touches their face every hour, it is difficult to curb this habit.

For today’s challenge, pay close attention to how often you touch your face. Consider keeping a tally throughout the day and progressively decrease the frequency over time. If needed, try replacing the habit with an alternative action or keeping your hands busy. If you must touch your face, be sure it is only for cleansing, applying products and always with washed hands.

Remember, for glowing skin, don’t touch your face!

Day 21: Healthy skin starts from within. The foods you eat can provide excellent benefits to your skin. Some examples of foods packed with nutritious value for your skin and body are:

🔹Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, chia seeds, and walnuts help decrease inflammation and preserve collagen
🔹Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, broccoli and and strawberries provide antioxidants and fight wrinkles.
🔹Vitamin E, found in almonds and sunflower seeds can help prevent cell damage.

For today’s challenge, cook a well-balanced, nutritious meal. 

Day 22: Dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen every day and reapplying approximately every 2 hours. This includes days spent primarily indoors, during the winter season, and when it is cloudy. You should apply sunscreen even more frequently when swimming or sweating, especially in direct sun.

For today’s challenge, set a timer for every two hours. Begin to create a habit of reapplying your sunscreen throughout the day.

If you applied your sunscreen this morning, it’s about time to reapply. Remember, consistency is the key to healthy skin!

Day 23: It is well-known that tanning, both indoor and outdoor, can lead to skin cancer. During the winter months, the temptation to head to a tanning bed is difficult to ignore. It’s time to practice UV safety and stop tanning.

For today’s challenge, consider applying a tinted moisturizer, tanning lotion, or schedule a professional spray tan.

You can have a sun-kissed glow and keep your skin safe from melanoma!

Day 24: There are many creative ways to DIY, but your skin should not be one of them. With the rise of social media, many skin tips and beauty trends have become popular, even if they can harm your skin. It’s time to say goodbye to DIY and trust the professionals.

For the first challenge of today, schedule a cosmetic consultation.

Our educated and caring cosmetic dermatology professionals are trained to assess your skin and collaborate with you to create a customized treatment plan. Schedule today!

Day 25: Everyone loves a spa day! Allowing a licensed nail technician to give a manicure and pedicure is a great way to keep your nails healthy, but you have to be smart and safe.

When getting a professional manicure, be sure to do the following:

🔹 Asses for clean and sanitary conditions
🔹 Request sterilized, sealed instruments (if not already provided)
🔹 Opt for regular polish
🔹 Wear sunscreen or UV gloves for manicures and pedicures that requiring UV curing, such as gel polish

Unfortunately yesterday’s challenge did not post to our Instagram, so we’ll share two today. For today’s challenge, think smarter about professional manicures and pedicures. Consider using the tips above to ensure a healthy nail experience.

Day 26: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can be applied to the skin to treat and prevent changes associated with photoaging, the premature aging of the skin due to sun and UV exposure. It can also be used to treat hyperpigmentation by brightening the skin, evening complexion, and boosting collagen. Despite its impressive benefits, it is often the missing key to an effective skincare routine.

For today’s challenge, discover new products and add a vitamin C serum to your skincare regimen.

Not all Vitamin C serums are the same quality. Be sure to look for products containing at least 10% L-ascorbic acid, the most active and purest form of vitamin C. It should also be stored in a dark, tightly sealed bottle to prevent oxidation.  

Day 27: Laser hair reduction could be the perfect solution if you’re tired of shaving, waxing, or tweezing away unwanted hair. With this method, hair stays gone for months or even years. If any does grow back, the texture is fine and less visible. Did you know that you can save time, money and the environment by switching to laser hair reduction?

🔹The average woman shaves over 7,700 times throughout her life. The average man shaves 20,000 times in his life! Meanwhile, it only takes an average of 6-10 laser appointments (with occasional maintenance), each lasting just 30-60 minutes, for laser treatments to work.

🔹While the upfront cost of laser treatments is more expensive than purchasing a razor or professional waxing appointment, over time, the cost of laser hair reduction is less costly than a lifetime of shaving and waxing.

🔹 Shaving requires the use of new blades every few shaves. This adds up to hundreds or more disposable shavers or blade cartridges in the landfill yearly. A laser generates few waste products, helping the earth in the long run.

It’s time to ditch the razor. For today’s challenge, schedule your laser hair consultation.

Day 28: This is your mid-day reminder that your mental health matters! Stress directly impacts the health of your skin. When you experience stress, your body reacts by elevating cortisol levels and hormones, which can induce an inflammatory response in your skin and body. The skin is constantly exposed to environmental stressors and can also produce hormones in response to them. In short, stress causes skin issues, and skin issues cause stress! This cycle is challenging to stop, but it is possible.

For today’s challenge, pause to become aware of what is causing stress in your life and make a plan to reduce that stress.

Some ways to care for your mental health include relaxation techniques, professional therapy, journaling, practicing mindfulness, healthy eating, hydration, exercise, decluttering your environment and schedule, and more.

Observe how reducing stress can impact the health and appearance of your skin. 

Day 29: In addition to sunscreen, clothing is vital to protect your skin from sun damage and skin cancer. It absorbs or blocks harmful UV radiation, but unlike sunscreen, you never need to reapply!

Not all clothing is made equally. When choosing sun-protective clothing, be sure to check for the following:

🔹 Dark or bright colors
🔹 Well-constructed
🔹 Loose-fitting
🔹 Good coverage
🔹 Most Important: Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of at least 30, which indicates how much UVB and UVA radiation a fabric allows to reach your skin

For today’s challenge, choose functional fashion and try UPF clothing.

Day 30: Do you have a testimony about your skin? Whether you beat skin cancer, committed to annual skin checks, resolved a skin concern, discovered a new skincare product, or learned how to better care for your skin, we want to hear from you. Telling others about your experience may positively impact their skin journey and even save a life.

For today’s challenge, please visit our website to share your skin story. 

Day 31: The 2023 Journey To Healthy Skin Challenge Is Complete!

Thank you for participating in our Healthy Skin Challenge. We hope it inspired you to care for your skin. Did you learn anything new this month? What was your favorite challenge? What is one skincare habit you will continue past January? Comment below!

As always, our team of dermatology professionals is here to help you maintain your healthy skin. Schedule your next appointment with us. 

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