By Kelsey Cardace
Winter is coming, and so is National Healthy Skin Month.
The American Academy of Dermatology designated November as National Healthy Skin Month as a way to prepare people for the season when cold winds outside and dry heat inside irritate the skin.
As the body’s largest organ, healthy skin is essential, especially to college students who value appearance. However, breakouts and blemishes are often inevitable when 85 percent of people get acne at some point in their life, according to the AAD.
Diet is one of the most influential factors affecting the skin.
“Our full skin turns over every 40 days so the foods we eat are important because the skin is constantly rebuilding itself,” Jane Jakubczak, coordinator of nutrition services at the University Health Center, said.
Students notice that acne get worse when they eat greasy, fried foods, Jakubczak said. She also recommended avoiding foods high in refined sugar, which can cause inflammation in the body and the skin.
“Choose healthy fats because they help the skin stay strong,” Jakubczak said.
Avocados, olive oil, and nuts all provide the healthy fats necessary for better skin.
Eating healthy is not always something college students do, so many turn to other alternatives to try and keep their skin healthy.
“I try to eat healthy, but I mostly just use moisturizer every night because otherwise I get dry skin,” Hannah Johnson, a sophomore hearing and speech major, said.
An issue that college students face is not being able to afford skin-care products, which are usually costly. Some students look to do-it-yourself alternatives that contain natural, everyday ingredients.
To “rejuvenate” her skin, Ronit Zelivinski, a sophomore community health major, has made a facemask by mixing one tablespoon of honey with the juice of half a lemon.
Honey is a commonly used natural moisturizer because its composition attracts moisture and keeps it locked inside. It can also prevent oily skin by retaining moisture without drying, according to Livestrong.com.
Pumpkin spice can be added to more than just your latte this fall to dose up some healthy skin. Women’s Health suggested a mask that combines one tablespoon of honey with one-quarter cup of canned pumpkin that will soothe redness and hydrate irritated skin.
National Healthy Skin Month also focuses on keeping the skin protected from ultraviolet radiation. You may be tempted to hit the tanning salon as winter approaches and you lose your summer glow, but know there is a risk of skin cancer.
Studies showed a 59 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in people who have used indoor tanning beds, and the risk increases with every use, according to the AAD. The torso is the most common location for people who use tanning beds to get melanoma, so keep your eyes open for moles and other skin abnormalities.