Love the Skin You're In This Valentine's Day
February is a rough time for many of us. Well, it actually starts right after the holidays, doesn’t it? One-half of the picked-over Christmas candy aisle is revamped and condensed to make room for the inevitable sea of red, pink, and purple hearts of all shapes and sizes. And, bam, the season of love is upon us. From heart-shaped Sweetharts to stuffed animals proudly proclaiming that you are loved “beary” much, we are inundated for the next two months with reminders about the importance of love and being loved.
This year, focus on loving your skin
I have a challenge for you this year. Instead of focusing on gifts, cards, and candy or dwelling on a relationship status, how about finding ways to love yourself? Let’s start with healthy skincare habits.
- Buy your first piece of UPF clothing. Try some UPF items on for size and start adding them to your wardrobe this year. February is not too late for a New Year’s resolution! You may find that UPF items are incredibly comfortable and an easy way to stay protected.
- Start a sunscreen routine. Do a little online research and find a sunscreen that fits your lifestyle. Add it to your daily routine to decrease your chance of developing skin cancer. Sunscreens do not have to be heavy, greasy, or smelly to work. There are plenty of mineral sunscreens on the market that are lightweight and go a long way in daily protection.
- Make time to see a dermatologist. Ask your friends and family who they recommend. Make an appointment. Visiting a dermatologist for a skin check is a great way to care for yourself. A dermatologist can explain your skin cancer risks and how to reduce them in addition to showing you which spots and moles, if any, need to be monitored. Becoming self-aware is a huge step in the right direction.
- Give up tanning. If you haven’t already, give up tanning salons and tanning in the sun. The burst of energy you get from tanning is fleeting and only leaves you with sun-damaged skin. There are other, healthier ways to feel good about yourself.
- Look in the mirror and know you are worth the effort. You are perfect the way you are. Loving yourself means taking care of the skin you’re in, and any changes you make are worth the time it takes. Small changes here and there can go a long way in reversing a negative self-image and boosting self-confidence. Who needs chocolate hearts to feel better? (Well, chocolate is great any time, but you get the point.)
All the musical Valentine cards and prepackaged Valentine candy bouquets in the world can’t take the place of loving yourself and respecting yourself enough to truly take care of your body. Your skin is your largest organ and the one you see every day of your life. Learning to love your skin is the best thing you can do this year. If I had it to do over, I would take my own advice and not wait until a friend pointed out a suspicious mole on my arm. Don’t let melanoma teach you to love yourself. Start today.
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