1. Wear Sunscreen, Even in the Winter: I know you have all heard me preach about sunscreen a million times, but I cannot stress enough the importance of putting that sunscreen on every single morning to prevent damage and skin cancer—even in the winter months! The cold can be deceiving, but the sun can be equally as strong or even stronger in the winter, so it’s important not to forget that sunscreen.
2. Eat More Veggies: The holidays are finally over and we’ve all been eating heavy foods like casseroles, cakes and cookies for the last few months. This gives us a great excuse to switch to veggies. I always tell my patients to “eat the rainbow.” For example, orange and yellow veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, squash and bell peppers contain lots of beta-carotene, a tough free-radical fighter, as well as Vitamin C, which promotes and protects collagen. Red veggies like tomatoes, watermelon and papaya all contain lycopene, which is a star antioxidant. In fact, studies have shown it may actually offer protection from the damaging rays of the sun!
3. Quit Smoking: There’s no better time than the new year to quit smoking. When you quit smoking, you’ll begin to have an increased level of oxygen. Over time, your skin will be less dry and you won’t wrinkle at the same rate you were before! Many of my patients use hypnosis or acupuncture as drug-free ways to quit. Also, prescription products like Chantix are great options.
4. Get More Sleep: This year, we all need to give ourselves the goal of getting 30 minutes more sleep per night, and trust me, if I can do it, you can do it. Getting more sleep will help decrease stress levels, diminish dark circles, give your skin a better glow and increase your focus in work and at home and make your weight more stable. Not many people realize that lack of sleep can actually disrupt your weight and even make you gain weight!
5. Drink: And no, I don’t mean alcohol. I mean, drink more water and less coffee and alcohol, as they dehydrate the skin. I always recommend drinking eight, eight oz. glasses of water if you weigh around 120 pounds. Not only will it keep you hydrated, but your kidneys will work better and your body will function more efficiently without all of that sugar and caffeine.
6. Take Your Makeup Off: This is something that I consistently stress, especially to my younger patients. I understand it can be tough to remember to take off all of your makeup when you get home from a late night and just want to crawl into bed. However, keeping your makeup on at night causes clogged pores, which can lead to acne breakouts. Also, the makeup ends up on your pillow, which can also cause later breakouts and irritation. These days, there really should be no excuse because there are plenty of great products out there to help remove your makeup at night including Biore Makeup Removing Towelettes and Neutrogena Extra Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads.
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7. Make Work Brighter: Start the new year off right by making your workdays brighter. Do something nice for a colleague, bake some cookies for the office or simply change your outlook on a challenging project by taking it in small steps at a time! This will make not only you feel better, but your work environment better for you!
8. Get in Gear: There’s no better time than now to switch up your workout regimen and try something new from the increasingly popular Zumba classes to yoga to Pilates. Also, make sure you mix things up by using weights and do more aerobics and cardio to get your heart rate up! Additionally, work on improving muscle tone. There will be fewer problems with osteoporosis and better balance for you later in life if you do!
9. Try a New Look: A new haircut and a new, trendy outfit can go a long way in changing your outlook. Try one of the latest fashion trends for winter like an infinity scarf!
10. Smile More: It’s extremely important to floss your teeth daily, get regular cleanings, address any dental issues immediately and only whiten once a year. Any more than that can cause irreversible damage.
11. Lose Those Pesky “11s:” Skip the stressed look this year by seeing your dermatologist for treatment with Botox Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA) which can help get rid of those pesky “11” lines between your brows and rejuvenate your look. It's a surprisingly easy way to transform your entire face.
12. Do Not Rub Your Eyes: Rubbing your eyes creates dark circles and makes you look tired and old. If you have allergies use OTC antihistamines and ice packs to cool irritation.
13. Skip the Tanning Bed: No tanning bed ever again, no matter what the occasion. A base tan gives you only an SPF of 3. This will not protect you from getting burned and it increases your chances of getting skin cancer in the future. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, tanning beds have 12 to 15 times more ultra violet radiation than the actual sun.
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