As you start to dream about the vacations you’ll book in 2018 with friends and loved ones, cross your fingers (and toes and arms and legs!) that this will finally be the year you find love and consider where your career is going—add one more New Year’s to-do to your list: take great care of your skin. While most people remember to book their annual physical, their check-in at the gyno and their teeth cleaning, getting a skin screening and taking care of your face and body are often overlooked. Especially for those who have never struggled with acne or other types of ailments like psoriasis or rosacea, seeing a dermatologist might not even occur to you. But if you’re in your 20s and 30s, it’s time to book an appointment stat—if nothing else, make it a resolution.
“In general the end of the year/beginning of the new year is a time to reflect on yourself, your life and the past year and resolve to make positive changes,” explains dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah, M.D. “Just as many people make resolutions to improve their general health (e.g. eat healthier, lose weight, exercise more), the new year is a good time to assess your skin health, set goals for the upcoming year and plan on how you will accomplish those goals.”
Here are some commandments to make for your skin for the next 365 days:
1. Wear sunscreen every day.
Yes, even in the winter. Even when it’s snowing. No matter what, no exceptions. No matter how young or old you are, sunscreen protects against harmful rays that are always present in the atmosphere, regardless of temperature or season.
“If there is a single commandment you pick up in the new year, it should be applying sunscreen daily. Sunscreen is the foundation of any good skin care regimen. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is extremely damaging to the skin and contributes not only to skin aging (wrinkles, skin sagging, brown spots) but also the development of skin cancer,” Shah says. “Sunscreen, which protects the skin against harmful UVR, is crucial to protecting the skin.”