Skincare New Year's Resolutions
Most New Year’s resolutions include some goal to be healthier. Promises to eat more leafy greens, hit the gym more frequently, and quit smoking once and for all are common items found on nearly everyone’s list. While these goals are great, they tend to be difficult to stick to. More importantly, despite everyone’s attention on vitality in the coming year, one health aspect always seems to get overlooked: skin care. Preserving the health of your skin deserves more attention around New Years and beyond. Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it’s our biggest defense against infection. Proper skin care keeps this barrier healthy and strong, and it also rewards you with a radiant complexion. When contemplating what to aim for in 2018, be sure to make yourself a New Year skin care goal. Even the most disciplined skincare enthusiasts can benefit from setting a skin care resolution – there’s always room for improvement. Here we present our top New Year skin care resolutions for the upcoming year; start small and slowly add these practices into your daily routine, or jump-start your New Year with an entirely brand new regimen altogether.
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Wear Sunscreen Every Day
If you’re going to make a single New Year skin care resolution, this should be it. Dermatologists, estheticians, and skin care experts everywhere are in unanimous agreement when claiming the sun to be the most detrimental threat to the health of our skin. Harmful UVA and UVB rays wreak havoc on our delicate skin. They lead to wrinkles, rough patches, dark spots, fine lines, and premature aging. Worse yet, too much sun exposure can cause the development of cancerous melanoma and carcinoma. If you think you don’t need to wear sunscreen during these colder months, you are sorely mistaken – the sun’s rays penetrate your skin on even the cloudiest of days. In 2018, be sure to never expose yourself to direct sunlight without a quick dab of SPF 30.
Don’t fall within the under-informed group of people who fail to recognize the importance of regular moisturization. Keeping your skin moist and hydrated is imperative for its health. When the moisture is evaporated from the epidermis (the skin’s outermost layer), it becomes dry, dull, cracked, and irritated. The best course of action is to get a moisturizer that contains SPF and apply it every morning after getting out of the shower – you can complete New Year skin care goals in under 30 seconds!
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Properly Apply Your Products
On the note of sunscreen and moisturizer, be sure to properly apply all of your skin care products to get the most out of their intended use. Usually, you’ll only need a peanut-sized dollop of moisturizer for your entire face; if it feels sticky, you’ve applied too much. If you’re using a separate sunscreen, use about a tablespoon for your face and approximately two ounces for the rest of your body. Organic products are best, but if you’re using chemical sunscreen, be sure to apply at least 30 minutes before exposure to allow the product to absorb into the skin.
Tend to Your Hands and Neck
For a New Year skin care resolution that recognizes the passing of time, remember to apply your products to your hands and neck, too. During moisturizer and sunscreen application, most people tend to only focus on the face. However, your hands and neck are usually the first indicators of age, and without proper care, could develop wrinkles prematurely. To preserve your youth – this year and beyond – don’t forget to extend your skin care to all necessary areas.
Clean Your Makeup Brushes
You need to religiously clean your makeup brushes for two reasons. First, dirty brushes will become drier as they come caked with product and facial debris, making them more abrasive and damaging to the skin. Secondly, dirty makeup brushes are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Bacteria can attack your skin in a range of ways, from mild breakouts to potentially life-threatening infections. Avoid the risk altogether by setting a New Year skin care resolution to wash your brushes once a week in 2018.
Clear Out Old Cosmetics
Now that you’ve applied the proper skin care products, and have a set of clean makeup brushes, you’re ready to apply your cosmetics. Before doing so, however, make a clean sweep and clear out all of your old cosmetics at the beginning of the year. Why? Most people are unaware that most makeup has a shelf life and continue to wear makeup that’s way past its expiration date. You wouldn’t eat food that’s gone bad, so why would you apply deteriorated products to your face? Unused, air-tight products should be fine, but toss out any cosmetic that you’ve had for over 12 months – and repeat the same process next year.
Never Wear Your Makeup to Bed
You’ve executed a flawless makeup application – with fresh cosmetics – onto a clean and moisturized face. After going about your busy day and finally making it home, there’s probably a big part of you that wants to collapse. No matter how tired you are, never wear your makeup to bed. Doing so constitutes one of the biggest skin care sins. Your day old makeup – in addition to the naturally-occurring oil, sweat, dirt, grime, and pollution you accumulate throughout the day – is destined to clog your pores and cause breakouts. Doing this repetitively can lead to lasting skin damage by causing the formation of a microcomedone (a clogged hair follicle inside the skin). Furthermore, sleeping in your makeup prevents your skin from being able to breathe and restore itself at night, and not giving your skin a chance to recover can lead to premature aging. Increased exposure to free radicals, from failing to wash your face, can cause the same result through the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Removing your makeup takes about just as much time as putting on your pajamas. Make a skin care resolution that promises to do it every night.
Get Your Beauty Rest
With respect to sleep, be sure to get plenty of it in 2018. During your slumber, your body boosts its blood flow to the skin, allowing it to regenerate and creating that glowing complexion we all love so much. Skimping on sleep will decrease your blood circulation, and can make your skin look ashen or lifeless. Lack of sleep will also decrease your skin’s moisture content, thereby lowering it pH level, which also contributes to a drab, dull appearance. Sleep has a multifarious list of benefits for your health, and getting more of it should definitely be included in your New Year skin care resolution list.
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Leave Your Pimples Alone
If you’re stressed, passing out with your makeup on, and not getting enough rest, chances are you’re experiencing some pretty nasty breakouts. No matter what, do not pick, poke, prod, or pop your pimples! That temporary satisfaction is not at all worth it. Improper extraction can lead to spreading the bacteria-filled pus, which is why you might notice additional forming around the one you just rid yourself of. Popping or squeezing a pimple might push the bacteria and pus deeper into the skin, resulting in further redness and swelling. Additionally, the pressure applied to your skin when you pop a pimple can lead to scabs or – even worse – permanent pits or acne scars. Resist the temptation, and leave your pimples alone for your skin care resolution.
New Year, New Skin
Unlike other lofty aspirations, implementing a New Year’s resolution skin care routine is easy and manageable. It doesn’t require going anywhere and it doesn’t demand any drastic lifestyle changes. Simply set aside a few moments in the morning and night to incorporate your skincare resolutions into your daily regimen. If you follow these few suggestions, you’ll look and feel better. Your complexion will surely thank you, and your renewed confidence will carry you all the way through 2018.