After 2020, we could all use a break!
But good news: the new year means new opportunities to reflect on what we’re thankful for, and it’s a great time to consider the things in our lives we want to improve.
And if this includes your skin, you’re not alone! Whether it was the stress or a sudden change of habits, it’s completely understandable if 2020 wasn’t the best year for your skin.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way, especially now that we’re in the swing of a bright and shiny new year!
Let’s make 2021 your year for clear skin. You can start with a few tips that are easy to try (and stick with) to get your complexion on the right track. Here are six simple resolutions for fresh, clean and clear skin in the new year!
1. Come Clean
Let’s be honest: 2020 gave some habits a good shakedown. For some of us, it looked like less makeup, or none at all--what’s the point when you’re at home all day?
But for some of us still, makeup remained a fixture in our daily lives; maybe even as a source of normalcy. But whatever’s been on your face during the day, make sure it all comes off before bed. Whether it’s a full face of makeup, some skin tint and lip gloss, or even just your daily skincare, it’s still crucial to cleanse your skin at night.
We personally love a double cleanse. This consists of a face oil, cleansing balm, or micellar water to melt away products and excess oil, followed directly with a foaming cleanser. This will leave your skin squeaky-clean and ready for your evening skincare routine.
2. Seriously, You're Not Drinking Enough Water...
We’ve said it before, and we’ll definitely say it again. Keeping hydrated and staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your body. Did you know your skin is the largest organ in the human body? It’s true! When you keep the rest of yourself holistically healthy, your skin will absolutely follow suit. Hydration is one of the key methods of keeping your skin in balance. Whether your breakouts are caused by too much dryness — or too much oiliness — a healthy dose of hydration can work like magic. Keep track of your water intake throughout the day. Don’t forget that fruits and veggies are a healthy source of hydration, too!
3. Don't Skip The Moisturizer
Moisturizing goes hand-in-hand with hydrating. Help lock in that skin-balancing hydration from all that water you’re drinking with the perfect moisturizer for your skin. You can apply a lightweight cream or serum morning and night, depending on how it works for your actual skin type. Plus, it will go a long way in helping your skin look supple, glowing, and of course, nice and clear!
4. Consider Your Caffeine
Whoever renewed their love for coffee this year, raise your hand. During a time in which so little is taken for granted, some of those morning rituals held a lot more weight than before. And if coffee didn’t already have an extra-special place in our hearts before, holy moly.
As much as we love a cup o’joe, though, it’s important to keep in mind how it might be affecting your skin.
While coffee can certainly keep you alert, it can also spike your cortisol, aka, “the stress hormone.” When cortisol levels increase, oil production in your sebaceous glands may heighten as well, which can worsen your chance of breakouts.
Now, we’re not saying that you need to give up your morning cup (we sure couldn’t), but maybe consider the amount you’re consuming. For instance, do you really need that 2 pm latte every Wednesday? And if you’re looking for a lower-caffeine option, there are some great alternatives! For instance, green tea is packed with antioxidants that your skin will thank you for.
5. Quit Picking!
Pick, pick, pick...you find a new blemish on your face and immediately start poking and prodding and trying to pop it. Yeah, we know it can be hard to resist, and seeing those oh-so-satisfying YouTube channels and Instagram accounts filled with pimple-popping videos definitely doesn't help. Instead, commit to leaving those blemishes alone this year. Your skin is designed to heal on its own. Picking can only lead to scabs, scarring and ultimately make matters worse.
6. Radical Defense
On your quest for clear skin, you should definitely start thinking about ways to protect it from the environment--specifically, free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules found in places we encounter every day, including the air we breathe and the foods we eat. And when they come in contact with our bodies, they try to stabilize themselves by linking to the atoms and molecules in our skin. This creates oxidative stress, and it’s what you see when metal rusts, or when an apple or avocado turns brown. Imagine this happening to your skin!
Luckily, we can combat free radicals every day! How? Through antioxidants! Antioxidants are nutrients that cancel out free radicals, and are found in a wide variety of plant-based foods, including kale, blueberries, cacao, wine, green tea and spices.
7. Sun Protection
Some sun exposure is good--it raises endorphins and boosts vitamin D production! But like all good things, you don’t want too much. UV ray exposure is one of the worst factors for your skin, because they can penetrate your skin, damaging elastic fibers and altering DNA, leading to premature wrinkles.
If you don’t have a sound sunscreen routine as part of your regimen, then this is your year to get with the SPF program. Look for sunblock with an SPF rating of at least 35 or higher. Yes, you need to use it every day. Yes, even now, in the middle of January. Yes, your skin will thank you for the lack of sun damage to your newly clear complexion!
Using a primer or moisturizer that offers protection from damaging free radicals can also go a long way in keeping your skin healthy and glowing.
What skincare resolutions are you starting in the new year? Let us know in the comments below!