It’s that time of the year again. Time for change. But after a few weeks, you will almost definitely get lazy. We’ve all been there… BUT, if you do manage to go the distance, victory will be yours – and so will really good skin.
Resolution 1: I will wash my face before I sleep no matter how tired I am.
This one is a no brainer, but we are all guilty of passing out every now and then without cleaning up. But even one night of sleeping with dirty skin can lead to a week’s hassle (clogged pores, black heads, pimples, dullness, blah blah). It’s just not worth the extra trouble.
For nights when I’m just too knackered to care, I keep face wipes right next to my bed – so that I can clean up right there, in the comfort of my sheets. Remember, this is for ‘emergency situations’ only. It should not be a daily occurrence. Nothing beats actually cleaning your skin with facewash and water. So get your ass off the bed and crawl to your bathroom if you have to.
Tip: Your nighttime routine doesn’t have to be done minutes before you hit the bed. In fact, your pillowcase will benefit more than your skin. You actually need to give your skin time to thoroughly absorb all the products. So do it when you get home from work, or even after dinner. The sooner the better.
Resolution 2: I will not skip moisturizer ever again.
I can’t say this enough – Moisturizer is a necessity. It is to your skin, what water is to your body. If you want good skin, never let it go thirsty.
The most important thing about making a moisturizer work for you, if to choose one that’s perfect for your skin type. If the moisturizer you’re using isn’t making your skin feel and look absolutely wonderful, it’s wrong for you.
How a moisturizer works is actually quite simple.
A humectant, such as glycerin, urea and alpha hydroxy acids, draws water from the lower layers of the skin to plump up the top layer.
An emollient, such as fatty acids and ceramides, softens and soothes.
An occlusive, such as petroleum, silicone, or mineral oil, leaves a film or barrier on the surface of the skin to seal in moisture.
Most moisturizers are a combination of these to best suit your skin type.
Dry skin: Creams are obviously good for people with dry skin.
Normal and Sensitive skin: Lotions and emulsions are lighter, so they are better for people with thinner, sensitive skin.
Combination, Acne-prone and Oily skin: Gels are perfect for combination or oily skin. So you no longer have an excuse to not use a moisturizer. In fact it’s even more important for those with oily skin. Your skin may have too much oil, but not enough water and will end up being oily and dehydrated. Sounds weird but it’s true. In fact, the more you hydrate it, the less oily it will eventually get.
If your skin is prone to acne, pick a moisturizer that says “Non-comedogenic” so that it won’t clog your pores, but it will soothe and calm your skin.
Application Tip: Forget the old “dot and swipe upward” method. Instead try the “warm, pat and press” technique.Take a pea-sized amount and rub your palms together to warm it up. Then pat on the driest part of your skin (cheeks) slowly moving towards the not-so-dry parts (forehead, chin, nose). Patting doesn’t pull at your skin, improves blood circulation and allows the product to penetrate deeper, since you’re pressing it into your skin.
If this crash course in moisturizing won’t convince you to start (and stick to it), I seriously think you should curl up under a rock.
Resolution 3: I will put on sunscreen 365 days of the year – sun, rain or snow.
NO ONE ACTUALLY LIKES USING SUNSCREEN. And that’s because the benefits are not immediate or obvious. It won’t make your skin look instantly plumper or brighter. In fact, it may make it look less appealing. But sunscreen will save your skin in the long run. It prevents aging and spots like nothing else can. So think long-term and put on that sunscreen now.
Sunscreen is for a must for everyone. Whether your skin is oily, acne-prone, sensitive, dry, spotty… you need to find one that suits your skin and apply it generously.
Don’t think you can skip it because you’re indoors, it’s cloudy, raining or snowing. The sun’s rays manage to creep through clouds, rain, snow, windows, windscreens and even clothes. You just can’t see them with your naked eye.
This means that most of the sun damage you get happens when you don’t expect it – when you’re in your home or office near a window, walking to your car, in your car… so cover up 365 days of the year, rain or shine.
Tip: Use a minimum of SPF 30. Not less. And ensure that it has PA+++ (that’s 3 pluses) for adequate protection. Also, carry a mineral powder with SPF in your handbag, as it’s equally important to reapply.
Resolution 4: I will treat my neck and boobs just like I treat my face.
Your neck and décolleté shows aging even before your face does. That’s because the skin on the neck and chest is thinner than on your face, so sun damage is more apparent and harder to repair.
So whatever you do above your chin, should also be done all the way down to your tits – especially the sunscreen and anti-aging cream.
Resolution 5: I will scrub my face (and body) 2-3 times a week.
Come on! That’s not asking for much. Don’t be lazy about this step as it’s the one that’s going to make you glow.
I can’t sing enough praises of exfoliating.
With regular exfoliation (thrice a week), you not only unclog pores, but you also prevent fine lines and even speed up the fading of acne scars, spots and other pigmentation. Also, whatever products you use after exfoliation are absorbed far better by the skin and are therefore a lot more effective.
And your face shouldn’t be the only one to benefit. Exfoliate your entire body – paying extra attention to the drier parts like your elbows, knees, shoulders and feet.
Do this often enough, and your skin will be smoother than a baby’s bottom!
Resolution 6: I will moisturize by whole body immediately after a shower.
Well, moisturizer is not just for your face. It applies to all parts of you.
So every time to step out of a shower, quickly pat yourself with a towel leaving your skin slightly damp and then, immediately slather on the body lotion. This helps lock the moisture into your skin. Keep a bottle in your shower so that as soon as you dry up, you can moisture up.
Just remember to keep changing the lotion when the season changes. A gel lotion is perfect for summer but will leave you high and dry in winter. So make sure you’ve shift to a thicker lotion or body butter then.
Resolution 7: I will treat my hands with a lot of love and care.
Your hands are one of the first parts of your body that shows aging. So if you want to look young, look after your hands.
Start with your hand wash. Make sure it’s not a dehydrating anti bacterial gel. Pick one that cleans but doesn’t strip your skin.
Stuff I love: Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash has finely milled pumice that gives me a thorough clean, while and the aromatic scent makes me feel like I’ve been to a spa. My hands just went to heaven!
Next, immediately layer on a light moisturizer (one that preferably contains SPF) to add a boost of moisture along with sun protection. Most people don’t use sunscreen on their hands. But your hands are as exposed to the sun as your face is, so it needs the same amount of coverage.
And last but not the least, nighttime care! Rub your hands with a rich lotion that contains AHAs. It is too thick for the day, but perfect for the night. If your hands are in need of some major rehab, put on cotton gloves after you apply the cream.
Resolution 8: I will take my daily dose of Vitamin C and Omega 3.
Omega 3 does wonders for your skin and hair. They are found in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc. These good guys help regulate oil production, keep your skin moist, reduce acne, reduce eczema, prevent dryness, delay aging, prevent wrinkles, make hair shine, prevent your scalp from flaking…
Vitamin C can reduce dryness and wrinkles, improves hair growth, fight dandruff, stop hair loss, and lead to thicker hair.
Whew! What are you waiting for? Pop a fish oil and Vit-C capsule already!