How to Upgrade Your Beauty Routine for the New Year
A new year symbolizes the chance for new memories, goals, and—of course—resolutions that you vow to see through until the following January. These positive lifestyle changes can be anything from hitting the gym more often to cutting back on fried, high-caloric foods. But what about tweaking our skin care routines—for the better? If you’re still making rookie beauty mistakes—think: sleeping with your makeup on (gasp!) or skipping daily sunscreen applications (double gasp!)—it’s time to make some changes. Even though we’re already a few weeks into 2017, it’s never too late to start caring for your body’s largest organ. Ahead, we share eight tips on how to upgrade your current skin care routine so you can look and feel better all year long. Will you pledge to follow them?
1. THROW AWAY EXPIRED PRODUCTS
Are you salvaging every last bit of a moisturizer you splurged on five years ago? You may want to reconsider. The truth is, skin care products typically last between six months to one year. If your products have exceeded their expiration dates, it’s time to toss them. While often expired products can lose their efficacy, on occasion they can cause irritation or breakouts.
2. GET SERIOUS ABOUT ANTI-AGING
Aging is a tough pill to swallow for most. Nobody likes to come to terms with getting older, much less the fact that their skin will one day show the signs of it. Unfortunately, we can’t do much about intrinsic aging, but there are ways we can help ward off the signs—from wrinkles to fine lines—a bit longer. Since a prevention plan is key, your best bet is to kick your anti-aging routine into high gear in your early 20s—pre-wrinkles, pre-fine lines, and pre-sagging. Incorporate antioxidants, like vitamin C, into your routine paired with broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher in the A.M. Together, antioxidants and SPF can help protect the skin from harmful UV rays and skin-damaging free radicals. At night, incorporate a retinol product to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots from both environmental and intrinsic aging. It’s powerful stuff, though, so start with a lower concentration if you’re a newbie.
3. QUIT SABOTAGING YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP
When you sleep, your skin cells work on reparation. If you continually strip that time away, you could be left with tired, dull-looking skin. In other words, leave your all-nighters in 2016 and get snoozing! But before you fall into a deep slumber, make sure you’re not causing more harm than good to your complexion. Always remove your makeup before crawling under the sheets, in addition to washing your pillowcases, sheets, and blankets every other week, pulling your hair out of your face, and applying the proper nighttime skin care products.
4. WASH YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES & SPONGES
Less dirt on your makeup brush means fewer impurities transferred onto your face. But a clearer complexion isn’t the only reason why you should clean your makeup brushes and sponges regularly. Dirty brushes tend to clump product, preventing powders and creams from distributing evenly. Not only can a clean brush create a more precise makeup look, it can also mean softer bristles and longer-lasting makeup.
5. STORE YOUR EYE CREAM IN THE FRIDGE
Hate the look of dark circles and puffy under-eye bags? Store your eye cream or eye mask in the fridge for a quick and easy way to de-puff, smooth and soothe your delicate eye area in the morning. The coolness can help vasoconstrict the area so it looks less droopy, dull, and tired.
6. ACTUALLY READ PRODUCT LABELS
Product labels are there for a reason, people! Don’t ignore them. The instructions on product labels can help shield your skin from potential harm by highlighting usage, ingredients, risks, and skin candidacy. Applying a product correctly is important so you can reap its benefits. So, really, why wouldn’t you glance at the label first?
7. ELIMINATE PHONE-RELATED BREAKOUTS
It seems that with every passing year, we all collectively become more and more attached to our cellphones. And while it may seem harmless, those screens are likely covered in dirt and bacteria at any given moment. Taking your dirty phone and placing it up against your cheek to chat with your friends and family can spell disaster for your skin. Worst of all, most people don’t realize they’re committing a big skin care transgression. To keep phone-related breakouts at bay, cleanse your screen with a sanitizing wipe before taking a call.
8. STOP “FORGETTING” TO APPLY SPF
C’mon guys. It’s 2017. There’s absolutely no reason why broad-spectrum SPF isn’t front-and-center in your daily skin routine. If you don’t trust yourself to remember to slather sunscreen on before heading outdoors, look for skin care products that have SPF already built in. Many moisturizers, foundations, and BB creams are formulated with broad-spectrum SPF to help protect skin from UV rays, skin cancer, and premature signs of aging. Just don’t forget to reapply at least every two hours.