If you want to start the New Year on the right foot, start by putting your best face forward. Your skincare routine may have fallen into a rut over the years, but the end of the year marks the perfect time to mix things up. Use this guide to get fresher, brighter, clearer skin in the New Year.
Toss Out Your Old Cosmetics
Before you go out and buy a few new products to spice up your skincare regimen, it’s time to get rid of what’s past its prime. Get a jumpstart on your spring cleaning by starting the new year with a cosmetics cleanse. Cosmetics have expiration dates just like food. Check for a jar symbol on the packaging; the number inside signifies the number of months left until the product should no longer be used (for example, 12M stands for 12 months). You’ll also find this on many skincare products, so check those as well.
Besides expiration dates, however, you’ll also want to consider the latest makeup styles. Trust us – there’s nothing worse than feeling stuck in the past fashion-wise when kicking off a new year. So go ahead and purge those old cosmetics that are no longer on-trend. Think of it like cleaning your closet; if you haven’t used it in three or more months, it’s time to go!
Focus on Skin Health
Beauty starts from the inside out, which is why making sure your skin is healthy to begin with helps secure that lovely glow you’re going for. We’ve all done some things that weren’t so great for our skin before, but with these simple tips, you can get back on track to get that healthy, beautiful glow:
Go Au Naturale
A number of chemicals and ingredients found in skincare products can be irritating or even unhealthy – yuck. Look for organic and natural products with wholesome ingredients to give your skin a healthy boost.
Don’t Forget the SPF
We love the sun as much as anyone, but skin damage is so not worth forgoing the SPF. One easy way to make sure your skin is always protected from the sun’s harsh rays is to incorporate sunscreen products into your current routine. Pick a moisturizer or primer that includes sunscreen and you won’t have to worry about missing this step. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen elsewhere when you’ll be out in the sun. Reapply every two hours, more if you’re swimming or perspiring.
Say "Yes" to Sunless Tanning
Speaking of the sun, keep in mind that long periods of sunbathing and visits to the tanning bed can be dangerous for your skin. For a warm glow without the skin damage, use sunless tanning wipes, creams, or lotions. These products have come a long way in recent years, so there’s less worry about the dreaded Oompa Loompa look.
Keep Your Makeup Brushes Squeaky Clean
Your cosmetic brushes can accrue a bit of bacteria buildup over time. To avoid having your makeup look like a science experiment gone wrong, wash them regularly with warm, soapy water and make sure to air dry them afterwards. To remove stubborn makeup while protecting bristles, try cleansing them with an oil cleanser, which are designed to break up oil and dirt without stripping surfaces. Clean brushes will be safer for your skin and your cosmetics will apply more effectively!
Make H20 Your BFF
Staying hydrated is great for skin moisture and clarity, plus it helps you feel fit and makes you more likely to stay active. You can also incorporate some green tea into your routine since it can help with redness, inflammation, and even wrinkles.
Make Stress Disappear
Acne breakouts and other types of skin irritation are sometimes linked to stress. If you can find reliable ways to deal with stress – like exercise, meditation, or therapy – your skin will be better for it.
Get Some Shuteye
Easier said than done, right? Sufficient sleep is something we all want, but something many of us don’t get. Still, getting a good night’s sleep is important for your overall health, including the health of your skin. It gives your body’s repair mechanisms time to kick into gear while releasing stress and cutting back on breakouts. If you can, try to get into a healthy pattern which includes a relaxing bedtime routine and eight hours of sleep each night.
Learn a New Makeup Trick
Has your makeup routine been the same for years? A great way to refresh your beauty regimen is to try out some new products and application methods. Just like fashion, makeup trends vary over time, so giving new makeup tricks a try is a great way to update your appearance for a chic, modern look. Try these tips to give your makeup routine a makeover:
Give Your Brows Some “WOW”
Bolder brows are a big trend these days. Give yours a boost by using eyebrow pencils, gels, or powders to create carefully sculpted brows. If you’ve struggled with over-tweezing or have trouble growing thicker brows, try applying a lash and brow serum to encourage new hair growth!
Blend It Up! Use a Beauty Blender
These squishy makeup tools are a new alternative to traditional wedge sponges. They leave a softer look and aren’t as absorbent as sponges, so they waste less of your foundation and concealer.
Try contouring and highlighting. It’s like getting a facelift without the surgery. Kim Kardashian may be the “face” of contouring, but plenty of other starlets use this method for a sexy, sculpted look.
Don’t be Afraid to Experiment
Try some bold lip colors. Avoid using lip liner, though – lipstick alone is on trend these days. Lip primers can be used if you’re worried about those pesky smudges.
Give Your Peepers More Pop
Focus your eyeliner application on the outer third of your eyes to help give them a lift. To make the eyes appear brighter and more open, place just a bit of ivory or cream eye shadow or eyeliner at the inner corners of the eyes.
Substitute your powder blush for a cream blush. These formulas often stay in place better and are less likely to settle into fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, they have a smooth, creamy look that helps your skin look hydrated and healthy rather than dry.
Give Your Skincare Regimen a Boost
Some of the latest advances in skincare can only be found in newer products. If you’ve been using the same products for a while, the new year offers a great opportunity to see how these scientific advances can help your skin look its best. Here are a few things to look for to give your routine a makeover with the skincare ingredients of the future:
Retinol: This ingredient, which is considered one of the best anti-aging ingredients available, is a derivative of Vitamin A. In addition to helping reduce wrinkles and fine lines, retinol can also diminish sun spots, brighten the skin, and give sagging skin a lift. Talk about a power ingredient!
Antioxidants: "Antioxidants" is one of the biggest buzz words these days, but what can these things actually do? Quite a bit, in fact. Antioxidants penetrate the skin and get rid of free radicals, the harmful molecules that can damage the elastin and collagen in your skin. In addition to neutralizing these molecules, antioxidants help stimulate collagen, diminish blotchiness, and boost cell repair. This results in firmer, younger-looking skin with fewer wrinkles and spots.
Alpha hydroxy acids: Those looking for anti-aging products will also want to keep an eye out for alpha hydroxy acids on the ingredients list. In addition to smoothing out lines and fading blotches, alpha hydroxy acids can also boost the effectiveness of other anti-aging ingredients. One thing that sets this particular ingredient apart is its ability to create a healthy glow. Products with alpha hydroxy acids often add a natural radiance to skin that is effortlessly dewy and simply irresistible.
Vitamin C: Remember how your mom told you to get more Vitamin C in your diet? Looks like she was onto something. Vitamin C is considered another top option for wrinkle reduction. It naturally boosts dermal collagen production to help smooth out the skin for a firmer look. In addition, it can help diminish skin inflammation and discoloration. Vitamin C even helps boost repair processes and barrier response, so it effectively makes your skin stronger as well.
Vitamin E: Unlike many other ingredients on this list, Vitamin E is almost solely devoted to protection. Think of it like your skin’s security system for keeping the bad guys at bay. It’s one of the best ingredients for protecting cell membranes from oxidative damage. It also helps keep collagen from being destroyed. Often, Vitamin E is even more powerful when combined with Vitamin C. (Note: This ingredient is sometimes included on ingredient lists as alpha tocopherol, tocopheryl acetate, tocopheryl linoleate, tocotrienols, or tocopheryl succinate.)
Green Tea: As mentioned above, green tea isn’t just yummy – it’s also excellent for the skin. It helps reduce cell damage by protecting against the harmful effects of sun exposure. Meanwhile, green tea also increases collagen and reduces inflammation. While drinking it is great, it’s even more potent when included in skincare products.
Coconut Oil: There’s a reason this product keeps showing up on your Pinterest boards. Few things moisturize the skin quite as effectively as coconut oil. The proteins in this ingredient also contribute to tissue repair, cellular health, and faster healing times. Coconut oil is noted for being an especially versatile product that can be applied to the skin and hair or ingested for other health benefits. When using coconut oil on the skin, be sure to look for fractionated coconut oil. Fractionated coconut oil’s fatty acids have been separated, preventing it from becoming solid at room temperature. This means it doesn’t require melting before use and is typically lighter in texture, making it absorb better into the skin. You can also look for skincare products that are infused with coconut oil!
Choose Beauty-Boosting Foods
Who knew beauty could start with what you eat? You might be surprised to find just how much of an impact your food choices can have on your appearance. If you’re looking for a fun and flavorful way to beef up your beauty routine in the new year, take these beauty-boosting foods for a test drive:
Blueberries: Remember those antioxidants we mentioned earlier? Well blueberries are chock full of them. In addition to being a tasty treat, they’re easy to incorporate into your diet. Yogurt? Add blueberries. Cereal? Better with blueberries! Muffins? Don’t bother unless blueberry.
Spinach: More antioxidants can be found in Popeye’s favorite food. However, you’ll get lots of lutein as well, which keeps your eyes healthy and looking sparkling and clear. If you love playing up your eyes with makeup, spinach is a must-have in your diet.
Tomatoes: Those juicy red tomatoes don’t just make dishes taste better. They also help your skin look younger. That’s because they have tons of lycopene, a powerful anti-aging antioxidant. For the most potent lycopene effects, tomatoes should be cooked or processed before eating.
Salmon: Smooth and supple skin is just a few servings of salmon away. Because it’s packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, wild salmon is oh-so-good for your skin. Added bonus: it includes lots of Vitamin D too, which helps keep your bones and teeth strong for a megawatt smile.
Walnuts: Want shampoo commercial-worthy hair? Walnuts may be the key. They help hair look shinier and feel healthier while also smoothing the skin and strengthening your bones. It’s all thanks to nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E, which are plentiful in these tasty nuts.
Dark chocolate: Treat yourself to something sweet when taking care of your skin by eating a bit of dark chocolate. As long as it’s at least 60% cacao, this tasty treat will help to hydrate the skin and protect it from sun damage. Who knew giving your beauty a boost could be this delicious?
Getting brighter, healthier skin in the new year doesn’t have to require prescription products, expensive treatments, or drastic measures. Instead, you can use these simple steps to help your skin look better than ever before. If you’re ready to make some positive changes to your skincare regimen, use these tips to enjoy improved skin and a confidence boost.