2) Never Sleep in Your Makeup: This is bad for your skin for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that you are impeding your bodies ability to naturally and effectively turnover dead skin cells at night when you have skin covered in makeup and all of the grime and pollution that you were exposed to during the day. Additionally, sleeping in eye makeup can actually encourage infections like pink eye, it encourages swelling, and small particles of makeup can actually scratch the eye and cause more serious infections. Invest in some good makeup wipes to remove your makeup before you go to sleep when you are too tired to do a proper job of washing your face. I always have several varieties on hand for just that reason.
3) Use a Rich Hand Cream Everyday: During the colder months of the year, and especially during the cold and flu season, I wash my hands an astonishing number of times. Being a college professor, during midterms and finals especially, is a super germy enterprise. Students come to class and office hours sick– to the extent that I often have to tell them to go to student health immediately because they need to be seen. I also am handed piles of germ saturated term papers after watching them get sneezed on. You get the picture, working at a university is like working in a petri dish. So I wash my hands all of the time which leaves them very dry. I not only carry around rich hand cream everywhere that I go, but I also leave a few tubes on my nightstand and use them on my feet and hands before I go to sleep every night.
4) Just Because it's Trending Doesn't Mean it's Good (or that you should do it): Let's face it, trends come and go. Some are good, while others are regrettable and in hindsight end up downright embarrassing, and many are little more than marketing schemes to sell you stuff the you don't need in the first place. Just because it's the Pantone Color of the year doesn't mean that you have to paint your house that color, or wear it from head to toe. If you like a trend, and it works for you, then that's great, but exercise your free will not to jump on every bandwagon just because people claim that it's what's hot now. Take for instance the whole concept of contouring, when done well, and with some subtlety, it can really enhance facial features, but when done with a heavy hand it looks utterly ridiculous.
5) You Don't Need to Buy Everything that Your Favorite Bloggers Use, Review or Feature: You have to remember that beauty bloggers are not normal consumers. Sure, we still buy plenty of products and receive press samples, but testing lots and lots of products is very different than using your daily Holy Grail products. Part of what we do, is test things so that you can gather enough information about how a product performs to either consider getting it, or to rule it out. Furthermore, quality skincare and makeup products are expensive– so why waste your money buying things that you know you won't use.
6) Consider Adding a Beauty Oil into Your Skincare Routine: You already know that I am a huge proponent of high quality beauty oils, and I have used them for many many years. However, in the last few years they have gained considerable traction in the marketplace, and as a result the market has been flooded with so many different varieties. If you have always been afraid to try one, or if you have oily skin and think it's counterintuitive to add oil to oily skin, then it's time to have a closer look at this phenomenon that has taken the beauty world by storm. First, there are different types of oils that address the needs of every imaginable skin type– including acne prone skin. Second, high quality oils deliver hydration deeper and faster than heavier creams, and can be exceedingly nourishing. There are wonderful beauty oils that range from the most affordable and easy to come by, to the ultra luxurious varieties with steep price tags. It's worth taking a deeper look, and if you don't know where to start, have a look at my Luxury Oils tab at the top of this website.
7) Change Your Skincare Products Seasonally: Take a more pragmatic approach to your skincare routine. Evaluate the needs of your skin, and then select which products to use on any given day to tailor your routine. Just because your moisturizer works well for you the summer doesn't mean that it will in the winter. If you are prone to dehydration, then use a heavier lotion or cream, or add in a hydrating serum. The important thing is that you actually take a good look at your skin, determine any deficiencies or needs, and then add in or eliminate products accordingly.
8) Treat Your Hands, Neck and Décolleté as You Would Your Face: These three areas have a tendency to age faster, and show the ravages of time because of their inherent exposure to the elements coupled with the neglect that they receive. Why is it that they are so often an afterthought in our beauty routines?! The best thing that any of us can do early on is to nourish and protect these vulnerable areas. Pamper them with nourishing and hydrating serums and creams, and then slather them with sunscreen. Be sure to remember to reapply your sunscreen as you would to your face. Your skin will thank you, and so will your 70 year old self with skin like a 40 year old!
9) Add Hyaluronic Acid into Your Beauty Routine: If you find that your skin is prone to dehydration, then adding topical Hyaluronic Acid into your beauty routine is a great solution for thirsty skin. It is an astonishingly effective humectant that attracts and retains water molecules from the environment and it rehydrates the surface of the skin swiftly. If you are a beauty blogger who repeatedly swatches on your arm, then be sure to add some hyaluronic acid underneath your moisturizer before you start your swatch-fest, your skin will thank you. Many products on the market contain Hyaluronic Acid, but you can also buy it separately.You only need to use a small amount, and the results are immediate.
10) Exfoliate!: Exfoliating is a wonderful way to remove dead skin cells from head to toe, and this allows your skincare products to work more effectively by allowing them to absorb more efficiently. Sometimes there is a tendency to over-exfoliate (by applying too much pressure), or to do it too often– refrain from doing either because you can actually break the skin, break capillaries or cause irritation. Take a less is more approach and select a gentle exfoliator that does a great job without traumatizing the skin.
11) Drink Plenty of Water: We all know that staying hydrated is very important, and drinking plenty of water is the best way to achieve this. Carrying a water bottle around with you is a great way to keep your body hydrated, and it also helps to flush out toxins, and this often translates to a much brighter complexion.
12) Add Some Natural Products into Your Beauty Routine: We live in a chemical-laden world, and unless you vow to live the life of a penitent monk living in a cave in the mountains, then you will likely be exposed to plenty of harmful chemicals in your lifetime. Try to rotate a few healthy lipsticks, lip glosses, skincare etc. items into your beauty routine to give yourself a break from all of the chemicals in the mainstream beauty products that we use.
13) Pamper Your Tresses: If you chemically treat your hair, use heated styling tools or otherwise abuse your hair as most of us do– then give it a break. Whenever possible, forgo your heated styling tools (even if only for a couple of days). Avoid washing your hair every single day, and periodically stop using your styling products. Once in a while use a clarifying shampoo to remove all product buildup, and then use a nourishing and hydrating mask to deep condition your hair. Using a suitable oils for hair and scalp is also a great way to nourish and hydrate those tresses.
14) Get Plenty of Sleep: We all know that getting good sleep is vital to good health, and that sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on the body. So much happens in the body while we sleep, and often times things like puffy eyes, dark circles, a sallow complexion, fine lines and dull skin are a result of sleep deprivation. Rather than buying piles of products to treat each of these concerns, consider getting more sleep and let your body heal itself. Think about addressing the cause rather than treating the symptoms.
15) Purge, Purge, Purge: No better time than the beginning of the new year to toss out old expired makeup and skincare products. Old and expired products are germ-havens that can cause a whole host of infections– so don't risk it. Many skincare products lose efficacy when used beyond their expiration date, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are contaminated and need to be tossed. Make sure to smell them, and if they seem in the least bit rancid then toss them. Old mascaras and lip glosses definitely harbor germs that you don't want to ingest or absorb into the skin, therefore when in doubt, toss it.
16) Clean Your Makeup Brushes and Beauty Sponges Regularly: Using your beauty blender sponges and makeup brushes on a daily basis means that they obviously become dirty, but they also can harbor all sorts of bacteria that can cause breakouts and infections. Get in the habit of thoroughly cleaning them frequently to avoid contaminating the makeup that they touch, and your skin.
17) Stop Picking Pimples!: It's not just that you can damage the skin and cause scarring, but also because you transfer the germs from your fingers and nails right into your skin which can really exacerbate the situation. Use a spot treatment product to rid yourself of the breakout rather than turning a mole hill into a mountain.
18) Sanitize Your Cell Phone: Think about how often you use your cell phone, and how many times it is placed on surfaces in public places. If you actually knew how dirty cell phones are, they are bacteria magnets that are probably dirtier than a toilet seat at a gas station, then you might think twice about putting yours against your face. If you notice that you are having breakouts on your cheek, there is a good chance that your cell phone is the culprit. Clean your cell phone regularly!
19) Wear Sunglasses!: If you think for a second that repeatedly squinting in the bright light isn't a breeding-ground for crow's feet, then think again! Bigger glasses that cover more surface area will definitely help to stave-off unwanted premature fine lines and wrinkles.
20) Consider Adding Retinol into Your Beauty Routine: Retinol, which is a Vitamin A derivative, is a highly effective ingredient that lightens hyperpigmentation, softens fine lines, increases skin turn-over, fights dull skin, and boosts collagen production. Just be sure to start out with a very mild (low percentage) retinol and patch test it first. Since retinol causes photosensitivity, it is a product best used at night. For this reason you need to make sure to be diligent about using your sunscreen to keep your skin protected (and to avoid hyper and/or hypo-pigmentation).
What are your Beauty Resolutions? Do tell!
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