While many of us will be dressing up and heading out to ring in the new year at a party or other festive event, others prefer a cozy night in with close family and friends to count down to midnight.
But no matter your style in welcoming a new year, why not take some time out on the 1st of January to give your skin the treatment it deserves?
The holidays can be a stressful time for most, what with gift shopping, baking, and endless social events on the calendar. You’ve more than likely spent more than one late night wrapping presents or enjoying the company of dear old friends and distant relatives.
And for many parts of the world, this is the time of year for harsh winds and bitter cold. The truth is that your skin takes the brunt of this winter weather, often becoming dry and cracked from all the exposure.
And that’s to say nothing of the extra sweet treats and other goodies we tend to indulge in for the holiday season.
All these add up to skin that is probably not looking—or feeling—its best.
So as you’re making your annual resolutions in the coming days, be sure to include something special just for your skin. Here are a few ideas to begin 2019 refreshed and pampered.
Plan the Ultimate Self-Care Day
Say goodbye to dried out winter skin, and start off the new year rejuvenated and relaxed. Nothing’s better than lighting some candles, putting on your favorite playlist, and pampering yourself to the max.
Start with a warm shower and an exfoliating body scrub to remove dead skin cells and polish your skin to a healthy glow. Afterward, pat skin dry with a fluffy towel and slather on a rich body creme or oil while skin is still damp.
Slip into a comfy robe and slippers, and give yourself a face massage. Gently cleanse your face and then apply a nourishing sheet mask to soften and brighten your skin.
While your skin is soaking in the benefits of the mask, give some attention to your nails. Brush and trim them, and use a good cuticle oil to soften and hydrate your nail bed and fingertips. If the skin of your hands is especially sensitive to the harsh cold of winter, layer on some lotion and put on a pair of cotton gloves to lock in the moisture.
Remove the face mask and gently massage in any serum left on the skin. To help you relax further, make a cup of chamomile or other calming herbal tea and head to your favorite seat in the house.
Put your feet up to watch an episode (or two) of your favorite show, or dive into a new book. As you bask in your fresh and dewy skin, consider making this special self-care evening a recurring date on your calendar, for a year of pampering.
Make Exercise A Priority
While many of us will hit the gym come January with a goal to lose weight or get fit, the benefits of making exercise a priority include gorgeous and healthy skin.
Regular workouts should be a part of your beauty regimen. A good heart-pumping and sweat-inducing work-out is better than the most expensive skincare products for smooth and durable skin. The increased blood flow from exercise brings oxygen and nutrients to skin cells. And this improved circulation also produces an instant glow.
Another skin benefit to exercise is a reduction in stress. You may not realize it, but your skin suffers when you are under too much stress. It can cause acne or other chronic skin conditions to flare up, and the increase in stress hormones can affect oil production in your pores. All these things add up to make exercise the best-kept beauty secret.
Just be sure that if your workouts take you outside for longer than a few minutes, that you protect your skin from sun exposure. Use a good sunscreen and protective clothing, and try to avoid the hours when the sun’s rays are most direct.
Try A New Antioxidant-Rich Serum
One of the best things you can do for your complexion, no matter your age or current level of commitment to skincare, is to find a serum with potent antioxidants to protect your skin. While there are many options to choose from, you’ll want to find one that matches your current skin condition and skin type.
Oily types need a lightweight gel or water-based formula. Drier types will need something more moisturizing. For maximum effect, make sure to use it every night under your moisturizer and under sunscreen for daytime.
Transform Your Bathroom into An Oasis
The bathroom may be the most overlooked part of any home, but where else do you spend more time caring for yourself and your skin?
Doing a little makeover to your bathroom or wherever you practice your skincare can help make the daily wash-tone-moisturize routine less of a chore. It may even inspire you to take a few extra minutes to give your face a massage or put on a face mask.
Try to clear your counter or vanity table and neatly lay out the products you use daily. Put a favorite piece of art on the wall. Or, find a quote that inspires you to frame and put above your mirror so that you see it all the time. Get your favorite scent in a reed diffuser or gather a few candles you can light when you indulge in a bath.
Just a few simple changes can make a difference in your bathroom’s atmosphere, inviting you to take joy in the simple act of washing your face or putting on your makeup.
Enjoy a Spa Facial
If you’ve never experienced a professional facial, what better time than the beginning of a new year to make this indulgence a priority. Or if you’re already a devoted facial fanatic, why not try something new to kick off the year?
- Microdermabrasion: This is an exfoliating facial that can reveal smooth and fresh skin, giving you a brighter complexion.
- Lymphatic Massage Facial: If relaxation is your aim, this is the type of facial for you. This type of facial also reduces swelling and increases circulation.
Revamp Your Skincare Routine
New year, new opportunity to take your skin to the next level! Upgrade your current products or add something new.
Start with your daily face wash—consider trying a cleansing oil or micellar water and perform a double cleanse. And if you’re not already using a special night cream or serum, look for one that fights wrinkles and signs of aging while you sleep.
If you don’t have at least a semi-weekly skin mask habit, look for a few sheet masks to try out. Make it an appointment on your calendar to take a little extra care on your nightly skincare at least once a week.
Take a Skin-Nourishing Bath
If it’s been a while since your last bath, make the new year the perfect excuse to draw yourself a long luxurious soak.
Skip the boring bubble bath and instead add some skin nourishing ingredients to your bath water. Try adding oatmeal to soften skin that is easily stripped of oils by dry winter air.
Epsom salts are another tried and true mix-in for a soothing bath. The magnesium in Epsom salts is absorbed into the skin and eases a stressed and tired body.
Essential oils are a favorite for making your bath an aromatic experience for your senses, but they can sometimes irritate the skin. Instead, try adding a couple tablespoons of natural coconut oil. The smell is amazing—you’ll feel transported to a tropical beach—and it’s wonderfully moisturizing.
If you don’t have any of these on hand but are aching for a good bath, just add a few drops of your favorite body oil. You’ll emerge feeling like a brand new you.
Try a Skin and Nail Supplement
Inside-out skincare is becoming a more common approach to developing and maintaining a beautiful and healthy complexion. A diet with more fiber, fruits, and vegetables may already be on your list of resolutions, but consider adding a supplement to give your skin a boost.
Many supplements are designed to maximize nail and hair growth and fortify skin against the effects of environmental damage. Look for one that includes a few key vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin C can help heal any damage at the surface of the skin and assists in bringing down inflammation.
- Zinc acts as an antioxidant and prevents infection.
- Omega fatty acids have many benefits for body, skin, and hair. Specifically, omega 3 fatty acids can quell skin inflammation.
- Collagen is important for maintaining the structure and elasticity of your skin. As we age our body doesn’t make as much collagen on its own, causing wrinkles and fine lines. A supplement containing collagen can help combat this depletion.
As always, when adding a new supplement to your routine, talk with your doctor about your needs and what doses are appropriate for you.
Commit to Consistent Exfoliation
Proper exfoliation is commonly overlooked in many skincare routines, so try to make this a more central focus for the upcoming year. The method of exfoliation you choose can fall into two different categories: physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation.
Physical exfoliation involves physically rubbing off dead skin cells using something slightly abrasive. This could be a cleansing scrub containing micro-beads or sugar, a washcloth, or a cleansing brush.
You should know, though, that this type of exfoliation can be too harsh for many people with certain conditions or sensitive skin. Even normal skin types could leave their skin a bit red if physical exfoliation is overdone.
Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, is done by using a topical acid to break down the substance that holds dead skin cells to the surface of your skin. And to many people’s surprise, these acids are much gentler to your skin than they sound.
In fact, they can aid in improving your skin’s moisture levels and reduce any redness you may have when used correctly. The key is to not overuse exfoliation, whichever method you choose.
It is commonly recommended to exfoliate about twice a week, but this can vary depending on your skin type. It’s important to use methods and products that are best suited to your particular skin and any conditions you have.
If you’re not sure if mechanical or chemical is right for you, give each a try — just not on the same day! And when in doubt, ask a dermatologist.
Make a Resolution to Care for Your Skin Each Day
It may seem simple, but if you make it a point to take time for your skin, the results may surprise you. Not only will your skin look and feel great, but carefully cleansing, moisturizing, and just being gentle with yourself in every way can do wonders to put you in a great mood.
Try to be mindful of how you treat your skin. Make it one of your resolutions to give a little extra attention to this amazing organ that does so much to protect your body. Your skin deserves a spot on your to-do list each and every day of the year.
Whether you bring in 2019 out with the crowds or tucked at home in your fuzzy slippers and a face mask in front of the fireplace, make sure you show your skin a little TLC and start the new year right. Be sure to make this one your best and most beautiful year yet.