2021 is here, and that can mean only one thing – it’s time to start those New Year’s resolutions. But instead of swearing off chocolate, why not try a different kind of goal this year? One that isn’t about banishing what you love from your life, and instead about taking care of yourself a little more. What better place to start than with some New Year skincare resolutions.
Having clear, blemish-free skin is something that we would all love. It’s undeniable. Yet often it can feel like “the chosen ones” have all the luck of great genetics, while the rest of us struggle to find products that suit our skin. But there is help at hand. Just by taking up a few good skincare habits, we can gradually wave goodbye to our skincare woes.
Out with the old
The simple and fastest way to improve your skincare is to give your bathroom cabinet an update. It's important to clarify first and foremost that we’re not suggesting you throw everything away indiscriminately so that you're starting out with a clean slate. Yes, this may make you feel like you're starting completely fresh. But it's also going to create a lot of waste – which is exactly what we want to avoid. There's no point creating waste in order to minimise waste.
That said, there may be some items which will not survive your cabinet cleanse. For example, any skin care products that are so old you can’t remember buying them, you might want to consider recycling. Beauty products, unfortunately, don’t last forever. Most should have a printed expiration date or a ‘Period After Opening’ (PAO) date on them, which might be something like ‘24M’, meaning 24 months. If you can’t find the expiration date, as a general rule, if it’s changed colour, changed smell, or indeed changed the texture (gone a little furry?) – it’s time for it to go!
In the spirit of overhauling your skincare, have a look at the products still in date – they could contain ingredients that you might want to avoid. Products that contain ingredients such as parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and retinol should be removed from your bathroom never to be seen again.
Go green with your skincare
With all the old and furry products removed (and recycled where possible) from your possession, you’ll need to do a bit of a restock. To guarantee that you won’t be filling up your beauty bag with more products that use chemicals and plastic, why not make the switch to natural, organic beauty instead?
With more people than ever making small changes to live more sustainably, the interest in organic, vegan skincare is growing. And with good reason. Green beauty is not only good for the planet, but it is also good for our skin. Made from natural ingredients, you can rest assured that you will be treating your skin to only the good stuff, with no hidden nasties in sight. And remember, you don’t have to be a vegan to opt for vegan skincare. Sometimes it’s just nice to know that you aren’t rubbing beetle juice or fish scales on your face!
Apply your skincare products correctly
There is a knack to applying skincare. More people than you think actually apply their skincare wrong. A lot of us are guilty of dabbing the products onto our skin, or quickly rubbing them across our face. Our complexions deserve more love than that.
Instead of dabbing, every time you apply a product to your face – whether it’s a face scrub, cleansing balm, moisturiser, or a serum – gently massage it into your skin in an upward circular motion. Think of it as a little facial massage to yourself. Not only will this technique help boost your circulation and the absorption of the product, but it can also act as a relaxing mini facial to start and end the day.
Don't forget to exfoliate
Exfoliation is a process that occurs naturally when the dead epidermis cells (your skin cells) shed to be replaced with the newer cells underneath. Although this process happens naturally, as we age this process becomes less effective, leaving an excess of dead skin cells. Exfoliating products help this natural process, preventing a build-up of dead skin cells and revealing a brighter, more youthful complexion beneath.
But some shop-bought exfoliators can be irritating to our skin and contain ingredients like microbeads. Microbeads are now banned in the UK (hands in the air emoji!) but not globally – so stay vigilant! Instead, opt for natural, gentle exfoliators that will exfoliate your skin without being too harsh.
Natural exfoliators also vary a lot in texture, so have fun experimenting. Exfoliants like coffee and milled oats are on the softer side, whilst sugar and rice are on the grittier side. Find out what works for you – and get messy!
Understand your skincare products
To make sure you are cultivating healthy skincare habits, it’s vital that you understand what each of your beauty products does. This may sound like common sense, but there are a lot of beauty myths and misconceptions out there. For example, it’s a common misconception that moisturisers moisturise. In fact, moisturisers work by helping to hold in your skin’s moisture, instead of replacing any lost hydration. They work as a barrier, holding the moisture in while protecting our skin from the elements, pollution and the sun’s rays.
This is why you should add a face serum to your skincare routine as part of your New Year skincare resolutions. Serums, particularly those created from natural oils like rosehip oil, hydrate your skin and replenish lost moisture, helping your skin stay soft and supple. Our coffee oil face serum should be applied after moisturiser. As it is 100% oil based, it works through occlusion by locking in the hydration provided by your moisturiser.
Understanding the exact function of all your skincare products will also help you maintain a simple skincare routine. There’s no need to overload your skin with various different products which all serve a similar function. Strip back your routine, keep it simple, and keep it natural.
Here’s one of the most well-known healthy skin care habits –– drink more water. As much as we love coffee, even we’ve got to admit that water is the way forward for flawless skin. You should be drinking at least two litres of water a day to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. If you are not a fan of drinking plain water, why not try coconut water, fruit-infused water or herbal teas. More flavour, more hydration.
Fuel your skin from the inside-out
It’s an old saying but it still stands true – you are what you eat. As your biggest organ, in many ways, your skin acts like a massive mirror reflecting the state of your health. By staying active and eating a balanced, healthy diet, you will help your body look and feel its best. This will give your skin the best chance to show off how amazing you are to the world by feeding it lots of nutrients and keeping your body working at its optimum level.
Put aside more time for self care
2020 has been a stressful year to say the least. But it has made us realise the importance of taking care of our wellbeing and mental health. Make 2021 the year that you prioritise self care. Have a read of our stress management tips for some simple steps towards improving your wellbeing. Most importantly, never feel guilty about spending time on self care habits. A healthier mind means a healthier body, and this includes your skin.
Looking to improve your skin routine? Here at UpCircle, we are passionate about creating luxurious skin care products that do good while making you feel good. Made from repurposed natural ingredients, they are UK made, vegan and they do what they say on the bottle. No nonsense, no hidden chemicals, just pure goodness.