Our top 10 skincare resolutions for the new year

With the festive season behind us, the new year is a great time to make some new skincare resolutions for healthier, more radiant skin. Ditching bad skincare habits is one of the ways you can make an immediate difference. Read on to discover 10 of our favourite skincare tips and set your skin up for success this year!

1. Beauty doesn’t have to equal pain!

Contrary to what many beauty magazines and skincare experts say, your skin should not get worse before it gets better. Red, inflamed skin is always a sign of irritation and if this is caused by your exfoliant, retinol or other skincare product, it’s time to adjust your routine. Sometimes switching to a gentler exfoliant is all you need to do, but it’s wise to review each product’s list of ingredients to rule out any skin-irritants, such as alcohol.

Note: Some people suffer from flaky skin after using a retinol product. This is temporary, while your skin gets used to the retinol. If you continue to suffer from flaking and your skin becomes irritated, use the product less frequently or switch to a product with a lower concentration of retinol.

2. Avoid extreme temperatures

When cleansing your face, avoid using scorching hot or ice-cold water as both extremes are very harmful to the skin, causing redness and sometimes prolonging pimples and acne. Lukewarm water works best with all types of cleanser. After cleansing, gently dry your face with a soft towel, without rubbing.

3. Cut down on your bath time

A soak in the bath is a great way to soothe your muscles and mind, but unfortunately it is not so good for your skin. When your skin starts to visibly wrinkle, it indicates damage to your skin barrier. This stops the surface from retaining vital healthy substances such as cholesterol and ceramides – these substances act as the 'cement' which holds the protein portion of your skin together, and help keep it soft and flexible.

4. Quit scrubbing

Using harsh, abrasive scrubs is one of the most common causes of damaged skin, and is a seriously outdated way of exfoliating. AHA and BHA exfoliants are the best way to exfoliate, but if you’re not yet ready to part ways with your scrub avoid using ones that are harsh or badly formulated and always go gentle on your skin.

5. Say no to soap

A bar of soap is bad news for your skin, because of the residue it leaves behind. This residue may initially feel nice, but over time it can cause or worsen dry skin and its alkaline pH level may also irritate it. Instead of bar soap, try using a liquid, gel, lotion or cream-based cleanser.

6. Give harmful products the boot

However much you may like them, moisturisers, serums, sun creams and other products with skin-irritating ingredients (such as alcohol and fragrance) are a no-no. While at first you may enjoy using them, in the long term the disadvantages will outweigh any possible benefits. As you solve one problem (for example, acne-sensitive skin), you end up creating another (for example, dry skin). So it’s best to get rid of products with harmful ingredients.

7. Perfume has no place in skincare

We’ve all said "I adore this moisturiser – it smells amazing!” at some point. But unfortunately what your nose likes and what your skin likes are two completely different things. Strongly fragranced products may smell beautiful, but they do absolutely nothing for the health of your skin.

8. Sometimes less is more

Even the best formulated products can be harmful to the skin when used too much. Always follow the instructions and experiment to find out the best amount for your skin. A tight, taut feeling (especially first thing in the morning), redness, flaky and/or sensitive skin are all signs that your skin may be over-indulging in a certain ingredient.

9. Go easy on the peels

Whether used at home or in a professional setting, facial peels can be a beneficial part of your skincare routine, especially if you suffer from uneven-looking skin. However, if you use an AHA, BHA or other type of peel too often (or choose one that’s too strong), it can be counter-productive. Peels done at home should be used no more than twice a month, while professional peels should only take place once a year. Peels should be used in moderation to avoid irritating skin.

10. SPF is the best way to prevent wrinkles

An SPF might not look as sexy as some other skincare products, but it has anti-ageing benefits unrivalled by any other skincare product. Unprotected exposure to the sun is the main cause of skin ageing, such as wrinkles, sagging or uneven skin. So if you want to keep looking as young as possible, it’s important to protect yourself against the sun 365 days a year. Even on cloudy days.

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