Five Resolutions to Make for Your Skin in 2017

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AUTHORED BY: Jenny Leazer, Licensed Esthetician from I Hearts Skin Denver

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A new year is upon us! Is your skin ready for all that 2017 has in store? If not, here are a few easy resolutions you can make today, to get your best skin ever.

1. Start a Routine

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If you currently lack structure in any part of your skin care regimen, now is a great time to start a new habit. Whether that’s trying a routine for the first time, re-committing to your existing one, or adding something additional, this is the perfect time to do it. January is when your skin is the most susceptible to environmental damage and leftover holiday stress. If you start to take care of your skin now, you'll be better able to treat and prevent these issues.

Having a regular regimen is crucial to really seeing results with your products. The only way to truly know what a product is (or isn’t) doing for you, is to use it regularly. If you invest in a product, you should be reaping the benefits, but it’s on you to use the product as intended. You should always follow the guidelines as directed on the package or by a licensed skin care professional. Many people make the mistake of not sticking with a product because they think it isn’t doing anything, but often it is more likely that it’s being used too frequently or infrequently.

If consistency is your issue, try making a note or alarm in your phone to remind you. I like to keep my skin care products at eye-level in my bathroom cabinet, so it triggers my memory as soon as I see them. Now is the time to find a trick that works for you. Consider rewarding yourself once you successfully complete a certain number of days in a row performing your routine.

If you don’t have a routine at all, I recommend starting small. The ideal basics would be cleanser, toner, moisturizer and SPF. You can always start with one product and build from there once you’re in the habit. If you do start with just one, I would make it the SPF- which brings me to our next resolution.

2. Wear Your SPF Daily and Reapply It

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Everyone should be in the habit of wearing SPF daily, because without it, much of your other skin care is useless. Particularly if you invest in corrective professional treatments such as chemical peels or other exfoliation. You don’t want to undo all the good you’ve just done and let your skin get damaged all over again. UV damage from the sun causes all manner of skin conditions from premature aging to hyper pigmentation and even skin cancer.

Many people neglect sunscreen because they don’t like the way it feels or are concerned with it clogging their pores. It’s important to know that there are many options on the market these days, to choose from. SPF now comes in  so many forms; all of which feel and wear differently.  It’s worthwhile to do a little experimenting and find one you truly love. That way you’ll be more likely to wear it daily. As for the myth of sunscreen clogging pores, that may have been true in the past, but now many sun blocks are formulated specifically for the face. Look for SPF that’s labeled “non-comedogenic” and you should be good to go.

If the idea of putting sunscreen on daily, feels like an arduous extra step, consider this skin care hack: mix your moisturizer and your SPF together in your palm and apply simultaneously. This saves you time and your skin will hardly be able to feel the difference of having the extra product. You can apply generously to your face, ears, neck and even your hands. Then just be sure to cover the rest of your body with protectant clothing or an allover sunscreen.

3. Clean Up Your Act

The beginning of the year is a good time for doing away with what no longer serves you. Using expired products, bad products or products that are just wrong for your skin, will at best, get you nowhere and at worst, do actual damage to your skin.

I encourage you to do a little research on the products you are currently using to see how they review and if they contain harmful ingredients. Check expiration dates on all liquid products but also all of your makeup. Toss old makeup sponges and anything that looks or smells differently than when you first opened it. It’s understandable to want to continue using a product until it runs out, but consider the pros and cons and the bigger picture.  Think of it as throwing out the junk food and starting your skin on a more nourishing diet.

It’s also a good time to clean your makeup brushes and any other tools you use on your face. It’s an easy step to neglect, but these implements can often carry bacteria, which can contribute to breakouts. Many makeup companies sell cleaning solution for their brushes, but you can also use dish soap or gentle shampoo to clean most brush bristles.

4. Treat Yourself to at Least One Good Product

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Out with the old and in with the new. While you don’t need to overhaul your entire routine with new products, a new year is a good time to introduce a powerhouse into your regimen. Skin care can come with a bit of sticker shock and you should definitely do some research before dropping a lot of cash on a product. That said, good products are worth the occasional splurge. Higher concentration of higher quality ingredients is often the difference between a professional product and something you buy at the drug store. With good product, a little goes a long way, so you can use a little less and make your investment last longer.

Some pieces worth splurging on might be a good anti-aging serum (look for ingredients like peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamins and antioxidants). A good mask, used once every week or so, can also reap amazing benefits. If you don’t already have an eye cream, this would also be a worthwhile investment. Eye creams are designed to specifically target the delicate under-eye skin. Using gentle ingredients, these creams can help reduce dark circles, puffiness and even fine lines around the eyes.

Another up-level option might be a quality retinol product which can be used to promote cell turnover and treat a number of skin conditions.

5. Get a Professional Opinion

Getting regular facials and skin care treatments is highly recommended, as your skin sometimes requires a deeper level of cleansing, exfoliating and hydrating than what you can get at home. A visit to your favorite licensed skin care professional can be a good reset button for your skin before starting a new routine or if your skin is feeling stressed. And facials aren’t just about relaxation- during your visit, you have the opportunity to pick the brain of an expert. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your skin. A good esthetician can help teach you about your skin and troubleshoot what’s not working with your current regimen.

If a spa treatment isn’t doable, you can still seek out professional advice. Many skin care professionals are happy to offer a complimentary consultation or a discounted appointment for first-timers. Many estheticians and beauty professionals also blog on their professional websites, providing free advice. I encourage you do do a little research to see who is in your area and look for a provider you trust.

Skin care doesn't have to be intimidating or complicated. By starting with these few simple steps, you can start to improve your skin in 2017 and beyond!

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