No matter your age, it's never too late to start taking care of your skin. As we step into a new year, it's the perfect time to reassess your skin care routine—or lack thereof—and identify areas that need improvement. From the best time to apply products to what you should be investing in, these are my skincare resolutions for 2024.
Resolution 1: See a Professional
Skincare products and lifestyle changes are one thing, but true results come from professional treatments and the guidance of an esthetician. A professional can advise you on regular upkeep, or more complicated skin issues such as signs of aging, acne, or even the right products to use for hyperpigmentation. You don’t want to be guessing when you’re using potent skincare products, and with an esthetician’s expert education, you’ll leave empowered with knowledge on how to maintain your results and treat any skin concerns from home.
The best treatments use the latest technology and don’t follow trends or promote quick fixes. Modalities such as LED therapy, ultrasound, cryotherapy, radiofrequency, micro-puncture, microcurrent, massage, and oxygen infusion focus on rebuilding the skin, rather than breaking it down.
Resolution 2: Consistent Sun Protection
Sun protection is one of, if not the most important, element of an anti-aging skincare routine and overall skin health. Many of my skincare recommendations are preventative rather than promoting a quick fix, and sun protection aligns with that philosophy. It can be very harsh and challenging to treat the damaging effects of the sun after the fact.
It’s true you have less chance of getting sunburned in the winter months because UVB rays are less prevalent. However, many don’t know that UVA rays are present throughout the year and they can travel through clouds and glass. They penetrate deep into the skin and are associated with signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines, and are also thought to play a role in some skin cancers.
Resolution 3: Healthy Skin First
Paying attention to skincare only for your face is merely vanity. The goal should be healthy skin for the whole body. When we think about our skin as an organ, it helps to change the mindset to health rather than aesthetics. The two go hand in hand, though, because healthy skin also looks incredible.
One simple way to care for the skin on our bodies is gentle exfoliation. The Body Wash and Back Wash Pads mildly exfoliate, providing a deeper cleanse, eliminating dry, dead skin cells, and boosting circulation. Once your skin is clear, it can absorb moisturizers and other products much more effectively.
Hydration is also crucial to skin’s wellbeing. By consistently moisturizing, you’re helping to strengthen the skin barrier, leading to more resilient skin. You’d be surprised by the cascade of benefits that follow pH-balanced, hydrated skin.
Resolution 4: Incorporate Vitamin A
Vitamin A is the most crucial ingredient in maintaining optimum skin health. Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, addresses concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and acne. This essential vitamin works by attaching itself to skin cells, normalizing their function, and rejuvenating them to behave like younger, healthier versions of themselves.
While vitamin A is a proven treatment to address skin aging, it can come in very potent formulations that may cause undesirable reactions. This issue is more noticeable with maximum-strength retinoids like prescription-only tretinoin, whereas other retinoids like retinol and retinol palmitate are less irritating.
I always suggest starting slowly and gradually increasing vitamin A usage to avoid potential irritation. Environ has incredible step-up programs that allow your skin to adjust to the active ingredients.
Resolution 5: Don’t Do What Your Girlfriend Does
Girlfriends can give you great fashion and life advice, but when it comes to skincare, it's best not to rely on them. Skincare is a matter of your health, and it differs from person to person. What may work for your friend may not work for you, and in some cases, it may even cause more harm than good.
Too often I see clients come in with redness and irritation caused by trying out the latest beauty fads or skincare products recommended by their friends This is when, once again, an esthetician's expert advice is crucial and a customized skincare regimen based on your unique skin type is best.
Resolution 6: Focus On Your Nighttime Routine
A complete nighttime skincare routine strengthens and prepares your skin against environmental aggressors the next day. Therefore, your skincare can be fairly minimal when you wake up in the morning.
While you sleep, your skin absorbs products 60% more effectively than during the day. Nighttime is recovery mode when skin cells regenerate, while during the day, the skin works to protect you. By using products with active ingredients and preparing your skin at night, you can make the most out of your body's natural rejuvenation process.
A basic nighttime routine includes a cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, and moisturizer. But a more thorough regimen may consist of face masks, eye patches, LED therapy, or massage using The Facial Massager three to four nights a week. The products and tools you use all depend on your skin's needs that day.
Beyond facial skincare—you've heard me say it before—but don't bring the streets to your sheets. Taking a bath at night to cleanse your skin of everything it encounters throughout the day can help prepare your body for a night of relaxation and renewal.
Resolution 7: Balance Your pH with a Toner
If you’ve been following me for a while, this skincare resolution will not be a surprise. Toner is so often a second thought for many people, but it's actually a key step in an effective skincare routine. Toner should follow cleansing, and is the first step in your treatment as it balances the skin's pH and allows for better absorption of the products that follow it.
Cleansing your skin properly is incredibly important, but a cleanser paired with water throws off the pH of your skin, which should ideally sit at 5.5, which is slightly acidic. This acidity is crucial for warding off harmful microorganisms and maintaining optimal hydration. Toner resets the skin to its natural pH, keeping it healthy, balanced, and functioning correctly.
I recommend applying toner with a press release motion. Pressing the skin opens slightly, and when you release it closes over everything on the surface. You should never skip cleansers, toners, or moisturizers, but I have to call out toner because it is so underrated!
Resolution 8: Focus on Hydration and Nutrition
I’ve used a holistic approach to skincare since my early days studying to be an esthetician, but I still need to include proper hydration and nutrition as a skincare resolution every year to remind my clients (and myself) that healthy skin comes from within. As more of a lifestyle than a method, I believe in taking the long-term approach to skincare, addressing the root causes of skin issues rather than just surface-level fixes.
Stress and skin conditions are inextricably linked, as well. High levels of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress, can have significant effects on the skin. When cortisol levels remain consistently elevated, which is often the case during chronic stress, it triggers a cascade of events within the body, most significantly inflammation, which exacerbates existing skin issues and serve as a catalyst for new ones.
By prioritizing effective stress management techniques and limiting external aggressors, we can better safeguard our skin's vitality and radiance.
The key to beautiful skin isn't in a quick fix. It comes with intention, patience, and a healthy lifestyle.