5 Skincare Resolutions You Need to Make This Year

From vowing to avoid heavily fragranced products to cleansing your skin at least twice a day, you ought to follow these 5 beauty resolutions going forward.

New year, new you? Totally! As we step into 2021, why not change things up a bit—starting with your daily skincare routine.

From vowing to apply sunscreen EVERY SINGLE day to NOT falling for every skincare trend that emerges, beauty expert Paula Begoun suggests 5 cardinal resolutions you should consider making this new year.

Resolution #1: Make 2021 the year you discover your ideal exfoliant.

If you haven’t tried a gentle leave-on AHA or BHA exfoliant yet, now is the time. This game-changing step in your skincare routine is the secret to a smooth, clear and vibrant complexion, with benefits that go well beyond what a scrub can provide. "While gentle scrubs work fine as an extra cleansing step, they can’t get to where the layers of built up dead skin are hiding beneath the surface (contributing to clogged pores, acne, dull skin, and decreased hydration). AHA and BHA are exfoliating acids that gently slough off dead skin cells in a manner identical to how our skin naturally exfoliated when we were young (before sun damage and certain skin disorders slowed down the process)," advocates Paula.

AHA formulas are ideal for normal to dry skin, while BHA formulas are the optimal choice if you have combination/oily skin or are prone to congested pores and breakouts. Just apply the formula to your skin and let it work its magic—no rinsing or scrubbing required. In fact, some have noticed a visible difference as quickly as overnight! While, for others it may take a couple weeks of dedicated use. Either way, ongoing use ensures a healthier-looking complexion.

Resolution #2: Gently cleanse your skin twice a day.

It's important to cleanse your face twice, daily. And, not only when it comes to removing makeup, but also to whisk away excess oil and pollutant debris build-up. Did you know that washing the face allows your skin to retrieve maximum benefit from the products you apply afterwards? "The key is to use a gentle cleanser that gets the job done, without stripping the skin or causing irritation. Ideally, look for one that contains replenishing ingredients to support your skin’s delicate barrier throughout the cleansing process," she says. The worst cleansers are bar soaps, bar cleansers, and abrasive scrubs because of how drying and damaging they can be on the skin's surface.

Resolution #3: Break up with fragranced skincare products for good.

"Research clearly indicates that fragrance—whether it’s from essential oils or synthetic ingredients—incites a volatile reaction on the skin and triggers inflammation in the deeper layers. Even if you can’t see or feel the after effects of using a fragranced product, it is certainly causing damage beneath the surface by breaking down the vital substances that support your skin and keep it supple," she adds. From disrupting the skin’s barrier to triggering dryness or redness, fragrance-free is the way to go this new year!

Resolution #4: Vow to wear sunscreen EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Sunscreen delivers anti-ageing properties to the skin, and the skin health benefits it provides are unrivalled by any other product. The reason? It's fairly simple: the sun’s UVA and UVB rays are the number one cause of wrinkles, sagging skin, discolorations, as well as a range of other beauty woes. By protecting yourself from the cascade of free radical damage and inflammation sun exposure triggers, your skin’s vital components function optimally, making  your complexion look flawless.

"The key is to be consistent and diligent—which entails shielding your skin with a sunblock of SPF 30 (or greater) 365 days a year. Use a sunscreen loaded with antioxidants for better protection, coupled with anti-ageing benefits. And yes, even if you’re just going to be sitting inside by a window (the sun’s damaging UVA rays penetrate glass too!) or on a cloudy day (UVB rays easily penetrate through clouds)," informs Paula.

Resolution #5: Don’t fall for ANY and EVERY skincare trend!

It’s easy to get tempted by the latest trends, procedures, and products in the world of beauty. But before you give in, its advisable that you do your own research. It may not actually work or may even be damaging for your skin. "This can include everything from sheet masks, jade rollers and gua sha tools to skin care refrigerators—most of which end up doing more harm than good. As new trends begin to roll in for 2021, vet those against what science has to offer, instead of going in for the marketing hype. Always remember:truth is beautiful," says Paula.

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