A new year is a time to brainstorm ways to create better versions of ourselves. We contemplate new goals such as how to improve upon our physical health, our mental wellbeing, and our professional endeavors. We tell ourselves, and those around us, that we’re going to exercise more and eat better to make the upcoming year the best one yet.
But there may be one area of your life that you’re not thinking of, and it’s staring right back at you in the mirror. Your skin!
My skin has been at the top of my list lately, and I encourage you to put it at the top of yours too! Luckily, I’m here to help you take the steps to revamp your skin care routines and practices to make you a new, glowing you. Keep reading to learn about my journey and top tips for giving your skin a New Year’s refresh.
My skin refresh journey
Before the pandemic started, I thought I had my skin all figured out. I had an expert daily routine, and my skin was thriving. A few months into self-isolating, though, and my skin suddenly started to take a drastic change. It was irritated, sensitive, lacking the ability to retain moisture and not responding to the products that had become my go-to line up. I thought that it was a temporary setback caused by stress or environmental changes and that it would heal itself in no time. But, to my dismay, instead the condition of my skin worsened, and it was clear that something was wrong.
I decided to start listening to the messages my skin was sending me and asking it what it needs. Now, before you think I’m crazy, I wasn’t communicating with my skin in the literal sense. Rather, I was paying more attention to it, doing some research and experimenting to see what made it feel nourished and cared for. What I learned was that my skin was begging for a refresh.
My skin was alerting me that with my change in lifestyle, it had changed too. I had to become fluent in my skin language, to know what modifications I had to make to my skin care practices, in order to cater to it and its everchanging needs. In doing this, I learned some valuable tips.
Top 4 skin refresh tips
1. Know your skin type and condition. Embrace that this may change from time to time.
Stop what you’re doing! Before you move any further, do you know your skin type? Do you know if you have a skin condition? Without this knowledge, you may not be using the right products or have the right skin routine/practices.
First up, what is the difference between skin type and skin condition?
Skin type: Simply put, this is the look, feel and common behavior of your skin. Everyone has a type, and it is often determined by genetics. The products you use will usually be determined by your skin type. Knowing your skin type is the most basic and essential part of taking care of your skin. The most common skin types are:
Skin condition: Not everyone suffers from a skin condition. Your condition is often influenced by external and internal factors and can be altered easier than your skin type can. The condition of your skin is often what causes any sudden changes you may see in your skin’s behavior. The types of skin conditions are numerous and range in severity, but the five main and most common skin conditions are:
In my case, my skin type ranges between dry, combination and normal. Along with this, I experience two types of skin conditions: dehydration and sensitivity.
Next thing you need to know before you move forward is that our skin is in a constant state of change – just like the weather, our environment, stress levels, diet, our health, our age, etc. These changes don’t always mean we have done something wrong; it’s just our skin being our skin. We cannot expect it to be the same every day. Knowing our skin type and condition helps us to navigate these changes.
2. Don’t be afraid to switch it up.
As your skin changes, it is inevitable that you will have to make some tweaks to the products you use and/or the routines you follow. Trying new products and routines may be daunting, time-consuming or costly, but trust me when I tell you that your skin will pay you back for it. Feel free to experiment (with caution!).
When my skin started to change, the following changes were game changers for me:
- I went from regular cleansing to double cleansing.
- I switched the order of my routine and started applying my face oil after my moisturizer, rather than before – to lock in moisture.
- I revamped and refreshed the products I used, including making DIY products, to decrease any possible mystery ingredients being applied to my sensitive skin.
- I differentiated my morning routine from my night routine – I protect my skin by day and heal my skin at night.
- I found ways to increase or retain the moisture in my skin – through washing my face less, sleeping on a satin/silk pillowcase and using absorption techniques.
3. Absorption is key.
Did you know that if your skin is not absorbing the products that you are using, that you are essentially wasting your money? The way in which we apply our products makes a major difference in if our skin actually absorbs and retains the product and its benefits. We may think that a product is ineffective, when really our application is ineffective. This is especially important for my fellow dry, dehydrated skin folks. Here are some tips to increase absorption:
- Apply products to damp (not wet or dry) skin.
- Use your hands to pat in your products.
- When in doubt, use a handy dandy tool, like a jade roller.
4. Above all things, love the skin you’re in.
Learn to be patient and accept/embrace your skin. It deserves some compassion for being strong, resilient and fighting against the free radicals it is exposed to everyday. The last step in my skin routine is to tell myself how beautiful I am and shower myself with words of self-love as I look in the mirror at my glowing, refreshed skin.
Hope this helps you on your skin journey! Remember that your skin is uniquely yours and perfect just the way it is.
Disclaimer: I am not an esthetician or dermatologist. I am, merely, a skin care junkie sharing my tried-and-true tips and tricks. Remember that skin and personal care is not one size fits all and you should consult a doctor if you are experiencing severe skin conditions.