Every year, many of us make a list of our New Year’s resolutions – or promises we make to ourselves – for the ensuing year. Whether it’s practising meditation and mindfulness every day or trying a new skill, the aim is to make life better. But how to make your skin better? Here, consultant dermatologist Dr Thivi Maruthappu, shares the five new year’s skin resolutions that you should probably think about making now.
1. Simplify your skincare routine
“The most effective skincare routine is a simple one with well thought-out active ingredients. All too often I see people in the clinic who are over-masking and over-peeling in the pursuit of glowing skin. Too many active ingredients, such as hydroxy acids and retinol, at different steps in your routine can disrupt the skin barrier, worsen redness and increase sensitivities.”
2. Incorporate a good quality vitamin C product into your regimen
“Whatever your skin type, I love vitamin C for its brightening and glow-boosting effects. When formulated correctly, it is a potent antioxidant and works perfectly layered under your morning SPF. My favourites are SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic or Silymarin CF if you’re acne prone, and Sunday Riley’s C.E.O.”
3. Don’t give up on retinoids
“We all know that retinoids are powerhouse actives and fight the first signs of ageing, acne and hyperpigmentation. But it’s easy to stop using them because they can cause irritation and redness. Prescription retinoids, such as tretinoin, are the most effective iterations, but there are some impressive over-the-counter options too, like Medik8’s Crystal Retinal and Roc’s Retinol Correxion Night Cream. Even if you can’t use them nightly, twice a week still has benefits.”
4. Eat for your skin
“After the indulgences of Christmas, we can all look a little more sallow and tired. Increase your antioxidant intake by eating lots of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables which work in the deeper layers of the skin to protect collagen from ultraviolet light and damage from environmental factors, such as pollution. Remember that the darker in colour your fruit and vegetable is, the more antioxidant rich they will be.
“Also pay attention to your intake of good fats – oily fish, such as salmon, is a great source of omega 3 and protein, but if you’re vegan or vegetarian, look out for cashew nuts, flaxseed oil and consider supplementing with algae omega 3 daily. As always, hydration is key for glowing skin – you can always add cucumber, lemon or mint to your water to make it taste more interesting.”
5. Consistency is everything
“Our skin loves consistency. It might be tempting to switch up your products regularly, but getting into the groove with a simple routine that works is worth its weight in gold. Cleanse twice daily; if you wear make-up, make sure you double cleanse with either a micellar water or balm cleanser as your first step. Follow with vitamin C and SPF in the morning and consider a retinol and moisturiser at night. Extra products can be introduced, depending on your skin’s specific needs. For example, azelaic acid is a great addition for skin that’s prone to redness, and arbutin can help tackle pigmentation.”