Happy 2017! We’re all about setting some kick-a** fitness and health goals for the year to come, but don’t forget to give your skin a little love, too. Check out these five easy (as in, they won’t be broken within a week) resolutions that will help you make this the year of complexion perfection.
1. Prioritize Sunscreen
If we’ve said it once, we’ll say it a thousand times. Wearing SPF daily is the number one most important thing you can do for your skin, not only to ward off signs of aging, but, more importantly, prevent skin cancer. And yes, despite the fact that it’s January and sunny days are few and far between, you don’t get a free pass. UVA rays penetrate through clouds and even glass, plus, new research indicates that even visible light (the kind from lightbulbs) can lead to skin damage. Start each morning with a broad-spectrum SPF 30 (you’ll need a nickel-size dollop for your face), and don’t forget to reapply throughout the day; it’s crucial for complete protection. We’re big fans of powder formulas, like Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen SPF 30, which can quickly and easily be dusted on. Keep one in your purse or gym bag to make sun protection more convenient than ever.
2. Wipe Down Post Class
There’s a reason there are free face wipes in the locker room! A heavy sweat sesh can lead to majorly clogged pores (especially if you went into class wearing makeup). A wipe down is a fast and effective way to remove sweat and grime that’s built-up during your ride or pulse, reducing the likelihood of breakouts. Don’t forget to swipe all the way up towards your hairline—a common spot for sweat-induced pimples—and think below the chin, too. Wiping your back and chest can help prevent backne and body breakouts. Take advantage of the free wipes at Fly, or if you want to pick up your own, try the Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Wipes, with purifying charcoal.
3. Incorporate Retinoids
In the growing world of anti-aging ingredients, retinoids remain the number one superstar, thanks to their proven wrinkle-fighting benefits. The vitamin-A derivatives are available in a variety of forms, from more hard-core prescription versions with retinoic acid to slightly gentler, over-the-counter options that contain retinol or retinaldehyde, like the Avène Retrinal 0.1 Intensive Cream. Either way, these products work. The key is to use only a pea-size amount for your entire face (the stuff is strong!) and layer a plain moisturizer underneath or on top to minimize the likelihood of any side effects, like redness or flaking. Like building-up your workout routine, ease into retinoids by using one every other night for two weeks, then gradually increasing to nightly use.
4. Load Up on Antioxidants
We’re talking both internally and externally! Incorporating antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies into your diet works wonders for your overall health, and topical antioxidants are also a great option. By counteracting DNA damage in skin cells caused by things like sun exposure and pollution, they can help improve tone and texture. Try SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, a dermatologist-favorite serum that’s worth the investment (trust us). Use it every morning, as your first skincare step before sunscreen.
5. Moisturize After Showering
Dry skin got you down? The secret to maximizing the moisturizing benefits of lotion is to use it right after the shower, locking in the water that’s already on your skin. For your complexion, slather on moisturizer as soon as you step out of the shower; don’t wait until you’re doing your makeup. For your bod, pick up a spray lotion, like Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer Essential Healing, which is ideal for busy mornings (or when you’re trying to get ready in the crowded locker room). The lightweight, spray-on formula is easy to apply and isn’t heavy or greasy, so you don’t have to wait for it to absorb before getting dressed.