What better way to start the new year than with clear, fresh skin? Especially after the stressful roller coaster ride that was 2020. Stress and anxiety are prime culprits in changing the proteins in your skin, leading to dryness, breakouts, and wrinkles. And while a successful skin routine requires consistent esthetic care, it is also about feeling good in your body—inside and out.
Once I started to approach my skin care routine as only one part of a greater whole, I finally started to see reliable results. My own skin has benefited from less dairy, more water, and Vitamin D supplements. Your relationship with your body and your skin is deeply personal and may have different needs. I’ll let you in on some of my favorite skin care tips and tricks, but keep in mind that your skin may respond differently. Finding the right skin care routine should be a fun, experimental process in listening to your body and applying that insight. What better time to start than now?
Find out what type of skin you have
First and foremost, before you begin crafting your specialized skin care routine, it is vital to find out what type of skin you have so you can know how best to heal it. The easiest way to do this is with a blot test. Gently pat a sheet of blotting paper on different areas of your face and then hold it up to the light to see what areas are picking up oil and how much. Designate different papers for your T-zone, cheeks, and chin. If the blotting sheet picked very little to no oil, then most likely you have a dry skin type. If the blotting sheet picks up oil specifically from around your forehead and nose, then most likely your skin is normal/combination. And, finally, if the blotting paper is saturated with oil, it is likely that you have oily skin. For example, since the blotting paper only picks up oil around my forehead and nose, that means I have normal/combination skin.
Get to know your products
Now that you know more about your skin type, you can look for products that are made to meet your skin’s specific needs. We feed our skin with what we put on it, so I highly recommend acquainting yourself closely with the ingredients listed in the products you choose. I opt to buy my products from vegan and organic brands like Origins and Deciem. Not only are these wallet-friendly options, but I can rest assured that what my skin absorbs is fresh and complements its natural nutrients.
Keep it Simple
Cleanse, tone, moisturize, and repeat. Although your skin type might dictate the type of products you use, I advise keeping your regimen simple and easy to integrate into your daily routine. The foundation to healthier skin is built on cleansing your skin from impurities, dirt, and bacteria without stripping away its natural nutrients. For this reason I advise sticking to a gentle everyday cleanser and having another exfoliating cleanser to use once a week. Tone your skin to open your pores and then seal in that moisture with a gentle cream (with SPF) for day and night that moisturizes with natural ingredients like jojoba, ginseng, and vitamin C. Ultimately, your skin responds best to care and consistency. Although capitalism and a billion-dollar beauty industry try to convince us otherwise, you can achieve effective results with only a handful of staple items. Looking through endless products and reviews online can be daunting, so take it one step at a time. Find brands that you trust and incorporate them into your daily routine, so it becomes your favorite new self-care habit!
Piece of the Puzzle
The skin is the largest human organ. It protects us from bacteria, UV rays, temperature, and several other external factors—making it a high priority for our survival. However, our skin is also only one piece of the bigger picture of holistic physical, mental, and emotional health. Nutrition and diet, water consumption, sleep, and stress levels all affect the health and elasticity of our skin. I advise approaching your skin care routine as part of your greater wellness practice.
Check in with your skin every now and then to make adjustments or additions to your routine. If you’re spending more time in front of a screen these days, then you might want to invest in an under-eye cream. If your mask is causing a buildup of oil around your nose, then bump up your exfoliation to twice a week. Our skin and its needs change over time, so making the necessary effort now to best identify its needs is a lifetime investment in your body and overall wellbeing. Because ultimately when your skin is happy, so is your body and when your body is awake and healthy, anything is possible!