By now, you’ve probably seen people post about their new year’s resolutions all over social media. “Start getting up at 5 a.m.; go for a run every day; eat vegan.” While goal-oriented resolutions like these are great, let’s be real—it can feel overwhelming being inundated with so many proclamations of big change all at once.
A study done at University College London in 2009 determined that it takes 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. It can take even longer for that behavior to become a true habit, anywhere from three to eight months. Needless to say, this means forming a new habit requires some serious time, dedication, and energy (both mental and physical). If you are up for a bigger change like some of the ones mentioned above, that’s great! If not, no worries. Smaller changes performed over long periods of time can be just as impactful. In this post, I’ll share five attainable ways to up your skincare game in 2023.
5 Tips for More Successful Resolutions
Whether your resolutions are about skincare or something entirely different, here are a few tips for making them more effective.
Keep your resolutions simple and specific. Choose only a few small, attainable resolutions to start. A maximum of three small goals is best, or you can pick just one larger goal. Change is hard enough as is, so go easy on yourself.Make sure your resolutions are realistic. A true change is a marathon, not a spring. It takes lots of time, dedication, and effort, so think hard about your resolutions and make sure you’re not setting yourself up for failure. If you’ve already got a lot on your plate, small changes can still add up to have a big impact over time!Make a plan and set milestones. Success can be better achieved in small, bite-sized pieces. Write down the steps for achieving each goal. Planning is everything and will make it so much easier to actually stick to your resolution. If applicable, give yourself a timeline. How long are you going to give yourself to make this resolution a reality? Be sure to check in regularly to make sure you’re always moving toward a result, even (or especially) if that result is just feeling better.Set reminders. Whether it’s your phone or a low-tech Post-It note, use reminders to your advantage.Be patient and allow for setbacks. Remember the study that said it can take up to eight months to form a new habit? Well, the same study said that missing one opportunity didn’t affect habit formation. In other words, don’t worry about messing up! The goal is to strive for improvement, not perfection. There will inevitably be times when you have setbacks and lose your way. Just pick yourself back up, keep going, and focus on the end result.
5 Easy Skincare Resolutions With a Big Impact
#1 Hang Your Head Upside Down for 2 Minutes Every Night
It might sound funny, but this is something I’ve personally been doing for over a decade. As we age, the blood flow to our faces naturally decreases. This is thanks to a reduction in blood vessels, which are responsible for delivering oxygen and fresh nutrients to the skin. Hanging your head upside down is one way to push blood to the face so that it looks fresher and brighter. It’s the same concept as facial massage, but as someone with redness-prone skin and delicate capillaries, I find this exerts a little less pressure on my capillaries.
Skin benefits aside, I actually find this a good way to quiet my mind and get into rest mode. It forces me to pause for a moment, and doing it nightly before I go to bed has been a way to signal to my body that it’s time to wind down.
How to Make It a Habit
Add this to your existing nighttime routine, or set a reminder on your phone until it becomes second nature.
Learn more about this effective, 2-minute trick.
#2 Use a Facial Scrub at Least Once a Week
This is something I preach about a lot, but that’s because it’s something I really believe in and have seen with my own eyes. You can make a visible difference in your skin by using a physical exfoliant like a facial scrub. The best part? It’s super easy to do and takes hardly any time at all! You’ll immediately see a brighter, smoother-looking complexion, and those effects will be compounded over time. Scrubs are also a great tool if you’re dealing with hyperpigmentation.
How to Make It a Habit
Provided you aren’t using an exfoliating acid at the exact same time, a scrub can be added to your routine morning or night—just use it after your cleanser. Start by picking one day a week, and incorporate your scrub on that day. If you like the results and your skin tolerates it well, you can bump up to two days. I’ve personally been using our new Triple Berry Smoothing Scrub twice a week since it launched, and I have to say I love the results. It’s really kept my skin looking bright during these dull, winter months.
Learn more about the benefits of a facial scrub and how to pick the right one.
#3 Wash Your Makeup Brushes and Pillowcases More Often
This isn’t breaking news, but makeup brushes and pillowcases can harbor lots of bacteria. They touch our faces every day, which also means they’re collecting oil, sweat, and dead skin cells every day. If you struggle with breakouts or irritation, it’s especially important that you’re not reintroducing any of these back onto your face as it could lead to bumpy or dull-looking skin.
You should aim to clean both your makeup brushes and pillowcases once a week. If you use a Beauty Blender, you may want to clean it more often since the sponge material absorbs so much. In addition to being better for your skin, makeup will apply better and your brushes will last longer.
How to Make It a Habit
To make this part of your routine, try attaching it to another weekly habit. Maybe you do laundry every Sunday night or water your plants every Saturday morning. One benefit of washing makeup brushes during the day is that, if it’s warm enough, you can lay them out in the sun to dry for extra bacteria-busting.
Personally, I like to use a sulfate-free, gel face cleanser to wash my makeup brushes. Some people love to use specialty cleaners, which is great, but I like this because it’s something I already have on hand.
#4 Wash Your Face Every Single Night
If you struggle to be consistent about your skincare routine, washing your face every night is the perfect place to start. You’ll never get results from skincare by being inconsistent, but it can feel intimidating to dive right in. This is why committing to washing your face every night is a great place to start (remember, success is better achieved in bite-sized pieces). Performing an evening skincare routine—even if it’s just a few simple steps—can help prevent clogged pores and breakouts, improve hydration, and minimize signs of aging. Once this feels automatic to you, you can start to tackle the perfect morning routine.
How to Make It a Habit
One of my favorite tips is to do your nighttime skincare routine earlier, like when you get home for the day. A lot of people wait to wash their faces right before they go to bed and end up getting too tired. Commit to making a habit of washing your face as soon as you’re in for the night (or if you work from home, set an alarm to do it every day around 5 p.m. or a time that works for you). If you commit to caring for your skin nightly, you’ll start to see a visible improvement in your skin.
Even if you don’t normally struggle with washing your face at night, you may want to consider making this one of your skincare resolutions. Doing your routine earlier in the evening can be beneficial because of your skin’s circadian rhythm.
#5 Clean Out and Organize Your Beauty Products
Ringing in a new year is all about “out with the old and in with the new,” so why not apply that to your skincare resolutions? I know I’m not the only one who collects (hoards) products, then accidentally pushes them to the back of my drawer. For me, out of sight is out of mind, which unfortunately means I don’t rediscover some of these products until much later when they’ve expired. The new year is a good time to take stock of what you have and make a mental note of what you’ve used up vs. what you didn’t end up reaching for. It’s also a good time to throw away products that are past their prime—here’s how to tell if a skincare product is expired.
How to Make It a Habit
If you’re not someone who accumulates a ton of new skincare and beauty products, it may be sufficient to do this just once or twice a year. If you’re a fellow skincare junkie who tends to collect new products on a regular basis, it’s worth cleaning your beauty cabinet out every three months. You don’t need to purge a lot every time, but this practice is helpful because it reminds you of what you already have. This means you’re more likely to use things up before they expire in the first place, plus it can help you save money.
In order to stay on top of this, put a Post-It inside whichever cabinet or drawer you store the majority of your products in. Write down the date of when you last cleaned, and also the date three months from that day to remind you when it’s time again.
Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare ExpertAs an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Her hands-on experience as an esthetician and trusted skin care expert has created a real-world solution — products that are formulated for nine different types of skin so your face will get exactly what it needs to look and feel its best. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”