Ah, a new year – time for new beginnings, resolutions, and dewy-eyed optimism about all that’s to come. For some, the determination of January 1 will last through the year, but for most, that unflappable conviction will become…well, quite flappable.
Whether you’ve resolved to exercise more, eat right, get a promotion, or craft the perfect skincare routine, it can be easy to let the shifting sands of life bury your motivation to achieve your goals.
While we may not be able to advise on all of the above, wedoknow a thing or two about skincare. So, without further ado, we give you an essential list of tips and tricks for assembling an effective skincare routine – and sticking to it, through this year and beyond.Why Is a Skincare Routine Important?
It’s easy to be skeptical of even the term skincare routine, as it may conjure mental images of out-of-touch celebrities pitching $100+ products, meticulously arranged into 27-step, morning-and-night regimens.
And if you’re a compulsive product hopper, perpetually brimming with curiosity about the newest developments in skincare, the word routine may be far from desirable.
For these kinds of consumers (and, really, everyone!) it’s important to know thewhybefore we explain thehow. Thewhygives your routine a purpose – a deeper reason to stick to it when you simply don’t want to.
There are a couple of primary reasons a high quality, consistent skincare regimen is a good idea:
Skin Doesn’t Like Change
Given the rapid rate of change in the skincare and beauty industries, it can be tempting to snag the latest and greatest, but science says that using too many – or frequently switching – products can actually overwhelm the skin and have an adverse effect on its health and appearance.
Once you know your skin, a simple, well-curated assemblage of products applied consistently will beatnew and shiny, every time.
Skincare Predictability Can Illuminate Other Issues
There’s a reason scientific experiments always employcontrols – one or more things that remain constant while variables are manipulated. A control reveals how moveable factors affect a baseline. Similarly, a consistent skin care routine can help to reveal deeper issues that may cause unexpected skin woes.
Inconsistent use of skin care products and methods turn your skincare into a variable rather than a control. If you create a predictable routine and suddenly come under fire of breakouts, uncharacteristic dryness, or any other manner of maladies, you can be reasonably confident that your skincare is not to blame and instead turn to your environment (internal or external) for answers.How to Start a Skincare Routine
Now that you know why a skincare routine is important, we get to the good stuff: how to get started!
Consult an Expert
Skin is a complicated organ. Even if you’ve spent tireless hours trial-and-erroring your way into identifying the perfect products, knowingwhythey work (or don’t!) for you is a critical step in building a lasting skincare routine.
When youreally know your skin (beyond “dry,” “oily,” “combination,” for example), you can make informed decisions not just about what products and methods to use, but also about how to pivot for the seasons or tackle chance ailments.
A qualified expert will ask pointed questions about your skin, lifestyle, medical history, and more, triangulating the information you give them to paint a holistic picture of your skin’s temperament and build a regimen that will keep you glowing all year long.
Know that Holistic Skincare Is the Way to Go
Turning exclusively to topicals is much like crash dieting; you may get the results you want temporarily but, ultimately, your system isn’t getting what it needs to do its job and it’s bound to act up sooner or later.
A holistic approach to skincare addressesallareas of your life that may impact your skin’s health, meaning you’ll need fewer products and less hassle in order to take care of it. (And you’ll feel better overall, to boot!)
Do Your Research
Especially here in the Internet Age, we’re perpetually drowning in suggestions, products, and ambiguous lingo around skincare. That being the case, it’s more important than ever to:
Be Careful Who You Trust
Trustworthy resources for information on products, ingredients, and practices (and the effects of all three) will not always have the shine of perfectly curated (ahem,uncredentialed) Instagram accounts, but it’s crucial to prioritize unbiased, scientific, holistically-focused sources when attempting to build a strong skincare regimen.
Triangulate Conflicting Opinions in Order to Establish Your Own
Confirmation bias is not a novel phenomenon, but it’s become even more compelling now that most people have a living encyclopedia in their back pockets.
Research shows that we tend to live in internet echo chambers – often without even realizing it – and this can severely limit our exposure to new ideas. Actively seeking out different perspectives provides a more complete picture of an issue and allows us to constructinformedopinions rather thanfamiliarones.
Is ‘clean beauty’ even a thing? Not in the way most think. Buzzwords like ‘clean,’ ‘green,’ and even ‘dermatologist recommended’ are more ambiguous than you might assume. Be sure to peek under the hoodanytime you see a product that makes buzzy claims like these.
Don’t Try to Do It All
As with any new habit, it’s important to realize that starting slow and building on previous (even small!) successes presents a higher chance that you’ll actually stick to those habits than if you come out swinging from the start. Most forms of true self-care are a marathon, not a sprint. There is no shame in doing a little at a time until you’re consistently performing your perfect skincare routine.
If you need to start by committing to washing your face at night or drinking 8 ounces of water right when you wake up, do that for a couple of weeks, then fold in each new step by way of habit stacking or other effective routine-building practices.
(Writer’s Note: I am a devoted fan of James Clear’s Atomic Habits. This book introduced me to the concept of habit stacking, as well as a whole host of other principles related to forming positive habits and kicking negative ones. It’s totally revolutionized the way I look at habits, ‘discipline,’ and low-anxiety living. Highly,highlyrecommend.)
How to Stick to Your Skincare Routine for Life
Alright, you know why consistent skin care is important and you have some ideas about how to get started – great! Still, your routine’s effectiveness is directly tied to your ability to be consistent.
Here are some ideas to keep yourself on track – even when it feels like a massive chore.
Create a Ritual
The more we enjoy something, the more likely we are to prioritize it. Creating a pleasurable ritual around your skincare routine will increase the likelihood that you’ll be consistent with it.
Try to stack enjoyable habits together, or enhance less exciting to-dos with practices you enjoy – brewing a cup of tea or listening to a song you love, for example.
Abbreviate for Time
For most of us, rush is inevitable. We run late for work, have back to back meetings, can’t get the kids to settle into their beds…whatever your lifestyle,life will get in the way of self-care from time to time. And those are the times we’re most likely to shelve ‘unnecessary’ activities, or those we find boring or cumbersome.
Creating an abbreviated version of a routinebeforethe rush occurs is an effective way to tell your brainno excuses! when life tries to interfere.
Evaluate & Iterate
What works for your skin in summer will often not serve you in winter. Understanding your skin and how its needs change with the seasons – in weather and in life – then planningahead for those changes is an important part of remaining consistent.
Change should be intentional and infrequent, but prioritizing education and flexibility will ensure happy, healthy skin all year long!
The new year presentsso much opportunity, but biting off too much at once – or failing to be methodical with our resolutions – can present a lot of opportunity fordisappointment. When it comes to your skincare routine, knowing your skin, remaining consistent (realizing that small efforts matter!), and learning to iterate as needs change will make all the difference.
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Happy new year, from Tru to you! We hope this is your happiest, glowiest year yet.