A new year—nay—a new decade, is upon us and I have something to say! I’m tired of New Year’s resolutions with no substance – you know, the same weak promises that rear their ugly heads year after year like “drink more water” or “take better care of my skin.” While making substantive improvements to your skin health in the next decade might seem elusive, it’s easy if you break it down to the basics. Here are 20 super easy resolutions to try for 2020.
1. Wear SPF EVERY DAY!
I know I’m required to say this as a dermatologist, but daily SPF provides a whole host of benefits including lowering your risk for skin cancer. It’s also one of the 4 commandments of antiaging! If you’re totally naïve to daily sunscreen, I recommend starting with a daily moisturizer with SPF 30 or greater.
2. Work in a retinoid!
If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you know I love retinoids for everything from acne to dyspigmentation. They are safe, have tons of data backing up their efficacy, and are available over the counter.
3. Be kinder to your skin!
I’ve churned out many a meme about irritating ingredients like alpha-hydroxy-acids, retinol and the like. However, these ingredients can be great if used the right way. If you feel like your skin has been getting easily irritated, try taking a break or using alternate-day dosing.
4. Figure out why you’re breaking out!
This one’s for all my skincare junkies out there! If you tried a bunch of new products and you’re suddenly breaking out, you should do some sleuthing. On the other hand, if you’ve been suffering with acne long-term, think about seeing a dermatologist to create sustainable change for your skin.
5. Simplify your routine!
This resolution goes hand in hand with 3 and 4. If your skin is overreacting, it might be time to pare back your routine. Check out my guide for how to simplify.
6. Take sustainability into account!
The skincare industry, like so many others, produces huge amounts of waste and pollution each year. While it’s not realistic to take a totally acerbic approach to skincare, it’s easy to make simple changes. Try to bundle online purchases into less frequent shipments. Make sure you’re recycling packaging appropriately. Sample before buying to limit returns. Little changes make a big difference!
7. Finally learn how to shower!
Turn the temp down! Limit the time! What better time than 2020 to turn over a new leaf in your personal bathing habits?
8. Moisturize that boday!
This was always the hardest part to remember in my daily routine, but I must say that daily body moisturizing post-shower has been a game changer. Goodbye itchy winter skin!
9. Don’t forget the neck!
Here’s the secret to a beautiful décolletage: do everything you’re doing to your face, to your neck. This means SPF, moisturizers and retinoids too!
10. Take it one step at a time!
I’m sure plenty of you have a bounty of new skincare to try after the holidays. Try to add in one at time. That way if you have a breakout or reaction, you’ll instantly know who the culprit is.
11. Give it a chance!
Oh and always keep in mind that it takes time to see a difference when using new ingredients or product types. I suggest using a product for at least 6 weeks before making a ruling on its efficacy.
12. Eat a balanced diet!
This is a no-brainer, but a balanced diet will be good for your skin and pays off dividends for your overall health long-term.
13. Get some sleep too!
I too have put sleep on the back burner in the name of work, social obligations and the like, but getting enough sleep is super important for nearly every facet of our personal health including our skin. Try to prioritize it going forward.
14. Do your research!
Before investing in a new product, try to evaluate the claims made about it. Is it backed by science? Where is the info coming from? It’s likely that doing some digging on these topics will cross some products off your shopping list (and make you super excited for others).
15. Keep it on budget!
NEWSFLASH: You don’t have to spend a fortune to put together a good skincare routine! While more expensive products might have more cosmetic elegance (texture, smell etc), splurging is not required for beautiful, healthy skin. Try to see which products in your routine can be substituted with similar, cheaper alternatives and save some money for…
16. Splurge on a treatment!
YUP! That’s right! While skincare can do a lot for your skin, cosmetic procedures like botulinum toxin, fillers and laser therapy can provide more noticeable changes more quickly. I recommend having a cosmetic consultation with a board-certified dermatologist to see how easy procedures can help you reach your aesthetic goals.
17. Take a “skinventory”!
It’s been proven that self skin exams can catch dangerous skin cancers. I tell my patients to give themselves a once-over once a month and to take photos of anything that looks new or changing to track over time.
18. Get to the dermatologist!
Oh and if you find anything new, definitely get checked out by a professional. This goes for other concerns like acne or hair loss too. The sooner you get seen, the sooner you can see results.
19. Step away from the facetune!
Or retouching apps of any kind for that matter. Embrace who you are!