The start of a new year often motivates change in a lot of people. There’s something about the symbolism of leaving the past behind and starting afresh that drives everyone to start organizing their closets, sign up for gym memberships, or look into learning a new skill.
Change is good, and it should be welcomed with open arms. In the beauty space, you could consider becoming a more conscious consumer and choosing sustainable, cruelty-free vegan makeup to lessen the strain on our environment, for instance. Or you could treat your skin a little better this year by simply leaving these bad makeup and skincare habits behind in 2019:
Not Wearing Sunscreen
At this point, there’s enough literature and scientific evidence out there that should convince anyone of the benefits of wearing sunscreen—and the pitfalls of failing to do so. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and an estimated 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with it every day. Additionally, exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays is the number-one cause of premature skin aging. Sunscreen protects you from all of those things.
The AAD recommends using sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect yourself from skin cancer and melanoma, the most serious form of the disease. It should also ideally be a water-proof and sweat-proof product. Sunscreen should be applied generously and liberally over every inch of exposed skin at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors, though Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness recommends applying at least 45 minutes before exposure to allow the product to absorb into the skin. While you’re at it, make sure to use a lip balm or product that also offers sun protection. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours, or after swimming or sweating. You can also up the ante by combining mineral makeup products that offer built-in sun protection with your favorite sunscreen.
Going to Bed with Makeup On
We’ve all been guilty of it at least once or twice: after a long day (or night), there’s nothing we want more than to tumble straight into bed and just sort ourselves out later after we’ve caught a few z’s. However, making a habit of procrastinating on removing your makeup before your head hits the pillow can create long-lasting damage to your skin. Doing so clogs your pores and leads to frustrating acne breakouts; at worst, it can lead to the formation of fine lines and premature skin aging.
We know it can feel like an almighty struggle in the worst of times, but making sure your face is clean before putting your head down to sleep is crucial to keeping your skin healthy. If you can’t be bothered to go through your entire cleansing routine, at least make the effort of taking off your eye and lip makeup and using a cleansing wipe to scrub up before hitting the hay.
Thinking Skincare is Enough
Korean skincare trends have been all the rage in recent years, with many people putting together multi-product routines that consist of anywhere between ten to fifteen steps. After layering that many products on your face, one might be inclined to think that they’ve done enough for their skin, right?
While having a comprehensive skincare regimen can do wonders for your skin, using the best or most expensive products won’t make much of a difference if your approach isn’t holistic. What you eat, your sleeping habits and your hydration level can all affect your skin, too. If you want to take care of it this 2020, you should endeavor to eat less junk and consume more fruits and vegetables, quit the all-nighters and get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, and learn how to stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water. You won’t only have great skin, but you’ll come out healthier and feeling better, too.
Investing in yourself is always a good idea no matter the time of year, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start right this second. Leave these destructive habits behind and give yourself the gift of great skin in 2020!