New Year – New skin: Simple tips to have your best skin yet

Happy New Year everyone! For 2020, make preserving the health of your skin your New Year goal. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it deserves to be given extra love and care yet unlike other New Year resolutions, adhering to a skincare routine is easy and manageable. It doesn’t require going anywhere and it doesn’t demand any drastic lifestyle changes. Simply set aside a few moments to incorporate the following skincare tips, that will not only help you look and feel better, your complexion will thank you for it too. 

Cleanse Morning
and Evening

One of the main functions of skin is to act as a barrier to the outside world, but this function can easily be reduced or damaged if it isn’t looked after properly. Cleansing is the first step of all skincare routines and is beneficial in a number of ways. If not cleansed properly, dirt, pollution and excess oil accumulate on the surface of your skin and can potentially contribute to breakouts, dehydration and ageing. In the morning, cleansing helps to remove any dead skin cells and excess oils that skin may have secreted overnight and provides a fresh surface allowing for better penetration of skincare products. It also enables you to achieve a smoother skin that is essential for makeup application. In the evening, cleansing will remove the dirt, makeup, sweat, and other impurities your skin comes in contact with during the day and will help to prevent clogged pores and irritation. So, if there’s one skincare practice you should absolutely make a habit out of, it’s cleansing your face! 

Invest in a Serum

Facial serums are hard-working products that do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to complexion improvement. Concentrated solutions, containing potent actives and effective extracts to take on even the most stubborn complexion concerns; for me they are a daily part of my skincare regime. Serums are made up of smaller molecules, which means that they are absorbed quickly into the skin and penetrate deeper. Choose one with ingredients, which will tackle your skincare concerns; whether it’s a Hyaluronic Acid Serum for a big boost of hydration, some Retinol to target all the signs of ageing or a Vitamin C Serum for dark spots and general brightening – a serum will be your best friend and will make a huge difference to the quality of your skin. Check out Caudalie VineActiv Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum, The Inkey List Q10 Serum, Alpha H Vitamin B3 Serum, Neo Strata Enlighten Illuminating Serum, Exuviance Bionic Vespera Serum, Elixseri Firm Conviction Serum, Gallinée Youthful Serum, Olay Regenerist Three Point Firming Serum, Clarins Double Serum, The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion, Murad Youth Renewal Serum and Dr. Sam Bunting Flawless Nightly Serum to name but a few.

Use Sunscreen Daily

Ask anybody in the beauty industry their number one beauty tip and you’ll always get the same answer – Don’t skip SPF. The sun is the most detrimental threat to the health of our skin. Eighty per cent of wrinkles are caused by sun exposure, not to mention pigmentation. UVA and UVB rays wreak havoc on our delicate skin and they don’t hibernate for winter, which means you’ve got to protect your skin all year round, even on the cloudiest of days. By protecting your skin from UV rays you’ll keep your skin looking young and feeling healthy and you’ll also be proactively protecting your skin from skin cancer. Finding the right formulation for your skin type is key when choosing SPF, especially if you are wearing it under makeup, along with ensuring it offers Broad Spectrum Protection. Brands to try include, NeoStrata, Vichy, La Roche Posay, Avéne, Heliocare and one that I’m loving at the moment is Eucerin Anti-Pigment Day Cream SPF30.

Get Exfoliating

Exfoliation is important as it removes the dead skin cells and debris off the surface of the skin. There are two kinds of exfoliators, physical ones, which use tiny grains or granules of some type, or chemical ones, which work using face acids. Great for re-texturising skin, renewing skin, smoothing skin, helping with uneven skin tone, pores, fine lines and wrinkles, try and get into the habit of exfoliating at least once a week. You can use a gentle scrub or opt for something like Glycolic or Lactic Acid. If you are more sensitive a Poly Hydroxy Acid is a great option, and it also has hydrating properties. Azelaic Acid is a gentle one for blemish prone and rosacea prone skin types, as it has anti-inflammatory properties and also helps fade the post inflammatory pigmentation marks, left behind from spots. Salicylic Acid is super for very blemish prone, acne prone skin types. As long as you’re using the best physical or chemical exfoliant for your skin type, the chance of encountering irritation on your quest for clearer, brighter skin is little to none.

Take Time to Mask

Face masks are one of the little pleasures in life and the perfect at home skin care treatment to give your skin an extra boost to keep it looking and feeling healthy. Their power is often underestimated, but they have plenty of benefits, which will leave you wondering why you haven’t used them sooner. Just like your cleansers and serums, face masks are also specifically suited to different skin types and concerns. The right one can help mattify, calm, lift, hydrate, plump or brighten the skin. Another advantage is the lovely pampering feeling you experience from applying one, all in the comfort of your own home. Clay based masks are a great option for oily skin types that are prone to breakouts as clay is an excellent ingredient at drawing out impurities that can lead to spots. For dry skin, look for a mask containing hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most hydrophilic (‘water-loving’) molecules found in cosmetic products and has an enormous water-binding capacity. It therefore acts as the ideal moisturiser, hydrating dry skin and plumping out fine lines and wrinkles. If dullness is your concern, make sure some well-established luminosity boosters like vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acids, and hyaluronic acid are on the ingredients list. And to amplify the results from your chosen mask, try exfoliating first. 

Don’t forget about you!

Skin responds to your lifestyle and stress levels. To help your skin look its best, taking care of yourself is just as important as what products or makeup you use. Keeping it simple, you need to eat well (a balanced diet is essential for general health and the health of your skin) and keep hydrated by drinking and eating plenty of water. Getting a good night’s sleep, some gentle exercise, doing more of what makes you happy and simply taking time for yourself will all play a role in boosting your complexion and helping you achieve your best skin yet.

If you would like to begin your journey to healthy beautiful skin, I am available by appointment in Solace Holistic Centre Clonakilty where I offer Skincare Consultations, Murad Facial Treatments, Facial Peel Treatments, Thalgo Brightening Facial Treatments, Teen Facials and Rejuvapen Micro Needling – all details of these and my Tween and Teen Courses are on You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook

Sherna Malone

Sherna Malone is a skincare specialist working in West Cork.

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