Skin-Care New Year's Resolutions We Should All Make

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
When making resolutions for 2015, working out or eating healthier may be at the top of your list. But, why not also make a resolution to be good to your skin and commit to making some positive changes? After all, you'll wear your skin every day for the rest of your life. Making a few simple changes and tweaks in the new year can yield lasting, radiant results. Ahead, the best expert advice on how to make 2015 your best skin-care year yet.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Lack of sleep can have a major impact on mental alertness, but when you are tired it’s also going to be reflected in your complexion. Nighttime is when the body is most metabolically active, ridding itself of toxins, which would otherwise wreak havoc on skin. In addition, sleeplessness compromises the body’s circulatory system and causes stagnant blood in the vessels under the eyes because they have not properly drained.

When you stay up past your bedtime, you'll be yawning more, which makes the eyes water and creates excess fluid around them, resulting in puffy eyes in the morning. Simply put, when you're tired, you'll look it. So, make a commitment to turn the lights out, put the phone on silent, and aim for seven to eight hours of restful sleep. It’s called "beauty sleep" for a reason.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Don’t Neglect Your Neck
Don’t stop your skin care at your chin — treat your neck, too. It’s often forgotten, but it can show a significant amount of aging. When applying daily moisturizer (one that includes SPF), be sure to extend it to both the front and sides of your neck. Reducing the amount of UV light your skin is exposed to daily will dramatically lessen future wrinkles. Also, be sure to exfoliate the neck two to three times a week with a mild facial scrub to keep it looking smooth. The neck is an extension of your face, so paying attention to this area will keep it looking youthful for years to come.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Commit To Wearing Sunscreen Daily
This may seem obvious, but if you aren’t wearing SPF daily, this exact minute is the time to commit to protecting your skin every day. It’s never too late (or too early) to defend skin from the number-one cause of aging — the sun and the UV rays it gives off, even on cloudy or rainy days.

Choose sunscreen containing both UVA and UVB protection in a lightweight formula that won’t clog pores (I prefer ones with zinc oxide). Additionally, I recommend carrying mineral powder with SPF in your handbag, since reapplying is important. Dust it on for instant protection for your face, hands, neck, and chest.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Schedule A Facial To Deep-Clean The Pores
For those prone to blemishes, cysts, whiteheads, or blackheads, a deep pore-cleansing facial by a skilled aesthetician is important. Skin-care products you use at home should help keep breakouts to a minimum, but nothing is more effective at cleaning out pores than manual extractions.

In a professional facial, an aesthetician will first exfoliate to remove surface dry-cell build-up, and then prepare the skin with steam and softening creams. Next, the pores are gently squeezed to remove old oil, congestion (called closed comedones), and blackheads, to make skin look smoother and clearer and mitigate breakouts. A finishing mask with cooling ingredients will make redness disappear and infuse hydration into thirsty cells. It's best to get a facial every month or two for best results, but if that’s not possible, aim for one with the change of each season. If you're on a budget, consider getting a facial at a school where aestheticians are in training (but are closely monitored by their instructors).

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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Don’t Pick At Your Blemishes
Regardless of the reason for picking at a blemish (no, it won’t make it go away more quickly!), it usually always ends badly. Picking will give you a bleeding, oozing scab, which leads to further inflammation of the skin, scarring, and discoloration that can linger for months. Instead, let Mother Nature do her job to heal it (your body's repair processes go into high gear when there's an infection). You can, however, apply a spot treatment to help repair it a little faster.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Assess The Products You're Using
If you aren’t seeing results with your skin-care products, it may be that they aren’t suited for your personal needs. Be sure to use products exclusively formulated for your skin type. If it says “formulated for all skin types,” proceed with caution. All skins have different needs.

Toss products that are older than two years, have changed color or consistency, contain mineral oil, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, isopropyl myristate, isopropyl palmitate, petrolatum, or SD alcohol 40, as these ingredients can be drying, pore-clogging, or irritating for most skin types. Consult with a trusted skin-care professional to get expert advice on the skin regimen that will appropriately address your needs.

Try incorporating these skin resolutions into your routine, and you’ll have your most gorgeous year yet.