Happy new year to you all! With the beginning of a new year there comes renewed hope and enthusiasm. A chance to press the reset button, make some changes, start some new habits and create some new routines.
Instead of making full on resolutions on improving your skin care why not instead make a few small changes, incorporate a few simple ideas, which will serve to keep things manageable and achievable.
Detox your skincare products.
This is a great place to start and it’s really easy to do! But why should you detox your skincare? There are a lot of undesirable and potentially harmful ingredients in beauty products. These ingredients are usually synthetic and can be harsh for the skin and can be damaging to our health due to their toxicity. Often, they are not biodegradable so they burden the environment as they are washed off of our skin.
Get rid of out of date products.
Most products have a ‘period after opening’ (PAO) or expiry/best before (BBE) date. In many countries, PAO is marked with a symbol of an open jar with number of months inside it. This means that after opening the product, it should be used within the specified time (eg 24 months), and discarded after this period. Other products might have a specific expiration date, regardless of when you open them. This is represented by the hourglass symbol or wording such as ‘BBE, or ‘ you see this on your product, make sure you do not use it after the specified date. The shelf life of cosmetic products is determined with laboratory tests and it is important to respect it. But what if the product is past its expiration date and it looks OK? Can you still use it? Sadly, no. You are risking microbial contamination (you don’t want to put dangerous germs on your skin, do you?), oxidized ingredients (rancid oils contain irritating peroxides) and significantly reduced effectiveness of active ingredients (your anti-age serum might not be so anti-age any more).
Make the switch to natural/organic the easy way.
If you’ve been thinking of going natural or organic but either aren’t sure where to start or haven’t got round to it yet, the new year is a good time to make the change. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming and you also don’t need change everything all at once. Here are a few ideas to begin with. Choose a product you use a lot and start looking for a natural or organic alternative. In your detox, if you throw products away because they are out of date, replace them with natural/organic alternatives. When some of your current products are finished, look to replace them with natural/organic alternatives. By making a small change now, you’ll start the process to make lots more small changes over time. That makes it more manageable and achievable and when you look back in, let’s say, 12 months’ time, you’ll probably have come a long way! Make sure the products you choose really are natural by learning to read a cosmetic label.
Learn to properly use your products.
To really get the most out of your products, you need to use them properly. Are you following usage instructions correctly? For example an oil serum might be most effective when applied to damp skin, to help lock the moisture into it. Night time repair cream needs to be applied every night, and only at night – daylight might cause it to lose effectiveness. Using scrubs too often can be irritating for the skin. Using them not often enough will result in less efficient skin cell removal. Store you skin care products properly.
What about storage instructions? Do you read and respect them? Storing your products in an optimal environment will make sure the products stay safe and effective. Usually, keeping skin care products in a cool and dark space is ideal. So, definitely make sure to read the instructions on your product and follow them – this will guarantee you get the greatest benefits out of what you are using.
Follow a simple regimen/routine.
Some products are designed to be used together. Making sure you follow a specific routine can be a small change that makes a big difference on your skin. Typical example of a skin care regime would be cleanse, tone and moisturise, repeated every day. Cleansing removes impurities from the skin, toning balances the pH of the skin after cleansing and hydrates it, moisturizer will nourish and soften the skin along with locking the moisture into it. If a daily routine seems like too much to start with, you can begin with something a little more simple. For example a weekly or bi-weekly routine. A simple once or twice a week routine could be using an energizing exfoliant to remove dead skin cells followed by a rich cream to intensively nurture the skin. This will work wonders for your skin while still being simple enough to do it regularly. Decide what’s important to you.
Finally, in your research for some new brands and products that are natural or organic, you can begin to decide what’s important to you. Do you want to use products that are natural, organic, vegan, halal, kosher, cruelty free, fair trade, ethical or sustainable? Perhaps you would like to use products that contain ingredients from cooperatives or that are fair trade, rainforest alliance or locally sourced? There are so many options now available because consumers are increasingly seeking products and experiences that conform to their own personal values, beliefs and aspirations. Products and services don’t just need to solve a problem anymore, they also need be able to be the representation of our lifestyle, values and belief systems. So, find a brand that resonates with you and feel good about what you put on your skin.
Hopefully these tips will help you improve your skincare habits and make 2018 the year your skin has never looked better.
Lots of love,