How is your January shaping up? Have you stuck to any resolutions you previously made or have they slowly fallen by the wayside? Either way, it is important to remember that it is only January; you have another eleven and a half months to make all your dreams, goals and wishes come true. Perhaps you have only resolved to be a better version of yourself, well why not extend that to your skincare routine? I took to Instagram to ask what your skincare goals are for the coming twelve months and the five most popular answers may just surprise you...
1, To always remove make-up before going to bed
On paper it seems a non-brainer, logical and damn foolish to not fully wash your face before heading off to the land of nod, but we've all been there and have the foundation, stained, pillow cases to prove it. No we aren't always drunk or lazy, sometimes life gets in the way - maybe you've worked a double shift and every last morsel of energy you possess was used to limber yourself into bed, or maybe you've got kids, or maybe, just maybe you are human and have the right to be exhausted every now and then. I'm not the biggest fan of face wipes but if used sparingly, they can be beneficial - I mean quickly removing the bulk of your make-up, has got to be better than sleeping in a full face? Not all facial wipes are equal and if you are going to dabble, occasionally with the grown up version of a wet wipe, you want the best. Admittedly the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads are costly at £12.95 a tub but they are multi-action and probably the best of their kind; not only do the small, textured pads remove the majority of your make-up but they exfoliate and cleanse the skin too - not to mention they have an avid celebrity fan base (Kylie Jenner is said to be a fan). No they won't rival a full cleanse at the sink but in a pinch they will work and sometimes (the emphasis really is on sometimes) that is all you need.
2, To wear SPF daily
Goodness knows I love a daily SPF but I fully understand that it does take a little time to fully form such habit. In my opinion the make or break factor (pun not intended but glorious none the less) is the facial sunscreen you use. No-one and I mean no-one enjoys a heavy, sticky facial product - sunscreen or otherwise. Take the time to find a daily, standalone SPF (a moisturiser with SPF isn't going to cut it here I'm afraid) that is suited to your needs and I can all but promise you half the battle has already been fought. I find the secret to SPF success to be found in a lightweight and all but weightless formula such as Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50 PA +++ - perfect for all year round, including the warmer seasons due to the high factor. Another great and altogether more budget friendly option is La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Face Ultra-Light Fluid SPF50+. Once you have found your ideal facial SPF, one way to ensure that you apply it daily, is to place it wherever you store your morning skincare products, grab a bright post it note and scribble the words "Use Me" on it. If something all but demands your instant attention, you can bet that you will be more inclined to actually put it to use.
3, To use toner...regularly
I confess, I too often fall at the toner hurdle in the skincare Olympics. Truthfully I find most don't do much and as such, I view it as an additional faff that I can live without; I will confess that when I do take the time to reach for Pixi Glow Tonic my complexion does benefit massively from its brightening and refining qualities. Perhaps the key to unlocking the benefits of a toner is to find one that does more than simply refresh the skin, look for one that enhances the skin and makes the general process a joy.
4, Use only what the skin needs
We've all fallen prey to a marketing campaign or two in our time, and as such have beauty products - and probably other gadgets too - that aren't really suited to our needs. The truth is the younger you happen to be, the less skincare products you really need: cleanse, moisturise, tone (lolz see above) and treat if necessary - save the fancy - and often expensive - products for when you really need them. Perhaps you don't really know what your skin needs, or what type of complexion you actually have? In that case, I recommend popping along to a skincare counter such as Clinique, Kiehls or Clarins and asking for a little assistance - in my experience such brands are staffed by kind and caring individuals, that also happen to be very knowledgeable too.
5, Sleep more, drink more, treat more
The party season is long gone but the affects of many a sleepless night, lack of hydration and general negligence still show, despite my best intentions and heavy duty concealer. Sleep is when our bodies - which of course includes our skin - takes the time to self-repair; getting less than what you require (around 8 hours) can and will take its toll: from dark under eye circles to even premature ageing. Turning off at night if no easy task - especially when you have the world of Twitter and Instagram at your fingertips - but if you slowly but surely, attempt to crawl into bed a little earlier than planned, you will eventually notice a world of difference in regards to the condition of your skin. The same can be said of drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water daily - make it a gradual process, and you'll soon not think twice about lugging around a water bottle.
I also think it is important to take a step back every now and then, a little me time if you will and use it to really take care of your skin. From the odd professional facial to an at home face mask - every little helps both physically and mentally.
So tell me, what are your skincare aims for the coming year?