With the new year well and truly underway, you’ve most likely already set your resolutions for the next 12 months – be it for your career, your finances or your relationships.
May we suggest another set of recommendations? Only difference is that this list includes YOUR grooming habits.
Trust us – a few small but steady changes over the course of a year can have a significant payoff in a year’s time. We’re talking about a commitment to improving your beauty, lifestyle and overall health this coming year. Ready?
These are 30 subtle steps you can take to get sensational skin and hair this year. Go on!
Hair Commandments For This Year
Don’t Wash Your Hair Every Day
Yes, you read that correctly. Shampooing your hair every single day strips away the natural oils in your hair and scalp causing the ends to become dry and brittle. And, funnily enough, over-washing your scalp can cause it to produce even more oil.
Instead wash your hair every second day at most. If you find this too difficult, try washing your locks with conditioner – a much gentler and more nourishing alternative to shampoo.
Cut Out Heat Styling
Okay, at the very least, try to limit it to once or twice per week. We know it can be difficult to get smooth, frizz-free locks without the help of heat, either through a blow dryer or a flat iron.
When using your heat appliances, protect your precious strands from damage by using heat protectant sprays and serums designed for your hair type.
Have Your Hair Trimmed Every Six Weeks
Yes, even if you’re trying to grow it out. In fact, if you aim to grow healthy, long hair, regular trims are vital.
By cutting off any damaged, split ends, you’re essentially stopping any breakage from moving further up the hair shaft. Also consider this: straight, blunt edges make your hair appear fuller and thicker. Who doesn’t want that, right?
Find a Hairdresser That You Trust
Whether it’s simply trimming your tips or a full wash, cut and blow, you want a hairstylist who knows what they are doing. Once you’ve found that person who understands your hair and listens to you, hold onto him.
You’ll find yourself looking forward to your regular visits with confidence instead of avoiding them with dread.
Refresh Your Hair Color
On the topic of salons, there is nothing like a professional dye job to breathe new life into dull, tired tresses.
Speak to your hairdresser about trying a new color – whether it’s something bold and striking or maybe a gentle and more natural balayage style.
The effect on your overall appearance (and not to mention your confidence) will be immense.
Makeup Rules To Live By
Find Your Perfect Foundation
There is nothing more off-putting than the foundation that looks caked on and artificial. Or, even worse, foundation that doesn’t match the rest of your skin.
Go to a makeup counter and ask for advice. Swipe the color on your jawline or else on the back of your hand. The color should not be noticeable at all. If you can see it on your face, keep looking.
Clean your Makeup Brushes
No, seriously. You’d be surprised at just how quickly makeup, dead skin cells and other debris can build up on the fine hairs of your brushes.
Now imagine coating your skin with those built-up bacteria every single day – a sure-fire way to encourage blocked pores and breakouts on your face. Plus, product build-up means that your brushes won’t pick up the pigments from your foundation and color shadows that well. And you know what that creates: uneven, blotchy application.
Aim to clean your makeup brushes at least once a month, more if you’ve got the time. A simple soak in ordinary baby shampoo is enough to do the trick.
Throw Out Old and Unused Makeup
On the topic of cleaning, how about a little spring-cleaning of your makeup drawer too?
Makeup has a specific shelf life after which it loses its efficiency. Mascara, for example, lasts for six months maximum, lipstick for one year while moisturizer and foundation stay usable for two years.
Have Your Eyebrows Professionally Shaped
Seen all of those specialist eyebrow bars that have been popping up recently? No, they’re not just a gimmick.
A session with a professional eyebrow technician can totally transform your face, not to mention your daily beauty routine. Expertly shaped brows will frame your face and add shape and structure where it’s needed.
A more permanent solution is microblading – a technique designed for those with sparse brows. Using tiny needles, semi-permanent ink is deposited into the skin. This gives the look of natural strands of hair all along your natural brow line.
Slightly pricey, but well worth the investment. Or you can always master doing your eyebrow grooming at home – it’s up to you.
If There’s One Thing You Do, Take Off Your Makeup At Night
We can’t stress this enough. Sleeping with makeup on your face means you’re clogging up your oil glands, effectively letting the makeup seep right into your pores.
This makes your pores appear larger than they are. That’s not even mentioning the inflammation, premature aging and potential breakouts you’re causing your skin.
At the very least, use a cleansing face wipe. You’ll thank us later.
Get Glowing Skin The Easy Way
Go for Regular Facials
We know, this one might sound a bit indulgent and unnecessary. Start going for regular facials though and you’ll be a changed woman – promise.
A professional facialist will do what your daily cleanse, tone and moisturize routine simply cannot. A monthly facial will intensively clean out your pores and leave your complexion clearer, brighter and perfectly even toned.
Sun Protection every day, No Excuses
Yes, even during winter. You may not be able to see the sun but trust us, it still has the potential to burn your delicate complexion and cause irreparable damage.
It needn’t even take any special add-ons to your beauty regimes. Just find a good moisturizer with a high SPF built into to it. Go for SPF 50 or higher all year round.
We know, it can be tough resisting new products when they are launched. Make this the year that you find what works for you and stick to it.
Remember too that a new skincare product usually takes about six weeks before you notice any real benefits. So chopping and changing different products is only going to harm your skin in the long run and cause undue stress and sensitivity.
Keep Your Hands (And Cell Phone) Away from Your Face
This one is easier said than done. How many times a day we unconsciously touch our faces, or answer the phone that hasn’t been wiped clean in how long?
Just think about all of the germs and debris that collect under our fingernails and phone screens every minute. When you touch your face, you’re depositing that same grime and oil into your pores which could end up as acne.
Promise yourself to keep your hands far away from your face, and your skin will be so much better for it.
Get more sleep
What is the one thing that will show up on your face faster than any other? Yep, you guessed it: a lack of sleep.
Those precious nighttime hours are when your body goes into full repair and recovery mode. New cells regenerate at a faster speed; a process that begins as early as 9 pm when the skin prepares for rest. The skin’s DNA is amped up during this time and is most capable of absorbing topical treatments. Melatonin (the hormone that makes us sleepy) goes into overdrive and repairs any damage done by UV rays and pollution.
Make sure you give your skin as much time for recovery as possible by getting as much shut-eye as you can.
Prep Your Skin Before Bed
There’s a reason it’s called beauty sleep. We’ve spoken about the importance of a full eight hours rest. Now use those precious hours to wake up looking fresher, healthier and more radiant. How?
Well, it all depends on your skincare needs. Firstly, no matter what your skin type, a basic routine of cleansing the skin of pollutants is essential.
Next, consider a topical cream like retinol (derived from vitamin A) which helps combat fine lines and wrinkles, boost the production of collagen and fade away sun spots and pigmentation.
Then there’s hyaluronic acid which can be a real savior for those with dry, dehydrated skin.
Switch to A Silk Pillowcase
On the topic of sleep, that cotton pillowcase you snuggle up to every night might just be aging your skin prematurely. If you’ve ever woken up with pillow creases along the side of your face, this could be a sign of the collagen in your skin breaking down.
Instead, swap your cotton case for a silk alternative which will create considerably less friction.
Make Google Your New Best Friend
Skincare products are expensive. Finding out you’re allergic or hypersensitive to one of their ingredients can be even pricier, especially after you’ve already forked out cash on a whole tube of the stuff.
Make this the year that you thoroughly research new products before buying them, be it skincare or makeup. A quick search on Google will reveal reviews from other users as well as warnings of possible reactions.
Grooming Basics For A More Beautiful You
Pay attention to your fingernails
Did you know that your hands are one of the first things that people notice about you? This is especially true in office environments where the all-important handshake can reveal a lot about you.
You needn’t go for the full gel nail treatment either. A simple 30-minute weekly manicure is enough to keep your hands nourished and well-groomed. See it as an investment in yourself.
Find a Signature Scent
Ever walked past someone and thought: “Wow, she smells amazing!” Chances are, she’s found that one signature scent that works perfectly with her body’s chemistry.
Each of us has a unique chemical makeup which means that fragrances will react differently to one person’s skin over that of another.
Take the time this year to try out a variety of scents and find that one that smells incredible on you. You’d be amazed at the confidence boost that just a few dabs can offer.
Throw away the bathroom scale
Stop paying attention to the number on the bathroom scale and guess what will start to happen? Instead of focusing on the number of pounds you’re gaining or losing, you’ll learn to pay attention to how your body actually feels.
Do you feel healthy, strong and happy? Zoning in your weight only adds stress and anxiety to your day. Plus, it’s counter-productive. Stress heightens the production of cortisol in the body – the hormone responsible for storing body fat, especially in the stomach area.
Our advice? Eat healthily for most of your meals but don’t cut out those occasional sweet treats. Just do it in moderation and be sure to get plenty of physical exercises too.
Remember, it’s all about balance.
Change Your Bed Sheets
Something we don’t often consider is the effect of our bed linens on our appearance. But dead skin cells, dust mites and, yes, bedbugs, are genuine threats when you don’t change your sheets often.
Your skin cream, hair products and body lotion all rub off during the night and deposits onto your linens. These can lead to acne breakouts on your skin.
Prevent this by changing your linens on a weekly basis.
Start Dry-Brushing Your Skin
Want smooth, shiny skin all year around? Try dry-brushing.
Essentially what you’re doing is sloughing away dead skin cells off the surface of the skin and revealing fresh, smooth skin beneath. All it takes is a natural-bristle brush or even an exfoliating mitt. Brush your skin in circular motions but remember, gently does it.
Do this before a shower and once you’re done, soak your skin in a nourishing but mild moisturizer.
Healthy Habits For All-Over Wellness
Start Your Day with an Egg
These little superfoods seem to be filled with magic. Seriously, one egg contains all ten of the most vital amino acids as well as choline. These all help to keep you alert and energetic while keeping your brain sharp and functioning brilliantly.
Boost Your Energy with Super Foods
Feeling fatigued and burnt-out by 4 pm? Look at your diet.
If you’re flooding your bloodstream with caffeine, sugar and fat regularly, sooner or later you’re going to hit an energy slump.
Instead, rethink your daily snacks. We love chia seeds added to yogurt or a smoothie for added protein, fiber, omega-3 and iron. Brazil nuts are another top choice, known for their high doses of selenium, a powerful antioxidant.
Have a Cuppa Green Tea
We’re sure we don’t have to tell you about the many benefits of green tea. A single cup can lower your blood pressure, fight the effects of aging, counter inflammation and improve the quality and texture of your skin.
Is that the kettle I hear boiling?
Eat More Fish
Just like eggs, salmon is another perfect food packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Besides being great at boosting brain power, it also can keep you feeling alert and energized. A great lunch option, if you ask us.
Fill Up On Beans
Kidney, soy, chickpea, butter, pinto and cannellini… those are just a few of the many beans out there to choose from for optimal health this year.
Try to have a cupful of beans every day and watch your energy and blood sugar levels begin to stabilize and even out.
Bonus: studies have shown that they help to reduce your risk of developing heart and other cardiovascular diseases in the long run.
Listen to Your Gut
It ’s not known as the second brain for anything. Research has shown that the good bacteria naturally found in our digestive systems are essential in helping the body absorb necessary vitamins, flushing out toxins and regulating our hormones.
When this bacterium is out of sync, it can lead to several unexpected conditions like fatigue, joint pain, headaches and a weakened immune system. Then there’s also the effect of the gut on our skin, particularly in the long term.
Things like dairy, sugar, gluten and alcohol add inflammation to the cells in the gut and show up on our faces as adult acne and premature aging.
So how can you get your gut back to its optimal health? Consider adding a daily probiotic to your daily diet as well as Greek yogurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir.
Water, water, water
You’ve heard it countless times before and we’ll repeat it: drink water! Yes, it’s that important.
Around eight glasses every day is what your body requires to make all of your bodily functions run smoothly. On a strict vanity basis, water also helps you flush out fat and toxins which further boosts your skin’s health and vitality. Ready, steady, drink!