Skincare Resolutions for 2013

10:07 PM

Ever since I started playing with cosmetics, I've become more attuned to the changes in my skin. Breakouts before menses, clearer skin when properly hydrated, smoother skin after exfoliation. And with better skin, I can use less makeup, thereby cutting down prep time by half. Skincare trumps makeup any day.

I'm late to the game, but here are my skincare resolutions for 2013:

Use gentle cleansers

When I was young, I disregarded the sage advice of my dermatologist to stop using my Neutrogena facial wash and switch to gentle cleansers. You see, I had oily skin and loved the matte feeling after a good face washing. But lately I've been using non-soapy facial cleansers, even used Muji's Cleansing Oil in place of a proper facial wash for a week -- and I find that my face is actually producing less oil. So it's true, my oily-skinned friends: don't strip your face of its natural oils with harsh detergents! This will only drive your skin to produce more oil, and more often than not, overcompensate, leading to greaseface. I've got a few mild cleansers I'm trying out now, expect reviews soon.

Don't forget to exfoliate

Exfoliation should be done only when needed, and not on any regular basis. But in my case I often forget that I need it. Exfoliating the face is great for stimulating cell growth and bringing new skin to the surface for a youthful glow. (I sound like a bad infomercial but it's true.) And for the body, well it just makes the skin nicer to touch and prevents ingrown hairs.

Moisturize every day

I never forget to put on eye cream but sometimes I'm too lazy to moisturize (que horror)! Especially when I've put on actives (salicylic acid, erythromycin, etc.) against pimples and stuff -- it just seems like too many creams on my face. But I notice that even without the actives, as long as I'm properly hydrated and moisturized, the blemishes tend to fade away more quickly. I'm pumping up the regimen by using a hydrating serum. I initially wanted an antioxidant serum, but I realize that at my age, hydration is more important than antioxidants, which are best consumed not through the skin but through the digestive tract. Which brings me to the next resolution:

Eat more fruits and vegetables

Ever since I moved back home I've been eating more sweets and fewer vegetables, as you may have noticed from my Instagram food posts. (That's just the kind of food we have here haha.) We all know how good they are for our health and our wasitlines, but we often forget that they're also good for our skin. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamins A, C, and E: potent antioxidants. So are leafy greens. It's time I got some serious self-control, set aside those sugary goods, and actively seek fruits and vegetables -- which to be honest, I quite miss eating. Not fruit or vegetable juices either, because those have loooaaads of sugar, but actual whole fruits and chopped vegetables. We just got a bunch of mangoes from the province. I know they're the sweetest, possibly least healthy fruit to be consumed, but it's a start!

Consume less sugar

Or more precisely, less carbohydrates. Besides being turned into fat, carbs can accelerate the aging process by attach collagen through glycation. Glycated collagen is stiff, without the normal elastic resilience of young skin, and so produces wrinkles and age spots -- not to mention stiff arteries (hello hypertension!) and ligaments. (sources: 1, 2)

Take multivitamins and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids daily

When I was younger, the cook would set out my vitamins for me to take on a daily basis. But since I started going on 36-hour duties two years ago, that kind of went down the drain. With my poor diet, it's time to reinstill this healthy habit. Need those antioxidants!

Always have a glass or bottle of water beside me

I didn't realize the importance of hydration before I started paying more attention to my skin. I get thirsty easily but often I can't be bothered to get up from reading, or studying, or surfing to get a glass of water. I end up going to bed with dry lips and dry skin, and wake up to numerous pimples the following day. When I have water beside me, it's really easy to take a sip from time to time, and before I know it, I've consumed the recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day -- and wake up to brighter, more supple-looking skin.

Do you guys have any skincare or beauty resolutions?

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Majority of the products you see here are purchased by me. Products that are provided by companies for consideration will contain a footnote indicating that fact, as will affiliate links. Rest assured that all reviews are written with my honest opinion.

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