As much as we'd like to believe in the 'new year, new me' mojo, the truth is that change doesn't happen overnight. Into the second month of the year, we've already begun skipping yoga class and skimping on those eight glasses of water a day. We're nothing if not optimistic though—there's 11 more months for us to give our resolutions a shot, including taking better care of our skin. Exercise, diet, and carbs aside, dermatologists weigh in on the various skincare resolutions you need to make (and stick to!) this year.
1. Take care of lymphatics and muscles
Dr Kiran Sethi, director of Isya Aesthetics says, "Our body is connected throughout using lymphatics, and toxins are constantly waiting to be released. Our lymphatics get blocked easily, resulting in puffy under eyes, bloated faces, and inflamed skin. I recommend gua-sha (also called 'coining', 'spooning' or 'scraping') to be done at least a few times a week. One can also improve poor lymphatic flow by dry brushing the skin for a few minutes before showering."
She also recommends regular massages to help tone muscles. She adds, "As we age, our muscles become weaker. A gankin or French facial massage technique can truly help tone your facial muscles."
2. Reduce sugar intake
Sugar consumption is bad for the skin as it accelerates aging. According to Dr Jamuna Pai, cosmetic physician and founder of SkinLab, sugar ingested in any form starts glycation in the system—this means that the sugar binds to the elastin and collagen fibres, and degrades important protein blocks of skin that are responsible for its elasticity and suppleness. "Sugar is bad for the skin in more ways than one. This glycation process causes inflammation in the system resulting in further destruction of the collagen and elastin fibres. All this results in formation of wrinkles, fine lines, loose skin, which are all signs of ageing."
Dr Sethi adds, "Processed foods like ketchup and snacks have artificial flavouring, colours and sweeteners that are all proven to kill intestinal cells and affect gut activity too. So consider cutting all this out from your diet for healthier skin."
3. Get rid of expired make-up
While you might adore that three-year-old lipstick you invested in, or have an emotional connection with your foundation, using expired make-up products is an absolute no-no, and Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, founder and medical director, ISAAC Luxe agrees too. Old products that have gone bad are a breeding ground for bacteria—which means you're applying millions of germs on your skin, resulting in breakouts and inflammation.
4. Cleanse more than just your skin
While cleaning your skin is essential, topical cleansing is only surface level. Our skin is highly affected by our gut, and our gut is a reflection of our health. "A deregulated gut can result in rashes, rosacea, acne, and allergies on the skin," says Dr Sethi. Consumption of healthier foods that'll help detox the system is good way to start this cleanse.
Ensure that you're also washing your make-up brushes on a regular basis, since these can also breed bacteria. "Keep brushes and blending tools clean, and do not share these with anyone as this causes and spreads infection," warns Dr Mittal Gupta.
5. Follow a 10-10-10 rule
The 10-10-10 rule can give you the glowing skin you've always wanted; Dr Mittal Gupta breaks it down. "Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you do and start your day with an easy ten-minute yoga routine. For the next ten minutes, calm your soul with meditation, visualisation and affirmation. Spend the last ten minutes planning your day to ensure it is organised and stress-free. For even better results, do this while wearing a soothing DIY face pack or sheet mask!"