Previously, my beauty goals included learning how to put on eyeliner and mascara, and how to use a lash curler. I finally know how to do all those things, albeit not that well yet. However, during that time, I achieved something far more important: I finally learned to be mindful about taking care of my skin.
In less than three years, my skin has undergone changes that I never would have thought possible. While before, I was constantly in panic-and-treat mode due to the very sorry state of my skin, I can now honestly say that I’m in maintain-and-prevent mode. I started out with simple changes to my everyday lifestyle that paved the way to healing my skin.
Here are some things I’ve learned that you can add to your New Year’s resolutions for 2017.
1. Maintain a good level of personal hygiene all the time.
Washing your hands with soap and water every time you use the toilet, changing bed clothes and towels regularly, removing makeup before you go to bed — all contribute to your skin’s overall health. For me, I rinse my hair each night before going to sleep to make sure any dirt and sweat from the day is gone. I also regularly clean my very meager set of makeup brushes and change makeup sponges and puffs regularly.
2. Use sunscreen — all day, every day.
Not using sunscreen regularly was a big factor in making my adult acne worse. I’ve learned my lesson the very painful way, and now make sure to apply and reapply (if needed) sunscreen every single day. It really helps that sunscreens are now available in different formulations for various skin types, and at more affordable price points, so there’s no excuse not to use them. Even using an umbrella helps!
3. Drink water daily and mind what you eat.
Drinking plenty of water should be included in any skin care advice. On any given day, I consume anywhere from 3 to 4 liters of water. Also, every morning over the past few years, I’ve been drinking a glass of hot water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed in. This has really made a big difference to my digestion, and most likely to my skin too.
4. Simplify, reduce, reuse and recycle.
I previously wrote about BeautyLab products that made me more environmentally conscious. Cleaning up my bathroom of unwanted, unused and expired products before the end of the year yielded about three big trash bags, along with a larger amount of shame and regret for being so wasteful. Never again! I’ve taken stock of what skin care and makeup I have on hand, and have resolved to use those up completely and ensure proper disposal. Remember, PLASTIC LIVES FOREVER.
Photo: SCMP.com/EcoVision Hong Kong
5. Time is the best investment to achieving healthy skin.
I used to buy so many concealers and foundations every month in a massive effort to hide my pimples and dark circles, but I’ve since accepted that my dark circles are here to stay. My pimples are gone, and some of my acne scars have faded. In the end, it wasn’t any of the pricey acne treatments and makeup that did the trick. It was patience, time, a lot of research and careful decision-making.