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We love a good New Year’s resolution. Whether you want to eat healthier or exercise more or just *finally* write that novel, January offers us a tempting opportunity to become someone new.
That makes it a fantastic season to focus on your skin. After the stress of the holidays, chances are it could use some love. Happily, some of the biggest boons for our skin come in easy-to-stick-to habits that won’t require willpower.
In this post, we’ll talk about 10 of our favorite sustainable changes that will make a big impact in your 2019 skin game.
Drink more water
Hydration is really, really important for skin health. So important that we wrote all about it in our post How hydration helps dry winter skin.
Though it hasn’t been conclusively linked to anti-aging, drinking enough water is really important because it carries nutrients and oxygen to our cells, cushions joints, and protects organs and tissues, all of which is helpful in keeping our skin looking healthy. Plus, it just makes us feel better. Research supports the idea that water does help our skin, even if it doesn’t make us look younger.
With the combination of drinking and travel that usually accompanies the holidays, chances are you’ll be a bit dehydrated come Jan. 1. We’re not asking you to down a couple gallon jugs of water every day. Just setting a goal to drink 8 glasses of water is a great place to start.
Start using retinol
Retinol is a game-changing add to your skincare routine.
That’s because it doesn’t rely on surface-level changes like hydration to make skin look better—it actually makes skin younger at the cellular level. It’s one of our anti-aging strategies to start right now because it’s a helpful tool for skincare junkies of any age.
If you’re unsure how to choose a retinol product (or how they actually work) check out our post How do retinol creams work, anyway?
Make an appointment with your dermatologist
This one’s so easy, right? Just pick up the phone and call a dermatologist, because that appointment is really easy AND really important.
Even if you don’t have a specific skin condition or a family history of skin cancer, you still need to book that appointment. A visit with your derm is the perfect opportunity to ask all your lingering questions about hair, skin, and nails, and maybe walk away with skin-saving strategies, too.
After you schedule, review our list of three key questions for your dermatologist so you can make the most of your time with the doc.
It might just be the easiest resolution you make this year!
Add SPF every day
Since environmental stressors like the sun are responsible for 90% of the visible signs of aging, resolving to use SPF protection more consistently is a perfect skin-improving resolution for 2019.
But does it make sense in January if you live in Northern hemispheres?
We know that of the two spectrums of UV light that touch our skin, UVA causes more of those aging signs like wrinkles and sun spots. UVA light also travels through glass and is present throughout the day, even in winter.
All that to say, yep, you really do need SPF protection year-round. One easy (and relatively hassle-free) solution is to start incorporating an SPF-rated foundation or moisturizer into your routine.
Hot tip: we put together a list of our favorites in this post about the best SPF-rated foundations for sun protection.
Yes, we realize this violates every “set tangible goals” rule in the resolution-setting handbook.
But cognitive and emotional stress can cause damage to our skin too. So it’s worth choosing a tangible way to reduce stress in 2019—for the sake of your skin and your overall health! Read more in our post How does stress affect our skin?
One of our favorite stress reduction techniques is meditation, and guidance in the form of apps like Calm and Headspace is a perfect way to begin. Meditation is backed by astonishing research, is always accessible, and it’s free.
Take The Base Layer daily
Whether you’re escaping to the beach for a few weeks or hitting the chilly slopes, sun damage is a year-round threat. And healthy skin is super important in the winter months, too. So why not add the incredible skin-boosting benefits of Sundaily's The Base Layer gummies to your morning routine
The Base Layer features two active ingredients: Vitamin D and polypodium leucotomos. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for skin health that supports your skin’s ability to resist environmental stressors like UV light. Polypodium leucotomos is a fern native to the Amazon packed with powerful antioxidants to help resist free radical damage. That’s why taking The Base Layer daily is a simple way to improve and protect your skin throughout the year.
We make it easy to stick to this resolution with a Sundaily subscription, so you never have to worry about running out. And The Base Layer gummies taste amazing, so you’ll actually want to take them!
Get an air purifier
Smog in the air is a stressor on our skin. Not only does it clog our pores, leading to breakouts and dull skin, but it exposes us to damage via highly-reactive free radicals. Those free radicals can prematurely age us by reducing the amount of plumping collagen in our skin.
The effects can range from pimples and redness to increased wrinkles and a complexion you sort of hate. In addition to paying attention to your skincare routine (exfoliate more!), you can improve the air in your home with the addition of an air purifier and/or humidifier.
An air purifier will ensure the place you spend at least ⅓ of your life isn’t as smoggy as what’s outside your window. And a humidifier will combat dry winter skin by replacing some of the ambient moisture we lose through heating.
Get more Vitamin C
Vitamin C has garnered lots of ingredient buzz of late, and for good reason.
It supports the skin in a bunch of helpful ways. First, it’s an antioxidant, fighting off damage from sunlight, smog, and stress. It’s part of the reason Vitamin C’s “brightening” properties are so hot right now.
Vitamin C is also crucial to forming and maintaining collagen, the good stuff that helps our skin look plump and dewy.
The best way to get Vitamin C is through foods like citrus and bell peppers, so adding a few more servings of those foods weekly is a great resolution. But if you’re determined to experiment with a topical Vitamin C, check out a few of our favorites in our post How does Vitamin C work, anyway?
While you’re at it, get more Vitamin D
We already know Vitamin D benefits bone health, immune system health, calcium absorption, and so many other important biological processes. And emerging research links Vitamin D to everything from cardiovascular and metabolic health to cancer prevention and healthy brain functioning.
In short, this stuff is SO important to overall health—that’s why we included 800 IU of it in The Base Layer gummies. That, and we know most Americans are deficient in it. Plus, when you’re protecting yourself effectively from the sun, your body might not be able to make enough on its own.
That’s why talking to your doctor about getting more Vitamin D (especially if you know you’re deficient) is a fantastic and totally achievable New Year’s resolution.
Taking The Base Layer takes care of this goal, but you can try eating more Vitamin D-rich foods. Many of the densest sources of Vitamin D are animal foods like fatty coldwater fish and dairy, so vegans might need to choose a supplement (our gummies are vegan and derived from lichen!). And if you’re still curious, read more about Vitamin D in the post Vitamin D: Solving the Problem of “Darkness at Noon.
We know now, more than ever, that sleep is kinda the magic pill. Adults need 7 hours of sleep per night, according to the CDC, and anything less is considered “short sleep.” And that’s bad news, because those who get short sleep are more likely to report chronic health conditions, obesity, lack of activity, and more stuff you just don’t want.
Read more in our post How does sleep help skin?
The first step in setting a sleep goal is understanding how you’re sleeping now. Most wearable fitness devices now include sleep trackers, so consider reviewing your stats.
Could you add an extra hour of sleep? Or would it be better to focus on getting deeper, more restful sleep?
Let the data inform your goal, and remember to pick something realistic and manageable—maybe getting to bed an hour earlier or improving your sleep quality so much you wake up one less time per night, on average.