With the new year fast approaching, you are probably starting to think about your resolutions. And if you are like the rest of us, you likely are not having a hard time coming up with New Years resolution ideas, but how to actually accomplish those healthy habit goals is another story. If you have skin care New Year’s resolutions, we have got you covered! We caught up with our Kate Somerville Skin Care Clinic esthetician Aly Mac to get her pointers on how to achieve better skin and it turns out you can do a lot more than just change up which skin care products you use in your daily routine. Like many, Aly recognizes that healthy skin is built from the inside out as your skin is linked to your overall nutrition and what you choose to put into your body . So, to feel good by improving your general well-being, you will help to replenish your skin's appearance as well.
New Year’s Skin Care Resolutions
There are a variety of skin care resolutions you might be making - reduce any visible signs of aging, eradicate your acne, or even minimizing previous sun damage - whatever your goal, you may need to work on a few things that seem unrelated to your skin to help reach your goals. Here is what Aly suggests you start with…
Drink More Water
Aly boasts that drinking enough water is “the most important thing you can do for your skin and it’s free!” She’s not wrong. The definitive benefits water consumption directly has on your skin’s appearance is still somewhat up for debate as no one can seem to agree on why or how it works, but most agree that increased water consumption does have a positive impact on the skin. One study suggests that it is a result of increased blood flow through the capillaries in the skin when you drink water  while others have found adequate water intake simply helps to balance the skin’s natural moisture levels . Whatever the mechanism, drinking more water is a great place to start when you are looking to achieve healthier skin and it is an especially great first step if you are on a budget to fulfill your beauty resolutions!
Avoid Processed Foods & Refined Sugar
Notice we did not say to cut these things out of your diet completely - that might not be realistic. But you should take small steps and start to focus on reducing the amount with which you consume these types of foods as there is a known link between your diet and your skin .
What it comes down to is this: processed foods which are often high in saturated fats and simple carbohydrates, like sugar, are broken down by your body quickly resulting in spikes in your blood sugar levels. This reaction is what can cause your skin to react negatively when you have too much of these foods. Remember, your skin is the largest organ in your body and it is connected to everything you choose to eat. So avoid foods that are inflammatory, high in sugars or high in saturated fats such as white bread, candy, fried food, ice cream, fruit juice, pasta, ketchup, cream cheese, jam, pizza, sugar (white and brown), packaged snacks and sodas.
Reduce Your Dairy
We have already established that there is a link between what you eat and how your skin looks but in addition to processed foods and sugar, dairy can also have a negative impact on your skin if you consume too much of it. Similar to the effects of water consumption, most of the evidence supporting a link between dairy products and skin issues like acne seems to be anecdotal as opposed to cold hard fact . That said, there does appear to be some sort of link between dairy products and the presence of acne on your skin. Some think this is tied to the hormones that are contained in milk and other dairy products, that those hormones spike your naturally occurring levels and result in breakouts .
Dietitians and nutritionists have been stressing the importance of eating organically for years. They note that non-organic foods tend to have less nutritional value than their organic counterparts in addition to introducing potential toxins and chemicals to your body . Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have also been a hot topic recently as we have learned more about how these foods impact human health, the environment, and biodiversity. So it stands to reason that if these foods have a negative impact on your body overall, they have an effect on your skin’s health as well.
Organic foods, as a rule, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products are produced by animals that have been given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Thus, eating more organic foods will help reduce the frequency at which you consume toxins, chemicals, and other harmful elements that could impact your skin’s appearance.
We all know that regular exercise is important for the health of our lungs, heart, and mental state but did you know that your workouts can have a dramatic effect on your skin too? One of the most obvious ways exercise can help improve your skin’s appearance is increased blood flow. When your body is moving during a workout, your heart works harder to pump blood efficiently to every corner of your body - this is why it improves heart health. But once you are done, your heart has increased its ability and can easily pump blood to your skin while resting thus giving you a warm glow. Increased blood flow also helps nourish your skin cells and provide them with vital oxygen that is needed to remain healthy.
Exercise is also known to decrease stress and therefore can help to reduce any conditions that may be exacerbated by stress such as acne or eczema. However, researchers are still investigating the link between stress and skin, but some studies indicate that the skin’s glands which produce oil may be influenced by stress hormones .
Get a Daily Dose of Vitamin C
Vitamin C does more than just aid your immune system, it is a skin care powerhouse ingredient and working it into your 2019 skin care routine can have dramatic effects on the appearance of your skin. First, vitamin C helps protect your skin from free radicals. These cells attack your skin resulting in increased signs of aging. Vitamin C, however, neutralizes these free radicals and minimizes the damage they cause.
This miracle ingredient also helps to brighten your complexion and can help reduce the visible signs of aging. With its powerful antioxidant properties, high-potency vitamin C is able to even out skin tone and brighten your overall complexion, leaving you with a vibrant glow. And by replenishing the skin’s natural lipids, vitamin C improves skin texture and increases moisture retention.
Establish a Routine
And lastly, you must make it a resolution to develop a skincare routine. Ideally, you would want to have a regimen for both morning and night that would vary slightly and utilize different products to ensure you are giving your skin the most complete care possible. But you don’t need to start there. Rather, try starting with a simple routine consisting of a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer (be sure to include sunscreen in the morning!) then build your way up. As you become more comfortable with your products and get to know your skin better, you will be able to add in more complexities to your regimens such as double cleansers, exfoliators, essences, serums, eye treatments and creams, sleep masks, and spot treatments.
At Kate Somerville, we have a number of products that can help everyone from skincare novice to guru develop the perfect routine for their face. If you are a beginner and not quite sure where to start, check out our Try Me kits which include travel sizes of some of our most popular products focused around specific skin concerns. Our Breakout Fighters Kit ($55), for example, contains our EradiKate® Acne Treatment, EradiKate® Daily Foaming Cleanser, EradiKate® Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment, and Oil-Free Moisturizer all of which are designed to combat acne and leave you with beautifully clear skin. Our Hydration Warriors Kit ($75), on the other hand, is designed to boost moisture while visibly plumping skin and helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This kit includes our DermalQuench Wrinkle Warrior®, Cold Cream Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover, Wrinkle Warrior® 2-in-1 Plumping Moisturizer + Serum, and Wrinkle Warrior® Pink Plumping Mask.
Whatever you decide to focus on for your New Year’s resolutions, we hope this helps you take actionable steps towards achieving your goals. We at Kate Somerville love working with our clients to help the learn about the benefits of exfoliation and achieve beautiful glowing skin!