It is that time of the year when we make overly ambitious New Year’s resolutions knowing deep down that we will fail half of them by the end of January. However, there are actually worthy goals out there that you should pursue to improve the quality of your life.
And when it comes to beauty, here are the ten most common New Year’s resolutions that we think would benefit anyone. Read on to find out what they are and what you can do to keep them till the end of the year.
1. Drink more water
To drink more water has to be one of the most popular resolutions every year. We all know the amazing benefits water can bring to our body, but during our busy days, it can be difficult to remember to reach for our water bottle.
One trick to make sure we stay hydrated is to keep a reusable water bottle in each of the places we most often are at: bedroom, living room, office, to save yourself the hassle of bringing one bottle back and forth between home and work.
Another tip is to use bottles with cute design to keep you motivated to drink out of it often. And make sure the bottles are clear so you know how much there’s left to drink.
2. Reapply sunscreen throughout the day
If you have been faithfully applying your sunscreen in the morning, congratulations, you are taking better care of your skin than many people. However, just applying sunscreen once isn’t enough, especially in the hot and humid weather in Singapore where you are most likely to sweat it off within a couple of hours. Instead, dermatologists recommend reapplying your sunscreen every two hours to make sure you are getting sufficient protection.
However, apart from it being an extra thing you have to remember during your busy day, reapplying SPF can be tricky if you wear makeup. Your regular liquid sunscreen most likely won’t work well on top of your makeup.
Instead, use a spray sunscreen that will not mess with your makeup. Or better yet, use a powder sunscreen to both top up the SPF and touch up your makeup at the same time.
Whatever type of sunscreens you use, make sure it provides both UVA and UVB protection and is at least SPF30.
3. Sleep better
Together with drinking more water, getting more sleep is something everyone would benefit from, regardless of whether you are into beauty. Yet, with the grind culture that has taken over most of our lives now, it’s all too easy to sacrifice sleep for more work.
While it’s ideal to get at least seven hours of sleep every night, if that’s not an option with your current lifestyle, at least make sure whatever little sleep you are getting actually counts.
To improve the quality of your sleep, have a night routine to help you unwind and relax before bed. It could be writing in your journal, reading a book, or doing a sheet mask, anything to get your mind off of the stress of your daily life.
Also put away any phone or tablet before going to bed. The blue light emitting from these devices disrupts your circadian rhythm, or sleep/wake cycle, and makes it harder for you to fall asleep.
4. Never sleep in your makeup
Let’s be honest, we have all been there. After a late night out, getting to the bathroom to perform an elaborate cleansing ritual isn’t exactly the most appealing idea, especially when your bed just looks so tempting. However, your skin does pay a dear price being caked in makeup overnight and the result is often breakouts and tired, stressed-looking skin in the morning.
To avoid this, keep a pack of makeup wipes, or a bottle of micellar water with some round cottons, on your bedside table. When you are dead tired, taking those ten steps to the bathroom sounds impossible, but having the makeup wipes within reach makes it so much easier to at least take most of the makeup off your face. Who knows? After wiping your face, you may even feel energised enough to actually get to the bathroom for a proper cleanse!
5. Exfoliate regularly
Regular exfoliation removes your dead skin cells, preventing clogged pores and leaving your skin looking brighter, but committing to a schedule of a certain number of times a week can be a challenge.
The most effective way to remember to do something is to associate it with an already ingrained habit. For example, if you are already doing a sheet mask three times a week, exfoliate on the same nights to make it part of the existing routine. Other tips include set a reminder on your phone, and keep your exfoliating products out in the open on your vanity as a visual reminder to use them.
6. Have a diet rich in antioxidants
We have all heard about how antioxidants are so great for our skin. They can repair your skin against visible damage, brighten your complexion, and reduce signs of ageing such as wrinkles, fine lines and dull skin. Not only that, antioxidants also keep your hair and nails healthy. That means you should really aim to supply your body with more antioxidants in 2020 to reap all that amazing benefits!
Food that is rich in antioxidants include beans, bell peppers, carrots, broccolis, berries, dark leafy greens such as kale, etc. A tip to make sure you consume all of the various antioxidants is to make your plate looks like a rainbow with foods in different colours. And instead of having sweets for dessert, opt for fruits such as berries, kiwis, or oranges. as a healthier alternative.
If you are not a big fan of any certain food, such as kale, just chuck it in a blender with other ingredients and make a smoothie. This way, you get all of the benefits without any unpleasant taste.
7. Cut out sugar
Excess sugar isn’t just the enemy of our waistline and blood pressure. It actually can inflame our skin leading to breakouts, worsen skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea, as well as contribute to ageing. That’s right, as addicting as sugar can be, it’s in your best interest to seriously cut down on this stuff this year.
To avoid cravings of sugary snacks, instead of having three big meals, have small, frequent meals throughout the day with enough protein and healthy fat to keep the hunger at bay. If you don’t want to give up sweeteners just yet, replace your regular white sugar with substitutes such as stevia, but reduce the amount used each time to train your taste buds to desire less sweetness. Over time, your palate will adapt and you will find it easier to stick to a low-sugar diet.
8. Heat-protect your hair
Regular heat styling can really take a toll on your hair, making it dry, brittle and prone to breakage. If you are someone who straightens or curls their hair on the daily without any form of protection, let 2020 be the year you take better care of your hair before the damage becomes irreversible.
The simplest way to protect your hair against heat damage is to use a heat protectant spray before styling. Keep the spray right next to where you keep your flat iron or curling wand so you never forget to use it.
Another tip is to let your hair air dry instead of blow drying it. But if you have to use a blow dryer, use it on damp, not wet, hair, as your hair is weakest and most vulnerable to damage when wet.
9. Quit biting your nails
Biting your nails is usually either a nervous tick or a habit you formed as a child and find it hard to break as an adult. Not only do bitten nails leave your hands looking unkempt, nail-biting as a habit can damage your teeth, break your cuticle skin, and lead to infections.
Unfortunately, solutions such as wearing gloves or coating your nails with a bitter taste are only surface level and aren’t always feasible. If you are determined to break this bad habit in 2020, it’s important to get to the root cause before figuring out the solutions.
If nail biting is your coping mechanism against stress and anxiety, direct that nervous energy to something else such as a stress ball or fidget spinner. If you simply do it out of boredom, try practicing mindfulness to increase your awareness of the habit. Once you are fully present, the sensation of biting your nails becomes much less pleasant and you will find it easier to quit.
10. Wash makeup brushes and sponges regularly
Your brushes and sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria with the buildup of makeup, dirt and oil from your face left over time. As these tools come into direct contact with your face every time you put on makeup, it’s important to regular clean and wash them to prevent breakouts and skin irritation.
To remember to wash your brushes and sponges, have a regular schedule to make it easier for you to stick to. It is recommended that you wash your tools every 1-2 weeks, so you can set aside 15 minutes, say, on a Sunday evening for this task. Over time, your brain will automatically associate “Sunday night” with “washing makeup tools”, and dirty brushes will no longer be a thing!