The ball dropped, the champagne is finished off—along with that last box of holiday chocolates—and a fresh New Year is before us. What better time to detox from all of the end-of-year excess and kick-start some healthier habits that can revive and rejuvenate our stressed complexions? In lieu of big, bold “resolutions”—which typically come with notoriously short shelf lives—we’ve opted to ring in 2016 with a list of small (read: completely doable) ways we can help improve the state of our skin.
1. REMOVE MAKEUP BEFORE BED
Not only can leftover makeup lead to clogged pores and breakouts, it’s been known to cause premature skin aging. Simply put, when you don’t wash away the dirt, oils and environmental pollutants that accumulate on your face over the course of a day, you are prolonging your complexion’s exposure to skin-damaging free radicals. Plus, sleeping in a full face of makeup can interfere with the skin’s natural ability to repair itself overnight.
TIP: Leave a pack of facial cleansing wipes by your bedside for days when you’re feeling too lazy to make a trip to the sink.
2. WEAR SPF ON THE REGULAR
With skin cancer rates soaring, a solid rule of thumb for sunscreen is: You should be wearing it—all day, every day, 365 days a year. Choosing a broad-spectrum formula is critical because it protects skin from both types of ultraviolet rays: UVA (aging) and UVB (burning).
TIP: Shave a step off of your daily skin care routine by using a moisturizer that contains SPF.
3. DRINK MORE WATER
There are lots of reasons to up our H2O intake: It fires up your metabolism, regulates body temperature, helps flush out toxins, aids in digestion, fuels your brain and keeps us alive. And while there’s little research to prove that drinking water improves skin health, we always notice a huge difference when we drink more of it. (Turns out we’re not alone: Ask pretty much any gorgeous celebrity their secret to glowing, camera-ready skin, and this easy-to-adopt habit always ranks high on the list.) Being that skin contains 64% water, drinking lots of it simply makes sense. So go ahead and drink up. Your skin will thank you.
TIP: Begin your morning by filling a large pitcher with water and a few slices of your favorite fresh fruit. Then set a goal for how many times you refill it throughout the day.
4. DO A WEEKLY MASK
Along with the usual suspects of things that compromise our complexions, environmental pollutants are making their way up the list of biggest offenders, which is all the more reason to make using a detoxifying mask a weekly habit. A fast and easy way to revive congested, depleted skin and restore a youthful glow, look for formulas made with ingredients that draw out impurities, such as mud, clay and activated charcoal.
TIP: If you’re pressed for time, multitask: Apply a mask just as you’re stepping into the shower, then rinse right before getting out.
5. FALL IN LOVE WITH GREEN JUICE (OR AT LEAST LEARN TO TOLERATE IT)
The health benefits of dark green vegetables are no secret—especially when consumed in the form of fresh-squeezed juice. So this year why not turn over a new leaf and incorporate some green juice into your diet? In addition to boosting oxygen and energy levels and helping flush out toxins, a daily (or even weekly) glass of green juice can help promote a healthier, more luminous complexion. From collagen repair and free-radical protection to increased blood circulation and improved elasticity, the beauty perks are hard to pass up.
TIP: Try our new favorite recipe for green juice (we dare you not to love it): 1 large cucumber, 8 stalks of celery, 1 handful of kale, 1 handful of spinach, 1 handful of parsley, 1 lemon, 1 green apple and a 1-inch piece of ginger. P.S.: It tastes best cold.
READERS—Was this article helpful? Got some beauty resolutions that you’d like to share? Share them with us in the comments section below.