It’s that time again, time for a fresh start – a new year with new goals and resolutions! I love this time of year because it is an opportunity to reflect on successes and challenges of the past year and hit the reset button with new resolve. The stats tell us that only 8% of people actually have success sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions. That’s sort of disappointing, and I wonder how we might increase our odds of success. To me, success is more likely when we set realistic goals, plan, and enlist support from & accountability to others.

  • For most people making radical change, all at once does not lead to long-term success. A small-steps approach works best to build new habits, one reasonable change at a time.
  • Planning is key! Say, for example, you set a goal to eat 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. How can you eat them if you have not shopped, chopped and created easy ways to consume them? When I plan out my meals and snacks and have them ready to grab and go or cook and eat, then I have greater success. Planning makes all the difference.
  • Enlist support and create accountability. Once you set your resolutions, declare them to your friends and family so you have cheerleaders and support to help you stay on track. I personally love the buddy system – finding someone with similar resolutions and sharing ideas and support to make change more fun.

Now, on to those Resolutions for Fabulous Skin in 2017. If you are looking to improve your skin this year, here are my Top 10 ways to achieve that goal.

  1. Always cleanse your face before bed and apply a skin-type appropriate moisturizer, at a minimum.
  2. Wear a mineral sunscreen (SPF 30 minimum) every single day, rain or shine.
  3. Keep toxins out of your body by not applying them to your skin. Do your homework and use products that are free of: parabens, phthalates, sulfates, petroleum, artificial colors & fragrances, and harsh chemicals.
  4. Nourish your skin with topical vitamins. Every day your skins needs to receive vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants like resveratrol and green tea. Vitamin C builds collagen, while vitamin A encourages skin cell turnover, creating a continuum of skin-cell renewal that leads to beautiful skin.
  5. Drink up! Be sure to drink a few glasses of water each day, in addition to water-rich fruits and veggies.
  6. Healthy fats for healthy skin. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and improve skin tone and texture, as well as combat acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. Either eat fatty fish several times per week or consider an omega-3 supplement.
  7. Feed your flora, both inside and out. In terms of diet, it is important to eat probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, miso, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods, or take a supplement. The application of a topical probiotic replenishes skin flora that can be destroyed from over cleansing.
  8. Exfoliate, but not too much! I prefer once per week with an enzymatic exfoliator, which uses fruit enzymes like bromelain and papain to remove the dead skin cells that create a dull complexion. Beware of over-exfoliation though, as it can trigger increased oil production and cause redness.
  9. Get your zzzz’s. Lack of sleep shows up on skin in the form of dark circles and reduced skin cell turnover and new cell regeneration. Make sleep a priority. You will be more productive and your skin will reflect good health.
  10. Keep stress in check! This is a big one. Stress increases a hormone called cortisol, which reduces collagen production and, in-turn, causes wrinkles. Make time for quiet time for you every day. Meditation is proven to reduce stress and lower cortisol.

Good luck to all of you with your 2017 Resolutions. I wish you all great success, joy, peace and, of course, glowing skin this year!

Click here to read Ginger Hodulik Downey’s book The Esthetician’s Guide to Outstanding Esthetics.