In the sun

Tanning damages the skin

I am often asked, “What should I do to get perfect, flawless skin” – the answer is never just one thing. Also, it not only about what you do, but also what you don’t do. So in the spirit of the New Year and resolutions, here are 5 steps in each category – you decide whether you are better at being a self starter, or a quitter. Even if you just do one thing different that is on the lists – you will notice a positive difference. Remember, it’s the one time that vanity could actually be a virtue.

5 Things to STOP doing

1. Smoking. This is not a pretty habit any way you look at it. Having your skin constantly in contact with the smoke will cause a yellow tinge to the skin. Also, nicotine breaks down collagen, leading to premature wrinkles.

Throw out that old makeup

Throw out that old makeup!

2. Sun tanning. Forget the potential of skin cancer—when you tan, you are damaging the skin and so again, can cause uneven discolorations to the skin as well as premature aging to the skin.

3. Remove your makeup. Don't leave on your makeup on at bedtime. Beyond the need to do extra laundry, not removing your makeup can cause mini breakouts and irritations—especially mascaras and eye makeup.

4. Facial cleanser ingredients. Facial cleansers with foaming ingredients—like lauryl sulphates. Our skin is not designed like fabric—but many people have this idea that foaming = clean. That is just not true and all these foaming agents do is dry out and irritate the skin.

5. Toss that old makeup! Hanging onto cosmetics or skin care products for more than a year—and mascara for more than 6 months. Remember, the product may have been on the shelf or in a warehouse for quite a while before you bought it. If they are or contain sunscreens—always take note of the expiration date, which should be listed on the package.

Treat your face

Treat yourself to a facial

5 Things to START doing

1. Natural skin care products. Use skin care products that contain multiple botanical extracts and active ingredients closer to the top of the ingredient list and the waxes and fillers nearer to the bottom of the list.

2. Be consistent. Whatever your skin care routine is, make it a routine and be consistent.

3. Facials. Get a facial by a licensed aesthetician at least once every season. They will know which products are better for your skin and do any necessary extractions and exfoliation in the correct way.

Eat colorful foods

Add some color to your diet

4. Diet. Have a diet that consists of lots of dark-colored fruits and vegetables—all are high in antioxidants, which is great for the skin. Also make sure that omega 3s (fish, whole grains) are part of your food selections.

5. Supplements. Supplement with a B-complex vitamin – great for hair, nails and skin

And finally, smile, laugh, and surround yourself with positive people that remind you every day what a fabulous, dynamic and incredible person you are!