3 Skin Stacking Hacks For A Firmer, Smoother Complexion
Ever heard of habit stacking? Explained by No. 1 New York Times bestselling author James Clear, habit stacking is a technique that involves associating desirable habits with your existing daily routine. A common example: If you want to drink more water, start gulping down a glass after you brush your teeth. By "stacking" the habit on an activity you already do daily, you're more likely to commit to it.
Now, let's give this technique a beauty-focused tweak. If you have a certain goal in mind (say, healthier nails, a firmer complexion, or faster hair growth), try bundling them into your preexisting routine. Skin stacking…get it? Ahead, find three ideas to get started:
Add collagen to your coffee
If you want firmer, smoother, more youthful-looking skin, you need to start a collagen-supporting routine. Don't just take my word for it! Your skin is literally made up of the precious protein, but your levels start to decline at a steady rate of 1% per year1 once you hit your mid-20s. As a result, you may start to see signs of skin aging, like fine lines, sagging, sallowness, and loss of volume.
The good news? Research shows that consuming hydrolyzed collagen peptides can help promote the body's natural production of collagen1 and other molecules that make up the skin, like elastin and fibrillin. In turn, these collagen peptides are able to support skin elasticity and dermal collagen density2.
But you need to take collagen daily to reap the benefits, and that's where many folks start to run into trouble. To make it a habit, I recommend placing your powder right next to your coffee beans (or wherever you make your morning cup of joe). If you already drink coffee daily, commit to stirring in a scoop of collagen before taking your first sip. Pretty soon, it will feel like second nature.
See here for our favorite collagen powders that blend effortlessly into beverages (plus smoothies and baked goods).
Apply cuticle oil before washing dishes
Cuticle care is crucial for healthy nails. Neglect those little strips of skin, and chances are your nails also appear brittle and cracked, if not irritated.
Nail experts recommend applying cuticle oil whenever you can—at least three times a day, if you can remember! For an easy, timesaving hack, try applying cuticle oil right before you do the dishes (assuming you wear gloves to protect your hands and nails, of course). The steamy, sudsy water can increase the skin's permeability3, which can help these healthy oils penetrate deeper into the pores for baby-soft skin.
Some of our favorite natural oils include extra-virgin olive oil, which contains a high dose of vitamin E4; coconut oil, which can help your skin boost collagen production5 and can help improve6 moisture levels and barrier function7; avocado oil, which contains oleic acid and monounsaturated fats; and almond oil, which is anti-inflammatory and can help prevent structural damage8 caused by UV radiation. You can also browse our favorite cuticle oils here, which include a cocktail of nourishing players.
Apply scalp treatments before a workout
Let's not forget: Your scalp is your skin and should be treated as such. Everyone has a different hair washing schedule, so how often you apply a pre-shampoo scalp treatment will ultimately depend on your hair type, scalp type, activity level, etc.
However, experts recommend applying your treatments right before a sweaty workout, especially if you're already planning on washing your hair afterward. You could even place a hair growth serum next to your hair ties, yoga mat, or workout gear to serve as a reminder to slather on.
Not to mention, if you are partial to hot yoga (or any other heated exercise), that heat can help open the hair cuticles and make it easier for those moisturizing ingredients to seep into the scalp and hair. Win-win.
If you want to make healthier skin care choices, make them too convenient to ignore. After all, you're way more likely to maintain a new habit when it's constantly staring you in the face. There are plenty more skin stacking tips where these came from (leaving makeup remover at your bedside, hand cream by your sink, etc.), so feel free to get creative. Whatever makes those skin habits stick!
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and more. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.