I'm a Beauty Director & These Are My 3 Skin Care Resolutions For 2023
Well, here we are in 2023. Despite me saying "It simply can't be the new year already" over and over again for the past several days, it simply is. And with it comes a more refreshed, refined approach to habits. Or so I hope!
The adage "New Year, New You" has felt dated for quite some time, but I do think there is value in setting intentions and resolutions this time of year. It's less about rebranding once the clock strikes midnight and more about committing to rituals that you think can benefit your life in some way. This can happen on any calendar date, of course, but there's no time like the present.
I try to set goals in all aspects of my life—big to small, and silly to serious. And I'd be remiss if I didn't include beauty in that lineup. In the event you're looking for some inspiration, here's what I'm focusing on this year.
Recommitting to regular facials.
Years out from its onset, the pandemic affected my regular beauty appointments in ways that I don't think I'll ever fully get back to. I have a loose hair-trimming schedule and am even less regimented with color. I often find myself painting my nails at home over heading to a salon. And forget about brow appointments!
However, I do miss facials, and how they make me feel. As I've been interviewing folks for our series As of Late over the past several months, the most common response to "what's your favorite beauty pleasure?" is getting facials.
As Deborah Hanekamp, commonly known as Mama Medicine, told me: "Receiving facials is one of my favorite ways to treat myself. I feel it is super important to be able to receive healing, and facials are my favorite way to do so," she says. "As a mother and with how much I work, it's really hard to find time to care for myself. And even the very simple fact that in a facial, you're just going into a room and you are being taken care of rather than taking care of everyone else. That's just so healing for me—and whatever other magic happens after that is a bonus."
And honestly, allowing yourself to be taken care of is something profound. While I'm choosing facials as my modality, it doesn't have to be facials if that's not available to you. Whatever small ways you can embrace being cared for, I encourage you to enjoy those moments this year.
Focusing on collagen.
With each passing year, I become more and more aware of the fact that, yes, collagen declines with age. At some point in our late 20s (it's different for everyone), our ability to naturally replenish our own levels diminishes at a rate of about 1 to 1.5% per year. And with it, we start to see the telltale signs of aging: loss of firmness, density, and fine line formation.
So, I'm committing myself to be more mindful of the steps I have in place with my skin care routine. For my topical routine, I use a vitamin C serum and sunscreen during the day; at night I skin cycle with glycolic acid, retinol, and a peptides cream during my recovery days. For at-home treatments, I've been using my microcurrent more diligently—as it can stimulate collagen production and lift skin.
As for lifestyle habits, I've become a stickler about getting adequate sleep—and craft my entire day around optimizing my circadian rhythm (read about how to do so yourself here). And, of course, I'm utilizing collagen peptide supplements every morning: They can improve skin density, hydration, and improve the appearance of wrinkles. (Read more about collagen here.)
Caring for my decolletage.
I have started developing fine lines on my decolletage; I'm in my 30s, and such is a fact of life. Unfortunately, much of my most severe sunburns of my teens and 20s were in the area, and I know the accumulated damage has certainly contributed to the increasingly crepey appearance and other faint signs of premature aging.
So, it's time I start doing something about it. Because the skin on your decolletage is very thin and sensitive, I don't use any harsh actives—rather I pay special attention to the area with an antioxidant-rich body lotion (such as mindbodygreen's postbiotic body lotion, which has coenzyme Q10, fruit extracts, and botanical oils for antioxidation support). At night I layer on mindbodygreen's dry body oil on top for an extra dose of antioxidant-support, thanks to its blend of vitamin E, squalane, and organic safflower seed oil.
With the new year comes a time to rethink old habits, recommit to things you know work, and try out new rituals you think may benefit you. These skin care and beauty goals are only a small part of my 2023 agenda, but I know that they'll provide me much-needed moments of nourishment. And for that, I look forward to them.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.