Let's Start The New Year Off Right: 5 Simple Ways To Show Your Skin Some TLC
No matter your specific skin care goals this year, a little extra love never hurts. And while a spa-grade treatment can certainly yield a sensorial skin care experience, truly tending to your skin requires caring for it at all angles—topically, yes, but also internally and even mentally. Empowering your skin and all its functions is just as important as marinating it with nourishing ingredients, full stop.
That being said, we encourage you to kick-start this new year by showing your skin some TLC, in more ways than one. Here, five easy tips to get started:
1. Send love to the skin cells.
When tasked with showing your skin some love, you likely think of treating what you see on the outside—some sallow under-eyes, fine lines, or dull complexion. But let's be clear: Your skin cells deserve some of that attention, too, which requires a slightly different plan of action than slathering on a brightening face mask. To baby those skin cells, you need to load them with antioxidant-rich, hydrating ingredients internally.*
Cellular beauty has arrived with this revolutionary formula.*
mindbodygreen's nr+ has the exact players your skin cells love. First up: The supplement's active ingredient nicotinamide riboside (NR), which turns into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) when absorbed by the body. That little molecule does wonders to help repair and restore cellular function, resulting in more energetic, youthful skin cells (read: Happy skin cells result in bright, supple skin).* It also includes the antioxidant astaxanthin to neutralize free radicals and promote dewiness; phytoceramides to keep your skin feeling hydrated; and Rhodiola to manage oxidative stress.*
2. Try a facial massage.
"Massage is amazing for boosting circulation and helping with lymphatic drainage," says board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D., on the mindbodygreen podcast. After applying your serum, oil, or moisturizer (you'll need some slip so you're not dragging the skin), move your fingertips upward and outward toward your ears and temples in gentle sweeps. You can also massage in circular motions along your jawline (this feels especially lovely if you have sticky tension in the area), or find a full facial massage how-to here.
No matter how simple or robust your massage, this uptick in circulation can spur the production of collagen, which helps keep your skin looking firm and taut. Massaging in your products can also help your skin care ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin since you're literally working them into your face. Plus, it feels just sublime—always be sure, though, to use clean hands and gentle pressure.
3. Dab in an eye treatment.
To ease inflammation around the eyes and melt puffiness away, try one of these easy treatments. You likely have at least one of these ingredients on hand, and your skin will drink the nutrients right up:
- Cucumbers: Cucumbers are incredibly cooling, with vitamin C and caffeic acid to help soothe irritated skin and reduce swelling (no wonder they've been used on the skin for centuries). After removing makeup, cut a clean cucumber into slices and lay them on your eyes for 10 minutes.
- Potatoes: Potatoes contain a natural bleaching enzyme that helps with discoloration, along with natural astringents that remove excess water from the skin. Simply cut a raw potato into slices, soak them in water, and place them on your eyes for 10 minutes.
- Bananas: Bananas have a significant amount of potassium, which can help counteract the salt that leads to fluid retention. Simply puree a banana and rub the goop under your eyes for about 10 minutes.
See here for a full list of DIY eye treatments.
4. Start a skin gratitude practice.
Your skin thrives on self-love, and it reflects self-criticism. Seriously! "You could be someone who knows everything about every ingredient in your skin care routine, and if you still pick yourself apart in the mirror, it can cause stress and that inflammatory response," says licensed esthetician Hayley Wood, founder of Therapeutic Skin Coach during a workshop with mbg and Burt's Bees. Research has even shown that psychological stress can translate into physical inflammation on the skin, and stress is also linked to depleting collagen levels, which can contribute to dullness and fine lines. You might not think a bit of judgment in the mirror would do much, but the habit can contribute to that stress response over time.
That's why experts tout a skin gratitude practice before beginning your routine. It not only encourages you to empower and love your skin—grooves, spots, and all—but lowering that chronic stress may also enhance your skin health in the long run:
- First, check in with yourself. Pay attention to your emotions and how your skin physically feels.
- Then identify three things that you are grateful for about your skin. Here are a few examples to go off: "I'm grateful my skin keeps me protected from pollution"; "I'm grateful my skin looks glowy after a full night of rest"; or "I'm grateful my blemishes are responding to my new product." It doesn't have to be too complicated—whatever you're feeling at that moment is valid!
Find the full tutorial and benefits here.
5. Chill a face mask.
So, you don't exactly need to refrigerate your skin care to get the most out of the ingredients, but chilling some products (especially ones that are already super hydrating and cooling) can enhance the soothing experience. Case in point: hydrating, jelly-based masks. Toss one in the fridge for a few minutes—perhaps right before a workout—and the formula will feel extra calming on your skin. "It gives a cooling experience post-workout to lower the skin's internal temperature," celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau once told us.
To kick off the new year, implement these easy practices whenever your skin needs some extra love. By tending to your skin both topically and internally, you'll surround it with TLC, leading to a happy, healthy complexion that radiates all around.