The best way to step into 2019 is by vowing to take better care of myself and immerse myself in healthier habits - this doesn't exclude my skin. In the spirit of creating resolutions and setting the right skin-tentions here is everything from my December favourites, the products I was recommended, to my top 10 #skincare resolutions for 2019.
Top 4 December Favourites
1. Lacto Calamine Kaolin Clay Therapy
What? Kaolin clay therapy absorbs excess oil from skin surface; Zinc oxide helps unclogs pores by preventing build-up of acne-causing germs; Glycerine helps retain natural moisture and prevents excessive drying of skin. Why do I love it? It provides oil balance for up to 8 hours without stripping away any essential oils.
2. Lakme 9 to 5 Aloe Aqua Gel
What? A non sticky, lightweight gel that soothes and hydrates stressed skin. Why do I love it? It acts as a soothing primer for the skin, and a perfect canvas for any nightly skin care routine.
3. L’Oreal White Perfect Clinical Derm White Essence
What? Expert anti-spot whitening. Why do I love it? It is a dream for anyone with pesky scars that won't fade.
4. Shahnaz Hussein Shah Base Formula
What? Sandalwood, known for its antiseptic properties, has been perfectly blended with plant ingredients like rose water, sunflower, carrot seed, and castor oil. Why do I love it? It has a tremendous healing effect on eruptions.
Top 10 #SkinCare Resolutions
1. Swap out Pillowcases
Inspired by Face mapping and discovering ‘what my acne was trying to tell me’ – I was determined to discover why the right side of my face was significantly more acne-prone than the left. The answer lay in lying on that specific side, repeatedly, every night.
Solution? Swapping out my pillowcases weekly rather than bi-weekly. It cleared up my skin faster than I could say ‘acne’. Total game!! changer !!
What is face mapping you may ask?
TL;DR - Face mapping is the ability to see the reflection of the body's organs on each part of the face by observing the face's complexion - says Chinese scholar and co-founder of the skincare line Baszicare Chapman Lee. The history of face mapping dates back several thousands of years to the days of ancient Chinese medicine. And, although the concept has evolved over time, the core ideal remains the same: where you're breaking out is a reflection of what's going on in your body.
2. Don’t Sleep in Makeup
Makeup can mix with skin oils and dirt to cause acne – we know this. Cosmetics can also trap skin-damaging free radicals that float in the air (i.e car exhaust) against the skin, according to Zoe Draelos, a professor of dermatology at Duke University School of Medicine.
The answer? Don’t sleep in your makeup. How? Create a nightly ritual and stick to it – mine will involve miscellar water, a toner, moisturizer and dark spot correction.
3. Clean Makeup Brushes
This year I am pledging to wash my tools monthly with baby shampoo and lukewarm water (hot water can cause bristles to fall out). I also pledge to spritz them with Sephora Professionnel Daily Brush Cleaner Anti-Bacterial Formula weekly, and dry with a tissue.
4. Don’t Touch your Face
The act of touching your face with your fingers brings pore-clogging oil and dirt to the skin. When I do give in, I plan on applying over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream right away to help calm inflammation and prevent long-lasting marks, as suggested by Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, a professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine.
Here is to also kicking the bad habit of resting my face on my hands when I’m stuck on homework problems or a particularly difficult section of the Aerodynamics textbook!
5. Keep at It
Don’t give up on products that take a while to show results.
This year I will be testing out Glossier’s Solution – a product that vouches to change the landscape of your face in four weeks.
However, David Bank, a professor of dermatology at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, says - if nothing has changed by week six, the product will never work for you. Time to move on.
6. Wear Sunscreen Everyday
Look for "nongreasy" or "sheer" on the label. I love the Neutrogena Ultra Shear Dry-Touch Sunscreen.
7. Change Right after Working Out
What is perhaps even more important than finishing all the reps of my workout? Swiping the face, back, and chest with salicyclic acid Stridex pads, and changing into a clean, dry T-shirt as soon as it is over. This, along with wearing moisture-wicking clothes (Nike and Lululemon make them) is recommended by Karyn Grossman, chief of dermatology at St. John's Medical Center in Santa Monica, California.
8. Use Fitkari
If you can’t get your hands on Stridex pads then this is perhaps even harder to find. Its roots lie in Indian Ayurvedic medicine – a system of holistic natural healing that has been in practice for 5000 years. All you have to do is mix fitkari powder with water and make a fine paste. Apply the paste on the affected area and leave it on. This reduces inflammations and redness overnight.
Fitkari or ‘alum’ often refers to potassium alum, the hydrated form of potassium aluminum sulfate. This can be purchased in a bar or powdered form and is a common ingredient in aftershave.
9. Take Care All Over
As a dancer, taking care of my feet has been an utmost priority. L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Cream has been and will remain a favorite, well into the year
10. Moisturize Immediately
"If you wait, skin starts losing water vapor," says Francesca Fusco, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
Top 4 Products You Recommended
1. Belif Aqua Bomb Moisturizer
An ultra-lightweight, oil-free gel-cream that instantly cools and refreshes skin while providing intensive hydration.
2. La Roche Posay Effaclar Toner
Refines skin texture, and unblocks and tightens pores.
3. Neutrogena Hyroboost Cleanser and Lotion
With hyaluronic acid, the formula is clinically proven to increase skin's hydration level and lock it in.
4. Witch Hazel Toner
Witch hazel acts as an astringent to help shrink your pores, soothe your skin and reduce inflammation.