Your 10 New Year Beauty Resolutions
Expert beauty advice to ensure you have the best possible hair, skin and nails in 2022
After yet another (somewhat tricky) year, the start of 2022 is the perfect time to reflect on the areas of our lives that could benefit from a little tweaking. In terms of beauty, the pandemic may have made us more skincare-savvy but while we’re generally spending longer on our routines, we might be skimping in other key areas. According to strategic foresight consultancy The Future Laboratory, for example, UK consumers are applying less deodorant than in 2018 as our personal care habits have become more relaxed.
Even the most diligent of double cleansers and hair mask aficionados know that there’s always room for improvement. With that in mind, we’ve enlisted a panel of experts to offer their best beauty tips to ensure that 2022 is even more swish and glowing than ever. And every single one of their suggestions is totally achievable.
1. Wear SPF Every Day
‘If you’re going to follow one skincare resolution for the new year, let it be this one,’ implores Dr Howard Murad, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Murad Skincare. Wearing SPF is undoubtedly vital – over 80% of skin ageing is down to UV exposure. ‘To help keep skin looking youthful and healthy the key is to wear SPF protection every day, whatever the weather,’ he advises. ‘This is because UVA rays (the skin ageing rays) are the same strength all year round. They can even penetrate through clouds and windows so don’t be fooled by a cloudy day.’
Incorporate as part of your moisturiser or opt for a dedicated product and team with an antioxidant for an extra layer of free-radical protection.
2. Wash Your Hair More Often
We may be washing our hands more but it seems the last couple of years have taken their toll on our tresses with a quarter of us washing our hair less often since the start of the pandemic.
‘Whatever your hair texture, you should never leave more than three days between shampoos,’ warns Anabel Kingsley, consultant trichologist and president of Philip Kingsley clinics and products. ‘It’s simply not good for the scalp – and what’s bad for the scalp is not ideal for your hair. I often wish that the term “hair washing” was changed to “scalp cleansing” because the main aim of shampooing is to cleanse your scalp, which is a living tissue. Like the skin on your face, it contains thousands of sweat and oil glands, sheds dead skin cells and is exposed to the same environmental pollution as the skin on your face.’
3. Cherish Your Cuticles
Oft neglected and definitely under-appreciated, these little strips of protective skin are the key to strong, healthy nails according to manicurist Trish Lomax. ‘The most important thing you can do to take care of your cuticles (and nails) is to apply cuticle oil,’ she advises. ‘Used daily, it can help hydrate your nails and promote growth. I keep a bottle beside my bed as sleep is when your body repairs itself and it means I don’t need to worry about re-applying. Alternatively, keep a cuticle oil pen handy in your bag for when you’re on the move.’
4. Add In An Active
It’s time to soup up your skincare. ‘Actives’ generally refer to targeted ingredients that go above and beyond the superficial hydration offered by a basic moisturiser. From brightening vitamin C to exfoliating glycolic acid, the first thing to do is to establish what your skin concerns are and use the appropriate active to tackle them.
That said, almost everyone can benefit from an antioxidant and a retinol according to the skin experts. ‘Retinol is the gold-standard in anti-ageing but with side-effects such as dryness, flaking and sensitivity associated with its use, introducing it as part of your skincare routine may feel intimidating,’ says Howard who advises starting slowly and building up as your skin gets used to it or look for advanced formulations that use slow release encapsulation delivery systems to side-step any associated irritation.
5. Keep On Top Of Trims
With our beloved hair salons back in business there’s no excuse not to book a regular snip, especially if you’re trying to grow out your hair – leaving it to its own devices can actually be counterproductive. ‘If left alone, split ends are likely to split further up the hair shaft and worsen existing damage,’ warns Anabel, who advises adding a palm-sized portion of protein (hair is, after all, made of protein) to your breakfast for maximum hair gains.
To support growth between cuts, pop a protein supplement, slather on a bond-restoring treatment, invest in a gentle hairbrush to avoid tugging tangles and sleep on a silk pillowcase to protect your hair from friction and frizz.
6. Stop! Don’t Pop!
There’s nothing quite like a pre-party spot to test the old self-discipline, butr esist! ‘Unless it has a white head on it – and even then exercise extreme caution – never squeeze!’ says facialist extraordinaire Abigail James. She advises applying something antibacterial such as tea tree oil, or opting for a spot treatment that contains salicyilic acid (pply with a cotton bud onto the area, once every hour).
‘I always apply an ice compress to help take down the inflammation too,’ she says. ‘Wrap an ice cube in tissue or a muslin cloth, dampen just slightly then hold against the area for 5-20 seconds, repeating this process several times if needed.’
7. Stop Peeling Off Your Polish
While it’s tempting to pick at your gel manicure, it is never, ever good for the heath of your nails, even if it has already started to chip off by itself. ‘Always use a good quality remover,’ says Trish. ‘This will ensure you’re only removing the gel polish, rather than taking a layer of your nail off with it, which leads to thin, peeling nails. Make sure you remove a gel manicure at home correctly and safely by using remover wraps or cotton pads soaked in acetone wrapped in foil or nail clips – your nails will thank you for it.’
8. Always Remove Your Makeup
When bed beckons, it’s easy to give in to the lure of a snuggly duvet. But even an innocent slip-up can have consequences for your face. Not only can snoozing in makeup put you at risk of eye inflammation, it can also inflame and irritate the skin. Night time is when our skin does most of its maintenance work, shedding old skin cells and bringing shiny new ones to the fore. A layer of makeup prevents the dead skin cells from exfoliating which results in a dull complexion and also risks a build up of bacteria.
‘People don’t give much thought to their cleanser but it’s more important than you think,’ says Howard. ‘Start taking the time (AM and PM) to massage your cleanser in for at least 30-60 seconds. It will help to remove all the dirt and impurities built up during the day and will give skin the chance to absorb all of the benefits of the serums and moisturisers you apply on top. Double cleansing is also really important to help break down the build up on the skin as all day long we’re exposed to pollution and other aggressors as well as wearing thick makeup and sunblock.’
9. Step Out Of Your Colour Comfort Zone
‘Everyone has a go-to shade like rouge noir or a classic red and it can feel unnatural to opt for a navy blue, green or lilac, but why not challenge yourself in 2022 to try out a few new shades?’ asks Trish. ‘I’m loving 2022’s pantone colour of the year “Very Peri” (a beautiful, optimistic Periwinkle Blue) or you could even opt for a bold neon if you’re feeling particularly brave.’
If that feels too much, ease in with soft pastels or start trying a few shades either side of your go-to color. ‘The thing to remember is polish can be whipped off in an instant,’ says Trish. ‘Even with a gel manicure there’s only two weeks of wear – what’s that in a lifetime?’
10. Be More Sustainable
You’ve got your kitchen recycling down to a tee, use energy saving tips wherever you can and have worked meat-free Mondays into your weekly menu, but what about your beauty routine? Give your bathroom a green makeover by opting for waterless formulas such as shampoo bars, choosing refillable or super-size options and ditching the disposables. While 90% of us recycle our kitchen waste only 50% of our bathroom junk goes into the recycling bin so start by bringing the bin into the bathroom as an eco impetus (better still, bring your empties into store with our rewarding recycling scheme – Beautycycle).
Finally, choose brands which have eco-friendly credentials even if it means having to do a little research first. Are they Leaping Bunny Certified? Are their ingredients sustainably sourced? Are they doing their bit for the planet above and beyond the bare minimum? After all, beautiful skin shouldn’t come at the cost of a beautiful world.
Images: Getty Images