Healthy Lifestyle & Wellbeing Tips

Easy wins: week-by-week tweaks for a happier 2023

Gilly Ferguson,-Contributing Editor

Week three: skin

Are you longing to know how to make good habits stick? Say hello to the easiest, most realistic new year programme you’ll ever find, aka the seven-day tweak. Let’s assume you’re already giving yourself a week’s worth of mini mind makeovers, and a bitesize body boost to boot – hopefully you’re feeling the benefits. 

This week we’re focusing on: skin and the seven best recipes for skincare success.

Because honestly? Skincare doesn’t involve miracles. The real secret is maintaining good, consistent habits, daily. Ideally with some self-care sparkle sprinkled on top, when you need it most…

Monday: hands free

You’ve likely heard it a bazillion times, but holding your face in your hands – in Zoom meetings, during meals, while I’m writing this… is one of the lead causes of spots, inflaming existing breakouts and potentially leading to more obvious scarring. Ask any facialist or dermatologist and they’ll tell (plead with) you to STOP picking your skin and popping blemishes. Give it a week or two and see how quickly your complexion improves.

Tuesday: order, order!

Are you layering your skincare in the right order? What is the correct order? No matter how many steps you choose, using the right products – in the right way and in the right order – will maximise both absorption and efficacy. The trick? 

Cleanse. Then, starting with the runniest (fastest-absorbing) product, layer in order of viscosity, so that the thickest product ends up on top – aka your moisturiser and/or SPF. 

Wednesday: make your face jealous

Question: do your shins shed when you peel off your leggings? Lizard legs catch most of us off guard – and yet, when was the last time you exfoliated or moisturised your limbs first thing? It takes real commitment to slather up at 7am, particularly during winter. 

Throw in some scaly elbows and cracked heels and, well, you’ve got yourself one helluva project come spring. The answer? Build bodycare into your daily routine year round – with moisture-rich products designed to exfoliate, gently soak and nourish dry skin. Plus, body lotion makes your fragrance last longer (perfume doesn’t cling well to dry skin).

Pop a foot cream in your sock drawer, to nudge you to apply. Have a hand cream in your bag and your desk drawer. Don’t neglect your neck. Apply your skincare down to your chest AM and PM, massaging remnants into your hands too. You’ll be seriously smooth in no time. In your, er, face, face! 

Thursday: force your routine to work harder

Three ways to get more from your beloved beauty products

Mist before your moisturise

Apply serums and moisturisers to damp skin – using a toner or a spritz of water works well

Exfoliate! Exfoliate!

Chemical AHA exfoliants (ie glycolic acid) help subsequent products to work harder, increasing absorption into the skin

Tool up

2023’s hottest innovations go deeper than simple skin health, from Theraface PRO to facial steamers, the best beauty gadgets promise to boost routines and our wellbeing

Friday: set a budget

The best skincare routines can cost less, and yet remain ultimately more effective – saving you both time and money – when you use the right ingredients, in the right combinations. Perhaps you’d like to invest in more in-salon treatments in 2023? Here’s where to save versus spend:


Day moisturiser (lightweight)

Body lotion


Active serums (antioxidants like vitamin C)

Night moisturiser

Acids and exfoliants

Bath soaks

Saturday: vitamin zzzs

The A-list answer to an exhausted face? Feed it from within: drink enough H20. Get some vitamin D. Eat your greens. And don’t scrimp on sleep!

In real life, that can feel tricky (new parents especially may scoff), but skin goes into regeneration mode at night, so the more you snooze, the more time it has to reverse damage and boost collagen. 

There are some overnight heroes to help maximise your snooze: Medik8 Sleep Glycolic Time Release AHA Overnight At-home Peel; This Works Deep Sleep Overnight Cream; The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG.

Sunday: wear sun cream (every day)

Skin has two arch enemies: stress and sunburn. The first can be a tricky beast to manage. But any dermatologist (and Baz Luhrmann) will tell you that SPF is a non-negotiable in any skincare routine. Any other product is essentially worthless without daily sun cream use. Yes, even on cloudy days. Build SPF into your AM routine and you’ve already won at 2023. 

Editors’ top picks

Related Articles

Tweaks for a happier year. Week two: body
Tweaks for a happier year. Week two: body
Read more
7 incredible beauty and wellbeing treats for less than £25
Beauty and wellbeing treats for less than £25
Read more
Daily moments that matter with Spencer Matthews
Daily moments that matter with Spencer Matthews
Read more
More stories