Six skincare rules to live by this year, according to a Beauty Editor

Throw out everything you think you know about your skin and how you need to care for it. This year, re-learn what’s good for your complexion and go back to basics.

This year is the year you can get on top of your skincare goals, start fresh and begin seeing actual results (like these high-tech neck and jawline gains). Here, beauty editor Kelsey Ferencak shares the six skincare commandments to live by this year to get the complexion of your dreams.

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1. Throw out everything you think you know

If you’ve been spending time, energy and cash but haven’t seen any changes or results in your complexion, it may be time to ditch everything you think you know about skincare. The myths about acids, moisturiser and application techniques to the misconceptions around retinol, high tech tools and what‘works’ and doesn’t ‘work’ for your skin– throw them all out and start over, as these could be the exact things holding you back from your best ever skin. Instead, look to expert-approved advice.

2. SPF is non-negotiable

If there is only one change you make this year, make it sun protection. Every ageing expert and skincare guru will agree the most important step in your routine is wearing sunscreen and limiting exposure. It’s the number one cause of premature ageing, responsible for loss of elasticity, pigmentation and wrinkles. Wearing and reapplying a high factor sunscreen each and every day will do more than spending limitless amounts of fancy serums and creams.

3. Listen to the professionals

The online world of skincare self-help is saturated with conflicting and confusing advice – what might work for some won’t work for others so if you’re serious about taking your skin into your own hands it’s worth talking to a pro. Whether it’s visiting a dermatologist to finally get down to the bottom of your rosacea, or curating and better understanding the products in your routine through a personalised skincare consultancy like Qr8, a digital service founded by scientist Dr Michele Squire. Visit Qr8 List for a consult.

4. Track your (skin) steps

This year, whenever you purchase a new product, try a new treatment or begin a new routine, track your progress and complexion changes by taking a selfie. Most products take weeks – if not months, to make any difference to the skin and by that time it can be hard to remember what your face was looking and feeling like. Three months is a good length of time to try and stick to to really see what’s making a difference.

5. A balanced diet and lifestyle is boring, but necessary

Sure, you’ve heard it all before –limit alcohol, coffee, eat more greens, drink more water and get enough sleep. The emerging science of epigenetics tells us influences from the environment, diet, exercise,chemical exposure and even social interaction can cause eventual chemical modifications responsible for switching genes on and off. This affects how genes are read by cells and how they not only produce proteins (the building blocks for plump, smooth skin), but how factors like ageing, firmness and moisture retention are controlled and regulated. If you’ve been meaning to get on top of your diet,exercise routine, sleep and stress levels now is the time.

6. Go back to basics

‘Skinmalism’ is one of 2021’s buzzy skincare terms, fusing skin and minimalism, it comes off the back of growing Pinterest searches like ‘how to get glowing skin naturally’ and ‘homemade skincare’, highlighting the movement towards straightforward and simplified skincare, instead of the over complicated and time consuming 12-step routines of the past few years. If you’re currently battling with multiple serums, mists and moisturisers it’s time to pair back.