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NOW READING 10 Smart Girl Skincare Resolutions to Make — and Actually Keep
January 5, 2018

10 Smart Girl Skincare Resolutions to Make — and Actually Keep

In keeping with the MLBB and MEBB trends that went viral this past year, here are 10 smart girl skincare resolutions that will help you do what you already do — but way better.


Tired of failing to keep your New Year’s resolutions year after year? We feel ya.


That’s why this year, we’re limiting our goals to the areas of our life that matter most to us — one of which is skincare. After all, our skin is the one thing we’ll wear all 365 days of the year for the rest of our lives.


We’re also committing to making little tweaks to the things we already do, to save ourselves the disappointment on day 3 after unsuccessful attempts at radical change.


Ahead, 10 lazy smart girl skincare resolutions you can make to your beauty habits that’ll make a lasting impact on your skin.


RESOLUTION 1: Ditch basic cotton pads


Cotton pads are small and unassuming, most commonly used to remove makeup and to apply toner, then tossed into the trash without a second thought.


But did you know that low-end cotton pads can wreak havoc on your skin?


Many varieties are made with harmful dyes and chemicals that can trigger sensitive skin. They can also be rough in texture, which scratches and even tugs at delicate skin, leading to wrinkles and other irritations. Furthermore, poor quality cotton pads leave behind itty bitty fibers that can cause buildup in pores and worsen sensitive skin.


Apart from the negative impact on skin, many drugstore-level cotton pads waste your precious product, too. They tend to eat up much of the toner or essence, leaving way too little for your skin.


3CE White Milquidro Peeling Toner 300ml skincare resolutions


So what should you use? Higher quality cotton pads like Klairs Dear Klairs Toner Mate 2 in 1 Cotton Pad. It features two types of cotton pads that are safe, soft, and super absorbent, returning more product back to your skin than basic cotton pads do.


There’s also the Innisfree Eco Beauty Tool Cosmetic Cotton Pad, crafted with gentle, non-fluorescent cotton and baby soft, non-woven fibers.


RESOLUTION 2: Don’t just apply your skincare — massage it on


However many number of steps you have in your skincare routine, make them count by massaging the goods into your skin.


A good facial massage can soothe away skincare woes like puffy eyes, fine lines, wrinkles, and inflammation by promoting circulation. But if you don’t have the funds to book a professional sesh on the regular or the time and energy to go all out at home with a massage cream, turn your regular skincare routine into mini massage opportunities.


The moisturizing or finishing steps of your skincare routine are ideal times to squeeze in a DIY massage, as a thicker moisturizer, cream, eye cream, or oil makes for a great massage medium. Make sure to use just enough product, as too little creates friction and tugs or irritates skin, and too much leads to a slippery surface so your fingers (or whatever massage tool) are just sliding around on the surface instead of truly massaging tissue.


Not sure how to make these moves? I’ve followed this one for years. And here’s a tutorial from esthetician (and contributing editor) Coco Park.



RESOLUTION 3: Do unto your neck as you would do unto your face


Necks don’t lie. It’s one body part that isn’t afraid to betray your age, an unfortunate phenom given necks are already so prone to deep lines from our daily movements. This area is also often exposed to direct sunlight, which can lead to dry skin, sun spots, sagging, and wrinkles.


skincare resolutions


That’s why it’s crucial to consider the neck an extension of your face and do exactly, if not more, to it what you do to your face. Yes, that means all 10 or whatever number of steps, including gentle exfoliation and especially SPF.


Also, it’s a common K-beauty practice to massage moisturizer and cream to the neck with upward strokes starting from the collar bones to the chin. This ascending motion encourages firm, lifted skin. (Check out a more detailed how-to and other neck care steps here.)


RESOLUTION 4: Bathe smarter


A cold shower is better than a hot one. Not something we want to hear in the chill of winter, but no pain, no gain?


Hot showers can strip away skin’s natural oils and lead to dry skin, while cold (or even room temperature) showers can speed up metabolism and promote blood circulation. This leads to a healthier complexion and stronger dermal defense system.


But if you live in negative climates and a freezing shower is just not gonna happen, you can make the most of your warm bath with a makeshift steam massage. Sit back and relax as the steam from the warm waters helps loosen the sebum and clogs in your pores. Then use a massage oil or cream to relieve your facial muscles and feed your skin with nutrients and a little TLC. Just remember to finish with a splash of cool water to firm up skin.


RESOLUTION 5: Eat and drink your skincare


Topical skincare is a must, but so is edible skincare. Eating antioxidant-packed fruits, veggies, and superfoods can give the term “lit from within” a whole new meaning.


skincare resolutions


As we wrote about here, a healthy diet can lead to healthy skin, but that doesn’t mean you have to upend your entire diet. Just be a bit more mindful to add in some anti-aging ingredients like blueberries, green tea, and ginger to help fight free radical damage, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and alleviate inflammation. You can even eat nature’s form of SPF, which includes tomatoes and carrots, to help boost your daily application of sunscreen.


We all have to eat, so might as well make the calories count.


RESOLUTION 6: Be extra about drinking water


Make nature’s fountain of youth work even more in your skin’s favor by making a few tweaks to the way you drink it.


To start, swap cold water with hot or room temperature water whenever you can — because apparently the ageless Hsu sisters do it. No, but in all seriousness, drinking warmer water boosts circulation, helping our bods digest more efficiently and flush out toxins. In short, a clean inside means cleaner skin and less acne.


skin-loving drinks skincare resolutions


Squeeze out even more benefits from your normal daily intake of water by spritzing fresh lemon into preferably hot water. This helps detox the body from the inside out, including bacteria in the small intestine that can cause acne.


When you’re thirsting for something other than a cozy cup of hot H20, stick to squirting — not sipping — water. Sipping liquids from a small opening like a plastic water bottle or a straw requires you to purse your lips. This frequent, concentrated movement creates fine lines around the mouth and deepens the ones that are already forming from everyday motions like talking and laughing. To prevent the preventable, drink water from an open cup whenever possible, but if you’re on the go, opt for a bottle with a spout or nozzle so you can squirt, not suck, water into your mouth.


RESOLUTION 7: Spend more time in Lala Land


Sleep is to your skin what gas is to your car. You can’t run low on it if you want your skin to function as it should.


But true beauty sleep takes place at night, when your body is designed to metabolize and detox and when your blood circulates. Without all these parts in motion, your complexion can eventually break down, causing all sorts of problems like wrinkles, dryness, and sagging. Lack of sleep also leads to stagnant blood under the eyes, which manifests as dark circles.


graveyard shift beauty skincare resolutions


Staying up past your bedtime (some experts say 10 pm should be our wrap time) also makes us yawn more, which makes our eyes water. The resulting pool of fluid around the eyes greets us the next morning in the form of puffy eyes — not the best way to start our day.


If sleeping at 10 pm every night is mission impossible, at least aim for seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep so your body has time to regenerate, replenish, and repair. That might mean one less K-drama episode, but just remind yourself that if you’re tired, your complexion will show it.


RESOLUTION 8: Sleep on your back


The best way to sabotage your beauty sleep is to do the very thing that many of us find so comfortable — lie on your side or stomach with your face squished against a pillow.


When skin regularly comes into contact with bedding, it is stretched and pulled, and sleep wrinkles form at specific points where even Botox is ineffective. “Sleep wrinkles disappear immediately on younger skin, but will eventually become permanent from constant compression and decreased skin elasticity with age,” a cosmetic surgeon told Harper’s Bazaar.


skincare resolutions


Wrinkle creams and some fillers can temporarily treat sleep wrinkles, but the most effective way to prevent them is to sleep on your back.


We get it — it’s stupid hard to lie on your back and stay in that position the whole time you’re sleeping. But the benefits far outweigh the discomfort, in our opinion!


RESOLUTION 9: Clean your makeup brushes and blenders


If someone handed us a stick teeming with bacteria, most of us would not smear it all over our faces. But that’s exactly what we do when we use makeup brushes or blenders that haven’t been thoroughly cleaned.


skincare resolutions


Oil from our skin, dust floating in the air, and old makeup debris all accumulate on our brushes and blending tools day to day. Using these tools on our skin can cause acne, irritation, even infections. That’s why ideally, we should be deep-cleaning our cosmetic facial brushes at least once a week. But let’s be real here — that doesn’t happen for most of us.


Cleaning brushes once a week may sound easy, but it’s actually a total chore to do. So to keep your brushes sterile with minimal effort, clean them once a month (or more often if you’re feeling productive) with a deep cleanser like Innisfree Eco Beauty Tool Brush & Puff Cleanser. To keep brushes safe and sterile in between deep cleanses, spritz them with a low-maintenance cleaner spray like the Sephora Collection Daily Brush Cleaner that requires no water.


RESOLUTION 10: Touch up with SPF throughout the day


We all touch up several times a day every day in one way or another — whether it’s a mascara, cushion, lip gloss, a facial mist, or any other quick pick-me-up. In the new year, throw SPF into that list if you haven’t already.


While many people make an effort to apply SPF daily, reapplying it throughout the day is still largely forgotten or disregarded. But the sun’s UV rays are our skin’s worst enemy, and using sunscreen is of utmost importance to all our anti-aging efforts, and most importantly to the prevention of skin cancer.


skincare resolutions


Luckily, there are tons of SPF-touting products out in the K-beauty market that make reapplying so easy that not doing so is almost inexcusable. Cushions make it so convenient to cover imperfections and shield skin from the sun while you’re on the go. You can also literally sweep on SPF with smart sun sticks like the Laneige Air Light Sun Stick SPF 50+/PA++++ that swipes away oil and potential sun damage. There are even facial sprays infused with SPF like AmorePacific Resort Collection Sun Protection Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen and Re:cipe Crystal Sun Spray that protect your skin while keeping makeup intact.


With innovations like these, reapplying SPF should be a no-brainer. Get more ideas from our K-beauty squad on how to touch up with sun protection here.


Are any of these skincare resolutions on your list of New Year’s goals? What are your beauty-related resolutions? We can use the inspiration, so let us know below!







Okay so as someone who just bought drugstore cotton pads and a big pack right before reading this. How do you feel about the reusable bamboo pads for skincare? I have been reading a lot about them because I feel so wasteful using something once quickly and then tossing it in the trash. Angela Son

Angela Son

So funny, I've been hearing a lot about reusable bamboo everything! I haven't tried them myself so I can't say, but I'm thinking that as long as we don't mind the inconvenience of having to wash them to make sure they're sanitary, then they're worth a shot. Oh and of course, as long as we are diligent about keeping them clean. The benefit of wasting less can definitely outweigh the inconvenience!


Yes a while ago and I try as much as possible to drink a lot of water but I find this very difficult !! I was very interested in my sleep hours, eating fruit and applying skin care products with massage. I learned a lot from these editorials to take care of my skin the right way


Great article! I’m really keen to start trying the facial massage at home. I have puffy under eyes so it would be interesting to see if the massage will help with that. I’m also totally guilty of swiping from the inner corner of the eye to the outer. To think I’ve been doing it wrong all this time 😭


I find the facial massage is good for just decreasing stress. I mean, it's surprising how 1 minute a day can help lower my stress and hopefully decrease my hormonal breakouts.

Angela Son

I'm trying to do more at home, too. Anytime I get a facial, I try to remember the ladies' moves so I can do them myself haha!


Amazing tips. I must say I didn't know cotton pads would have a problem! I hope the ones I'm using aren't bad for my skin and hey! I always shower with cold water. That's... cool, I guess. But hot water is nice in a while. I always try to massage my skincare routine on so it takes a while! Wow, and the neck thing... I should keep that in mind. I never apply moisturizer nor anything on my neck... SPF is the best. I always wear spf during the day even if it looks like it'll rain the whole day. Read more


Thank goodness K-beauty cotton pads are relatively cheap. I switched and I have to say, it's so much better for my AHA. I can tell it absorbs less and is gentler on my skin. I also apply moisturizers that were meh on my neck. I feel better that I'm not wasting it and it allows me to buy more without the guilt, haha.

Angela Son

You always shower with cold water?? That's the hardest thing for me :(


Yes! It isn't even because I live in a tropical country but because the hot water just doesn't work in my room's washroom and I'm too lazy to shower downstairs haha. It gets cold sometimes but I'm used to it.


I'm guilty of not wearing sunscreen or drinking more water, but for this year on I decided to take better care of myself... It doesn't mean being fitness or wearing tons of make up, but remembering to exercise at least 3 times a week (because I usually have back pains if I don't) and properly clean and hydrate my skin.

Angela Son

Ugh, I feel you on that! I'm motivated to work out 3x a week as well for my health's sake. No crazy diet or anything - just want to be healthier overall.


I am so guilty of not washing my brushes :0
And I should definitely use more sunblock

Angela Son

I also become the laziest person in the world when it comes to cleaning my brushes!


Great article!!!! small changes for great benefits in our skin and general well-being


I've decided to use products I'm not crazy about on my neck. Less waste and I'm finally taking care of that oft-neglected area. Any changes you're making @devineth?


Hi! @annaparrk, well one of the changes I have made is take care of my eye area with creams, serums and little massage. 😊


I enjoyed this article :) I totally agree with #1, so much so that I just ordered 2 boxes of the Klairs Cotton Pad! For 2018, I resolve to keep up with the routine - it's only been about 5 months, but it's been great!


I switched to high quality cotton pads too. Now if only I could get myself to clean my brushes more regularly ...