As we (slowly) ease out of the holiday season and into the new year, ‘tis the season to reflect on ways to streamline and improve any and every aspect of our daily routines in the days, weeks, and months to come. Whether skincare made your New Year’s resolutions list or not (no judgement!), we have a feeling that healthy, glowing skin is still a priority for you in 2022. We also have a feeling that there may be some very busy times ahead – you know, the weeks where just one Peloton ride seems unfathomable or when you’d be lucky to get to sleep before midnight – which means any amount of planning you can do ahead of time (read: now) to get off on the right foot will go a long way.
Because we know it can be overwhelming to know when or where to start when it comes to updating your beauty game, we’ve gone ahead and done the homework for you. Follow this simple skincare checklist to set yourself up for success!
1. Take inventory of your skincare products
We love a good spring cleaning as much as the next guy, but there is also no better feeling than starting the new year off on an organized note. After your refrigerator and closet cleanouts, remember to take a peek at your vanity and into your medicine cabinets, too. Just like food, skincare and makeup products have a shelf life. If you don’t keep tabs on how long you’ve had them and when they expire, you could end up doing more harm than good.
In addition to open products harboring bacteria that can lead to irritation, clogged pores, and breakouts, ingredients lose their potency over time. While this might not cause damage, it does mean the formula won’t work as well. Wondering how to go about taking stock of your vanity? We've compiled overviews of the shelf life of skincare and the shelf life of makeup that’ll help you narrow down what to keep and what to toss.
2. Restock your sunscreen
If you’ve ever read on article on The AEDITION, then you probably know just how important sunscreen is to your daily skincare routine. Not only is sunscreen a first line of defense against skin cancer, but it also helps to prevent the visible signs of aging caused by damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. As such, it needs to be worn during daylight hours every single day, rain or shine, whether you are spending time outdoors or not.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. The formula should be ‘broad spectrum’ – which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays – and, ideally, water resistant. The good news is that sunscreen has come a long way since the sticky and ashy formulas of yesteryear. Depending on what you’re looking for, we’ve got roundups of the best dermatologist-approved sunscreens, the best lightweight sunscreens to wear indoors, the best sunscreens that double as makeup, and the best sunscreens for guys.
And, to reference our first tip, all sunscreen has an expiration date. Whether you’re using a chemical or physical formula, it loses its effectiveness once it’s past its prime. Be sure to check your bottles and tubes to confirm they are still good!
3. Set reminders to clean your makeup tools
The key to long-term organization? Two words: recurring reminders. We have standing reminders set on our phones for just about everything – including cleaning our makeup brushes and sponges. While it might be the most dreaded task in beauty, washing the tools in your makeup bag is the key to keeping them in tip-top shape and preventing unnecessary skin irritation due to a buildup of oil and bacteria.
How often you set the reminder for will depend on the tools you have and how often you use them. Ideally, you’ll want to cleanse your brushes or sponges weekly, but there are circumstances where you can stretch that a bit longer. Get up to speed on all of the ins and outs of cleaning makeup tools in our expert guide.
4. Schedule your annual skin cancer screening
Skin cancer is the most common and, arguably, preventable form of skin cancer in the United States. Daily sunscreen application and avoiding prolonged sun exposure are two important prevention methods, as are regular skin cancer screenings. You can monitor your skin for growths or abnormalities with at-home checks, and you should also book an annual skin check with your dermatologist. Early detection leads to a more favorable skin cancer prognosis, so committing to these quick and easy screenings can — quite literally — save your life.
5. Organize skincare products by season
Okay, this isn’t quite as big a ‘must’ as some of the other tips on this list, but, if you take care to curate your skincare routine, you may want to consider organizing and swapping out products by season. Depending on where you live, what your skin needs in, say, the cold, dry winter is quite different from what it craves in a hot, humid summer. You’ll also want to take your sun exposure into account when using photosensitizing actives, like hydroxy acids and retinoids.
To help you make sense of the best products and ingredients to use at different times of the year, we tapped top aestheticians and cosmetic chemists to get their go-tos for winter, spring, summer, or fall.
6. Book in-office treatments for the year
Once you’ve scheduled your annual skin cancer screening, it’s time to plan ahead for any professional aesthetic treatments you’re interested in. This could be penciling in regular skincare treatments like facials and chemical peels, booking routine injectable maintenance (hi, neurotoxins and filler), or planning consultations with board certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons for more invasive procedures.
If you’re aesthetically curious but not sure where to start, we’re here to help. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all, but there are some tried and true principles that will keep you looking and feeling your best at any age. Check our guides for the best treatments and procedures for women to consider in their twenties, thirties, forties, and after 50 and for men to think about in their twenties, thirties, forties, and after 50. Once you’ve got a sense of what you’re interested in, book a consultation with a board certified provider to develop the best treatment protocol for your needs.
7. Reflect on last year’s skincare routine
Finding time to do your skincare routine every day is hard enough sometimes, so why are we asking you to spend additional time thinking about it? Well, if you’re spending time doing something, we want to make sure it is worthwhile. You don’t need a 10-step regimen to see results. In fact, our experts agree that simpler may be better.
With that in mind, it’s time to ask yourself:
- What worked well for me and my skin this past year?
- What didn’t do me any good?
- What treatments and products did I enjoy?
- What skincare or self-care rituals do I want to try in 2022?
Whether you simply take a moment to think about it now or schedule an appointment with your go-to skin expert to discuss, we hope that this is the year you are able to let go of the things that aren’t serving you (skincare or otherwise) and lean into what makes you look and feel your best!
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