Naughty or Nice?
Beauty Tips Everyone Should Know
Time’s almost up! As we wrap up December and look forward to a fresh start for the new year, we thought it’d be worthwhile to take a trip down memory lane. It’s been quite a year for all things beauty—new trends, makeup, skincare tips and more. We’ve learned a lot, tried out a bunch of new products and spent countless hours establishing the ideal beauty routine. Wouldn’t you agree? Although our clean beauty journeys may not all look alike, we hopefully can agree on one thing: Beautiful skin requires a commitment, not a miracle.
Were you on your best beauty behavior this year? Let’s talk about breaking BAD beauty habits and being a little nicer to your skin. We’ve rounded up essential beauty tips to achieve the healthy glowing skin you so desperately desire. Check this list (then check it twice!) to see if you were naughty or nice this season.
THE NAUGHTY LIST: Bad Skincare Habits to Break, Now!
Be honest, do you try to pop your pimples? (FYI, we’re not here to judge; it’s super common). You may see a tiny spot on your face and the next thing you know, you’re squeezing and pinching for dear life. Now it’s become a full-on situation that even a facemask, spot treatment and full-coverage concealer can’t help. It’s time to keep your hands off your skin. Frequent picking can irritate existing blemishes and even cause new ones to form.
Our Advice: Leave skin alone. Squeezing pimples can do more harm than good by pushing bacteria and pus deeper into the skin. This often causes more redness and inflammation. This can also lead to the formation of scabs, permanent pits and scarring—one of skin’s worst nightmares. Instead, look for clean products that can help you clear your pores. A great starting point is determining your skin type in order to follow up with an effective plan of action (a.k.a. products that work). Practicing preventative care is helpful too. Get enough rest (seven to eight hours of sleep per night), exercise regularly and try to avoid foods that can cause acne (dairy, sugar, alcohol, etc.).
Granted, we’ve been spending a great deal of time indoors. It’s been struggling to maintain beauty in the time of Covid. It should be OK to eliminate the “sunscreen step” in our beauty routine, right? Hard no. Sun is still shining through our windows, and those UV rays can still do a lot of damage as a result. Taking a little 15-minute stroll around the neighborhood for a change in scenery? That’s still 15 minutes of sun exposure. Sunscreen is for life, not just for summer. When used regularly as directed, sunscreen can help decrease the risk of skin cancers, prevent premature aging and reduce the risk of overall skin damage. Remember, our skin is still prone to damage from sun exposure regardless of a noticeable burn or not.
Our Advice: Leave the damaging effects of UV exposure behind by making sunscreen a critical part of your skincare routine. Yes, it’s just as important as cleansing and moisturizing. Dot about a tablespoon of sunscreen (at least SPF 25) directly onto your face for quick and easy absorption. Simplify things even more with SPF moisturizers, facial mists, foundations, mineral makeup and more. Keep in mind, most of these are only SPF 15—a major difference in the recommended SPF 30. But after all, it’s better than nothing.
We get it: Who wants to stick to the same old, same old? The same formulas can get B-O-R-I-N-G. Here at Pretty Well Beauty we’re beyond excited to continuously partner with new brands to bring you the best products that are not only effective, but exceed the standards in clean, sustainable practices. But what if we told you that boring can be beautiful too? Yes, there are so many new beauty products to experiment with, and it’s absolutely OK to switch things up every once in a while. But changing products too often can increase the risk of skin sensitivities. Reason being: Skin care products must be used consistently for several weeks (or even months) in order to achieve any benefits—or see a response from skin for that matter.
Our Advice: Wait it out. First, determine if your current skin care is having any effect on your skin’s appearance. You don’t want to miss out on any benefits. A product just might be your holy grail had you taken the time to await results. Switching products too often can also make it difficult to pinpoint the cause of a breakout or irritation. Sometimes irritation may not present itself immediately. It can translate into acne breakouts in the long run after inflammation has developed around pores—promoting blockage and causing unwanted breakouts to occur. If you’re looking to shake up your routine, get adjusted to your current one and then slowly introduce one new product at a time.
THE NICE LIST: Skin Habits You Should Adopt
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the technique, dry brushing is a body massage using a dry, stiff-bristled bath/shower brush. Pros: Increasing blood circulation, detoxifying, helping dry, flaky skin and improving the appearance of cellulite. The mechanical action of dry brushing unclogs pores in the exfoliation process. You may be wondering why this can’t be done in the shower. Simple. Brushing the skin while it’s dry allows you to exfoliate without robbing it of the moisture it needs. Hot water from a steamy shower session is one of the main culprits of dry skin.
Pro Tips: The best time to dry brush is just before a shower. That way you can wash off any dead skin cells and flaky skin afterwards. Also, be sure to never brush over broken skin (cuts, burns, scrapes, sores) or over areas of infection, redness, inflammation or skin cancer.
Make this a vital part of your skin care routine. If you think about it, skin is the most exposed part of our body. This constant exposure can in turn lead to dryness and loss of moisture. Keep skin supple, healthy and glowing by replenishing its lost moisture and natural oils, especially after cleansing, exfoliating and toning. We’re aiming for a soft, smooth and brighter appearance. Not dry, dull and scaly.
Pro Tip: If you have oily skin or live in a warmer climate and are a bit hesitant to apply moisturizer, try opting for a lighter formula or serum rather than a cream-based lotion.
Your daily skin care regimen isn’t complete without products that are effective in helping you retain your healthy, youthful glow. It’s a wide world out there filled with products that can do the job. But it’s also equally important to know what you’re using. When it comes to beauty these days, clean beauty has now become the standard as consumers have upped their standards (because after all, good product choices are good investments). When evaluating a product or brand, a good rule of thumb is to start with the ingredients list. Harmful man-made chemicals like parabens, sulfates, phthalates and formaldehyde can trigger skin conditions—doing more damage than good (i.e. breakouts, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, etc.). It’s good practice to incorporate ingredients that are free of any and all toxic chemical (herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or antibiotics and growth hormones).
Pro Tip: Always read and then research a product’s ingredients. Over time, this useful practice will make your shopping experience much easier. You’ll be able to spot harmful ingredients in no time and make impactful and intentional shopping decisions.
At Pretty Well Beauty, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. We’ve made it our business to curate the safest, most luxurious skincare and wellness products from brands worldwide. Browse our products here.
So, did you check your list? Maybe some of these naughty and nice practices made the cut. As the beauty world continues to evolve, it’s important to keep up-to-date with best practices —something we like to call “a beauty audit”—to ensure you’re taking the best care of your skin. We’re here to guide you through the oftentimes confusing world of clean beauty by helping you elevate and transform your daily personal care and beauty routines. What skin care habits will you be bringing into the new year?
PWB Marketing Intern & Content Writer
A versatile writer, Juzanne covers beauty, lifestyle, entertainment and fashion news—delivering timely pieces that inform, entertain, mirror current trends and spark social conversations. Find more of her work here.