I got a my first facial of 2017 recently to kick off my year with a clear mind, clear perspective and clear face. Feeling good on the outside helps me feel good on the inside and you can call me shallow but look in the mirror before you do. We’re women, it matters. Our skin, our bodies, our smiles. Feeling confident and composed on a superficial level won’t fix all our issues by any means but it does help us feel a little better about putting one foot in front of the other in this crazy journey called life.
For the record, I’m not talking about how we physically appear to other people because screw that! If we bothered ourselves with all that, we’d drive ourselves nuts and be very confused, miserable people. I’m talking strictly about feeling like the best you to yourself when you look in that mirror.
Now, resolutions are usually too intimidating for me to even think of in the privacy of my own head let alone talk about out loud because they bring pressure and fear of failure and disappointing myself. This year however, I thought I’d try some on for size for you because whether we think it quietly or say it out loud, the ringing in of the new year does make us look at ourselves a little closer and highlight things we aspire to change or grow. Instead of shying away from resolutions, I’m casually putting some out there into the universe and hoping they stick. I’m also making them a little easier for myself because my resolutions this year do not involve any drastic restrictions or limitations. When we place strict limitations on ourselves and our lives as we knew them in the last calendar year, we freak out, our bodies freak out and our minds freak out and there is no hope for maintaining these new lifestyle choices in the long-term.
My #newyearnewyou posts will be focused on tips, tricks, tweaks and adjustments to your daily routines that will not limit you or your enjoyment of life in hopes of creating better habits bit by bit. Babystep your way into the person you hope to be one day and you just may get there… though I guarantee the vision of that goal version of yourself will probably evolve a million times before you do… that is, if you ever do because we’re human beings not mechanically engineered blueprinted products and therefore perfection is impossible. But hey, worth trying! Who knows, you might just look and feel better for doing so and how you feel is all that matters!
Now that you’re not panicking about my #newyearnewyou posts, I’ll tell you about the first one. Bathroom busts are a small list of totally normal things that most of us probably do while we’re in there that we don’t realize or know are not the best for us. I sure do! My facialist made me privy to a couple of things in my skincare routine and then I ran with it and thought of a few extra to add to the list for you guys. Nothing major, nothing scary, nothing that will require you to go out and spend big money… just a few simple tweaks that could change your skin, body and smile for the better!
1. Get rid of that expensive cleansing brush or raggedy ol’ washcloth. If you’re a sucker for commercials that promise perfect skin like me or a secret lover of all things Kardashian…like me, then you’ve probably tried washing your face daily whilst mildly exfoliating with a cleansing brush or washcloth. Now, I’m not calling you dirty but the fact is, we all have nasty bacteria hanging round on our skin and when you use things like a cloth or brush repeatedly, you are just spreading bacteria all over your face that cause breakouts and other unsightly conditions where they didn’t exist before. Use your hands, only your hands and do yourself a favor, wash them before you wash your face.
2. Wash your face for about a minute. A minute, you say? I already do, you say. But I say you probably don’t because a minute feels like a long time when you’re just standing there washing your face. I say what you probably do is what I’ve done for years, which is wet your face, rub on some cleanser for about 3-5 seconds and rinse it off. Your cleanser needs time to do its thing so rub it around in a light circular motion for about a minute before you rinse. Your face will feel cleaner. I’ve only changed that habit for a few days and I actually see and feel a difference. Use the timer on your phone for the first few times so you actually get a sense of what a minute feels like for future.
3. Take care of them teeth, they’re the only ones you got! …unless you live in Los Angeles like I do and know that most people actually have brand new teeth that they bought. BUT those puppies will change your face and run you about $2000 per tooth so I vote for keeping the ones your mama gave ya. I saw this meme online the other day and I’m stealing it for the purpose of this post…
…LOL… If that doesn’t apply to you then you are a far superior human being to the rest of us. Use that handy dandy phone timer of yours to brush your teeth for two whole minutes from now on. While you’re at it, please floss. Flossing makes SUCH a difference to the health of your chompers and while I know we’ve all been told since we were little to do it, I also know hardly anyone does. So do it! It does make a significant difference and you’ll get a gold star from your dentist when you next see them… all the incentive you need, right?
4. Scrub away your beliefs about exfoliating scrubs. Most facialists and skincare commercials have probably drilled into your head how important exfoliating is. We’ve all heard that you must get that dull, dry skin off to reveal the newer, fresher skin cells below for a younger glow, blah, blah, blah… I’m sure all of that is true for some people but not me and maybe not for you! I’ve actually been stripping my already thin, sensitive skin of much needed oils and skin cells and causing harm. I only exfoliate once every week to two weeks and I used the finest, lightest exfoliants I can find but apparently even that is too much for my skin. It’s causing broken capillaries that no amount of expensive laser treatment can even get rid of permanently and here I thought I was doing the right thing! The key is doing what is right for YOUR skin type. If you have thin, sensitive skin that is prone to redness and irritation and you can see ANY vein-like capillaries on your face, it might be time to book a dermatology appointment to ensure you’re doing the right things for YOUR face. Until you do, I’d hold off on the exfoliation… and evidently cheese and chocolate don’t help your skin either but hey, a girl’s gotta live!
5. Sunscreen. The good, the bad and the bb. Sunscreen is a must, rain or shine people! There’s all sorts of UV and other letter rays floating around in the air on any given day that are bad for your skin and will cause you to age prematurely… Ah!!! I already got into the good habit of wearing sunscreen every day but I didn’t know that over doing it could actually be a bad thing. Sunscreen itself can be damaging for your skin so to prevent that damage, you need to wear a protective layer of moisture between your skin and the sunscreen. Time to chuck out that expensive daily moisturizer with SPF that I’ve been unknowingly harming my skin with and get a simple, light SPF-Free moisturizer to wear before I apply a separate sunscreen. My sunscreen also has a slight tint to it to give me some very sheer coverage for days I don’t want to wear a full face of makeup! Bonus!
6. Tap that sh–cheek! Wiping or rubbing moisturizer into your face actually doesn’t allow your skin to absorb the moisture as well as it could. Plus, pulling and shmushing your skin in every direction will only stretch it prematurely over time. Instead, tap your moisturizer in lightly with your fingers all over your face. You’ll feel how much better it’s been absorbed when you’re done! You can rub moisturizer into your body (which you should do every day because saggy skin all over your body is just as much of a dead giveaway of aging as the skin on your face) but tap that shtuff into your face.
So there ya go, a handful of bathroom tips to bust myths or bad habits in your daily bathroom routine that can be adjusted without a pretty penny spent! I’m sure there are a million more that I don’t yet know about so if you have any #newyearnewyou tips and tricks for bathroom regimens please enlighten us below in the comment section!!!
Shenae Grimes-Beech is an actor and YouTuber with a highly engaged community of like-minded women who are here to stand up for what they believe in and lean into discomfort, especially when it means doing the right thing.