With the exciting welcome of the New Year comes the opportunity for new beginnings and goal-setting. Now’s the time to set all your skincare goals that you wish to achieve this year. Read on for our top 21 essential tips to jumpstart your 2021 skincare routine and get your skin glowing from the inside out.


1. Switch up your showering habits
While soaking in a hot shower sounds heavenly, especially in these colder months, it can actually be damaging to your skin. Hot showers can dry out and irritate the skin because the hot water causes damage to the keratin cells that are located on the epidermis (our skin’s surface), preventing the skin cells from locking in moisture. Your best bet is to take a lukewarm shower with a gentle cleanser and body wash.

2. Don’t dry your face with a towel
When getting out of the shower, don’t dry your face completely off with a face towel. Leave some of the moisture on your skin before applying your moisturizer. The cream will seal in the hydration and enhance the benefits.

3. Exercise more
By getting regular exercise, you’ll not only start looking and feeling better, but your skin will benefit as well! Exercise boosts blood flow, which increases skin cell renewal and can aid in
speeding up your body’s process of removing any skin-aggravating toxins by helping lymph fluids circulate through the body easier.

4. Get a humidifier for your bedroom
If you find yourself waking up in the morning with really dry skin, it may be time to get a humidifier. Adding moisture to the air will help replenish some of that moisture back into your skin while you sleep. Both warm-mist and cool-mist humidifiers are great options.

5. Get your beauty sleep
Sleep is so important for our overall health and skin. While you’re counting your zzz’s at night, your skin’s metabolism is working overtime, reproducing skin cells so it can repair and replenish itself more efficiently. Try and aim for eight hours a night so you can wake up rested and feeling your best. Your skin will thank you for it!


6. Start drinking more water
The saying really is true, we are what we eat and drink. What we consume on a daily basis is so important for our overall skin health. Start moisturizing your skin from the inside out by drinking more water (8 8-oz glasses a day!).

7. Eat more nutrient rich foods
Along with drinking more H2O, you’ll want to start eating more nutrient rich foods like avocados, spinach (& other leafy greens), berries, nuts, and yellow / orange fruits & veggies like oranges and bell peppers. All of these foods contain vitamins and minerals that nourish your body from the inside out. Your diet can significantly impact the overall health and aging of your skin.

8. Consume more fish or add a Fatty Acids supplement into your routine
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in much of the fish that you eat but if you’re unable to incorporate fish into your diet regularly, an easy way to get those nourishing fatty-acids is to start taking a fatty acid supplement. Your skin uses omega-3 fatty acids to produce lipids (moisturizing oils), which in turn improve the skin’s lipid levels and hydration.


9. Get to know your skin type
Getting to know your skin type is the first step to putting together a skincare product regime that will benefit your skin and help with your concerns. The most common skin types are oily, acne-prone, dry, sensitive, and mature. An important thing to note is that your skin type can change as you age and can also change based on the season. Need help decoding your skin type? For more deets, check out this article from Healthline.com.

10. Vitamin C serums are your friend
Vitamin C is one of the most sought after ingredients in face serums today because it’s the strongest antioxidant you can find. This powerful little vitamin helps protect your skin from environmental stressors that can cause aging and inflammation, which in turn, reveals brighter and more youthful looking skin. We recommend our tried and true best-selling Vitamin C serum from SkinCeuticals, C E Ferulic, shop HERE.

11. Invest in a high quality moisturizer
During the colder winter months, you’ll want to invest in a richer moisturizer because colder weather can deplete the skin of its natural oils. A thick, creamy moisturizer will protect the skin barrier more efficiently than a thinner one better suited for the warmer months where your skin can become oily. We recommend SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream, shop HERE.

12. Lather on the sunscreen
Wear it at all times, even when inside. The majority of fine lines are caused from sun exposure, which makes sunscreen that much more crucial. Make sure to use one with SPF 30 or higher everywhere! Pay extra attention to areas with more sensitive skin like your hairline, face, neck, hands and chest. Shop for sunscreens HERE.

13. Learn how to layer your daytime skincare
After choosing what skincare products you want to incorporate into your routine, make sure you know how to layer them on your face properly. If products aren’t put on in the right order, this could prevent them from being fully-absorbed, causing them to be less effective. There is a difference between your daytime and nighttime skincare routine. For daytime, make sure to layer in this order:
-> 1. wash your face with cleanser 2. face serum 3. eye cream 4. face cream 5. sunscreen. Read our daytime winter skincare routine blog post.

14. Learn how to layer your nighttime skincare
Like your daytime routine, make sure you’re layering your nighttime skincare products in the right order as well. Layer in this order:
-> 1. wash your face with cleanser 2. One to two times a week, swap out your cleanser for an exfoliator 3. face serum 4. eye cream 5. night cream. Read our nighttime winter skincare routine blog post.


15. Skip the soap on your face
Most soaps are incredibly drying to the skin because it damages the protective layer of the skin, especially the face where the skin is more sensitive. This can lead to inflammation, acne, and wrinkles. Next time you wash your face, opt for a gentle facial cleanser or face wash. We recommend West Dermatology Gentle Antioxidant Soothing Cleanser, shop HERE.

16. Don’t touch your pimples
We know it's super tempting to want to pop those pimples, but leave them alone! When you pop them you’re more likely to spread bacteria around your face, causing more breakouts, or pushing the bacteria deeper into your skin which could cause more swelling and redness. And picking at them could cause scarring, no thanks!

17. Take your time when applying your products
When putting on each skincare product, allow some time in between each application to let the product fully absorb. Give each product at least 1 – 2 mins to absorb before applying the next one so you can make sure you’re not diluting anything and getting the best bang for your buck with each product.

18. Exfoliate your skin at least twice a week
Exfoliation is key and a very important step in all skincare regimes because it helps slosh off dead skin cells and prevents clogged pores (= fewer breakouts!). These are best to use only one to two times a week to prevent over drying and stripping the skin of its natural oils. We recommend doing this at night in lieu of your regular face cleanser, following with your face serum and other night products. Try using SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, shop HERE.

19. Don’t forget about your neck and décolleté
Neglecting your neck and décolleté is one of the most common skincare mistakes made because we typically don’t think about them when applying our skincare. Those areas can be just as exposed to the sun as your face which causes them to age as well. As you put on your products, make sure you continue all the way down your neck and chest and apply in an upwards motion so you’re not tugging on the skin downwards, which can cause sagging over time.

20. Stick to a consistent nighttime routine
Night time is when our skin repairs and replenishes itself so this is the time to put in that extra effort. Make sure you wash off your day and remove all traces of makeup from your face. This will help reduce inflammation in the skin, free radical damage and will help prevent signs of aging. This will also ensure that your night creams and treatments fully absorb into your skin better. For a great night cream, we recommend West Dermatology Enriched Night Cream, shop HERE.

21. Change up your skincare regime throughout the year
The weather is another culprit that can wreak havoc on your skin. The winter months are notorious for drying out your skin while the summer months leave your skin sun damaged and oily. That’s why it's essential to switch out your products throughout the year so you're able to combat the different conditions. In the winter, you’ll want thicker more rich creams while the summer calls for lighter formulas. Check out our summer skincare guide and our winter skincare guide.

There’s no better time than now to get your skin in tip-top shape. Make 2021 YOUR year and the year you finally achieve your skincare goals! All of the above tips will help you put together a skincare regime that you’ll love and will also help you make little lifestyle changes that will do wonders for your skin and skin health over time.

As always, if you have any questions about any of these tips or need help putting together a skincare routine specific to your skincare needs and goals, our board-certified dermatologists would be more than happy to help! Give us a call today or schedule your appointment HERE.
Rachelle Riley