By Marissa DeSantis
Even if you’re not into making New Year’s resolutions, the start of the year is the perfect opportunity to clear out the clutter and make room for new opportunities. Nowhere is that more enjoyable (at least in our opinion) than in your beauty routine. Taking stock of what you currently have on hand lets you separate the products you loved from the ones you’re not totally convinced on.
And if you need some inspiration when it comes time to rebuilding your beauty cabinet, allow our top suggestions ahead to help you out.
We’ve been in favor of lighter, multi-tasking formulas when it comes to our makeup base for a while, but makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury heard our pleas for more skin benefits and color options in the new year. With the launch of her Beautiful Skin Foundation, you get a medium coverage base that’s packed with skin-hydrating ingredients like coconut extract, rose water, and hyaluronic acid to plump and smooth skin (especially helpful with the cold winter months still ahead of us).
The formula also helps to reduce oil and the appearance of pores, while strengthening the skin barrier and preventing pollutants from messing with your skin. Plus, the makeup-skincare hybrid is available in 30 shades that not only consider color but your skin’s undertones, too, with cool, neutral, and warm shade options.
Rather than add more products to our routine, we’re getting smarter about our skincare choices. Your must-have list may differ from ours, but a multi-tasking product can help us all tackle more skin concerns at once — and luckily, it seems to be a trend among brands that’s only growing.
If you’re looking for a serum that fits the bill, try Eighth Day’s The Regenerative Serum, developed by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Anthony Nakhla. Using patent-pending technology, the serum is packed with 24 bioidentical synthetic peptides that work more effectively (because they mimic what’s naturally found in your skin) to improve the skin on every level, from reducing fine lines and increasing elasticity to reducing damage caused by environmental factors like sun, pollution, and blue light exposure.
Then there’s Olay’s Vitamin C+ Peptide 24 Serum, a drugstore option that pairs vitamin C with amino peptides and niacinamide to help with skin brightening, protection against free radical damage, smoothing, firming, and restoring the skin’s moisture barrier.
Of course, there are plenty of powerhouse moisturizers, too, most notably we can’t wait to try the new True Botanicals Chebula Extreme Cream (we’re already fans of the chebula serum). The brand’s latest launch once again pairs chebula with other antioxidant-rich ingredients to repair the skin’s barrier, lock in moisture, and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. For a tried-and-true favorite, La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is a sensitive skin-friendly cream for repairing the skin barrier, helping to even overall tone, and providing intense hydration that’s still lightweight.
As a whole, the beauty industry has made a more conscious effort to reduce packaging waste and use sustainably sourced ingredients. But one area where these “green” efforts are seriously lacking is masks. If you regularly indulge in sheet masks or eye masks, consider cutting back (or giving up altogether) on single-use options.
Brands like Honest Beauty and Nurse Jamie have started introducing full face masks that can be used over and over again, while Instagram-favorite Dieux has made reusable under eye masks the selfie accessory of choice. Not only a smarter choice for the planet, these masks may also be more beneficial to the skin. The silicone material they’re made from better encourages product absorption than your average sheet (plus, it can be easily handwashed with a cleanser and water), and the reusable masks can be used with any of your favorite gel, serum, and cream products.
We love defined cheekbones and a razor-sharp jawline as much as the next person, but we’re not into a multi-step routine to get there. A bronzing stick like Selena Gomez’s latest launch lets you get a more precise application than a powder or cream contour since you can draw the product directly where you want it. Even more, it’s perfectly adaptable for on-the-go use as the compact stick is easy to keep in your bag and the smooth formula can be blended in with your fingertips when you’re in a pinch (or if that just so happens to be your preference).
Healthy hair starts at the scalp, so it makes perfect sense that you’d want to thoroughly remove the product buildup that accumulates from styling products and regular dry shampoo use. But while scalp scrubs using more abrasive physical exfoliants have taken the spotlight over the past several years, we’ve always been hesitant to use what essentially seems like the scalp equivalent of the St. Ives face scrub that every dermatologist will tell you to steer clear of.
Scalp serums, on the other hand (which combine more gentle chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid with nourishing oils to remove buildup), are something we can get behind. Sunday Riley’s Clean Rinse Clarifying Scalp Serum pairs glycolic and salicylic acids with rose clay and calming niacinamide to help rinse away product buildup, excess oil, dead skin, and pollution, while Philip B’s Rejuvenating Oil is a more conditioning treatment that uses a blend of oils to lift away buildup while restoring moisture. We’re also quite excited about Augustinus Bader’s Scalp Treatment, which was actually designed to be used on dry hair. Using the brand’s own patented TFC8 technology, the serum is aimed at boosting hair growth and fullness by clearing blocked hair follicles, supporting keratin and collagen protection, and protecting the hair from oxidative stress caused by things like pollution and UV exposure.
Keeping skin baby soft obviously requires plenty of moisturizing. But just as you would treat the skin on your face, the skin on your body also involves a delicate balance of gentle exfoliation to remove the build up of dead skin cells that can contribute to an uneven texture (and dullness). Over the past year, we’ve noticed more brands introducing body lotions with this in mind, pairing multiple rich moisturizing ingredients with a touch of chemically exfoliating AHAs for better body care.
Among our top picks to try are the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion (for an option that’s fragrance-free), Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow AHA Pink Dream Body Cream (for a lotion that’s super lightweight), and Sol de Janeiro Bom Dia Bright Body Cream (for those who prefer an indulgent scent).