The New Year is a beautiful time to re-fresh, re-start, and focus on what really matters. Although I have never been a person to jump on the “resolution” bandwagon, I always love and relish in the scent of possibility each New Year brings.

When looking forward to each New Year, one of my favorite things is to take a step-back and reflect on my goals; not just what I’d like to see happen but how I’m going to get there. Commonly, a focus on body, self and health is a theme I see throughout these yearly new beginnings. Creating a solid foundation is integral to long-term success. Here are my tips for taking care of your skin for the long-haul.

Understanding Your Skin-Type
The first step to taking proper care of you skin is understanding your skin type and using products accordingly. Here is a quick guide to finding your skin-type:

OILY SKIN: often enlarged pores, shiny or thick complexion, frequent blackheads and other blemishes

DRY SKIN: almost invisible pores, dry patches, occasional redness, more visible lines and wrinkles

COMBINATION SKIN: enlarged pores, extreme dry patches in some areas and extreme oil in others (such as the T-zone)

NORMAL SKIN: the least problematic, even tempered between oily and dry, invisible pores, no sensitivities

SENSITIVE SKIN: dryness, redness, irritation, burning

Many factors can affect your skin type such as your age, hormones, environment and stress. Although most of us tend to maintain one skin type throughout, we are all subject to change. So, if your current skin care routine isn’t working, take a step back, re-evaluate and adjust to meet your current needs.

Proper Moisturization
Regardless of your skin type, properly moisturizing your skin is of the utmost importance! Moisturizer doesn’t just re-hydrate, it can protect your skin from harmful environmental elements and allow your skin to soak up essential vitamins and minerals. For oily-normal skin, opt for an oil-free moisturizer and for normal-dry skin, pick an oil-rich moisturizer. If you have combination skin, some (but not many) moisturizers are specific to you, but if you can’t find one that works well for your differing needs, try treating your dry and oily spots separately. And if you have sensitive skin, go for a product that is hypo-allergenic and fragrance-free. Be sure when moisturizing that you don’t just focus on your face — include your neck as well, it is just as important!

Take Care of Your Skin From the Inside Out
One of the most important things you can do for your skin is to take care of it from the inside out. Foods that are rich in Vitamin C (such as berries, citrus fruit, and dark leafy greens) can help brighten your skin tone and create collagen, allowing your skin to absorb moisture. Foods rich in Vitamin A and carotene (carrots, squash, kale) have skin repairing properties. Food rich in Omega-3 and Vitamin E (salmon, olive oil, avocado, nuts) can also produce moisture while healing skin tissue. But most important above all is to hydrate your body with water! Not only will water naturally moisturize you, enough water (4-8 cups a day) will knock out waste and toxin build-up in your skin, creating a cleaner, brighter complexion. Never underestimate the power of good ol’ H2O!

"One of the most important things you can do for your skin is to take care of it from the inside out."