New Year's resolutions get a bad rap. People often make grandiose promises to transform themselves on January 1, but too many of these plans fizzle by March. Still, that doesn't have to be the case—especially when it comes to taking better care of your skin. The secret to sticking with any New Year's or skin care resolution is starting small. And when you set achievable skin care goals, minor tweaks to your everyday routine can yield the biggest results.

Looking for a little guidance? Start with these five skin care goals. They're easy to achieve, and they'll make a world of difference for your skin.

5 Skin Care Goals for the New Year and Beyond

Pretty young caucasian girl applying cream on her face looking in mirror at home. Brunette hair woman wears white t-shirt. Concept beauty rituals.

1. Identify Your Skin Type

You can't create the most effective routine until you figure out your skin's unique needs. Everyone has a skin type—dry, sensitive, oily, mature, or a combination of these—and each skin type craves different products and ingredients to keep it healthy. To find out which skin type you have, pay attention to the following signs:

Oily Skin

You have a shiny complexion, deal with frequent acne breakouts, or find that makeup melts off quickly.

Dry Skin

Your skin feels tight or itchy, and it may be flaky or have an otherwise rough texture.

Sensitive Skin

You feel stinging or burning sensations after using certain products, or you frequently experience rashes, bumps, redness, peeling, or inflammation.

Mature Skin

You notice wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots, and your skin isn't as firm as it used to be.

Combination Skin

You have an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) with some dry patches elsewhere, usually on the cheeks.

Once you figure out which category you fall under, you can better identify which ingredients to use and which to avoid. For example, if you have sensitive skin, you may turn to Niacinamide and ceramides to soothe and calm your complexion. If your skin is oily, you'll want to avoid comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients like Petrolatum and Mineral Oil and stick to noncomedogenic formulas.

2. Wash Your Face before Bed

Washing your face at least once a day is always a good idea. But if you're only going to wash your face once, it should be right before you go to bed. New York City-based board-certified Dermatologist Dr. Rachel Westbay explains that cleansing your face at night is a top priority. You don't want to go to bed with dirt, oil, and makeup sitting on your skin while you sleep.

Try a product like EltaMD Oil-in-Gel Cleanser to melt the day away while still going gentle on your skin. This transformative formula is suitable for sensitive skin, yet it's effective enough to remove stubborn makeup, water-resistant sunscreen, and daily impurities.

3. See a Dermatologist

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States—by far. It's treatable if detected early, but you'll need to look for the signs and see a doctor. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you check your skin regularly for new spots or anything that looks irregular with an at-home skin check. If you're not sure what to look for, a Derm can help.

Schedule an annual skin exam so your Derm can assess your skin and you can discuss any of your skin concerns.

You can do all the research you want but don't self-diagnose. Always see a professional for any skin or health needs. Derms are the best resource for any skin questions you might have, and they may catch things that you didn't. A Derm can also help you personalize a routine for your skin type and advise on any skin conditions you may have.

4. Wear Sunscreen Every Day

Derms preach it all the time, and this is because the benefits of sunscreen are undeniable. Even if you plan to stay indoors or it's cloudy outside, you should wear sunscreen every day. This goes for all skin tones and types. But if you still need some convincing, here are some of the benefits of wearing sunscreen:

  • Decrease your risk of skin cancers and precancerous growths
  • Prevent the formation of premature fine lines
  • Reduce and prevent discoloration, like sun spots and hyperpigmentation
  • Help build up the skin's protective barrier

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily as the final step in your skin care routine. It may be one extra step, but it really is worth it. The trick is to find one you love to wear. For example, EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 is packed with hydrators and antioxidants like Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E for healthy, supple skin that helps you look as good as you feel.

Remember to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, too. If this sounds like a challenge, EltaMD UV Stick Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+ makes it a breeze. This solid formula is portable, mess-free, and suitable for all skin types.

5. Love Your Skin

Of all the New Year skin care resolutions out there, this one is worth adopting. Blemishes, scars, and fine lines are all natural, and they're part of your unique complexion. Rather than stress over these so-called "imperfections," give yourself some grace. Everyone breaks out from time to time, and nobody is immune to aging. If you go into a skin care routine already hating your skin, you'll be less likely to want to take care of it. Caring for your skin can be a soothing ritual if you let it, so embrace yourself the way you are.

New Year, New Skin Care

Head into the new year with positive vibes by loving the skin you're in and committing to revealing a healthier, more radiant you. By personalizing your routine and being thoughtful about your skin's needs, you can reach a whole new level of self-care. So find your favorite sunscreen, schedule that annual skin check, and watch the rest of your life unfold in beautiful ways.


  • Lacey Muinos

    Lacey is a Southern California-based freelance writer who combines her passions—fitness, health, and a vegan lifestyle—with her work to help readers feel and be their best. Her work has been featured in Healthline, Livestrong, Verywell Fit, Eat This Not That, KinderBeauty, and more.

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