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Promise Your Skin And Hair That You'll Do These 12 Things In The New Year
Beauty & Fashion

Promise Your Skin And Hair That You'll Do These 12 Things In The New Year

Aight. We all know that this is the time of year when resolutions are at their peak. My suggestion? Make less resolutions (80 percent of them fail within the month anyway) and instead focus on vowing to do some things that are manageable, super attainable, and can be easily added into your self-care routine. Things like the following 12 on this beauty list — six for your skin and six for your hair.


To be honest with you, some of these are big beauty trends for 2024. Others? They are simply things that, I can say from very up close and personal experience, will help you to achieve glowing skin and longer and healthier hair.

So, are you ready to make this the best year yet as far as how your appearance goes? Me too!

From Vitamin C to Tea Rinses: The Beauty Resolutions That Will Elevate Your 2024

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Skin: Topical Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that, health-wise, can help to keep the common cold at bay, make it easier for your system to absorb iron, and it can fight off free radicals as well. As far as your skin is concerned, if you apply it in the form of a cream or serum, vitamin C can deeply moisturize your skin, help to fade hyperpigmentation, boost collagen production, reduce sagging of the skin, and help you to look years younger. As a bonus, if you happen to battle with dark circles underneath your eyes, it can help to fade those out, too.

So, if flawless skin is your goal for this year, Elle has their top list of vitamin C serums here, Byrdie has some of their favorites here, and we have some of our favorites here.

Hair: Bond-Building

Even though some folks are haters of this next recommendation (because they aren’t convinced that they actually work consistently and effectively), I’ve been sold on bond-builders since, I think, late 2022. Since my hair has high porosity, I get that my cuticles stand out and that there are gaps in them. What bond-builders do is help strengthen the chemical bonds of your hair strands in a way that can literally make you feel like your damaged or weak hair has been “cured” after one treatment. To be fair, if you’re looking to do something like repair any split ends that you may have, nothing can fix that — you’ll need to cut them off.

However, if you want more elasticity, for your strands to feel smoother, and for styling your hair to be a lot easier, bond-building is that one, you hear me? What I can personally vouch for is Marc Anthony’s line. His Marc Anthony Repairing Leave-In Conditioner Treatment and Marc Anthony Repairing Mask are the absolute truth.

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Skin: Neck Care

Y’all…Y’ALL. I know that Black women like to brag on us not crackin’; however, the reality is that if we don’t take care of our skin, crackin’ is on the horizon (check out “Yes, Black CAN Crack. Here's What To Do About It, Tho.”) — and that is especially the case when it comes to women who ignore their neck. I ain’t gonna name no names, but there are some celebs out here who look amazing in the face, yet their neck tells on them every single time because it sags, it wrinkles, or it’s got rings all around it. That’s why there’s no way I could do an article like this and not mention how important neck care is.

You need to moisturize your neck (with a thicker cream than what you would use on your face). You need to exfoliate your neck. I actually read that consuming omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, walnuts, and eggs, especially at night, along with applying retinol (because it helps to increase the elasticity in your skin) can also do wonders for your neck.

If retinols are something that you’d like to get more into this year, Today has a list of serums that they stand behind here. Whatever regimen you decide, don’t neglect your neck this year. It’ll tell on you every time if you do.

Hair: Hair Follicle Care

The reason why I’ve written articles for the platform like “Top To Bottom: 10 Tips To Strengthen Your Hair Follicles & Protect Your Ends” before is because, if you’re on the journey of attaining some serious length retention this year (check out “Let's Gain An Inch A Month Of Hair Growth 'Til December, Shall We?”), there’s no way around the fact that you’re going to have to give your hair follicles (the roots of your hair) and your ends (check out “Your Ends Are How You Get Length. 10 Things They Desperately Need.”) some serious TLC. As far as your follicles go, some signs that they are weaker than they should be include having a dry scalp, experiencing excessive shedding, and having brittle hair.

One thing that can nip all of this in the bud is limiting the amount of heat that you use. Some others include massaging your scalp on a weekly basis (check out “10 Things Your Scalp Has BEEN Waiting For You To Do”), getting more zinc into your system (it helps to strengthen your hair follicles and prevent hair loss, so either take a zinc supplement or eat zinc-enriched foods like beans, pumpkin seeds and whole grains) and being very gentle with your hair when it's wet; that’s when it is its most fragile.

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Skin: Facial Peels

The main reason why I wrote “I've Been Doing At-Home Chemical Peels. Here Are The Pros And Cons.” for the platform last fall is because I know that DIY skincare is steadily on the rise, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s easier on the wallet. Personally, since I’ve been more proactive about my own skin at home, I’ve had no regrets, facial peels included; although it did take a bit of trial and error before I figured out what worked best for me. That said, whether you go to a licensed esthetician, you choose to take care of your skin 100 percent yourself, or you want to implement a combination of both — definitely make facial peels a part of your face’s skincare routine.

They have the ability to do everything from even out your skin tone, and reduce breakouts to minimize pores and soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A line that I am fond of (because I use it) is Perfect Image. I’m a fan because they come in different concentration levels, and the prices are pretty fair. If you follow the instructions to a “T,” you should be fine. Again, though, there are always people who are trained in facial peels if you’re a bit on the fence about applying facial peels yourself. Don’t feel bad if you prefer going that route instead.

Hair: Coating Ends Nightly

As I’m continuing to learn more about my hair, two of my biggest mistakes have been not giving it regular protein treatments (which should happen every 4-6 weeks) and not coating my ends on a consistent basis. Since our ends are the oldest parts of our hair, this means that they’ve received the most wear and tear — and that makes them the most fragile. So yes, if you want to gain some inches, they need to be pampered the most. One way you can do that is by “coating your ends” at night. Basically, what I do is apply a leave-in conditioner that is water-based and then seal that with a carrier oil like sweet almond or grapeseed because they are both light in texture.

Some like to use a grease like Blue Magic instead (I ain’t knockin’ it; I wrote an article shouting it out a few years back entitled, “Looking For Hair Growth? It Might Be Time To Bring 'Blue Magic' Back”) because it’s thicker. It’s totally up to you. Just make sure that you don’t go to bed with your ends being parched. It’s not a good look and will probably lead to breakage more than any type of growth progress.

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Skin: Back Facial

Four times a year, something that I will see a skin professional for is a back facial — and I can immediately tell the difference every time that I do. For one thing, I have about four, what are known as pores of Winer, which is basically a stretched-out pore (that probably resembles a small mole) that contains a blackhead or something that looks like a small black seed once it's removed. Unless you get a healthcare provider to stitch up the pore, it’s going to constantly fill back up over time, so yeah…back facials are one way to prevent them from irritating you or becoming unsightly. Another reason why I am consistent about getting back facials is because I have a tiny eczema patch around where my bra straps connect, and since it’s hell trying to reach back there, I get it “tended to” by a professional.

And finally, until someone comes up with a tool that will help us to thoroughly pamper our backs (and boy, do I live for the day!), I get my back deep-cleansed and exfoliated. It is worth every penny, I tell you. So, whether you can relate to all of these reasons, you workout a lot and you want to keep back acne from getting out of control, or you like to show off your back as much as possible (or all of the reasons above), invest in at least a couple of back facials this year. There is no way that you will regret it.

Hair: Scalp Exfoliation

Something that will have you out here feeling like a whole new woman is exfoliating your scalp. I wish it was something that I had gotten into years ago — hell, decades at this point. What put me on was when I was fully transitioning out of texturizers (which are mild perms; please don’t tell yourself otherwise because it’s simply not true) to full-on natural hair. When I tell you that my scalp was shedding something serious? I didn’t realize how much trauma I had been sending it through with years of damaging it from various chemicals to the point where it literally took a year for my scalp to fully recover. One thing that helped? Exfoliating because, just like the rest of our skin sheds dead skin cells, so does our scalp.

And if you do exfoliate it on every wash day (or at least every other one), it can help to get rid of dead skin cells, remove product build-up, stimulate your hair follicles, remove dandruff flakes and soothe an itchy and/or irritated scalp as well. There are scalp exfoliants that you can purchase (like these here), or you can go the DIY route. One of my favorites consists of white sugar, sea salt, some grapeseed oil, and peppermint oil. Apply the mixture to damp hair, gently massage for about 2-3 minutes, let it penetrate for five more minutes, and then shampoo. Some other effective scalp exfoliant recipes are located here.

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Skin: Using Body Serums That Contain Niacinamide

Has your skin been looking dry and dull lately? Perhaps it appears even a bit tired. Something that you might want to look into is a body serum; preferably one that contains what is known as niacinamide, which is simply a form of vitamin B3; it’s an ingredient that is going to be very popular all this year. Probably one of the best things to say about niacinamide is what makes it different from hyaluronic acid is, while the acid deeply hydrates your skin, niacinamide also reduces the appearance of pores, lightens dark spots, and softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

My recommendation is to use the serum 2-3 times a week and the acid, especially on your face and neck, twice a day. Your skin will be on-point from head to toe if you do.

Hair: Softening Your Water

Did you know that over 85 percent of the people who live in the United States deal with hard water? When it comes to your skin, hard water can clog up your pores, which can lead to breakouts. When it comes to your scalp, hard water can leave it extremely dry and irritated. And when it comes to your hair, the build-up of the minerals that are in hard water can leave your hair dry and brittle while causing a significant amount of hard-to-manage frizz. Although clarifying shampoos and even apple cider rinses can help to reduce the damage that hard water can cause over time, one of the best ways to prevent it from becoming an issue for your hair at all is to get a solid showerhead filter. Why? Well, they are specifically designed to take impurities out of the water that can cause hard water in the first place.

A list of some highly recommended filters is located here. If you happen to be someone who shampoos your hair in one of your sinks, some cool faucet filters are found here.

Skin: Tea Rinse

I’m a tea fan. I grew up on it. That’s why I try and pitch articles on tea (check out “10 'Uncommon' Teas You Should Add To Your Stash (& Why),” “8 Teas That Are Really Good For Your Vaginal Health” and “So, Here Are Some Teas That Will Make Your Sex Life So Much Better”) as much as possible. It’s also why I thought that a great way to wrap up some things that you should do for your skin and your hair is to mention tea rinses. Bottom line, teas (especially herbal ones) are packed with antioxidants, tannins, and nutrients that will be great for your natural beauty goals because pretty much whatever is in the tea is what will transfer onto you if you “rinse yourself” with them.

Teas that are great for your skin include chamomile (it reduces inflammation), rooibos (it helps to treat acne), blackberry leaf (it gets rid of free radicals), white tea (it helps to prevent wrinkles), and peppermint tea (it kills bacteria and could even help to heal breakouts). Simply steep your favorite tea (or a combination of teas) for 20 minutes. Let it cool completely. Cleanse your skin. Then saturate a cotton ball in the tea solution, apply it to your skin, and let it sit for between 5-10 minutes before rinsing off with cool water and moisturizing. Your skin will feel immediately refreshed.

Hair: Tea Rinse

And finally, just like your skin can benefit from all that comes with a tea rinse, so can your hair. Three Black YouTubers have videos that expound on this very fact: Limitless Bloom (here), Sharon Nwosu (here), and DINMA OKIKE (here). If you want less shedding, a healthier scalp, more moisture in your strands, and faster hair growth, making time to rinse your hair on your wash days will help you achieve all of this. Some teas that are awesome for your hair are nettle leaf (it strengthens your hair), rosemary tea (it soothes your scalp), and jasmine tea (it stimulates hair growth). My two cents would be to steep the tea for about 45 minutes, add some honey (if you want to deep condition your hair via the rinse), apply the rinse, put a shower cap on your head, and let the rinse sit for 30-60 minutes. Then rinse with lukewarm water and apply a deep conditioner. Your hair will feel so much softer afterward.

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There you have it: 12 things that are reasonably priced, easy to apply, and super effective. So, rather than pressuring yourself with resolutions, just start to implement things that are proven to take your beauty goals to new dimensions. It’s less stressful and so much more beneficial to take that approach.

Welcome to a brand-spankin’ new year, y’all!

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Featured image by Delmaine Donson/Getty Images

 

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