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Top skin care resolutions to start now

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Put a stop to these skin sins

If a smooth, youthful complexion is what you crave, make this coming year the one where you really put the focus on your face. To help get you started, we've put together the top three skin care resolutions to make now.

Woman applying facial lotion

"If you are serious about looking 10 to 15 years younger, there are certain lifestyle changes you can make that will dramatically amplify your beauty routine and help you achieve that goal," explains Bethany Hilt, founder of Vertere Skin Care and the company's president/CEO. "Resolutions are challenging to keep, and if we set too many, we often find ourselves overwhelmed by them. But if you can make the three skin care resolutions below your own in the New Year, you will reap the rewards of younger-looking skin!"

Stop smoking

Study after study shows that a smoker's skin ages dramatically faster than a non-smoker's. Vertere has a side-by-side comparison of two women who are twins on their Facebook page -- one smokes and one doesn't. "The differences in their skin texture, wrinkle depth and hyperpigmentation are significant," Hilt says. Cigarette smoke suffocates your skin. The nicotine from cigarette smoke affects capillaries in the face, reducing the amount of oxygen it receives. That results in more and deeper wrinkles and drier skin, she explains. A smoker's lines are also often deeper than a non-smoker's wrinkles. "Additionally, cigarette smoking can make your skin appear more yellowish or grayish, resulting in a very dull and lifeless complexion."

Protect your facial skin from sun damage

Kiss smooth, youthful skin goodbye if you're a sun worshipper. "With the number of self-tanners available today, you have so many ways to maintain a beautiful sun-kissed glow year-round without subjecting your skin to the sun's damaging rays," Hilt says. Sun damage means wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and loss of elasticity and skin firmness, and if you have freckling or hyperpigmentation, sun exposure will undo a year's worth of lightening progress in a matter of minutes, she tells us. Wear sunblock/sunscreen, protective clothing and sunglasses, avoid the midday sun, limit sun exposure and don't sunbathe to get a tan. "Your skin will look much younger as a result."

Limit sweets

Cutting back on the sweet stuff isn't just good for your waistline. "It's really important to cut back on the number of sugary treats you eat to keep your skin firm and young-looking," says Hilt. "Advanced Glycation Endproducts (A.G.E.s) are formed when sugars react with proteins such as collagen. They threaten healthy skin by reducing collagen's regenerative ability and increasing collagen breakdown by making it stiff and inflexible," she explains. The result is wrinkling, creping and sagging skin. To help minimize the negative effects, look for skin care products containing blueberry extracts, tea extracts and hyaluronic acid.

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