When I was working in Korea and on New Years Eve, I distinctly remember a lot of bowing. Our bosses would come around, exchange New Year greetings and a deep bow. When they came up to me to shake my hand, I bowed in return. And then they would bow again, so I added another one in for good measure.
Receiving our first bow from our cousin-nephew & niece in 2013. So adorable!
The new year is a significant milestone for most people– a time to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments in the past year and a time to devise a plan for the next one. What's unique about the New Year (specifically Lunar New Year) in Korea is that families take the time to perform a deep traditional bow to their elders (mainly parents and grandparents), as a sign of respect. To me, it is a concept that is so simple, yet refreshing. It's so easy to take for granted the people who care for you the most, so this simple yearly tradition really hit home for me.
On that note, this New Year I'd like to challenge you to show some respect– to your skin! Show your skin that you really value it by treating your skin the way it deserves to be treated. It's our body's largest organ– It protects us from disease, is our waterproof barrier and has the ability to renew itself. It also gives us the sense of touch (who doesn't love cuddling!), but it's still easy to take our skin for granted.
One way to respect your skin is to be a little bit more knowledgeable about it, and find out ways to treat, prevent and protect.
Here's where I don't ask you to do a 180 on your whole lifestyle, because let's be real– we all have a million things we should be doing that we don't have time for. But I'm here to motivate you by sharing 5 easy ways you can respect your skin this year. You can pick the easiest one or tackle them all (and then some!). It's really up to you.
1. Get to really know your skin. If you want your skin in tip-top shape, it's important to know what you're working with so start by figuring out your skin type. If you don't know for sure, book a facial and remember to ask your esthetician to diagnose your skin type. I personally take the time (about once a week) to do a quick analysis of my skin while I'm doing my skincare routine. Your skin is fickle and will constantly change, so it's up to you to know what it needs.
2. Don't pick at that zit! I know it's just staring at you and just begging to be squeezed, poked and prodded, but the more you touch it, the more your bacteria-infested follicle can rupture underneath and infect neighboring follicles. If you leave it alone, it will go away and trust me, knowing that it healed on its own will be more satisfying than popping it. Been there, done that? Kudos to you, because you also just avoided acne-scarring.
3. Don't sleep with your makeup/sunscreen on. We've all done it. You come home, stumble in from a long day and turn on the TV to zone out. At that moment, you've put yourself in danger zone of knocking out without washing up. It will take the utmost discipline and willpower to drag your butt off that couch and cleanse, but you'll feel guilty if you don't. Why? Without a proper cleanse, your skin can get congested and a fresh batch of pimples may be waiting for you the next morning. You also might have aged your skin a little faster.
4. Learn 2-3 skincare ingredients. Let 2015 be the year that you turn that bottle around and know what you're putting on your skin. The long crazy names in the list may be daunting at first, but you'll find that they're often repeated and actually are just the scientific word for something simple like, green tea extract (Camellia sinensis extract). A simple google search will do it!
5. Wear your sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. For the people who do moisturize with SPF, try reapplying throughout the day for maximum protection. I'm not asking you to be a hermit, but it doesn't hurt to stay out of direct sunlight by wearing hats and sunglasses. This is your best weapon against premature aging. The good news is that there are some really cute fedoras and sunnies out there!
Bonus: If you really want a skin challenge for the year, I recommend trying the Korean skincare routine.
Now that I've shared with you some skincare resolutions for 2015, I want you to get motivated to really put skin first. If you're like me, there is nothing more motivating than hearing stories from your friends about what they did and the results they've seen.
So here's the plan. We get so many lovely reviews on our products and I personally get so many emails from you about how much their skin has changed, I wanted to open up the comment section on this blog post so that everyone can hear skin stories in one place.
Share with us your skincare stories: your advice, what routine/product works for you, what results you've seen below. Bonus points for sharing with us your skincare resolution for the year! (Just a note: you don't have to talk about Korean products or Korean routines only!)
We're giving away $50 Soko Glam E-Gift Cards randomly to those who share their skin stories. Here's how to enter this giveaway!
Comment below on this blog post (Three participants will each win a $50 Soko Glam E-Gift Card)
OR Comment on our Facebook wall (One participant will win a $50 Soko Glam E-Gift Card)
Giveaway ends Friday, January 16th (11:59 ET) and will be announced here.
UPDATE! We've selected our winners for the "Respect your skin" giveaway. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to collect your $50 Soko Glam E-Gift card!
K-beauty log winners: PapillonBijoux, Brian and Bethany
Facebook winner: Adeline Koh
One of my personal goals for 2015 is to help share my knowledge about skin and get your skin to the healthiest state it can be, so I can't wait to hear your stories!!