It’s that time of year when headlines are urging us to lose weight in a month, get fit in 28 days or have the body you always wanted without actually changing anything you do. It got me setting my own challenge — skin fitness in 28 days. First I had to work out what would be the essentials of a 28-day skin fitness challenge and then I laid everything out in a calendar. I am sharing it here in the hope you’ll be taking the challenge with me.
For me, skin fitness is all about looking healthy, glowing and supple. I’ll need some daily essentials, some heavy hitters, tools of the trade and weekly treatments.
Morning goals are to cleanse, brighten and repair and so I want my products to be as multitasking as possible.
Cleanser: This is the basis of good skincare as a good cleanser does a lot more than remove dirt. It should aid cell turnover and deliver antioxidants to protect the skin. My go-to is SimySkin Anti-Aging Gel Cleanser ($45) with detoxifying moringa and a slew of anti-aging antioxidants to set my skin up nicely for what is to come.
Repairing serum: A heavy-hitting serum for daytime should (if possible) add some hydration, repair damage leave the skin looking its best. One that does this for me has amino acids that my skin just loves — BRAD Biophotonic Essential Elixir Multi-Peptide Youth Regenerating Serum ($95).
Get some glow: I’m not just thinking about a layering a moisturizer here, but getting some additional glow and suppleness. I have my eye on SkinOwl’s wonderfully simple Geranium Beauty Drops ($30 in the shop).
Night goals are to hydrate and brighten and this is where vitamin C and AHAs really come into their own.
Cleanser: A nighttime cleanser is a workhorse that needs to get off the day’s makeup and grime. One that is surely up to the task is Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organic Vitamin B Cleansing Oil ($42).
Peel: Skin fitness has its own personal trainer with a daily “peel.” I am talking about gentle, but effective exfoliation to brighten and even skin tone as well as encourage cell turnover for firmer skin. Try my current go-to: Dr. Dennis Gross Original Alpha Beta Peel ($80 in the shop).
Vitamin C: The only vitamin that boosts collagen, vitamin C firms and brightens and I have become a convert with Dr. Dennis Gross Triple Peptide serum ($62 in the shop).
Every other day
The goal is suppleness and glow and this challenge means being disciplined about regular treatments with led and ultrasound and retinol where it counts.
Ultrasound and LED: all it takes is 10 minutes a day (longer if you have the time and inclination)
Retinol where it counts: I believe in treating retinol with respect, but there is nothing like it for kick-starting a regimen and moving sun-damaged skin into the repair zone. I am careful about when and where I target it. In my case, it is my neck that needs all the help it can get and I use Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic & Retinol Fortifying Neck Emulsion ($75 in the shop), alternating with a non-retinol neck cream — I prefer Soleil Toujours Daily Anti-Aging Power Serum for Face and Neck ($145) — so that I don’t overdo it.
Twice a week
I am thinking about the extra boost of an exfoliating serum. With everything else going on in this challenge, I think it's prudent to limit this to a couple of times a week and your exfoliating serum should replace your nightly vitamin C serum when used, for an extra boost of brightening. For example, Sciote Illume Brightening Serum ($95 in the shop) can be used for targeting or overall with kojic acid as the key active, backed up by two AHAs: glycolic acid and salicylic acid.
Once a week
A weekly face mask rounds everything out. It could be something like the Medi Spa Peel by Dr. Dennis Gross ($110 in the shop) with its AHA-soaked pads and serum with peptides and amino acids. I myself am erring towards Your Best Face Prep Microdermabrasion ($80 in the shop) for its pore clearing and antioxidant effects. Whatever weekly peel or microdermabrasion scrub you use should replace the daily peel in your routine for that day.