6 beauty resolutions approved by experts to try in 2023

This article is part of CNN Underscored’s “The Reset,” an editorial package featuring all of our articles aimed at giving you the information and product recommendations to help achieve any and all new year resolutions.

Deciding on a New Year’s resolution (if any) can be a chore in itself, but we’d like to think a beauty resolution is a fun one that you’ll actually accomplish in 2023. After all, setting a goal for your skin care routine will help build healthy habits that’ll give you a glowing complexion. Or if it’s your hair that needs some attention, finding the best hair care techniques will result in stronger, silkier locks. Plus, taking the time for a beauty resolution is an easy way to incorporate more self-care into your day-to-day — and maybe that’s enough of a resolution on its own.

For inspiration, we spoke to 10 experts about the realistic beauty resolutions they’re making this year, along with all the tips and products that’ll help you master them too.

When life gets hectic, it’s easy to compromise your beauty routine and skip some steps, but consistency is key when it comes to seeing results. “Usually, I love making time for some self-care both at home and in my office. However, like most of us, I have been so busy and have been neglecting my ‘me time,’” says Joie Tavernise, medical esthetician and founder of JTAV Clinical Skincare. “In the new year, I plan on committing to professional treatments as well as a great skin care routine. I’m 44 years old and want to do everything to prevent and preserve the skin that I’m in, so I can feel confident and youthful for years to come.”

Similarly, celebrity esthetician and founder of her namesake skin care line Shani Darden wants to make time for incorporating at-home devices into her routine. Both she and Tavernise highlighted the benefits of using LED light therapy to boost the benefits of other treatments. Tavernise does weekly LED therapy, along with Vivace microneedling with radiofrequency and Hydrafacial once a month. And if you’re not able to visit a professional regularly, at-home devices are an initial investment that will pay off in the long run. “At-home devices are such a great way to stretch out the results of a facial,” Darden says. “When used consistently, they can produce such great results and minimize the need for costly treatments later on.”

“LED light therapy has been a staple in my facials for years,” Darden says. Her FDA-cleared face and neck mask features an acne mode as well as an anti-aging setting with simultaneous red and infrared light, which she says “is the gold standard in treating anti-aging to elicit a stronger cellular response, boosting collagen production to visibly diminish wrinkles and give the skin an amazing glow.” With a 10-minute treatment time, the facialist says she wants to make time for it at least five days a week “for a brief moment of reflection and quiet…all while aging in reverse.”

For a more affordable option (although surely still a splurge), this LED mask features quick three-minute treatments with blue, red or a combination of lights that our social lead Stephanie Griffin said made a noticeable difference in reducing breakouts and evening her skin tone.

To stick to her resolution, Tavernise says she’s setting aside time each week for her LED mask followed by a facial roller. Before both, she’ll apply this antioxidant-packed serum. “Not only do these feel fantastic, it helps to soften any wrinkles and fine lines and remove any stagnant fluid that causes puffiness.”

Esthetician and chief operating officer at Silver Mirror Facial Bar Rachel Gallo says that creating more even skin tone and texture is her resolution, and exfoliation is the key. However, she notes that many clients aren’t consistent with exfoliating at home, and celebrity makeup artist Molly R. Stern admits it’s something she wants to work on in the new year, too. “I find that months can slip by without shedding the dry, weathered layer and letting the new skin form,” Stern shares. Incorporating regular exfoliation into your skin care, like in a skin cycling routine — where you use an exfoliant one day, retinol the next and then only moisturizing products the next two days — ensures that your skin never goes dull without overdoing it and stripping the skin.

Moreover, alternating the days you exfoliate and use retinol can help preserve your skin barrier and yield better results (without the dreaded dryness or irritation commonly associated with retinol products). For Emmy-winning makeup artist Gabbi Pascua, consistent retinol use is her New Year’s beauty resolution.

Gallo loves these swipe-and-go exfoliating pads. “These contain multiple AHA and BHA acids to target several skin concerns at one time,” she shares. “Using these pads three times a week will give you that post-holiday glow and reveal an even skin tone.”

Stern says this physical exfoliating scrub made with bamboo micro-crystals “does the trick.”

Pascua says she “saw the most results” with this serum that targets fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration, blemishes and more, but stopped using it once she ran out. For 2023, she wants to continue using it to keep her skin in tip-top shape.

Pascua’s moisturizer of choice, which is great for everyday use, is this hydrating option that features all-star ingredients like ceramides, peptides and a proprietary green tea polyphenol technology.

Stern shares another beauty resolution is to “spend more time using a skin care tool with some healing tinctures.” Facial massage, like gua sha, can help with lymphatic drainage, increasing circulation and just taking a moment to relax. Using a face oil or serum with a facial massage tool is recommended to make sure it glides along the skin, instead of pulling.

Stern says this serum — which contains a botanical blend of sea buckthorn, rosehip, grapeseed oil and more — is “so luxurious and helps the [massage] tool do its magic.”

“My beauty resolution for 2023 is to always use conditioner when I shampoo,” shares Nick Stenson, celebrity hair stylist, Ulta executive and founder of Nick Stenson Beauty. The conditioning step is especially helpful in the dry, cold winter weather that can zap moisture from your locks, and if your hair is extra dry, a hair mask or leave-in conditioner can be a savior from brittle ends, too. “No matter the hair style or color you are going for, we are going to see more of an emphasis on hair care in 2023 because healthy hair is sexy hair,” says Devin Graciano, hair stylist and head of product development at Goldie Locks.

“Every time I use the Nick Stenson Beauty Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner, my hair always looks 100% times better and styles easier than when I don’t,” Stenson says. “So no skipping the second step for me in 2023!”

For an extra boost of hydration, Graciano loves this hair mask. “[It’s] perfect for all hair types looking to drench their locks in hydrating and moisturizing benefits to tame unwanted frizz, increase elasticity to prevent breakage and work deeply within the hair strands to deliver the nutrients and hydration hair needs to look and stay healthy,” she says.

Maintain healthy hair with heat styling

“A goal of mine is to maintain hydrated healthy hair while increasing weekly blowouts and styling tools,” says Jess Meade, colorist at Rob Peetoom Salon Williamsburg. “As the weather cools down, I like to switch over from my natural texture to a smoother blown out look. With this comes more heat and more damage to my hair.”

Although, heat styling doesn’t always mean a bad thing, especially for those with curls. According to curly hair expert and celebrity hair stylist Christin Brown, diffusing your hair instead of air drying might be the healthiest choice. “I used to be an air dry-only person for the longest time. However, walking around with soaking wet hair for hours on end isn’t the best thing for the health of our hair,” Brown says. “Why? The pH of water is a 7 and our hair and body is a 4.5-5.5. Keeping our hair at a higher pH for hours can weaken the hair strands.” Instead, diffusing your hair can help maintain its strength and style.

To finish styling, Meade applies “a dime size amount of invisible serum [to] break up the curls, focusing on the ends.” It adds a touch of shine to the hair without weighing it down. Then, she’ll shake her hair out and spray with Davines This Is A Dry Texturizer for hold and Davines This Is A Shimmering Mist for a glossy finish.

To finish styling, Meade applies “a dime size amount of invisible serum [to] break up the curls, focusing on the ends.” It adds a touch of shine to the hair without weighing it down. Then, she’ll shake her hair out and spray with Davines This Is A Dry Texturizer for hold and Davines This Is A Shimmering Mist for a glossy finish. 

For those with curls, Brown recommends starting your styling routine in the shower. “Many curly people are still styling their hair while out of the shower, which is prime time where frizz develops,” she warns. “A big tip is to bring your stylers into the shower with you so that you’re capturing maximum hydration and definition. One of my fave products to use is the Kenra AllCurl Defining Jelly to smooth out frizz, encourage elongation and incredible definition.”

“Diffusing your hair with a tool like the Dyson Supersonic dryer with the diffuser attachment is a total game changer,” Brown says. The pricey hair tool is our favorite high-end hair dryer and worth every penny (it also makes a great gift). “If you don’t have time to dry it completely, at least spending 10 minutes on diffusing can be truly beneficial for the overall health of your hair,” the hair stylist notes. 

And remember to keep you hands hydrated, too

“My New Year’s nail care resolution is to moisturize my nails and hands on a regular basis, especially after washing my hands, which I’ve been doing more than usual these days,” says Jin Soon Choi, celebrity nail artist and founder of JinSoon nail spas.

Choi keeps this hand cream with her to apply to clean, dry hands whenever she needs it. “It’s fast absorbing but still long-lasting and has organic ingredients like argan oil, aloe vera and shea butter to replenish moisture.”