So you've studied up on your skin concerns, shopped accordingly, and you're ready to start your brand new routine. Now what? So many of us shop with the best of intentions and then sometimes don't quite make it out of the gate when it comes to executing the routine. Here are a few of our favorite tips for making your skincare habits stick:

1.) Keep a cheat sheet handy If you're new to a routine or implementing new products, it might get overwhelming to keep track of which step happens when. An easy fix for this is to make a list and refer to it. Keep it taped to the inside of your medicine cabinet door, or anywhere that you know you will see it. Maybe even on your phone, with a picture of the products in order.

2.) Get reminders When forming a new habit, sometimes the biggest obstacle is just remembering to do something. If you're new to having a routine, consider setting an alarm or a reminder in your phone. You could also buddy up with a friend for accountability and take turns pinging one another to see if you've done your skincare for the day.

3.) Label and/or number your products Yes, you should follow the directions on the package, but if you're on the go and don't have time to read the fine print, you can label your products with a sticker or a magic marker in order of use.

4.) Make it a ritual Whether you choose to do it morning, nighttime or both, your skincare routine can be a great way to take a very small chunk of time and devote it to yourself. Make this time about you. Light a candle. Set a quick intention for the day. Put on a song that motivates you in the morning or relaxes you after a long day. These are just some examples of simple touchstones that will make you crave your routine and look forward to doing it, which will then breed consistency.

5.) Aim for progress, not perfection Your skincare routine can take time to get used to. If you travel or live a busy life, you may find that sometimes sticking to the regimen is more difficult. Maybe days pass and you realize you haven't so much as used a face wipe. It happens to the best of us. But don't let these missteps derail you. You have a lifetime to perfect it and practice getting it right. Just do your best and have fun with it!

GOAL SETTING & TRACKING YOUR PROGRESS

When it comes to setting goals for your skincare, it can be a little difficult to set tangible or measurable goals. Results tend to be progressive and tricky to observe. However, there are a few ways you can track your success as we go. Here are just a few ideas, but we'd love to hear any that you come up with as well!

Keep a routine log

Results might be hard to track but they'll be impossible to get if you don't actually follow a consistent routine. Consider buying a small, inexpensive notebook and writing down which steps you completed each day. This will allow you to not only hold yourself accountable but will make it easier to pinpoint which parts of the routine are working based on when and how often you do them.

You can also keep notes on things like what you ate, how much water you drank, and how your skin feels and looks day-to-day, if you really want to get a holistic view of what works for your skin.

Make it part or your regular planning system
If keeping another list/notebook for your skin feels like too much for you, maybe consider implementing a tracking system on your calendar or in a daily planner you already use. We like to add a little check box to our to-dos reminding us to do our AM and PM beauty routines.

You could break it into individual steps and create a reward system around remembering to do them. Or it could be as simple as putting a star or a check mark on your calendar denoting the days you accomplished your mission.

Snap those selfies
In addition to taking official before and afters, visual check-ins are honestly one of the best ways to keep tabs on how your skin is looking and how you are feeling about it. So don't be afraid to snap weekly or even daily selfies when setting out on a new skincare adventure. Although changes in the skin happen subtly over time, regular check-ins can help motivate you and will serve as a powerful reminder later, of how far you've come