The most wonderful..and tempting time of year.
The holidays are the perfect storm for our skin to misbehave. Not only because of the food and alcohol we're consuming, but also due to holiday travel, unavoidable winter weather, irregular sleep schedules, and expected stress.
4 Skin-saving Tips for the holiday season
1. Keep sugar consumption to a minimum
We all know the temptation to eat fast food, and more sugar is real during the holidays. Sugary treats avail everywhere between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. Oh, the temptation!
I'm not very popular at parties when I start talking about how bad sugar is for us. But I still get the message out there (mainly because I need to be reminded of it myself!!)
Sugar is not only bad for your thighs, but bad for your skin!
Dr. Nissan Pilest's article Why sugar is bad for your skin-from acne to wrinkles gives details as to why we should drop that cookie.
I've made a deal with myself that I watch ALL sugar intake during the week and on the weekends I allow myself a reward for resisting all week. It works for me.
Scientists from the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and Unilever in the UK, measured the blood sugar levels of 600 men and women aged between 50 and 70.
They then showed photographs of the participants to a board of 60 independent assessors and found that those with higher blood sugar looked older than those with lower blood sugar. In fact, for every 1mm/litre increase in blood sugar, the perceived age of that person rose by 5 months.
One way to combat the sugar we've consumed is with antioxidants in our skincare like Vitamin C Serums. A good high level C serum can help repair skin cell damage from environment and diet. And don't forget your sunscreen this time of year, too.
2. Get Your Beauty Sleep
The pressure to work, prepare for the holidays, and even our social lives affects how our skin looks this time of year. With busy schedules and holiday parties, chances are we're consuming a tad bit more alcohol than we normally would and alcohol affects our sleep patterns.
The restorative powers of sleep are essential not only for a bright and clear complexion, but also for a healthy brain.
Bonus tip: Alcohol consumption also leads to dehydrated skin, and dehydrated skin looks older. Alcohol's water loss effect can also cause you to lose vitamins and nutrients. Vitamin A which is essential for cell renewal and turnover is one of them. A lack of vitamin A can cause our skin to take on a dull gray appearance.
Staying water-hydrated will obviously have opposing effects: smoothing out wrinkles, leaving your skin looking bright, young and fresh.
Alcohol consumption can also affect pre-existing conditions like rosacea, causing it to worsen or flare up more often.Alcohol increases blood flow, often causing blood vessels in the face to dilate.
3. Minimize Stress
Between late nights, family gatherings, travel, and never-ending to-do lists, it's no secret the holidays can be a stressful time. There seems to be less time for exercise, health meal prep, and proper sleep.
Stress can age you and magnify dryness and wrinkles, or trigger you to gorge on foods you know you should walk away from. Acne, rosacea, perioral dermatitis, and other chronic skin conditions can all get worse due to stress.
Time to book a facial at your favorite spa? Or, create a spa afternoon at home. Grab that face mask and take some ME time. Apply the mask, make a hot cup of tea and sip while your masking. Feel the calm yet?
4. Up Your Skincare Routine and Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
In the midst of the holiday rush and craziness, it's easy to skip out on our normal skincare routines, putting ourselves last. Don't do this. Your skin may misbehave. Instead, treat it with extra kindness and reap the rewards.
Be sure to adjust your skincare products for winter time temperature changes. Swap out that lighter moisturizer for a richer and more luxurious cream. Consider adding a moisturizing serum too. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic (moisture binder) and resveratrol (helps minimize redness and winter irritations).
Taking 1 or 2 minutes to exfoliate with a great polish, and then applying a rich moisturizer can go a long way to make sure your skin survives the holidays, glowingly.