We all dream of our skin looking picture perfect at Christmas, whether for the office party or for that special moment under the mistletoe. However, the reality of the non-stop party season – otherwise known as December – can take its toll on our skin. Increased consumption of alcohol and indulgent party food combined with cold weather and central heating can wreak havoc on our complexions, leaving skin red, breakout prone, dull and older looking than need be.
Here are some top tips for maintaining healthy and beautiful skin all year round.
- Monitor alcohol and party food consumption
As we are in the midst of the Christmas party season, avoid consuming junk food, sugary foods and excessive alcohol as much as possible (without spoiling Christmas of course…). It goes without saying that smoking is a massive no-no. The consequences of this skin-unfriendly lifestyle should not be ignored.
Keep up your water intake throughout the party season, as alcohol can dehydrate and can also promote micro-inflammation in the body and skin. Also make sure to eat lots and lots of antioxidant rich foods such as fresh vegetables and plenty of good fats such as nuts (not the sugar-coated type!), avocados, coconut and olive oil.
All these habits will lead to a slightly less frightening sight when you look in the mirror first thing in the morning!
- Wash & Go
If you are coming home late after a Christmas party, make sure to remove your make-up and cleanse your face properly. Falling into bed without cleansing your face is an absolute no-no! Cleansing wipes also a no-go. And to be honest, a quick cleansing with water, a good cleanser and your hands (no cloth, brush or other fancy equipment needed here) is quicker than using wet wipes anyway … that is if you use wipes properly, rather than a half-hearted wipe, which would be useless anyway.
While cleansing is crucial to your daily skincare routine, toners aren’t strictly necessary though, so you can save time on skipping the toner after a late night out.
- Don’t forget to catch up on beauty sleep
Always try to get 8 hours sleep at night to give your skin cells a chance to optimise repair and regeneration. Stress and sleep deprivation cause cortisol levels to go up, which are detrimental for your skin and lead to premature skin ageing. So, should you have accrued ‘sleep debt’ after the Christmas party, make sure to catch up the very next day, so it doesn’t accumulate.
- Keep your skin glowing, but avoid over-moisturising
Cold, dry winter air can make our skin feel a little drier. However, while adding a light-weight hyaluronic acid serum is beneficial to help counteract these effects, make sure not to over-moisturise with heavy emollients (unless you have genetically dry skin such as eczema), as this will not do your skin any favours long-term and may even leave you more breakout prone over the holidays.
One of the key factors in keeping skin looking and feeling healthy during the winter months is to take preventative steps against dryness such as minimising contact with soap (especially on the body!). However, I am not a fan of cleansing balms or oils either. My recommendation is to use a gentle, yet pore-cleansing facial gel cleanser instead.
An omega-3 containing fish oil supplement as well as a good collagen supplement (ideally 10g bovine collagen per day), can also help with dry winter skin without having to overload the skin with overly heavy skincare.
- Avoid hot baths
After a brisk walk home in the freezing cold, it’s tempting to jump straight into a steaming hot bath, but this may not be the best choice for your body skin, if you suffer with dry skin (skin on our body has much more of a tendency for dryness compared to the face!).
Baths and showers should be kept as short as possible, if dry skin is a problem, and water should ideally be lukewarm. Mesh sponges, abrasive scrubs and woven cloths should also be avoided in dry winter skin as they may aggravate the problem.
I hope this helps.