Guest post by Donna Maurer
We’ve all been there. The holidays roll around and before we know it, we’re staying up late every night, eating too many Christmas cookies, downing too many cocktails, and traveling here and there to visit family and friends.
All of these festivities are fun, but they also lead to poor diet choices and a lack of proper skincare. Talk about a recipe for acne! Not surprisingly, all the stress that comes with this time of year can also contribute to some major flare-ups.
Yes, the holidays are definitely party season, but for many, they’re also a time of stress. We’re rushing around at work, trying to finish shopping, and coordinating family time and travel- all without maxing out those credit cards, thank you very much! It’s no wonder that this time of year raises cortisol (a hormone that can cause acne) levels through the roof. And, let’s not forget about the seasonal weather changes that already have our skin freaking out!
So, with all of that in mind, how can you keep acne at bay throughout the holiday season? Follow these holiday skincare tips to get through the season without a major breakout!
Take Your Makeup Off Every Night, No Matter How Tired You Are
We all want to look our best for special occasions, and that often means piling on the makeup. That’s totally fine, as long as you remove it thoroughly every night. Don’t make the mistake of just swiping your face with makeup remover and calling it clean, either.
You need to do a thorough double-cleanse to make sure every trace of dirt, oil, and makeup is gone before you head off to bed. Anything that’s left behind will clog your pores and lead to breakouts so don’t skip this step!
While you’re at it, assess your skin. Keep a supply of acne patches on hand to treat sudden breakouts quickly. If your skin is looking red, dull, or irritated from all the mistreatment, apply a sleeping mask to nourish it overnight.
Everything in Moderation
Let’s be realistic. It’s the holidays. There’s no way you’re going to be able to stick to your clean eating plan the whole time. Limiting the foods that cause inflammation is a much more realistic goal. It’s ok to have one drink or one piece of pie at a holiday party but do your best to enjoy these things in moderation.
Try to think about it this way. The damage from one glass of wine or a couple of Christmas cookies can easily be offset by eating healthy the next day and getting a little extra exercise. On the other hand, the damage from a few glasses of wine, a piece of pie, some cookies, and a glass of eggnog is going to take a lot longer to recover from.
And, when you’re not celebrating, take extra care with your diet. Eat foods that will nourish your skin and your gut. Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. Avoid inflammatory foods like sugar, grains, and alcohol as much as you can. And, of course, drink lots of water throughout the day.
Get Extra Sleep When You Can
Between the shopping and the party hopping, a good night’s sleep can be hard to come by around the holidays. But, here’s the thing. Your body really does heal while you sleep, and that includes your skin. Our brains tell our bodies to release certain hormones at night that repair tissues and help cells.
In fact, your lymphatic system also works overtime while you sleep to flush away toxins that could lead to breakouts. Depriving your body of sleep also raises your cortisol levels and puts your body in a continuous state of stress. Since the skin is the body’s largest organ, it’s usually the first place we see the damage from lack of sleep.
Whenever you can’t get a full night’s sleep, try to sneak in a nap the next day. Your body, your stress, levels, and your skin will all benefit from the extra rest.
Help Your Skin Detoxify
When toxins build up in the skin, acne is the natural result. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to support your skin’s natural detoxification process. One of the easiest things you can do is to drink lots of water. Adding lemon to your water can help the detoxification process even more.
Sweating is another great way to detoxify the skin, and the best way to do that is through exercise. Exercise also boosts blood flow and circulation, bringing extra nutrients to the skin. Saunas are another great way to work up a sweat and support detoxification.
Get a Facial
Staying on top of your daily skincare routine is essential but getting a facial will support your efforts to keep breakouts at bay or clear one up quickly. A professional dermatologist or esthetician can perform gentle extractions to unclog pores and also do a deep cleansing to get embedded dirt out of your pores.
Some professionals also offer red and blue light treatments. These treatments are amazing for reducing redness and inflammation, killing the bacteria that causes acne, improving skin tone and even reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Consider having a professional facial at the beginning of the season and another one about mid-way through to help keep your skin in tip-top shape.
Most importantly, enjoy the season! Following these tips will help to keep your skin acne-free, but don’t stress out if you slip up here and there. Enjoy this time with your friends and family. As long as you don’t go overboard, you can eat clean and follow a good skincare routine to overcome any breakouts after the holidays are over.