How to Keep the Signs of Holiday Stress Off Your Skin
It’s the most wonderful time of the year - right? Unfortunately, despite all the merriment (or perhaps, in part, because of it) it can also be the most stressful time of the year….particularly for your skin.
But the last thing you want is to look exhausted or broken out during your end-of-year celebrations. Here’s how to keep your skin looking stunning no matter what.
Understanding the Primary Holiday Skin Stressors
So what are the main skin stressors you’ll have to deal with during the holidays?
The Stress of It All
The first problem? The sheer ongoing stress that can come with travel, seeing long-lost family members, buying gifts, and generally running around. Now, short-term stress in itself is not terriblefor the skin.
The real problem is chronicstress, which can lead to:
- Dry skin
- Reduced skin elasticity
- Under-eye bags
Poor Diet and Sugar
The next major culprit? The sugary foods, carbs, and drinks that generally come with holiday festivities.
Remember - what you consume on the inside will alwaysstart to show on the outside. And the biggest culprits here are:
- Refined sugar and white flour, which can damage collagen and elastin while causing redness and acne.
- Dairy-rich treats like eggnog, which can increase skin’s oil production and contribute to more breakouts.
- Super salty foods, which can make you look puffy and tired.
Lack of Sleep
Holidays are one of the main times when we overextend, overbook, and over-stress ourselves. The result?
- More visible under eye dark circles
- Skin dullness
- Skin dehydration
- Acne problems
What You Can Do to Help
Make Smart Food Choices
Not allholiday foods are terrible for your skin, and if you stick to 80% “good skin” choices and 20% indulgence, you’ll be good to go.
Reach primarily for things like:
Turkey: The MVP of many holiday dinners, turkey is high in carnosine, a protein that helps slow collagen breakdown and build strong, healthy skin.
Sweet potatoes:Sweet potatoes are full of skin-soothing antioxidants (not to mention good-for-your-belly complex carbohydrates).
Fish:Any salmon or cod on the menu? These fish are usually rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce redness, increase hydration, and maximize skin collagen.
Herbs:Common staples on the holiday table, sage and rosemary are known to improve circulation, fight free radical damage, and provide several other health benefits.
Fruit:Apples and cranberries are also loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and other great nutrients.
Amp Up the Active Ingredients
You can also combat the lack of sleep, acne, and overall dullness by ramping up your active skincare ingredients. More specifically, we recommend:
Vitamin C:The ultimate antioxidant, vitamin C can help fight free radical damage and combat acne, dark spots, fine lines, and skin dullness or texture concerns. During the holidays, we recommend an effective serum that’s created to hyper-target these irregularities.
The acids (glycolic and salicylic):Next, we recommend AHA and BHA acids like glycolic acid and salicylic acid. A glycolic acid moisturizer, for one, will help evenly smooth texture, slough off dead cells, and battle fine lines. A salicylic acid spot treatment, on the other hand, will help banish those breakouts for good - the ultimate chemical exfoliation duo.
Hyaluronic acid:To combat that winter dryness and flaking, we recommend hyaluronic acid. The ultimate humectant, hyaluronic helps bring moisture deep into your skin (which you can then seal in with a great emollient or occlusive botanical face oil. Translation? Maximum hydration).
Peptides:Finally, you want to encourage collagen and elastin production as much as you can. A hydration gel with topical peptides can help, stimulating collagen and plumping up the skin for comprehensive moisture and a lit-from-within glow.
Keep Your Schedule Under Control
Finally, remember to never let the wheels fall off the bus. Rather than overcommitting and running around, make sure to:
- Maintain control of your schedule and don’t be afraid to say no to an event that doesn’t serve you
- Get enough sleep
- Do your gift shopping ahead of time to avoid the last-minute frazzle
- Remember that the holiday season is supposed to be fun!