If there were ever a year to “prematurely Christmas,” it’s this year. The news seems to be extra depressing, and the holidays provide much needed relief. So we say bring on the Christmas music, decorations, and the whole shebang! The one thing we could do without, however, is how much the holidays affect our bodies and, in particular, our skin.
Running from pillar to post and from party to party and from mall to mall does take its toll, but you can make an effort to avoid the damage. Read more for tips on treating your skin better this holiday season. You don’t have to look like an extra for The Walking Dead—trust us!
Get More Zzzzs
The benefits of sleep are far reaching. From weight control and mood improvement to increased energy levels and better concentration, sleep is basically a magical cure for just about everything. And, yes, that includes better skin. “Poor sleep can lead to increased stress hormones in the body that increase the severity of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis,” explains Jessica Krant, MD, MPH, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and founder of Art of Dermatology in New York via EverydayHealth.com. And what happens is this becomes a vicious cycle, as these conditions can cause itching, which can keep us up at night. If you’ve been having issues sleeping, try setting a consistent bedtime, exercising (but not close to bedtime), meditation, and enlisting relaxing bedtime rituals such as spraying your pillow with lavender and deep breathing exercises. Still tossing and turning? Consider investing in a new mattress from TempurPedic and make sure you’re getting the support you need.
Go Easy on the Booze
Holidays and cocktails go together like peanut butter and jelly but alcohol can really take its toll on skin. The issues are dehydration and inflammation. Alcohol literally takes moisture out of the skin. “Alcohol inflames the tissue, and systemic inflammation to the skin caused by alcohol creates a histamine reaction—that creates the redness, the flushing of the skin,” New York nutritionist Jairo Rodriguez notes via Vogue. “At first you think, oh you’re a little red, not a big deal, but over a period of time—six months, a year, two years—if you continue drinking, it can become a prominent facial redness you can’t get away from.” We’re not asking you to go cold turkey during the holidays, per se, but just be mindful of what drinking is doing to your skin. Make sure to stay hydrated, perhaps drinking one glass of water for every cocktail consumed. As for what you drink, stick with the clear liquor, like potato vodka, tequila, or gin.
Beware of Your Bites
For a while, it was believed that nutrition had no link whatsoever to acne. Then there was the myth that chocolate causes acne, and many of us wept. We know that hormones and genetics contribute to acne and there isn’t much you can do about those. But you should know that there is a definitely link to poor nutrition, too. That’s why clean eating is crucial. This basically means you eat whole, real foods like fruits, veggies, and lean meats as opposed to processed food and refined sugar. Again, we know it’s the holidays, and we do not want to be the Scrooge of your life, so we say indulge … but do so in moderation. Enjoy those Christmas cookies and that eggnog but think about making up for it by eating clean the whole next day. Life is all about balance, even during the holiday season. Need help getting back on track after the holidays are over? Check out FarmFreshtoYou.com and sign up for a weekly delivery of fresh produce. Your skin—and the rest of your body—will reap the benefits.
Be Vigilant About Your Skincare Routine
If you have a rather vigorous nightly skincare regimen, good for you. Way to take care of your skin! The problem, however, is that we are even more tired at night during the holiday season. Whether we’ve been Christmas shopping all day or partying all night, it can be easier to justify going to bed without washing your face. To keep acne under control and keep your skin looking its best, it’s vital to remain consistent with your skin care. Consider trying to move your skincare regimen up to an earlier hour so that you’re not so exhausted. If you haven’t found a product that accurately treats your skin issues, consider BioClarity. This awesome company has created a skin care system that makes pimples disappear without drying out your skin. It’s easy three-step process means that your skin care regimen takes just a few quick minutes, meaning you’ll have no excuse to skip it.
Interested in treating your skin better this holiday season? Follow these tips and no one will ever know you’ve been indulging in some seasonal sins.