The holiday season can be a stressful time in many ways. Shopping, parties, year-end deadlines, and entertaining can be taxing for even the most organized person. For the skin, lack of sleep, overindulgence in food and alcohol, and high-stress levels can leave the face puffy and even increase acne breakouts. Here are a few quick tips to keep skin looking and feeling its best throughout the holidays.
- Try to get enough sleep. With lack of sleep, the levels of stress hormones in the body increase, which can lead to heightened inflammation within the body. Systemic inflammation has been linked to increased breakouts. If possible, maintain the same sleep schedule (get at least seven to eight hours a night) throughout the holiday madness – including weekends – to help the body stay well rested. We don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing!
- Bring out the cucumbers. If puffy eyes are a problem, place something cold over the eyes, like cucumber slices, refrigerated tea bags, or a cold compress, for 10 to 15 minutes. This can help constrict the blood vessels around the eyes and reduce puffiness. Eye creams with caffeine as an ingredient can also help decrease puffiness in the under-eye area.
- Treat yourself to a mask. A mask is one way to deliver ingredients for skin enhancement with little time commitment. If facial skin starts to get dry during the holidays, a moisturizing mask with hyaluronic gel can be a powerful hydration booster. If sensitivity is an issue, consider a hydrating sheet mask since these products are usually packaged as single-use masks and therefore require little or no preservatives (which can be irritating). For acne, a mask or mini-chemical peel pads with glycolic and salicylic acid can help exfoliate and deep-clean pores. Dull, sallow skin can benefit from a combination mask with glycolic acids to exfoliate plus hydrating ingredients to moisturize.
- Just fake it! Don’t stress if you don’t have time to get your skin in perfect shape before the holidays. I personally find the holiday season cheerful and joyous, but stressful as well. Most of the time, we are taking care of others rather than ourselves during the holiday season. If a crazy holiday schedule leaves little time to care for your skin, consider a quick professional makeup application at a local department store while shopping. Well-applied makeup can be transformative, providing a little boost of confidence that feels great before walking into that holiday party. Pro tip: Exfoliate the skin at home beforehand to ensure the smoothest makeup application. I do this little trick for myself during the holidays so looking my best at an important holiday event is easy … and gives you one less thing to stress about during the holidays. After all, the new year is right around the corner and it’s the perfect time to focus on yourself (and your skin) again.