There’s nothing like celebrating the holidays with your friends and loved ones. And while most parts of the holidays are fun, they can also bring on some unwanted guests (like redness and fine lines) to your skin.
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From the plane ride leaving you dehydrated to your face turning puffy red as a result of drinking a little too much of that holiday punch, it seems that all the fun things are what lead to these skin concerns. We asked Mona Gohara, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine to share the reason as to why these skin issues pop up around the holidays and quick remedies to fix them fast so that they don’t ruin any holiday pictures.
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Overall, her best advice for the holidays is to continue to get a good amount of sleep, stay hydrated on the outside and inside — drink lots of water and moisturize daily — and don’t stray from your usual product regimen. Forgot to pack your skincare routine? Make a drugstore run for the essentials: hydrating cleanser, moisturizing cream, and sunscreen.
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She also recommends to get moving by going on a family walk or participating in the backyard football match. Getting the blood flowing enables it to carry oxygen and nutrients to the cells as well as help carry away waste like free radicals for the most radiant complexion. Take a look at more skin solutions below.
1. Dry Skin From Traveling
“When you’re up in the air it’s so much drier so you want to prep your skin for the trip a couple days beforehand by using a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid and/or a moisturizing mask,” says Gohara. Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum, £29, contains hyaluronic acid and grape water to restore moisture fast.
When you travel you’re probably also straying away from your normal routine because you’re usual stash is too big to carry on. Using unusual ingredients can throw off your skin and cause breakouts. “Always pack your usual routine, even if that means buying mini bottles to fill with your own products,” recommends Gohara.
2. Breakouts From Holiday Food
Not only is the home cooking at your holiday gatherings more rich and full of not-so-good-for-you ingredients, also the fast food you’re eating while traveling is usually not the best and the combination of the two can leave your skin unhappy. “The foods you’re eating during the holidays—the good stuff—are usually high on the glycemic index and can lead to breakouts. Likewise, spicy and warm foods can also cause flare ups like rosacea to occur,” warns Gohara.
To prevent pores from getting clogged and causing breakouts, Gohara recommends using a glycolic acid peel pad like Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme Pads, £7.47,several times a week to help with cell turnover to keep skin clear.
3. Inflammation Due to Stress
Whether it’s dealing with family, buying gifts, getting everything prepped, or traveling, there’s a higher level of stress around the holidays to get everything done and it can start to show on your skin. “Stress causes your level of cortisol to rise which in turn can cause inflammation in the skin,” says Gohara.
To fight back, she recommends finding “your ‘zen zone,’ whether that’s taking a few minutes to meditate or going to your favorite exercise class.” Can’t find time to squeeze that in? Take a second to spritz on this Dermalogica Ultra Calming Mist, £28. The oat, botanical, and aloe formula quickly soothes skin.
4. Puffy Skin From Sugary Drinks
More gatherings and parties usually means there’s more wine and alcohol being passed around than you’re used to. “Often these drinks are sugary, and have a high glycemic index which puts the skin in overdrive and can lead to more breakouts and blemishes,” says Gohara.
She recommends choosing more antioxidant-rich beverages like red wine sangria or something with a pomegranate base to avoid these sugars and be sure to hydrate with a glass of water in between. If you had one too many and need to calm your tired, puffy skin the next morning, try the Revive Professional Ice Roller, £48. Store the metal roller in your refrigerator, then pull it out and roll it over your entire face to instantly reduce inflammation for a healthy looking glow.
5. Puffy Eyes From Lack of Sleep
Early wake-up calls to try and get everything done, paired with late nights from work and family gatherings tend to leave most of us lacking in the sleep department. “This makes your eyes more puffy, and your complexion more gray,” says Gohara. A DIY tip she recommends for waking up tired eyes is green tea bags. Run some tea bags under water and then store them in your freezer. On mornings when your eyes are a little puffy and red, pull a couple of them out and place them over your eyes for five minutes. “The tannins in the tea help stimulate blood flow and calm inflammation,” says Gohara.
The Estée Edit Instant Wake-Up Eye Refresh Pack, £8 are gel patches packed with fruits and minerals like elderberry, sea buckthorn, copper, and magnesium to nourish and soothe the sensitive skin around the eyes.