Whether you've been on a social whirlwind since Thanksgiving or are about to enter a blur of festivities from now until New Year's, the best way to stay looking fabulously festive is to pamper your skin.
Those late nights, stressful schedules jam-packed with holiday shopping and school plays, high carb foods, and possibly a cocktail or two, deplete the skin of nutrients, strip it of its protective barrier and upset the delicate hormonal balance. The aftermath of a great party is often dull, tired looking skin, under-eye bags, dark circles and perhaps a blemish or two. It's enough to make one say "bah hum bug" to attending yet another holiday affair.
The best way to handle this is one part planning and two parts reacting.
Take your vitamins. Ideally, one should maintain a healthy diet, but seriously, can you really ignore that gorgeous-looking dessert another minute? Partaking in not-so-healthy food choices fills one up with unwanted calories, leaving your body and your skin with fewer nutrients. Consider taking a multivitamin during the holidays to supplement poor party eating habits. Or take a vitamin that targets skin, nails and hair.
Avoid smoke-filled rooms. To look your very best, try to avoid smoke-filled scenes. Secondhand smoke, in addition to being dangerous to your health, irritates the eyes, making them look red; plus, inflammation can cause fluid to pool under the eyes contributing to dark circles and under-eye bags.
Try to exercise. It reduces stress levels, which might otherwise lead to acne flare-ups. And everyone knows how stressful the holidays can be! A bevy of holiday hormones can cause acne to form. Stress increases circulating glucocorticosteroids and should be factored into a hormonally driven flare-up. Working out for even 20 to 30 minutes a day can help reduce stress and keep skin blemish-free.
Stay hydrated. Your system takes a beating with all of the holiday hustle and bustle, which can have an effect on your appearance. Dehydration from alcohol consumption combined with dry weather and low wintertime humidity levels leave skin parched and dull looking. Stay fresh-looking all holiday season by hydrating from the inside and the out. Drink at least eight to ten 8 oz. glasses of water to flush out toxins and apply a moisturizer twice daily to keep your complexion looking bright.
Look glam! A touch of sparkle may be just the thing to get your skin ready to match your party-ready mood. Choose a moisturizer or foundation that contains a pearlescent shimmer or a bit of glitter. Skip the powder; it lessens the glow.
Wash your face. For heaven's sake, wash away the grime when you get home! Makeup and smoke should not find their way to your pillowcase. Wash with a facial cleanser that contains glycolic acid. It will dissolve away environmental grime, residual cosmetics and leave skin looking fresh the next morning.
Catch up on your sleep. Not an easy thing to do if you began the holiday season with a midnight shopping trip on Black Friday and haven’t stopped to rest ever since. Allowing yourself a solid 8 hours of sleep, especially after a long evening out, lets your body (and your skin) recuperate for the next fun-filled event.
Deflate the bags. The stress of the holiday season, indulging in salty foods, environmental allergens (such as Christmas trees, the host’s pets or a smoky room), can cause pooling of fluid within the delicate and easily distensible skin beneath the eye. The result: waking up to excess baggage and a tired, haggard appearance. Reducing fluid build-up and bagginess beneath the eyes makes the face look fresher, more rested and youthful. Caffeine is an effective agent for deflating bags. Thanks to its ability to constrict blood vessels and its diuretic tendencies, topical caffeine should be in your favorite eye cream.
If unprepared, try a quick fix straight out of the kitchen. Moist cool tea bags (the caffeinated ones) rapidly reduce swelling. The tannins in the tea help reduce the swelling by reducing inflammation. And again, the caffeine draws water from the skin helping deflate puffiness.
Hide the dark circles. Late nights can lead to dark circles. Camouflaging dark circles provides immediate gratification and restores radiance to the eye area. A yellow concealer counteracts the blue hues. Regardless of your baseline skin tone, applying a yellow concealer can work wonders to neutralize the blue hues. Feel free to apply a flesh toned concealer and foundation on top.
Make your skin the perfect fashion accessory this holiday season, and enjoy whatever festivities come your way!