The holidays can wreak havoc on your skin. Not only are you stressed out from the extra commitments, but you’re probably not getting enough sleep and indulging in sugar and alcohol more often. Many people also travel to see family around the holidays, and travel can mess with your skin no matter what time of year you go. Fortunately, there are some proactive steps that you can take to keep your skin on track over the holiday season. Here are eight skincare 101 tips to do to create a merry and bright skincare routine for yourself during the holiday season:
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Remove makeup and cleanse thoroughly
It’s totally tempting to fall asleep in your makeup after getting home late for yet another holiday party, but sleeping in your makeup can clog pores and dry out your skin. Instead, first remove your makeup using a dedicated makeup remover like a cleansing balm, cleansing oil, or micellar water. Then follow it up with a purifying face cleanser that removes any lingering dirt and impurities. Your face wash should leave your skin feeling fresh and clean, not dry and stripped. If your cleanser feels too drying, switch to a more nourishing cleanser that doesn’t dry out your skin as much.
Exfoliate the right amount
Speaking of drying out your skin, it’s important not to exfoliate too often during the winter months, since that can compromise your skin barrier. However, you also shouldn’t skip exfoliating altogether, since that will leave your skin looking dull and uneven. Choose a gentle exfoliator and use it 1-3 times a week depending on your skin’s tolerance and how harsh the weather is. This will help you to maintain a bright, youthful complexion over the holiday season even when the weather is dull and gray.
Hydrate and moisturize
Winter weather is rough on your skin, which is why it’s essential to hydrate and moisturize during your holiday skincare routine. Natural skincare ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin will help to attract water to the skin and prevent dehydration. Using a moisturizer will help to promote a healthy balance of natural oils in your skin and slow down moisture loss. You should be applying a moisturizer every single time you wash your face to stop your skin from drying out. You may want to use a lighter moisturizer during the day and a thicker one at night to help your skin stay hydrated while you sleep.
Try out a face mask
Face masks are an optional part of any skincare routine, but they can be really beneficial for your face when it needs a quick at-home treatment. Face masks come in many different formulations, and you can choose the one that suits your needs best, whether that is hydrating, soothing, exfoliating, or brightening. Most face masks are designed to be applied after cleansing, left on for a certain period of time, and then rinsed off before you continue with the rest of your skincare routine. Each mask is a little different, so be sure to read the instructions on the packaging before using a face mask for the first time!
Eat a healthy diet
Rich food is a staple of holiday parties and family dinners, and it’s totally fine to indulge on special occasions. However, try to eat a balanced diet on other days to make sure that your skin and the rest of your body are getting the nutrients that they need. Prioritize lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are rich in nutrients. Watch your consumption of processed foods that are high in sodium and sugar. Cooking at home sometimes instead of relying on takeout or TV dinners will help you to maintain a healthy diet around the holidays and keep your skin looking good from the inside out.
Limit alcohol consumption
Many people like to indulge in drinks as well as food over the holidays. It’s totally fine to have the occasional glass of wine or special cocktail, but try to watch your overall alcohol intake and make sure to drink plenty of water while you’re imbibing. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect, can make your face look puffy and swollen, and disrupt your sleep cycles. While you’re at it, try to watch your caffeine intake as well, especially at the end of the day. Drinking caffeine after lunch time can make it hard to fall and stay asleep, which has cascading effects on your health.
Get enough sleep
On the subject of sleep, you should be trying to get 7-9 hours of good sleep every night — even during the busy holiday season. Our bodies repair themselves while we sleep, which is essential for overall health as well as skin health. The amount of sleep that you need each night varies from person to person, but 7-9 hours a night is a good average for most adults. Follow habits that encourage good sleep, such as avoiding screens in the two hours before bed and going to bed and getting up at the same time each day (including weekends).
Don’t forget lip and hand care
Our lips and hands are often the first parts of our body to become chapped and dry during the winter, which is why they deserve extra special attention as part of your holiday skincare routine. You should be applying a lip mask throughout the day, not just at night, to keep them soft and moisturized. You should also apply a hand cream every time you wash your hands, and also at night while you sleep. You can even wear gloves to help your hands become extra moisturized if they are already chapped and in need of some more TLC.
We hope this guide gave you some practical inspiration for creating a holiday skincare routine! Let us know in the comments below what else you do to keep your skin looking merry and bright during the winter season.